Whose Job is it to Teach Children About Being Chaste?

Whose Job is it to Teach Children About Being Chaste?

My husband and I discovered that many women claimed to have been hurt by the “purity culture” after our post on this topic, but it seems they were hurt more from their sin and then looked for someone or something to blame it on. We live in a victim culture that never seems to want to place the blame for their sin on themselves.

The entire “purity culture” grew out of a deep void that was lacking in the youth. My parents were raised before the sexual revolution, so the standards were still very clear to most. No sex before marriage and if you do, the couple gets married. Sex outside of marriage was a known sin and caused shame if participated in.

My generation was raised right after the sexual revolution. My parents had no clue what we were having to face on a daily basis in our public schools and at the so-called “parties” (drinking, drugs, and sex). Therefore, when my generation finally figured out that most “Christians” were participating in pre-marital sex and being harmed by it, they tried to fill that void with the “purity culture.” Most kids knew they weren’t supposed to have sex before marriage and some cried, “Give us some boundaries!”

The purity culture gave some boundaries and some illustrations to try to keep kids from sinning against themselves and their future spouses by committing fornication and now, some are saying it harmed them. Did every single person who taught it teach it perfectly? Of course not, but they, at least, were teaching the kids something about not having sex before marriage and the value of virginity.

Recently, I visited with two friends. Ones a bit older than me and the other one is about 15 years younger than me. I asked if either of them was taught anything about purity before marriage by their parents. Both of them said they were taught NOTHING! So, I asked the women in the chat room what and if their parents taught them about sexual purity and this is what they wrote.

“No, not at all!”

“In my home, it was never explained to me why I needed to be pure for my wedding night or anything. I was mostly just threatened that I better never get pregnant before I married. The things I know today are because of this chat room. Thankfully, though, I have only ever been with my husband and him with me. We both had been raised in strict homes that really didn’t allow for this to happen.”

“I was basically taught, ‘Don’t have sex before marriage or you’ll go to hell.’ Maybe there was more but that’s really all I took from it. I think my parents meant well, but didn’t know how to discuss it and left it up to the schools to teach ‘sex ed.’”

“I was told by my mother to wait until marriage. But not expounded upon at all. With my own daughters, I am telling them to wait and the reasons why.”

“I was not and I wish I was. I was told when I was young to save myself for marriage and that it’s wrong to have sex before marriage. Once I was in my teen years, I was just told not to get pregnant so in my mind, that meant it was okay as long as I took precautions. My church never talked about any of it either. I wish I was taught differently. If I have daughters, I will teach them differently.”


“I was taught ‘boys are bad except your dad’ and the combo of that plus being unsaved pushed me to sneak around with guys without my parents knowing.”

“No, I was taught one time what sex was but never explained biblical boundaries. I made my own decisions and can’t blame anyone but myself, but I do wish I would have been taught the right way.”

“Not at all. My mom didn’t even talk to me about my period. She left all of the teaching up to the school and my peers.”

The bottom line is that it’s NOT the schools’ nor peers’ responsibility to teach children about purity and being chaste until marriage. It’s NOT the churches job. It’s the parent’s job! The parents are commanded to raise their children in the nurture and the admonition of the Lord – no one else! Therefore, women, teach your children about remaining chaste before and after marriage. Explain to them the importance of it, that this is God’s perfect will for them, and that they will never regret obeying God; for He loves them! Don’t expect others to do this for you. Children NEED their parent’s loving guidance, encouragement, and exhortation.

Drink waters out of thine own cistern, and runner waters out of thine own well…Let them be only thine own, and not strangers with thee. Let thy fountain be blessed: and rejoice with the wife of thy youth.
Proverbs 5:15,17, 18

18 thoughts on “Whose Job is it to Teach Children About Being Chaste?

  1. Amen! Dr. S.M. Davis (a pastor whom we really love) has said that the #1 way to pass your convictions and standards on to your children is to explain to them WHY. God has such a beautiful plan for sex within marriage and we do our children a huge disservice when we never explain why its important for them to stay pure. And you are so right, we need to emphasize purity before AND after marriage!

    Too often parents leave this topic up to Sunday school teachers and youth pastors. We mamas need to take the initiative (especially with our daughters, perhaps as our sons get older this is a conversation better left to the dads) and be open, honest, but firm on our children staying chaste.

    But we also need to put in the time and effort before this topic ever comes up winning our children’s hearts. Whoever has your child’s heart has their ear. A mama simply cannot win her child’s heart if that child is carted off to daycare and public school and spends very few waking hours during the week with him. We must be there, day after day, playing, laughing, loving, nurturing, and building that bond. Is it any wonder that by the time most children become a teenagers their friends and peers are the ones who have influence over them? They are the ones the children have spent the majority of their time with! Be open. Be honest. Explain why. And win your child’s heart.

