You know…

It sometimes baffles me how we will read stories like the poor *little girl* whose mother dressed her up like a hooker—em hem, sorry like “Pretty Woman”(?!?)—and the response tends to be “What?!? That child is *too young* to dress like that!” I mean…when are you “old enough” to look like a prostitute? And while we’re along these lines, if you’re “playing a prostitute” at 3, what kind of doors is that opening for you? Does that make you “mature enough” to be sexually active at 12? Or is that also too young? How about 18? Is it OK to be promiscous then? Personally, I don’t think 20, 40, 60 or 80 is a cool age to dress that way or to sleep around and actually, it might be just a bit more understandable why young people struggle and we might want to extend a bit more compassion and patience towards them than us. Especially with there being Scriptural directives like *flee youthful lusts* (2 Timothy 2:22). Kinda leads me to believe that God expects us to grow *out of* such mindsets. Not wait until we’re of the legal age to participate in such potentially-debilitating behavior.

Yet my real intro point is that when there are instructions like, “Train a child up in the way that they should go” (Proverbs 22:6), when you read about stories like that…I wonder where parents are leading them. Where they want them to go. Exactly.

I really gave them some thought as I read an article on Psychology Today a little while ago entitled, “Are Sexually Active Girls Headed for Divorce as Adults?” Even the intro paragraph seemed to have a bit of a slant to it:

Sex has consequences, it always does [Shellie here: AGREED]. Sometimes those consequences are rewarding and beneficial, but more often than not, sex during adolescence can complicate social, emotional, and psychological development.

Sex during *adolescence” can complicate social, emotional and psychological development?!? Shoot, I wonder how many people would be willing to go under oath and admit that they are in arrested development *now* due to perhaps some sexual choices that they made as teenagers, but probably *even more* due to the ones that they made as adults. Anyway, here’s some other info that the article provided:

Thirty-one percent who lost their virginity as teens divorced within five years and 47 percent divorced within 10 years. The divorce rate for teenage girls who delayed sex until adulthood was much lower at 15 percent for five years and 27 percent at 10 years. Additionally, the study found that the age girls have sex plays a major role in determining future divorce rates. Turns out that girls who lost their virginity before the age of 16 (consensual or not) were still much more likely to divorce than those who did not.

You know something that’s starting to scare me? Just a bit? It’s not really what’s going on in the world (I Corinthians 5:9-12), but how much believers are latching onto those concepts: following ever-changing culture rather than standing by authentic faith. In the wise words of William Wilberforce, “Culture changes. Faith doesn’t.” And so, while people sit around and try and rationalize the connection between why a sexually-active 16-year-old may have a hard time committing to a marriage, somehow we want to believe that a 25-year-old (or 55-year-old) is some kind of exception. That *they* can handle a life without purity (I Timothy 5:22). That somehow fornication is some kind of underground club that you can get carded into: “If you’re 14 and having sex, your future marriage will be doomed. Oh, but if you’re 35 and doing it, your marriage will be a breeze. Or at least easier. ‘Cause you know better.”

Yeah. OK.

Sometimes I think we’re so busy wanting to defend why we *can* (it’s our right of choice) do something without really taking the time to evaluate if we really *should* (it’s the best thing for us). I mean, as much time that is spent debating on here about if fornication is still a sin (*it is*-I Corinthians 6:9) or what God really meant when he said things like “The marriage bed is honorable” (again, *it is*-Hebrews 13:4), with studies like these showing the damage that “breaking the formula” can cause, how about we try simply doing what the Bible says? And *training our children up to do the same?*

You know, I have some people in my life who find the Bible to be…let’s just say personally irrelevant. Therefore, they find my abstinent lifestyle to be totally unrealistic. Yet, what they will admit is that when I was doing it their way, I was so much more…unstable than I am now. Since abstinence, my self-esteem is higher, my health is better and my relational choices are *much wiser*. When I was confusing good sex with a solid relationship, I wasn’t learning about commitment. I was learning about how to approach relationships from a “here today, gone tomorrow” perspective. Trust me, it jades you and 30 minutes of “pure bliss” (?!?) can lead to six months of pure misery. If not immediately, when you least expect it.

Personally, I don’t think it’s about if having sex too young can wreck you. Having sex outside of covenant, period can (I Corinthians 6:12-20). Even the teen girls that I mentor say that a part of the reason why they take me seriously is because they can sniff a liar out and they believe I’m telling the truth. It’s the *witness* and the *walk* (Colossians 3:17, I John 3:18) more so than the *words*.

However, if you’re one of those people who still want to believe that doing things your way is best, well…there are a lot of teenagers who get into trouble because they’re so busy trying to prove that they’re old enough to do something that they don’t realize that the boundaries are set in place for *their protection*.

No matter how grown you are, you still have a Heavenly Father (Psalm 82:6).

Oftentimes the *responsible* and *mature* thing is to just take him at his word rather than trying to discredit it so much.

And when it comes to purity, there is no age discrimination. *Ever*.