Alumni Respond Part 2

with | May 24, 2013

Conventional wisdom says that parents should teach their children about the birds and the bees or the culture will do it for them. But does it really work? Hear from young men and women whose parents made that choice more than a decade ago.

Conventional wisdom says that parents should teach their children about the birds and the bees or the culture will do it for them. But does it really work? Hear from young men and women whose parents made that choice more than a decade ago.

Alumni Respond Part 2

With
|
May 24, 2013
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Bob:  Katelyn Tuttle remembers the weekend she spent with her mom, before adolescence hit, talking about what was coming—about peer pressure, about the birds and the bees, and about boys. Katelyn says it’s a good thing she and her mom had that talk.

Katelyn: I wonder all the time what my life would have been like if I hadn’t done Passport2Purity®. Seriously—because I am boy-crazy and because I am a flirt—I think, all the time: “Would I be pregnant? Would I have a five-year-old kid by now? Would I be completely in a dark place because I just gave myself to guys?” Knowing my personality and that I do like guys, and I am a flirt, and guy-crazy, I really feel like I would have messed up a lot—been very loose and just let guys take me for who I am—and not be where I am.

Bob: This is FamilyLife Today for Friday, May 24th. Our host is the President of FamilyLife®, Dennis Rainey, and I’m Bob Lepine. We’ll hear from some young adults today who, more than a decade ago, went on a getaway weekend with their mom or their dad to talk about adolescence. We’ll hear what they remember and how it marked them. Stay tuned.

And welcome to FamilyLife Today. Thanks for joining us on the Friday edition. You had an interesting experience at—was it a Weekend to Remember® earlier this year?

Dennis: It was—it was right before Valentine’s Day—before you whipped me, in Hershey. I was in D.C. and had about 1,600 people. Of course, you’ve reminded me, on numerous occasions—

Bob: We had 1,800 in Hershey.

Dennis: You had chocolate. It was an unfair advantage. Chocolate, and Hershey’s, and—

Bob: You have been whining about this ever since.

Dennis: I have! I don’t like to lose.

Anyway, a young couple came up and they said: “Mr. Rainey, back when we were kids, we both went through Passport2Purity. We started dating each other, and then we were married.” They had protected their virginity and their innocence. I think this is one of the great calls of our day today—is for parents to engage and pierce the darkness with light—and let their children be equipped for what they’re going to face during the teenage years.

Bob: There are fewer and fewer people in this culture who are protecting their purity—I mean, just statistically—

Dennis: Yes.

Bob: More and more young women are deciding that it’s fine to go ahead and engage in all kinds of activities, sexually, prior to marriage—only to find out later that there are scars that come with that decision.

Dennis: Right. Bob, I was talking to a mom, just this past week, whose husband had taken their son through Passport2Purity. I was saying to her: “In order to head some of these scars off, at the pass, and not allow them to occur, you really ought to read the book that Barbara and I wrote, along with two of our kids, Samuel and Rebecca, that’s called So You Want to Be a Teenager? You need to read it aloud, as a mom, to your son. Think of the goal—think of what you’re preparing your young person for.” So, I just wrapped up a package—with the book, along with a note—and I said, “You can do this thing.” I sent her the book.

If you’re going to do Passport2Purity with your child, it needs to be, ideally, the same-gender parent—father/son, mother/daughter. It can be a grandparent. Or it can be the opposite sex—we’ve got a number of single-parent moms, for whom the only alternative is to take their sons through Passport2Purity. That’s okay. Do it! The point is to engage with them about this.

After the weekend is over, get the book So You Want to Be a Teenager? —and the other parent—have the mom read aloud, a chapter at a time, to her son. Don’t give the boy the book. If you give him the book, he’ll read it, cover to cover. [Laughter]

These kids are like magnets attracted to this topic! Mothers ought to read to their sons. Dads ought to read a chapter and then talk about it with their daughters because you want, if possible, both parents to engage in meaningful conversation around the issues they’re going to face and around the standards they’re going to set, in advance, of facing the issues of drugs, alcohol, sex, peer pressure, and all kinds of boundaries.

Bob: You can find out more about the book Dennis mentioned, or about Passport2Purity, when you go to our website, which is FamilyLifeToday.com. You know, it is one thing to hear from young people, who are kind of looking back and remembering what it was like to go off with Mom or Dad on a Passport2Purity weekend. It’s another thing to ask them, as young adults, how what they learned that weekend has stuck with them.

Dennis: Ten years later.