  2. Sigh….this is all so sad…
    No I was not taught anything about chastity, or what marriage truly is, or any of that. What a loss.
    I was, however, regularly encouraged to be “strong, independent and pursue dreams”.
    And “you dont need a man”!
    Getting married was fine…but dont be dependent on it!
    I cannot begin to describe the impact this had on the trajectory of my life. So so sad.
    Teaching on this starts with parents. But reinforcement from others who understand the ORIGIN of chastity and marriage is a must!
    Now that I’m older, and I “get it”,
    I strongly encourage younger women to maintain chastity and desire marriage and family life as per Gods design. It’s not popular, even in supposed Christian venues. But, we have to persevere. There is so much at stake, and young women…and men…REALLY JUST DON’T KNOW!!

  3. Mothers and fathers need to teach purity and virtue in their children. Mothers setting an example of a virtuous wife to daughters and fathers being her leader and the authority over her guarding her heart.

  4. Sadly, what you were taught doesn’t seem to be fought against in the churches, Dana. They have swallowed the feminist agenda hook, line, and sinker even though the leaders of the feminist movement all came from deeply troubled homes, thus they passed on their anti-family, anti-marriage, and anti-children rhetoric to the ignorant masses.

  5. I’m in the camp of those who was told you’re supposed to wait until you get married or made to believe you’ll go to hell if you engage in premarital sex. I also experienced what another lady said above “My mom didn’t even talk to me about my period. She left all of the teaching up to the school and my peers.”

  6. “Whoever has your child has their ears.”


    And we are sending them off so early nowadays. HeadStart programs and pre-pre-K. It’s so sad to see literal toddlers with pacifiers still in their mouths walking thru a schoolyard in line. They look like little prisoners. I could never have watched my children go off to school at all, let alone when they were not even potty trained. No no no. The thought of it sickens me to the core. It’s the stuff of nightmares for me.

  7. Same.

    I was subliminally taught that having a career would mean not having to stay in an unhappy marriage. I realize now that this kind of teaching only comes from people who are unhappy themselves (as Lori pointed out was the origin of the feminist movement).

    I would hear when I was younger, “Women today don’t need to stay with a man if they are not happy. They can stand on their own two feet.”

    What I didn’t hear was that standing on your own two feet is indeed a very lonely placed. Why? Because the people teaching me were women who felt they had “missed out” on a career and ‘options’ that come with a ‘rich’ single life because they married young and had children smack in the middle of the sexual revolution. They had been taken by the tide and convinced that the grass was greener on the side of sexual liberty and “playing the field,” (something I was encouraged to do as a teen, though I would have gladly married my high school sweetheart).

    It took me YEARS (even well into my marriage) to start separating the lies from the truth.

    Lori, your blog has been a great blessing to my marriage. God bless your ministry.

  8. “Too often parents leave this topic up to Sunday school teachers and youth pastors.”

    The smallest church entity (on Earth) consists of the father as pastor. The mother and children are to ask questions regarding Biblical interpretation to the father. It is his authority and responsibility- not a corporate pastor or Sunday school teacher.

    One can perhaps relegate authority, but not responsibility.

  9. Well said, it is for parents to teach their children and to do their best to both lead by example and provide authority.

    Whilst the basic tenets of chastity are common to both parents and children of both sexes it is then for fathers and mothers to teach their sons and daughters of the specific elements pertaining to each.

    A mother’s example and a father’s authority are then key.

  10. Yes! Explaining WHY is so important! I know so many Christian parents who only focus on obedience and they expect orders to be followed simply because an order was given, and they teach purity the same way. Obviously explanations are not necessary for everything; it’s perfectly reasonable to expect obedience. But on something as important as purity, or any other standard that we want upheld, a clear explanation helps hugely. When we understand why something is important, we care more about it than if we’re told something but don’t know the reasoning behind it.

  11. Same here, I was taken aside one day and given a “talk” that mostly came from a book. This was in response to my discovery of pictures of the unborn infant in the womb. I was fascinated by the pictures and took them to my mother to show her. I thought they were amazing. The response was a look of horror followed by a severe order to put those pictures back and never look at them again. That night came the “talk” which I didn’t understand. I was forbidden to ask questions. I asked my mother if I could read the book and it was held out of my reach as I was informed it was for mothers to read to their children. I forgot most of the talk because I didn’t know what she was talking about. Later on, when I had my first period, I was terrified because I didn’t know what was happening to me. She acted like I was crazy when she asked me if I remembered anything from the book, and of course I didn’t. After that I combed the shelves looking for information because I felt too embarrassed to ask her any questions — to be frank, I was afraid she’d bite my head off! — and found books in plenty. I ended up finding out more than I was ready to know. At first I was disgusted. As months went by I was no longer disgusted, but I was curious. Boys were rather exotic creatures that were way “out there”, and being homeschooled I was quite sheltered.

