How Should Children Be Taught About Sexual Purity?

How Should Children Be Taught About Sexual Purity?

Many women seem to blame everyone else for their lack of discipline when it comes to fornication. Here’s a good example:

Was this a good way to teach virginity? Probably not, but this teaching isn’t what harmed this woman. I do want to say that I know nothing about her or her past but the way she worded this, she sounds like it harmed her since she wants to “expose Christian schools” as if this teaching harmed her.

It’s NOT this teaching that harmed her. It’s fornication that harmed her and many other women. She was taught to remain a virgin before marriage by this ethics teacher but probably didn’t and felt guilt due to this teaching. Many would probably accuse the Bible for their guilt because of the teaching to FLEE fornication and then blame God for the consequences of their sin, just as they do the purity culture!

My mom taught me from a young age to remain a virgin so that when I meet a godly man, I could stand before him and tell him that I kept myself for him. Now, if I had fornicated and felt heavy guilt from it, then I could have blamed my mom for causing me to think no godly man would ever want me. Was it my mom’s teaching that was wrong or my fornication? It would have been my fornicating but thankfully, I never did. I took what she taught me seriously. I knew she didn’t mean me any harm. She wanted to protect me just as this ethics teacher wanted to protect her students.

Fornication is a sin against one’s own body and trying to minimize this at all is destructive to young women. Fornication can cause infertility, STDs, problems with sex in marriage, and on and on. ALL of God’s commands are for our good! Yes, some godly men will choose to not marry women who fornicated, and this is their right. Yes, the women who fornicated are completely forgiven if they have asked for forgiveness and are believers in Jesus Christ, but scars and consequences still remain.

You must teach your daughters truth, women. If my daughters were taught by that ethics teacher, they wouldn’t have thought anything about it. It wouldn’t have offended them at all, since they were taught by me to remain virgins until marriage. They knew this was God’s will for them for a very good reason. Stop blaming the purity culture, Christian schools, the Bible, or ethic teachers who taught you the pain of fornication. Blame fornication instead! Few teachers are perfect in how they teach, but it’s the truth that they are teaching that matters. Sin is harmful. Period.

Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.
1 Corinthians 6:18

***This post is not for women who had their virginity stolen from them through sexual abuse or rape. Choosing to lose your virginity and having it stolen from you are two different situations entirely.

32 thoughts on “How Should Children Be Taught About Sexual Purity?

  1. Honest Question : What do you mean by virginity ? ( I know it sounds silly but since in the clarification you wrote sexual abuse or rape so it sounds more than just penetration )

  2. Gone through these teachings under the leadership training program with compassion international glad that the teachings have helped me groom my daughter who hasn’t been part of the program

  3. This message is incomplete IMO. Sometimes we may be disobedient to the truth and indeed many women lost their virginity by choice but God doesn’t forsake one because of disobedience. He reaches out his arms farthest towards the lost and disobedient to recover them and restore them. I believe this should all be included in the message to give hope to anyone who might have lost their virginity by choice. Shalom.

  4. The problem here is not that this person was being taught to remain a virgin until marriage; the problem is the person was being taught that their value as a person was tied up in their virginity.

  5. For anyone reading this post for whom it is already too late. That is you’ve already lost your virginity. Whether you’re female (or male). Whether it was a “one-off” or you’ve slid into a lifestyle of fornication.


    Don’t believe the satanic lie that it’s too late for you, that God will never take you back, and there’s no point to a chaste, God-honoring lifestyle and that you may as well continue being sexually immoral.

    Jesus paid for those sins, and took the shame for them when he died on the cross.

    Find a Godly older woman if you’re female (or man if you’re a male) who will accept you as a repentant sinner (and we all must repent of our particular sins) and mentor you and help you back onto God’s highway.

    It’s never too late to do the right thing and God is there through the grace of his son Jesus and fellowship of his Holy Spirit to help you do it.

  6. I did include this: “Yes, the women who fornicated are completely forgiven if they have asked for forgiveness and are believers in Jesus Christ, but scars and consequences still remain.”

