Teaching True Love to a Sex-at-13 Generation [NOOK Book]


No parent wants to admit that their child-even their well-educated, well-grounded, Christian child-could be having consensual sex before graduating middle school. Promise rings, parental contracts and disease warnings provide but meager defense against a culture overrun with weapons of mass seduction.

While many factors contributing to the misguided messages received by children stand outside the realm of parental control-music videos, film, fashion-others, like the meaning of ...

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Teaching True Love to a Sex-at-13 Generation

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No parent wants to admit that their child-even their well-educated, well-grounded, Christian child-could be having consensual sex before graduating middle school. Promise rings, parental contracts and disease warnings provide but meager defense against a culture overrun with weapons of mass seduction.

While many factors contributing to the misguided messages received by children stand outside the realm of parental control-music videos, film, fashion-others, like the meaning of true love, can, and should be fostered at home. Eric and Leslie Ludy, authors of the bestselling When God Writes Your Love Story, present the shocking, unvarnished realities of today's sexual climate but they balance the bitter pill with a large dose of hopeful, practical advice for parents.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781418552862
  • Publisher: Nelson, Thomas, Inc.
  • Publication date: 3/29/2005
  • Sold by: THOMAS NELSON
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 887,409
  • File size: 383 KB

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Teaching True Love to a Sex-at-13 Generation

The Ultimate Guide for Parents
By Eric Ludy Leslie Ludy

W Publishing Group

Copyright © 2007 Eric and Leslie Ludy
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-0-8499-4256-3

Chapter One

Beyond Broken Promise Rings

Giving the sex-at-thirteen generation a vision for something better


AS PARENTS AND LEADERS, how should we respond to the crisis of today's sex-at-thirteen generation? How can we protect our children from being scathed by the unrelenting perversion that swirls around them? How can we motivate them to pursue something better?

Is now the time to panic, to take our kids out of modern society and frantically shelter them every form of sexual pollution in our culture?

Should we scare them into making the right choices, bombarding them with frightening statistics about pregnancy and STDs? Should we load them down with rules and regulations to follow? Should we hover over them protectively and keep them on a super-tight leash?

Or is there a better way?

The Siren Allurement

Greek mythology tells of a certain group of evil, conniving mermaids-the Sirens. These mermaids, though spectacular in beauty, were devilish and diabolical. Their weapon was the intoxicating song that they sang. Sitting atop their rocks, the Sirens would sing their tempting tune as ships passed. It was a powerful enticement that no hot-blooded man could resist. With their lustful melody, the Sirens could control the wills of men. Their song could woo even the most steely hearted ship captains to turn their vessels toward the Siren's rocky coastline. Their music lured ship after ship into a watery grave.

Enter Ulysses-a ship captain of great renown whose noble mission forces him to pass those terrible Siren shores. But Ulysses is determined that he will not fall victim to their allurement as so many others have done. So as he approaches the deadly Siren coastline, he commands his crew to stuff beeswax in their ears so they won't be overcome by the haunting songs.

Ulysses himself is intrigued to hear the music that has sent so many mighty sailors to their death. But he knows he cannot withstand the temptation. So he commands his crew to tie him to the mast of the ship, and tie him tight. He reasons that he can safely listen to the Sirens' song while bound to the mast since the ropes will render him unable to steer his ship in the wrong direction.

As the intoxicating Siren melody fills the air, Ulysses is overcome with uncontrollable longing to steer his ship toward their dangerous shore. His knees buckle and his mind swoons under the sway of the Siren sounds. He screams for his crew to turn the boat toward the singing, but his crew is already under orders not to heed his voice while he is under the mermaids' spell.

Ulysses curses, writhing in agony, consumed with only one thought-"I must get closer to the music! I must quench this insatiable thirst for more of the Sirens' song!" He furiously seeks to untie the ropes that bind him. But his efforts are useless, and he shakes in misery until finally the mermaid music fades to nothingness and his ship sails beyond its terrifying reach.

