Guest author, Leah Holder, is the founder of Going Higher Ministries and the author of No Trespassing: I’m God’s Property
The Lord has blessed me to speak to countless young ladies about a number of topics; but, namely, sexual purity. Throughout these experiences, I’ve learned about the importance of fathers’ roles in the lives of young women. While fathers do play vital parts in their daughters’ development and sexuality, I’ve learned that mothers do as well. Every mom needs to be armed with information on what your teen daughter experiences, and how you can help her embrace sexual purity.
You Understand…But You Don’t
Although you were once a teenager, keep in mind that it was a different time and in many ways, a different culture. Be careful not to underestimate or belittle the differences your teen may face. We’ve all heard the old adage, “the more things change, the more they stay the same.” In many instances, that principle remains true. Sexual impurity/temptation dates back to biblical times, so it’s fair to say this is not a new issue. Even so, sexual impurity has become increasingly more overt in our culture, and the World Wide Web has made it more accessible than ever.
If You Don’t…Others Will
The prevalence of sexual impurity is precisely why it’s crucial you talk to your daughter about it. A number of sources—television, music, magazines, peers, etc.—send messages about sex to your teen on a daily basis. If you don’t help her form a perspective on this topic, one (or many) of those other sources will.
Sure, it may seem awkward at first. Parents don’t want to think of their precious little girls even knowing about that “s” word! However, I encourage you to endure the pain of awkwardness now, so you don’t endure the pain of regret later. Please be intentional about speaking to your daughter about sexual purity. Perhaps you could begin the conversation by asking her questions (in a non-threatening way). Doing so may allow you to better understand what she experiences and what beliefs she has formed so far.
It’s What You Say…And How You Say It
How you speak to your daughter is just as important as what you say to her. Even if your advice is exactly right, the way you deliver it can make or break its reception from your daughter. If people have to choose between a well-wrapped gift and a poorly-wrapped gift, which one will they choose? Most likely, they’ll choose the well-wrapped gift, right? Even if the poorly-wrapped gift happens to have much more value, the outward presentation counts. And it counts big!
While you don’t need to sugarcoat the truth, you do need a careful consideration of how you deliver the truth. Mishandling it can lead to disaster. Be careful not to defeat your ultimate purpose: You desire to impart truth to your daughter with the hope that she will grasp it and make wise decisions. All of that success depends on her actually receiving the truth. So be careful how you deliver it.
Share God’s Story…And Your Story
You should definitely share the biblical principles regarding sex and the biblical stories of people who did and didn’t adhere to those principles. I encourage you to also share your story, your testimony. Don’t be afraid to share your mistakes with your daughter. Certainly, you will need to use wisdom regarding when and how you share your story with her, but you should indeed share it.
Your daughter needs to know that you will love her whether or not she repeats your mistakes. At the same time, she needs to understand that her actions will have consequences. Be willing to tell your daughter some of the pain you’ve suffered due to poor decisions. Conversely, be sure to share some of the rewards you’ve enjoyed due to good decisions. This practice is healthy for mother-daughter discussions in general, but it is especially healthy for the topic of sexual purity.
There’s No Perfect Formula…But There Is a Right Approach
I wish I could direct you to a three-step plan for raising sexually pure daughters, but I know of no such plan. While approaches vary from mom to mom, the important thing is that you have one and start the conversation. My mother did a great job of guiding and guarding me in this area. By God’s grace, I am now a 24-year-old virgin who has become an author and speaker on the topic of sexual purity. I know that God gets all the glory for this beautiful testimony. I’m simply grateful He entrusted me to a father, and equally important, to a mother who prayed, talked, and directed me to a path of sexual purity.