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Christian Parents:How to Parent Against Premarital Sex & Living Together, W/love

Dear Christian sisters... I really could use some truth and guidance, especially from those of you who have grown children and have gone through this!
I have been thinking about the last 2 baby showers I have been invited to. One was to a step-relative who chose to have a baby without a husband. (She made it known to all, that she was having sex for the sole purpose of having a baby.) She had no stable job when she made this decision, and is now living off the tax-payers. The second was a young lady from our church who was living with her boyfriend.
We also have neighbors moving in around us that are living together, not married, not engaged.. not anything!

As an adult Christian woman I can really understand that these people are living and believing the lies of the world (and I really do love them and pray for them)But I have a 10, 4 and 10 mo. old boys and a 7 year old girl and I would love ideas of how to help them see that this is not part of the plan that God has for them. (I'm not saying that my kids will be perfect.. no christian is!!) But I want to help them to keep their eyes on the excellent things that God has for them if they practice self-control. How do you do that when your community and the media glorify and celebrate the things that go against God?

I'm curious how other christians have delt with and are dealing with these issues in regards to their own children.
Thanks for your time and your wisdom!

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I have young children myself. I continue to let my children know what is acceptable and what isn't. When they run into the unacceptable behaviors, they know. They will even tell me. It is important that they know what path to take and what decission they will be faced with out in the real world. I am glad I can be there to guide them and we can talk about it.

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Wow! right up my alley. My middle son lived at the Pastor's house 2006 until he and the pastor's daughter got married last year. Despite all counsel and advice. And the pastor allowed it. Needless to say, there are conflicts with the pastor (loss of objectivity and counsel and now 2 kids are stuck and lost lots of opportunities and created conflicts)
So okay, what you don't do is be too judgemental in either case. Why? Well because you don't know if maybe God has a specific plan for any of these individuals. Or maybe it's you He's trying to reach. Who knows. But the couple you mention could have one of those situations with an apartment lease. My pastor (the above mentioned) had issues marrying a couple in church because they'd thrown in together before their planned wedding, but because one's lease expired and they thought it was dumb to extend a lease when they're just going to terminate it anyway.

So you teach your kids the fundamentals. That it's just a better idea not to be a hypocrite and say one thing while doing another thing. Convictions aside, it's better to learn to be on one's own and learn to pay rent/utilities, develop one's self, decide what is important to themselves. Back things up with scripture tho. Otherwise you may not have a solid case. Their faith, if it is strong, will sustain living separate and that will edify their convictions. And it allows too to grow individually.And that growth will help them to really listen to what God has to say to them, instead of plowing ahead with the selfish "This is what I want!!!!" Teach them not to be selfish, and at the same time learn to be focused on what their hearts' desires are. How can they incorporate their desires (as in life direction, career, etc) and maintain their faith. It isn't always easy and no matter how much you do teach them, there's always still the possibility to fall away. Just YOU remember you've loved them, and you've done your best. Bring out their attributes, even if they've fallen away. Because that love that you show DOES reflect God's: unconditional. Look, even if they should (God forbid!) wind up on death row, you will still love them, right? God puts them in our care with an expiration date on it, but He can use us in shaping them.
And remember that faith isn't always 'force-feeding' them either. Let them hear, and let them think about it. Because just repeating and repeating what someone else says, which may be just individual interpretation, it makes one's faith understandable on a personal level and therefore more personal. If they're wrong, they can always pray about it and ask.
The mom having a baby out of wedlock obviously has some issues. Maturity, fear, blind sided values....whatever. But she has chosen the brave route, in today's world of abortion, to go full term and have her baby. What's that tell you? Her motives are off, maybe, but it's still a brave thing to do. Encourage her.
With your neighbors who live together, they may have reasons. Explain to young minds that sometimes that situation leaves more heartache, and that they've believed the society lies. But it's still a matter of personal individual growth. Don't be too harsh on the non believers. It can come back to bite you. Just explain that it isn't how you believe, and again back it up as to why it doesn't mesh with God's plan. But non believers are not subject to God's plans. Not until they believe and submit to a plan.
You'll be fine.

I am strong in my belief of right and wrong and share it frequently with my children age 15 14 and 7 not so much the 1 year old lol. My children know and share a strong faith and I have open dialogue with them about sex and drugs and peer pressure among many other things. They also know that we should be kind and accepting of others... Jesus was kind to the woman at the well and I teach kindness and tolerance to my children first and foremost. Your children can grow in love. Keep them involved in church and be a good role model and be there if a mistake occurs.

I do not have older children, but I do remember the things my parents told me. It was clear what they believed and why - sex is a wonderful thing created by God intended for two individuals who are married to eachother. Although it seemed extreme at the time, I now understand why my mom was strict about the tv and things she allowed us to watch at home. If there were shows or movies that contained things that they didn't morally agree with we were not allowed to view them. It's not the popular thing with any kid when all of your friends can watch it, but it sent a consistent message. Something went right because there were 5 girls in my family and all of us waited for marriage. I'm sure my parents also prayed for us daily. Also, I think it's great for kids to be involved in youth group to find other friends with similar beliefs and have other adults in their lives that are sharing the same message their parents' are.

