Thoughts from the Latest Episode of Glee

By Kyle
Emily and I watched the first episode of the show "Glee" last week.  It was charming and had some interesting redone music.  So we sat down this evening to watch the new episode tonight.  And in an age where people are panicking because the president is giving a speech to our children to stay in school, a lot of parents tonight probably missed the garbage that was thrown into their kids heads.

The episode tonight had a lot to do with sexual tension, and I do not want to avoid that issue.  I think its very true that teens today have a very, very hard battle to stay pure with the sexual culture the way it is.  Our kids are feeling huge amounts of sexual pressure and have no clue how to deal with it.  But tonight, Glee provided an simple explanation that the director obviously believed and it can be summed up in this pivotal speech by Rachel:
"You know what? This is a joke.  Did you know that most studies have demonstrated that celibacy does not work in high schools?  Our hormones are driving us too crazy to abstain.  The second we tell ourselves that we have no room for compromise, we act out.  The only way to deal with teen sexuality is to be prepared, thats what contraception is for."
Do you want to know why celibacy often doesn't work?  It's because all we care about is that a student committed to say "no".  In fact, I know personally many people who have made commitments to be celibate and have failed.  They had given it over to God and made sure to let everyone know what choice they had made.  Many even had rings to show their commitment.

But the reason that so many students are having trouble staying celibate is not because they don't want to.  When we get married, we commit to the other person to be true and faithful, and we mean it, so why do people fail that?  Does that mean that we should give up getting married and trying to make marriages work?  No way!

There is no formula to staying celibate, but in my opinion, if you don't have a strategy to go along with your celibacy, then good luck, because you are playing with a time bomb and just hoping that your hormones don't get the best of you.  Here are some strategies that I have found to work:

  1. Set boundaries, then set boundaries around the boundaries - So many people who say "I won't have sex" have no problem going with their boyfriend or girlfriend and making out with them.  I know this from experience.  And when it happened, it was hard to not go further.  Teenagers love to test boundaries and so the best thing you can possibly do is to set your boundaries as far away from what you want to stay away from.
  2. Set boundaries in your emotional life - Our culture has told us that sex is physical and not much else.  However, that really is pretty inaccurate.  Sex is very emotional and social.  What I mean by that is that if you are deeply, deeply connected to someone emotionally, there can be a huge temptation to take that emotional connection to a physical realm.  I think this is the main reason why students fail at staying abstinent.  
  3. Limit your time together with that special someone - Likewise, on the social level, how much time you spend with that person can lead you into going places sexually/physically that you never thought you would.  When a relationship starts, times are often few and can be so charged with excitement, and as time goes on your get comfortable and start intertwining the things that you do.  Pretty soon, you spend so much of your time together.  And often when someone is spending all their time with that special someone, 2 things happen - 1.) they often lose other friends, and 2.) they often get physical in a way that they did not expect to.
  4. Get friends and/or parents involved - Talk to people that you can trust about whats going on.  BE HONEST!  You're not helping anyone by lying.  If you friends and parents know your boundaries, then they can help keep you accountable for it.  But don't wait for them to call you on it.  Use integrity and also check yourself when you find yourself coming close to a boundary.
  5. Talk about getting close to a boundary before you cross it - I think a lot of people can see the end coming when they are going to come close to a difficult situation.  But our tendency is to say, "oh, I haven't done anything wrong, though".  If you talk with people about getting close, they can help you deal with it before you cross the line and feel guilty.
  6. Remake your boundaries every 6 months - A 5th grader wants to stay away from the opposite sex because they still have cooties, an often 8th grader is too terrified to say or act on their feelings, and an upperclassmen in high school can get into a pretty deep relationship.  I know those are generalizations, but they are made to show that a teenager changes A LOT during their years.  And with that, the way you perceive sexual issues changes A LOT.  What you felt 6 months ago might not apply today.  So remaking your boundaries does not mean that you should lower your guard each time.  Instead, talk honestly with someone about how you've been with the boundaries.  Ask these questions:
      1. What has been easy for me to keep?
      2. Has there been anything that might not fall under any of your boundaries?
      3. What has been hard for me to keep?
      4. Of the answers for 2 & 3, what things should I create more boundaries around?
      5. Of the answer to 1, what things can I safely allow myself do without risking my purity?

Now these are just my thoughts that I have put together through the years. Take them if you need.  Shape them if you want.  But please, don't leave it at "I'm not going to have sex until I'm married".  I don't want anyone to tell you that you can't control yourself and your sexuality!
 

1 comment so far.

  1. Roy Peacock September 10, 2009 at 1:34 PM
    Kyle -- This is very good and thank you for writing it. It is so exciting to see how God is using you as you continue to grow up in him in your service to Jesus. Keep up the great work and keep your eyes on Jesus, brother.

    Roy Peacock
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