When the danger is past, Ulysses is untied. He falls to the deck of the ship, exhausted and humiliated by the entire episode.

And yet, Ulysses is a hero. He did what few had ever done before him-he made it past the temptation. He escaped death upon the rocks.

His crew applauds their strong and noble captain for his amazing feat. He succeeded in escaping danger in spite of the fact that he was miserable the entire time.

Tied to the Mast

Ulysses' story captures my growing-up years in a nutshell. Like an entire generation of young Christians today, I kept sailing past the Siren coastline while tied to the mast.

I was a virgin when I graduated from high school. While that wasn't something to brag about in my circle of guy friends, my abstinence educators were beside themselves with joy-pronouncing me a grand success. I was certainly a rarity in my generation. I hadn't caved to the pressure and given away my physical purity. I hadn't put myself at risk for getting a girl pregnant or for contracting an STD. I made it past the danger.

But I was miserable the entire time.

Inwardly, I hated that stupid mast, and I despised the ropes that held me there. I even resented the fact that it was the God-prescribed "good thing" for me to avoid crashing into those crazy rocks. I actually wanted to crash-to experience what everyone else was experiencing. I wanted to get closer to the music.

Time and time again, I wished I hadn't been brought up in a Christian home with Christian morals. Everyone else had the freedom to give in to temptation. They recklessly steered toward the Siren coastline and satisfied their cravings, while I was forced to listen to the intoxicating melody from a distance, bound by rules and restrictions.

Like Ulysses, I made it, but I was miserable.

In youth group I received pep talks on "Enduring Rope Burn," and "Trying to Find Joy in the Mast." I heard messages on "The Dangers of the Sirens' Shoreline" and on "Choosing Not to Let the Music Get to You."

But in clandestine meetings, when parents and leaders weren't around, we Christians teens would examine loopholes in the rope system and chart ways to bring our love boats as close to the rocks as possible without puncturing the sides.

The Ulysses model only bred an attitude of "How close is too close?" I was constantly trying to inch my ship closer and closer to the Sirens' song. I was always trying to experience as much of the Sirens' melody as possible without actually going "all the way" into the danger zone.

Pure Misery

The typical Christian model for true love training today is pure misery. It offers nothing but beeswax and ropes to help us make it past the enticing Siren shores. It doesn't give us a vision for anything more than a miserable ride through tempting waters.

Christian young people are exposed to plenty of books, lectures, pep talks, and paraphernalia about the importance of saving sex until marriage. But while the abstinence message might help prevent teen pregnancy and STDs, it falls short of offering the sex-at-thirteen generation the hope and vision they are desperately seeking.

Though I managed to navigate my way through my young adult years with my "technical" virginity intact, in reality my life was far from pure. The culture's sexual agenda attacked me at a young age, awakening me to my sexuality long before I should have ever been alert to such things. Sex education classes, the media, and my buddies' twisted insights helped me understand what normal male behavior looked like-fascination with the female body and only "one thing" on the mind. And what young man doesn't want to be normal, especially when that is the definition of normal?

I knew what God said about such a distorted mentality, but the attraction to sex was too much for me to resist. I justified my behavior by telling myself, "Well, at least I'm not having sex. So what if I am addicted to pornography? I'm doing my good deed by not getting girls pregnant and cheating on my future wife."

The Christian message drew a line in the sand-don't have sex. Don't crash your ship on the rocky Siren coastline. I felt that as long as I didn't technically give away my virginity, then God would be proud of me, or at least content with my behavior. So everything up to the Siren coastline became my water to explore. I could listen to the Sirens' music and get as close to their song as possible, just as long as I didn't actually crash upon the rocks.

And when I graduated, I was a hero in the abstinence movement-a trophy. I proved that a young man could make it through high school with his purity intact.

But strangely, by the end of it all, I didn't feel pure. I felt dirty. I felt as if I had lost something precious, though I didn't know what it was. Like Ulysses, I was exhausted, humiliated, and miserable from the whole experience.

