How to Talk with Students About Sex

Liz Edrington | May 6, 2015

We recently survived being personally bombarded by radio, TV, and social media comments regarding the release of the movie 50 Shades of Grey. This story of abusive sexuality has become our culture’s current snapshot of romance. The New York Times reported that it is “the fastest-selling R-rated film in Fandango history.” Covering our eyes and pretending that it is not shaping our youth’s understanding of sexuality is monumentally naive. We must walk alongside our students and children to help them wisely navigate difficult rapids that include both the hyper-sexual messages of culture and the curiosities of their own hearts.

That responsibility may include creating space to intentionally dialogue (in safe and trusted small groups) about the effect of the book/movie, or offering a parents’ seminar on ways to facilitate discussion with their kids on sexuality. Either way, we have to offer more than virginity pledges and purity rings in our youth ministries. We need more than a pretty silver bandaid; we need a story.

Sacred Territory 

Any time we preach, teach, or simply engage the topic of sexuality in our youth ministries, we enter sacred territory. This is not only a conversation about something humans do, it is a conversation about the very image of God manifest in each of us, whether we are male…

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