In Their Own Words: Teenagers on Love and Sex
10.24.2013 posted by AwanaYM
Recently, The Guardian ran a series about teens, romance and sex (including an interesting piece on why girls fall so hard for the Twilight series of books). It’s all from a British perspective, of course, but the three first-person stories in this article could easily have been told by teens from any corner of Western culture.
Billy, 16, Suzie, 17 and Rachel, 18, describe their experiences with boyfriends/girlfriends, as well as when they started having sex, how they feel about that, and how their parents feel about it. It’s both refreshingly straightforward and more than a little heartbreaking. What jumped out to me, especially, is that the third student, Rachel, identifies herself and her boyfriend as Christians and says her family “takes religion seriously.”
I think my parents’ expectation would be that I wouldn’t sleep with a boyfriend before marriage. That was part of the reason why I felt so awful when I did sleep with my boyfriend earlier this year. I told him we shouldn’t do it again. I hadn’t wanted to sleep with anyone until we were married.
She goes on to describe feeling like sex should not be part of the relationship, even though it sometimes is.
There have been a couple of slip-ups since then. Our position is that, for the moment, sex should not be part of our relationship, but it has happened occasionally. I did enjoy it subsequent times. There is an extra burden because of my religion but it is my decision.
Rachel speaks for many churched students in our towns and likely some in our own youth groups. It helps me to hear her describe the tension between what she claims to believe and what she finds herself doing. What can we do to better equip the Rachels – and potential Rachels – in our groups to be ready, willing and able to make the relationship sacrifices necessary to honor their commitment to Christ?