Talking with Young Adults
Today’s media-driven society pushes the idea that sex is just a natural part of any relationship – no matter whether its in or out of marriage. Reality is, there are some things today’s young adults need to consider. Here are a few conversation starters for you and your young adult.
- Think long and hard about the serious consequences of sex, whether it’s oral, anal or vaginal. One time is all it takes to change your life forever. It really isn’t worth it. You can get a viral STD that can’t be cured, such as HIV which leads to AIDS, or HPV which can cause cancer. Or, you might get something that leads to infertility, which means there could be a very good chance you will never have a child. Or, you could become a parent before you really meant to, while you should be enjoying your youth.
- Set your values, goals and boundaries – who are you, anyway? And what do you stand for? Or worse, what will you fall for? Practice saying your boundaries out loud so that when you need them, they’ll be right there on the tip of your tongue. Sex doesn’t "just happen." Someone decides. Decide now, not later.
- You can do it! You can abstain from sexual activity outside of marriage if that is your goal. The way to build your self-confidence is to work on your self-control, reaching goal after goal. It’s a great feeling to be in control of your life.
- Don’t settle for less. Being in love is great, but it’s not the same kind of love that says, "Let’s get married and stay together forever." Wait for that kind of love.
- Your future is not worth the risk. Don’t put it in jeopardy with drugs, alcohol or sex. A few minutes of fun just isn’t worth a lifetime of hurt.
- Don’t fall for media sex, it isn’t real. They are just paid actors and singers being used to get your money. They won’t live out the consequences, but you will. They don’t care about you, so don’t give up your life to live out their drama.
- Many young adults who didn’t wait to have sex wish they had. You can start over. Make a pledge to recommit to abstinence now.
What are your values? If you plan on being a success, you need to live your life with that in mind. Success does not come to those whose values include the acceptance of risky behaviors.
What kind of life do you plan to lead? Your goal might be to have a nice home, a good family, an education and a career. Knowing where you’re going is the first step in having the power to get there. Next, avoid risky behaviors that could get you off track. Finally, work toward your goals each day. Big goals are almost always reached through small accomplishments along the way.
Don’t let someone else decide how far you will go. Decide right now and say this out loud. "I have made a commitment to abstain from all sexual activity outside of marriage. It is important that you understand my boundaries. No touching beyond anything a modest bathing suit covers up."
Love means wanting what is best for the other person now and in the future. Is it really possible to love someone and be willing to gamble with his/her health, life, happiness, and future welfare? If it's real love, it can wait.
A good minimum guideline is to declare everything covered by a bathing suit as off-limits. Everyone needs to know his or her boundaries before getting in a risky situation. Once he or she is excited physically, it can be difficult to stop.
No, there is no particular look to someone with an STD. Anyone is susceptible. Being infected with an STD is not based on race, class, gender, or status. Many people have STDs and don't even know it.
Feeling in love or even planning to get married may create a sense of intimacy, or even commitment. However, such relationships can be fairly easily dissolved and can never offer the security and protection of marriage. Even if the engagement does end in marriage, there is a 50% higher rate of divorce among couples who live together prior to marriage.