  7. We’re not even sure this is exactly what she was taught, Emily. It’s easy to hear words that weren’t being said or misconstrue them. It was an illustration of being used. When women give themselves sexually before marriage, they are being used by men. Women need to be warned of this! There can be serious consequences from a result of fornication.

  8. I was making the distinction between giving yourself willingly to fornication and losing your virginity in this way compared to having it stolen from you. Willingly sinning and being forced upon are two different situations entirely.

  9. That’s so true, Nick, and I mentioned this in the post. They can also use their past as a way to warn other young women to not follow in that destructive path.

  10. “problems with sex in marriage”
    I will attest to this. I have done some lay counseling of women in church. 100% of those that had sexual problems in their marriage (which is actually 100% of the women I have counseled), had had sex outside of marriage.
    It’s what you said here,
    “Yes, the women who fornicated are completely forgiven if they have asked for forgiveness and are believers in Jesus Christ, but scars and consequences still remain.”
    But I also think of, I believe it was Michael Medved, who said something like, “Telling them to abstain from fornication bc of STD’s, pregnancy, and the like is like nailing jello to the wall. Yell them not to because God said not to!”

  11. she uses the phrase “no one would want us”, and in the peppermint example, the only thing we “know” about the person is she is not a virgin. It makes me so sad to think young people are being taught that all the complexities that make a person an individual and “wanted” can be completely forgotten or wiped out if the person is not a virgin. That is really really sad, and I think that is why the author of the tweet is saying she was harmed by this teaching. I do believe in abstaining from sex until marriage, and I will teach my children this as well. But I will never ever ever tell my children that their virginity is more important than who they are as a person, or that their virginity is what makes a person “wanted” or not. Do I think this is what the teacher meant to portray? No, probably not. But if that is the message young people are receiving, then the teacher needs to revaluate the message delivery and examples like the peppermint demonstration need to go.

  12. I think it would be helpful to educate young women in their teens to spot situations where they put themselves more at risk of being coerced into sexual activities too early in life. My parents were much more strict about my activities outside the home as a teenager, I was not allowed to date until my senior year of high school, and rules about what sort of boy I should be dating, and the iron law that they must meet him and his family and approve him as a responsible and mature young man before I could date him. My brothers, by contrast, had no such boundaries on going to Prom, school events, even to the beach for a weekend with a mixed sex group with no restrictions at all. I felt this was unjust and told my parents this. They simply made vague comments about the need to protect me from men and stay pure. No real lesson from them about men and boys and the differences in sexual drive between men and women. I grew up with moony eyed ideas about romantic love and without any real education or practice in managing male/female interactions. I went to College at age 18. This was a Southern Baptist College but very little supervision for students unlike my mother’s memory of an older woman running the women’s dorms and only allowing men to meet with female students in the Parlor. We had a sign in sheet, but no supervision. The male dorms had no restrictions at all. Without an education in male/female interactions and practice in protecting myself in dating situations, parties, etc. I was easy prey for older college men. It wasn’t just me. I learned very quickly to stay away from the Fraternity House Parties where alcohol fueled some really awful behavior despite a drinking ban on campus. In one truly awful case, an 18 year old freshman woman who came with a group of other women was ditched by the group and left to fend for herself. She was inebriated, nearly died of alcohol poisoning from the 90% punch, and frat members wrote ugly comments on her body in sharpie pen, took pictures, and carried her unconscious body out of the Frat House and dumped her body on the front lawn of a rival House. She survived because a campus Security officer spotted her on the lawn in the middle of the night and called for an ambulance. She had been on campus less than a week. Parents need to truly educate their daughters about the darker side of dating along with training them how to find a wonderful, Godly husband and leader.

  13. I just asked the women in the chat room what is one thing they regret most in life and many of them said that not being a virgin before marriage was their biggest regret. It has long-term consequences and has been devastating to women. I believe this ethics teacher was simply trying to encourage the young girls to NOT give into fornication. It is a sin against their own bodies. God is firm about this.