Not long ago, Leslie and I attended a Christian event where some young people were being honored for an "outstanding achievement." Their accomplishment? They had made it through high school without having sex. They had maintained an abstinence commitment in the midst of sexual pressure.

These young people received a standing ovation and roaring applause. As far as the parents and leaders were concerned, these teens were the epitome of Christian purity. But it was merely their commitment to physical abstinence that set these teens apart. As Leslie and I had the opportunity to look closer at their lives, it was obvious that they weren't living much differently than their secular teen counterparts.

Is this what we want for the up-and-coming generation? Should we cheer on young men, though they are addicted to pornography and treat girls as sex objects, just as long as they remain technical virgins? Should we cheer on young women, who, though they maintain the shell of physical purity, have given their heart away to twenty young men by the age of eighteen?

Do we desire for our children only the shell of purity while all the beautiful substance within drains into nothingness? Is God's desire for His children only that we don't have sex before we marry? Is that really the secret to a lasting love?

Not even close! There is so much more to it!

Unless the abstinence message is part of a bigger vision-a vision of an amazing marriage, a glorious picture of happily-ever-after romance that stands the tests of time-then it is nothing but a Band-Aid covering up a deadly cancerous growth. Rules and moral boundaries are nothing more than ropes, tying kids to the mast so they don't crash their ship, making them miserable the entire time.

The sex-at-thirteen generation needs more.

Singing a Sweeter Song

Greek legend has it that there was another noble captain who braved the lurid waters of the Sirens. In fact, he wasn't far behind Ulysses. His name was Orpheus. And his approach to the Siren threat was very different than that of Ulysses. He didn't use beeswax, and he didn't use rope. He wasn't afraid of the Sirens. He looked upon the dangerous coastline as an opportunity.

As his ship approached the Siren enticement, his crew let out a shout of joy.

"The Sirens! The Sirens! Captain Orpheus, it is time!"

While Ulysses' crew had been filled with dread as they approached this legendary danger, Orpheus's crew was buoyant with excitement. Some, in fact, had joined Orpheus's crew just for this very occasion.

"Bring me the case!" boomed Orpheus, as the sailors cheered.

A beautifully adorned case was brought to Orpheus. He smiled as he opened it. The crew surrounded him, their eyes filled with eager anticipation. Orpheus slowly removed from the case a lovely musical instrument, studded with jewels and plated with precious metals.

"Play it, Captain!" roared the crew, as their eyes transfixed upon their hero. "Play us your song!"

As the Sirens' sweet melody began to fill the air, Orpheus began to play his own instrument. It was the most perfect music human ears had ever heard. Each crewman became lost in the grandeur and majesty of the song.

All too soon the Siren coastline was out of sight and the master musician concluded the song that he himself had composed. Not a single man aboard ship had been tempted by the Sirens' melody. In fact, no one even noticed it. Though the mermaids' music was alluring and sweet, Orpheus played for his crew ... a sweeter song.

Today's young people don't need more lectures on how to tie themselves to the mast. They don't need more lessons on the dangers of the Siren coastline. Our kids don't need more pep talks on how to make it through high school with their virginity intact.

The younger generation needs a sweeter song.

A God-built romance isn't merely a "moral version" of the culture's mediocre love stories. God doesn't need to imitate the world's way of building a relationship; He has His own way. Like Captain Orpheus, God sings a sweeter song. It's a song so breathtaking and satisfying that it makes the alluring melody of the Sirens no more appealing than an obnoxious foghorn.

And when young people hear even a strain of God's glorious melody, when they catch a glimpse of the spectacular beauty of a God-scripted love story, they are willing to do whatever it takes in order to experience it for themselves. No longer will they need constant pep-talks and scare tactics to avoid the sexual temptation of the culture. When they truly understand the fulfillment and wonder of God's ways, they are no longer overcome by the Sirens' alluring music. They have heard a sweeter song.