    My husband was brick-and-mortar schooled, and I managed to elicit from him that this topic was a hot one for discussion at his all-boys private school. His parents said nothing to him about anything.

    Let’s just say that our poor preparation has been a cause of untold misery for me, at least. I have a more passionate nature than he does, to the best of my knowledge, and it has been torturous trying to stay faithful to a man who has no passion or love for a woman.

    I have handled things very differently with my daughter. We discuss anything and everything, and I have assured her that there is no such thing as an off-limits question, as well as a pledge that I will always tell her the truth. As for my son, I don’t know. I am limited in what I can assist him with because I can never know his own challenges, although I did tell my husband one day that it was his duty to talk to his son about these matters, and he ought to do so. I did that because I believed it needed to be said. After that, has he taken him into his confidence? Only God knows. I did mention, in the same conversation, that he should emphasize to him that sex is not evil in itself, but instead is something that we can choose to use in an evil way, and also by way of dropping a pointed hint, that in marriage it is not only permitted, but a grave obligation. And left it at that. What he does with it now, only God can tell.

  12. Even in this post, you have not given the reasons for staying a virgin until marriage.

    That’s the problem!

    It’s Bible versus Science, and despite what anyone says, Science backs the Bible

    1) Single Motherhood

    2) Men should not date a single mother, because the first child a woman has is genetically more like the dad with 55% of the DNA being paternal…so if a man has a child with a single mother he is being ROBBED genetically

    3) K Selective versus R Selective Mating Strategies and Societal Implications

    4) Human ability to bond

    5) Divorce and how it effects Generations

    6) Family Lineage Implosion (4 sons…no grandchildren…each grandparent needs 4 genetic grandchildren for the population just to remain steady)

    7) Marrying young to boost fertility, he who has the most childrens wins

    8) Simple respect of your body, and not giving into peer pressure (conformist versus individualist, where do values come from? Bottom up or top down of society?), intellectual curiosity)

    I mean there is SO MUCH to talk about

    Yet we confine ourselves to ‘Sin’, it’s a ‘Sin’…

    A man marries and divorces his wife, has terribly values, gives those values to his sons, none of the sons produce children. That’s pretty Biblical and I know people like that.

    I also think Christians don’t stick their head out enough into the rest of society….so they don’t have a lot of real world experience

    People like me tend to go more into the Belly of the Beast, whereas Christians tend to hide out…doing worthless stuff (or go to Africa and do missionary work which ultimately helps no one)

    I think there was a time when Christians went into battle, but not now.

    Go to Hollywood, Go to New York…that’s where the missionary work needs to start

  13. Was your husband raised by a full-time mother who gave him a lot of love and affection? I doubt it. This is why he is unable to bond with you. It’s very, very sad and becoming more and more common.a

  14. I am very strongly opposed to “sex education” because I think it is for parents to tell their children not schools, we should concentrate on Godly marriage and motherhood not ‘sex’ and every aspect of education about the private areas of the body, their function and use MUST be based on chastity, modesty and Christian teaching.

    It is sad to hear of girls not taught absolutely their menstrual cycle, because it should be seen as a part of the blessing of Gods plan for us to be mothers.

    Children of both sexes need to be taught by their parents, from a young age to respect their body, to keep modest and (especially boys) not to fall into self abuse.

    As they get older they need to understand how their bodies will change, how to understand the feelings they will have as part of God’s design and as appropriate to their age to understand the biology of reproduction the morality of chastity, purity and (especially for girls) the beauty and special significance of virginity.

  15. My daughters are being taught high morals. We have a strict dress code. I won’t even take them clothes shopping, because most are indecent shops! Absolutely no hugging or holding hands, not even with close family. Books are vetted closely. No tv, radio or music. Even educational type dvds can be dubious. All this to protect them so they can be godly wives and mothers.

  16. When my son was around 11 or 12 , I told him he could ask anything about sex.. I wanted him to know the truth about various things that boys face,and not from playground gossip. Even though we were staunch church goers, he deserved it. He was to embarrassed to ask his dad about one certain issue, and was able to reassure him. It was also a great opportunity to teach him godly values.

  17. Amy – I very much appreciate your intentions and we are also very strict but my concern is that it is pretty well impossible to protect them completely and there is a real danger of a teenage / adult rebellion – it’s a difficult balance isn’t it.

  18. We must remember that it’s not being strict as parents that cause rebellion in teenagers. It’s the teenagers’ rebellious heart that causes this. This is why parents must work with right thinking with their children and discipline and train out any rebellious ways when they are young.

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