  14. I absolutely agree with you that that was probably the intention of the teacher. As a school teacher myself, I know from experience that sometimes a lesson that I prepare and teach does not “register” to the students the way I intend, and so I need to adjust how I teach the lesson. That is my point here. If the students are not “getting” the message the way the teacher intends and instead believing that they are not valuable as a person if they are not a virgin, then the teacher needs to scrap the lesson and try a new way to teach it. That is why feedback from students is SO IMPORTANT.

  15. In my high school, many years ago, the female vice principles would take ALL the girls for a 2 hour session, with cookies and punch, and teach them the “basics of being a young lady”. (Keep your knees together when sitting, never get in a car with a strange man, dress demurely, etc).

    It was considered absolutely NORMAL to learn these things, and the girls in my high school by the way, were beautiful, smart, healthy, and loving women (I married one of them and glad I did).

    Girls these days are overweight, miserable, and angry. Gosh, I wonder why.

  16. Great article, as usual, Lori!

    Without boys and girls being taught by men and women who are living Godly, that sex must be contained in heterosexual marriage, no civilization or nation can long last.

    Today’s children are educated to do anything they feel like doing sexually, and that exercising self control is fascism and repression and is unhealthy.

  17. No religious man seeking to have a family will marry you without “trying you out” beforehand, living together a couple of years and conceiving a child before the wedding so to check if you are fertile or not. Only pregnant women get married, under the excuse “unless you have a child, marriage makes no sense”.
    And I live in a pretty conservative south German protestant environment and am probably the only virgin I know. Practicality has been more important than God commandment’s for a very long time, not just nowadays, which is sad to see.

  18. It’s important to teach boys to remain virgins until marriage, as it will protect them from many things, like STDs, having to pay child support, false accusations of rape, and being taken advantage of by devious women.

  19. Now some people may ask “Well, what if you get married and the sex is bad?”

    Then you keep practicing until it gets better. DUH!

  20. When a man took a woman virginity and then get rid of her, he had defraud her future husband according to 1 Thessalonians. When Dinah lost her virginity before marriage, it said that the sons of Jacob were grieved and very wroth because he had defiled their sister and treated her like an harlot. This story show that when a chaste virgin lose her virginity outside of marriage, it is not also devastating for her but also for her family member. It was a deal breaker for husband to not having a virgin bride in their wedding night which is why they had the right to have an annulment and write a bill of divorcement. That was the only legitimate cause of divorce.

  21. You live in a post sexual revolution society. Where social and cultural values have decayed to such an extent people practice religion in accordance with society and culture when it should be the opposite!

  22. The idea that a man needs to “try out” a woman (immorality aside) is ridiculous. If a man is physically attracted to a woman, then he will enjoy sex with her unless she is visibly unenthusiastic about the sex.

    A woman’s fertility does not determine if a marriage is valid. A man is not entitled to children. It’s up to God as to where and when He bestows the blessing of children. If He chooses not to bless us with children, then He has some other plan for us.

  23. All sinners can be forgiven by Our Lord in true repentance, but that does not mean that sin goes, or should go unnoticed, unpunished or without earthly consequences.

    Except in rape (a hideous sin and crime in itself) all fornication and adultery requires a willingness on the woman’s part to allow that sin. The man is wrong but the woman should say no, she should save herself for her husband or future husband. If she is unmarried she should treasure her virginity and feel blessed in keeping herself as God intended.

    Fornication is always a sin and always has negative consequences.

  24. Yes, teach daughters practical ways to avoid dangerous situations when they can, and to develop and use their own good judgment regardless of peer pressure from friends or tv “role models”. First: Alcohol plus teenagers equals bad decisions. Teach your daughters to leave if alcohol appears, and take their friends with them. And teach your sons this as well, since there are two sides to this equation. Alcohol impairs boys’ judgment too, particularly in groups. Teach your sons that their conduct towards all women should be respectful, so they will also be worthy of respect to the right woman!

  25. I have always encouraged my sons to stand up for women, to intervene in situations where they are in trouble, and show them respect, kindness, and honor.

  26. At what age would you consider it appropriate to begin talking to a child about sex and virginity?

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