Ten years ago, Leslie and I were asked to share our love story with several hundred teens. It was the first time we had presented a message on guy/girl relationships to young people, and we had no idea what to expect. As we entered the stage and surveyed the crowd, knots began to form in our stomachs. The young people seemed anything but eager to be there. They stared at us defiantly, many of them draped around a member of the opposite sex, some of them passionately kissing their boyfriends or girlfriends. It seemed that a message on "seeking God's best" in relationships was the last thing this group wanted to hear.

But a change came over the teens as we began to talk. We shared with them the amazing beauty of what we had discovered: a love story scripted by the Author of romance Himself. We gave them a glimpse into the wonder and fulfillment of God's ways. And instead of telling them all the things they couldn't do-all the rules and boundaries and restrictions they were used to hearing-we shared with them what they could do. We passed on a vision of something so much more incredible than anything they had ever seen or heard. And by the end of the evening, nearly the entire crowd was on their faces, weeping, repenting of their compromised lives, and making heartfelt commitments to choose a different path.

Nearly every group of young people that Leslie and I have spoken to over the past decade has responded as that first group did. The younger generation is urgently seeking hope. When we offer them a vision for something better, when we point them to God's sweeter song, they are willing to do whatever it takes in order to experience it for themselves.

Shifting the Focus

As Christian parents and leaders, it is tempting to become overwhelmed by the danger of the Sirens. We frantically devise new ways to tie our kids to the mast, frantic to keep them from crashing on the rocky shores of sexual compromise. But when this becomes our focus, we fail to offer the younger generation what they really need ... a vision for something better.

The primary reason that young people give in to the sexual temptation of the culture is that they don't believe there is anything better to wait for. They don't know there is a sweeter song.

The Christian community frequently reminds the younger generation that "true love waits." But most of today's young people don't believe that true love can ever be found. Why wait for something that doesn't exist?

Kyle, a disillusioned high school sophomore, shared his perspective on relationships with me not long ago. "I think that true love is a joke," he said. "My parents hate each others' guts. I don't know one married couple that's happy. I'm not going to waste my life waiting around for something that's not even real."

Madison, an insecure nineteen-year-old, sent us a desperate e-mail asking, "Can true love really exist anymore? I keep settling for jerks who are only interested in one thing, because I can't imagine someone ever really loving me for a lifetime."

Where is this hopelessness coming from?

Sadly, it often comes from the very sources that should be imparting vision to a generation in crisis. It often comes from the older generation.

Just before Leslie and I got married, we were attacked by several gigantic "wet blankets," doing their best to snuff out any vision we might have for a happily-ever-after love story.

"So, you're getting married, huh?" they would smirk when they saw the engagement ring. "Are you really ready for the old ball-and-chain?"

"Let me give you some advice," they would say when they saw our excitement. "Soak up the romance while you can-it won't be around for long!"

When these wet blankets fall on a young life, it is difficult to aim toward something better. And too often the wet blankets are thrown by well-meaning Christians.


Excerpted from Teaching True Love to a Sex-at-13 Generation by Eric Ludy Leslie Ludy Copyright © 2007 by Eric and Leslie Ludy. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents


Author's Note....................ix
Unhappily Ever After....................xv
Part One: A Vision for Something Better Chapter 1: Beyond Broken Promise Rings....................3
Chapter 2: Becoming a True-Love Teammate....................21
Part Two: A God-Written Love Story Chapter 3: The Fuel of a God-Written Love Story....................51
Chapter 4: The Fire of a God-Written Love Story....................77
Part Three: Purity That Endures Chapter 5: The Kind of Purity That Endures....................105
Chapter 6: The Catalyst for Purity That Endures....................129
Part Four: True-Love Training Chapter 7: The Lasting Power of True-Love Training....................145
Chapter 8: The Lifelong Practice of True-Love Training....................163
Part Five: Beyond Love Stories Epilogue: Shoulders of Giants....................177
Bonus Section Helping Kids Live Heroic Lives....................189
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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 20, 2011

    Every parent should read even if they are not teenagers

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