Bob: Or if it hasn’t stuck with them because it doesn’t stick with every young person who goes off on this weekend.

Dennis: They’ve got to make their own choices.

Bob: So we sat down with Rob, and Karis, and Michael, and Katelyn, and Joe, and Sarah. We said, “Tell us, now, that you’re a young adult, how did the Passport2Purity weekend influence you during your teenage years and into your early twenties?”

Katelyn: Passport2Purity made a difference in my life. A lot of people might look at it and say, “You’re 24 and single.” Yes, I am. There have been many times in my life when I could have given up on my morals; but I know that I’m not going to get in a relationship with someone that I couldn’t see myself married to and walking side-by-side, with canes, one day. That’s what I want, and the Lord just hasn’t brought the right guy into my life.

Male: When I was in high school, and especially now in college, I really struggled with wrestling with those commitments that I had made when I was much younger and the temptations were not nearly as strong. Honestly, I can say that I did pretty well with them in high school, and I’ve really done very poorly with them in college. I’ve really felt the repercussions of that, and I wish I had done a better job of maintaining those standards.

Female: There were definitely times when my convictions and what I learned in Passport2Purity—and beyond, with my parents—were tested. One time, when I was a junior in high school, I admittedly flirted, way too much, with a guy. I should have known better than to walk down a dark driveway with him, and he kissed me. That’s one time I will never forget because, at that point, I had wanted to save my first kiss for my husband. I knew, at that point, that wasn’t going to happen. That really just killed me because it was a guy that I’m never going to see again in my life.

Male: I can think of a couple times, during high school, when there was a decision—or if I was talking to girls in the lunch room and stuff—they would say things, and I would be like: “Okay, I need to not like go figuring that out! That’s something I kind of need to hold back on because I might do something I regret.”

Karis: Looking back at my high school experience—kind of what I was experiencing—and comparing that back to what I had heard in the Passport2Purity weekend, I think it definitely confirmed a lot of things. I didn’t date all through high school or college—so most of my experiences were from what I viewed from my friends or what I heard from friends. It definitely confirmed a lot of what I had learned or what I had experienced in Passport2Purity—and say: “Okay, this is why I made this commitment because my friends, who didn’t make the commitment, are suffering the repercussions, at this point.”

Sarah: One of my good friends—I remember, in college, her telling me that she had lost her virginity. I was just, “Whoa!” because she was one of the ones—like me, through middle school and high school—who was like, “Yes, I’m going to stay pure for my husband.” There are many people like that—not just people that I knew—but good friends. I definitely saw a lot of that—where people didn’t keep their conviction.

Karis: My freshmen year of college—I lived in a suite with six other juniors. My roommate and I were the only freshmen. The decisions they made were what I would consider poor decisions. It was interesting to see the ramifications of that play out in their lives and in my life around me. They would tell me a lot of the things they were doing on the weekends and with their boyfriends. Some of it was stuff I had heard before. Some of it was stuff I had heard of but never really heard more about or in-depth. I don’t know if I really wanted to hear more about it, but I did anyway.

So, that just really opened my eyes. It makes you feel empathetic. I felt sad for them and for the life they had chosen, but it also gave me a wake-up call to: “This is going on, with the people your age, around you and the choices they’re making are having these effects on them.”

 

Male: As I began to kind of flirt with some dangerous areas, that I had said I was not going to do when I was younger, I began to feel more empty and more frustrated. I think, through my conversations with my dad, and with men, here at school, it really allowed me to say, “God, You are good; and You have forgiven me for the mistakes I have made;” but the scars are still there from bad choices I have made.

Trying to uphold a moral standard at college is very difficult. My freshman year of college, my roommate had his girlfriend over. That was very shocking to me. I began to feel like that was normal and that I was abnormal. I remember having some talks with my mom and dad and them being very concerned about some of the choices I was making in an effort to fit in and not be weird.

Joe: I remember like kind of letting my guard down one time. We were like, “Let’s go and see this movie!” I went and was like, “I shouldn’t have to worry about it.” There was a sex scene in the movie. I was like, “Oh, my gosh!—like, had I checked that out, I could have avoided a whole lot of temptation.

Katelyn: There was a time, recently—really, just a year ago—literally, about a year ago—my parents were out of town. I’d been texting and had been on a few dates with a guy. We just wanted to hang out. I didn’t have any thought to it at all—just completely, not even thinking—I invited him over to my house with no one there. He started to put his hand on my leg and tried to kiss me. I kicked him out of the house. That was another reminder of what I had learned: “I have to be careful.” I can’t—even though I wasn’t reading anything into it, at all, I thought back on it and realized it was partly my fault, too, for inviting this guy over and leading him on—when I had no intention of leading him on.

