Why do I present sexual integrity to teens? Now, how do I answer that one? Why do I talk to teens about sex and abstinence and STD’s and porn and true love and building healthy relationships and so on? I’m a single woman, 24 at the time of this writing, and I’ve never been in a serious relationship. What would possess me to pick such a, well, interesting way to spend my time?
Short answer: God. That’s really reason enough, but if you want, here’s the long answer. It’s a journey I love to share.
I started out by volunteering as a peer consultant at my local pregnancy center, a few months before my 19th birthday. I met with women of all ages who were facing unplanned pregnancy, offering them solutions with hope. I heard all kinds of stories, so much heartbreak, so much brokenness, and now here they were facing the life-changing moment of a positive pregnancy test. I got to share Jesus’ love with them, pray with them, share truth with them, offer support, and invite them to see their baby’s life as precious. But no matter what decision they made for that pregnancy, their life would never be the same.
I loved working there. I still do. But as time went by, I found myself wishing that I could do something about the problem before these precious girls walked through our doors. Let them know that they could make healthy choices and have a hope-filled future, that they didn’t have to repeat the cycle of brokenness.
I knew about our abstinence program, which is our “preventative arm”. The thought of speaking about sex in a public school was rather terrifying, though, so I didn’t ask to join. And then one morning, I walked in for work (I was now the administrative assistant to the CEO), and my wonderful boss told me that the lady who had been coordinating the abstinence program wasn’t going to be able to continue, and did I want to add that responsibility to my job?
God has such a sense of humor. I had just been telling Him in recent weeks that I was getting rather bored, I’d been the admin for a year, figured out all the events and mailings and such, and well, the job just wasn’t challenging anymore. I didn’t know what I wanted to do next, so I was just asking Him to show me. Show me, He did.
Long story short, after praying about it, talking it through, finding out that I would have an assistant to help with the scheduling, so “all” I would have to do is learn all the presentations, present whenever a volunteer presenter wasn’t available, train new volunteer presenters, and update the curriculum, I decided to go for it.
Was it scary? Yup. Was it comfortable? Nope. I was well trained, mind you, and prepared a far as material goes. I was used to talking about these topics one-on-one in the center, but this was a classroom full of teens. Besides, I was homeschooled. I had literally never even been in a public school classroom, for any reason. But God wanted me to do this. So I told Him He’d have to help me. And He did.
I quickly got comfortable, learned the presentation thoroughly, figured out classroom management, trained myself to react calmly and carefully when a student asked an inappropriate question. And you know what? I fell in love with presenting.
In our presentations, we cover all kinds of topics at an age-appropriate level, from goal setting, building positive friendships, developing character and maturity, to the possible results of sexual activity, how to practice sexual integrity/abstinence, and how to build healthy relationships. We talk about boundaries. We talk about porn and about the effect of porn and sex on the brain. We always talk about how starting today, they can make the choice to live in sexual integrity and reserve sex for marriage.
And I saw lives changed. I saw kids seeing for the first time that it was okay to have boundaries. That true love was very different from lust. They were empowered. We had open, honest conversations, and their whole way of thinking was being changed. Not because of a lecture, but because truth is powerful. I saw kids making commitments to sexual integrity.
It wasn’t just them being changed. I’ve grown so much, in so many areas. Everything from public speaking to addressing uncomfortable topics well to witnessing the freedom that is found when light overtakes darkness. It’s taught me reliance on the Lord in deep ways.
Yes, I still get slightly nervous before a presentation. But I always ask for prayer first, and I can literally feel it walking in. Those kids may not know it, but they are being bathed in prayer when we’re there. I’m not presenting on my own power, but on His.
My job has morphed since, and we have another wonderful lady who coordinates the program now, but I’m still presenting. God has given me a love for those kids and a love for His truth about sex. Now, I’m venturing into talking to youth groups on the same topic, and talking about it on here.
I’m still single, and like I tell the kids, I’m on this journey of sexual integrity right along with them. I have to say, I highly recommend this job to anyone! Whether you’re single or married, whether your history is one of purity or not so much, God can use you. If you’re interested, I have connections. 🙂
What do you think? Would YOU ever consider a job like this? Why or why not?