I believe one person explained it to me this way: adultery is not just a married person having sex with someone they are not married to - it's sex with anyone you are not married to, even if it's a boyfriend you're in love with or someone you know is the person you will marry. You are cheating that person out of a gift that you're intended to give on your wedding day.

Pray for your kids, that they find great friends and that they'll be a great friend and witness to others, and pray for their future spouses!

Teach them to love and not be judgemental, but firm in their own beliefs!

You have four children, so you would have to really shelter them to keep these images hidden from them. Since that's not reality and eventually they will have to be in the real world, perhaps you may need to open your eyes a bit in order to prepare yourself that no matter how much you instill Christian values and specifically, your family's individual values, your children may get caught up in something you don't approve of. You need to be there for your kids and show them what a loving relationship looks like so that they aren't out looking for a mate at such a young age. The reality is most kids are having sex well before marriage.

You may be surprised to know that some of those people you have described, may just be calling themselves Christians as well. Everyone has their own individual family values. We may not view other's behavior as acceptable, but to them it may be. For me, I'd just focus on the hear and now and try to establish a strong relationship with my kids so that they will feel that they can talk to me about anything.

I have young children myself. I continue to let my children know what is acceptable and what isn't. When they run into the unacceptable behaviors, they know. They will even tell me. It is important that they know what path to take and what decission they will be faced with out in the real world. I am glad I can be there to guide them and we can talk about it.

Hi there B.:

I love how you mentioned that you really do love and pray for the people making those "worldly" choices as opposed to following what God intends. That's such an important attitude to have. We unfortunately had to teach out daughter to start doing that at the age of five when her uncle impregnated his girlfriend and they decided to live together as opposed to get married.

I had hoped my daughter was too young to understand what was happening at the time--but NOPE! So I had to explain to her that although her uncle and his girlfriend weren't following what God truly wants for a family, He still loved them both and loved the baby that was coming. And we started praying for all of them, and praying that they would decide to get married. (They eventually did! Which was a cool lesson for our daughter on seeing answer to prayer in action.)

But as far as teaching your own kids to practice self control, and follow God's plan for them, there is an excellent series of books that I've used with my kids called "God's Design for Sex." The series encompasses four books and each is created to address a specific age group from toddler on up. Here is the link to Amazon.com if you want to check into them out:


The main thing is to keep dialogue open; let your kids know clearly what you and your hubby believe. And keep them involved in a good active youth group when they get older so they have the support of like-minded peers as well.

Good luck and God Bless!

I think it is important to talk about the why in what God wants for us as well. Living with someone before marriage can also be a financial nightmare that could take years to repair, especially if you buy a house together, have children together, etc. You can also talk about their worth as an individual and whether or not they are doing a service to their future mate by living together before marriage instead of proving to themselves and their mate that they are fully capable of running a household and taking care of themselves without the added stress of a live in relationship. It is important to be good stewards with our money. So once you arm them with all the reasons why God wants these things in their lives then it is up to them to make the decision. Maybe asking your kids to think of all the reasons (not just God wants it that way) to not live together before marriage and to not have children out of wedlock. Then it may hit home a little harder for them.

I use Dr. Dobson's books/CD's for guidance. He has a series called Preparing for Adolescense that discusses these issues. I've been listening to it with my daughter (13), and discussing these issues. I think it's important the children know what your beliefs are, and what your expectations are. Good luck and God Bless.

You are doing the right thing by raising your children in the church. We teach that the world is not living by the values that Jesus has and the way to Heaven is through the Son. My son is 10 and he gets it. Just keep the faith.


How refreshing to read a well constructed piece on the way much of our society has chosen to live, today. Working in the maternity department for the past 25 years, I have seen much of exactly what you are referring to. I've raised 4 daughters, 2 are 25, one is 24, and the youngest will soon be 20. From the time as young as I can remember them being, I always taught them that they needed to graduate from high school, listen to their teachers, respect them, not talk out of turn in school, do their homework, get good grades, graduate, then get a college degree, so that, no matter what else happens, they always have a better chance of getting a decent job or work, and always be able to count on themselves to take care of themselves. Anyone that we knew, who had babies out of wedlock, I would point out to them (my kids, on the side), that by doing it this way, that they would further limit their own ability to accomplish a college degree in the future. Not that it can't be done, that way, but that it just makes it all the more difficult. I would talk to them on a regular basis about how this is not the way God intends, as far as premarital sex goes, (once they were old enough) just so they could understand. Amazingly, so far, we haven't had any of this happen, not to say that it still couldn't. (But the first 2 are married and they do have their degrees, too, now). They will still tell me, too, how they always remembered me talking to them, about this stuff, when they were growing up. So, it does help them a lot, if they hear it repeatedly, from you. Not to nag at them, but just those times when you have those little talks, and they hear it over and over (on occasion), they will learn those values. J. C.

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