Male: I was hanging out with one of the guys. We were going to go—he was like, “Hey, let’s go watch this movie!” or whatever. So, we go into his room, in the residence hall, and started watching this movie—that was not okay. It was really awful. It was hard because I didn’t want to just blow my friend off, but I just had to get out of there because I knew that I didn’t want to have to deal with that temptation; and honoring God was more important to me. I had to make that decision: “Am I going to put my friends before God or put God first?”

Female: I remember, one time at a class, they were talking about qualities for future spouses. One of my friends and I said, “A virgin.” Everyone in the class was like: “What!? That doesn’t exist anymore!” Yes, I think it does. [Laughter] There’s someone out there.

 

Male: I found the peer pressure issue to be much more prevalent at college than it was at home—especially, going to a college where I didn’t know anybody. I think, at home, I had a great community of Christian friends that I was always able to fall back on—their peer pressure was very, very positive. Once I got to college, it wasn’t until I got involved with Cru that I began to find a community that really encouraged me to pursue the things of God and not the things of this world.

Male: I found that because I was making sure I was checking on who I hung out with and everything—and the situations I was in—not to be cliché—but I definitely had more time to spend in the Word and everything—and that strengthened me a lot. That helped me, just getting in the Word—memorizing Scripture—using it as a shield and everything against that temptation. That was a big thing.

Katelyn: I wonder, all the time, what my life would have been like if I hadn’t done Passport2Purity. Seriously—because I am boy-crazy and because I am a flirt—I think, all the time: “Would I be pregnant? Would I have a five-year-old kid by now?” I really feel like I would have messed up a lot—been very loose and just let guys take me for who I am—and not be where I am.

Joe: So, I’m in Music Theory II class. There’s this girl sitting behind me—her name is Ashlyn. We just kind of start talking and start having really friendly conversations, you know. It was tough, but we had the whole “define the relationship” deal. We really wanted to make sure where we were going. I really couldn’t see myself living and being with anyone else for the rest of my life, so I proposed in May, 2011, and got married the next March.

She had been in some relationships that were pretty tough—with guys that were more controlling. She was from a Christian background and family—but just from the situation she was in because of being in high school—you know, it was—she had a little bit more struggles, but It wasn’t like her fault because it was these guys who were being jerks to her. Not to like toot my own horn or anything—but she was definitely like, “Okay, I don’t have to worry about him hurting me or making me do this when I don’t want to.” I just respected her for the daughter of Christ that she was.

Michael: Well, we grew as friends. Our friendship grew throughout the years—throughout high school—but neither one of us opened our mouth, saying that we had strong feelings for each other—more than friends. The first time that was said was her sophomore year of college and my freshman year of college.

Actually, it was a summer trip, with a bunch of friends from church. I told her that, “I have strong feelings for you—more than a friend.” She had the same feelings, likewise. It grew from a superficial crush, from 15 years old. It grew from there. I think the first time that I knew it was something more meaningful was probably when I was a junior in high school. All the other guys around me were saying how much they had a crush on Sarah and how they liked her so much. I put myself to a test, saying: “I’m going to be different. I’m not going to say anything to her, like the rest, because I want to be different.”

Sarah: I also—like in high school—I thought he was cute. I liked him because he was different than the other guys. He was a lot more mature. So, it really started in high school, too; but I also didn’t say anything because I didn’t want to ruin our friendship. I wanted our friendship to grow. I would have rather had a friendship than to ruin it—through the high school talking about “liking each other”, and the dating, and all of that stuff—when it was premature and not ready.

I remember when he told me. I said, “You know, I have the same feelings, too.” But we both—like right when we told each other—we said, “But we want this to be a very godly relationship.” We wanted to take it very slowly and build our friendship up through that.

Michael: We knew that before we could go on our first date together, we had to get approval from her dad.

Sarah: [Laughter]

Michael: He gave me his blessing. He said that was fine with him, but he wanted us to take it nice and slowly. He wanted us to have just a few dates a month. I was going to take whatever I could get. So, I said, “Yes, sir!” and took that to town.

Joe: When we were dating—every summer—both me and my wife were doing Passport2Purity with our Sunday school classes at church—which is sixth grade through eighth grade. It was a perfect reminder and refresher for the both of us, during our courtship years, to remind ourselves that we needed to keep ourselves pure if we want God to continue to bless our dating.

