A dear friend spent all of July again this year hearing the confessions of maybe 300 or so teenagers in America. A tough job? Sure, it must be exhausting, but for him and every other clergy, our good Lord sends strength, accountability, and compassion to offer just the right medicine to these wounded souls. And this is just what he discovered: wounded souls.
My clergy-friend and I both agreed, the devil is working overtime on our kids. What they are facing today is worse than we faced. It's more intense, more damaging, and
more in their faces than ever. I share with you a few of these findings.
For boys aged 11-18, they are simply bombarded with pornography. Our media has made this extremely accessible. But I liked my friends response- he explained that every time a young guy looks and deletes an image he is training himself to do this when the right one comes along, so therefore after a few short years of marriage, he will want to click "delete" and search for the next image of his satisfaction.
For girls, the same sad story was heard. A high percentage of girls confessed the desire to maintain their virginity, but when they thought the guy actually cared for them, she did it, for him, and then was "deleted." Also, most girls didn't consider oral activity as one in the same.... but no one can confess the name of Christ, and receive the Body and Blood with the same tongue that has been tarnished by such an unnatural act (without of course repentance).
In the end, our young people must be empowered to follow the examples of the Saints! They can learn that chastity is a tremendous virtue and we can model appropriate behaviors and healthy relationships for them. In those toughest moments, no friend or parent can come to their rescue. They must take it upon themselves to guard their bodies with great courage and determination knowing that we are behind them 100%!
If you have a special way you challenge your young people to set apart their lives for Christ, please post a comment. I've tried to include some other resources below
Free download : my workbook on VIRTUE
Here are some quotes on chastity
The Church's stance on pre-marital relations
Orthodox Video on Purity
Maidens for Modesty Blog
"by practicing virginity they have been espoused to the Word..."
- Methodius of Olympus (3rd/4th cent.)