[Music] “You are not your own, for you were bought with a price; so glorify God, glorify God, in your body.”

Joe: By the fourth or fifth time, I felt like I knew Mr. Rainey personally. We got to the point where we memorized what was going to happen next or we knew what Mr. Rainey was going to explain next.

[Music] “You are not your own. Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body; against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price; so glorify God, glorify God, in your body.”

Joe: Even to this day, especially, on the Scripture—when I come across that verse, I get an instant flashback of listening to that song. It just keeps on playing in my head, to this day. I can’t read those parts of Scripture ever again the same because those songs just click with me right away.

[Music] “You are not your own, for you were bought with a price; so glorify God, glorify God, in your body. You are not your own, for you were bought with a price; so glorify God, glorify God, in your body. You are not your own; you are not your own.”

[Studio]

Bob: Again, I love the songs that are a part of Passport2Purity—like that song from our friends at Seeds Family Worship.

Dennis: We need to start a revolution. I mean, I’d love for a lot of kids to be sick of hearing from Mr. Rainey. I mean, honestly? That’s the way to teach.

Bob: Yes.

Dennis: It’s called the rabbinical method of teaching.

Bob: Repetition!

Dennis: Jesus used it. It’s over, and over, and over again. He teaches things, repeatedly, so we’ll listen and we’ll learn.

Bob: The Passport2Purity weekend lays a foundation, for a mom and a dad, so that you can come back and revisit some of these conversations, as your child goes through the teenage years. Go to FamilyLifeToday.com for more information about the kit that’s available so that you can take your son or daughter on a Passport2Purity getaway trip this summer. You pick the location; you pick the weekend; and we’ll provide you with the resources you need to make the trip work.

Again, go to FamilyLifeToday.com for more information about Passport2Purity and about the book that Dennis mentioned earlier, called So You’re about to Be a Teenager. The website is FamilyLifeToday.com; or you can call if you need more information or if you’d like to order by phone: 1-800-FL-TODAY—1-800-358-6329. That’s 1-800-“F” as in family, “L” as in life, and then, the word, “TODAY”.

Now, we are a week away from the end of May. I guess some people look at this weekend, here in the United States—Memorial Day weekend—as kind of the kick-off of summer. Other people wait until June hits the calendar or until school is out. School may already be out where you live or you may have another couple of weeks still to go. Whenever summer begins for you, we’re asking you if you would help us, as summer begins for us, here at FamilyLife. Summertime is often a time when donations to ministries, like ours, taper off a little bit.

The challenge is that the expenses stay the same throughout the summer. So, we had some friends of the ministry who, awhile back, came to us and said: “We’d like to help you guys, through the summer, by making a donation. We’re attaching a string to our donation. We will give you $603,000 for FamilyLife Today—to help you through the summer—if you can raise an equal amount.”

It’s a matching gift. For every $100 donation we receive, they’re going to release $100 from the matching-gift fund, all the way up to that total of $603,000. Now, we’ve been working on this, all month-long—been asking our listeners to consider making a contribution to help us through the summer months, knowing that your donation will be doubled, dollar for dollar. We’ve heard from some of you.

We’re asking you today: “If you haven’t gotten in touch with us, would you go online right now and make a donation? Be as generous as you can be.” FamilyLifeToday.com is the website. When you get there, click the button that says, “I CARE”, and make an online donation; or call 1-800-“F” as in family, “L” as in life, and then, the word, “TODAY”. You can make a donation over the phone. Again, thank you, in advance, for whatever you’re able to do. Please pray for us. We’re asking God that He’ll provide the funds necessary so we can take full advantage of this matching-gift opportunity.

We also hope you have a great weekend. I hope you and your family can worship together this weekend, and I hope you can join us on Monday. We’re going to hear a story of heroism. It’s a story of a family’s commitment to bringing their son home from an orphanage in the Ukraine. We’ll hear that story on Monday. Hope you can tune in for that.

I want to thank our engineer today, Keith Lynch, and our entire broadcast production team. On behalf of our host, Dennis Rainey, I’m Bob Lepine. We will see you back Monday for another edition of FamilyLife Today.

FamilyLife Today is a production of FamilyLife of Little Rock, Arkansas.

Help for today. Hope for tomorrow.

©Song:    Not Your Own

Artist:      Seeds Family Worship

Album:    Passport2Purity© (p) 2012

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Copyright © 2013 FamilyLife. All rights reserved.

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