ENERGIZE February 15, 22, March 1,8     THRIVE February, March 7, 21, 28

Most of your kids aren’t at the place where they'd even think about actually having sex, however, sex creeps into our lives in far more covert ways. One of those ways is through technology. Technology has a way of allowing us to act in ways that we’d never act in real life. We may find ourselves tempted to text things that are over the line or you Google search images that you’d die if anyone knew about. That’s because what happens on the screen doesn’t always feel like reality so we don’t take it as seriously as we would a physical relationship. We use phones and computers as digital shields that we hide behind so we can say things, show things, or look at things that we’d never say or show or look at in our everyday lives. But here’s the problem: it is real life! Just because you aren’t face-to-face in person doesn’t mean that it doesn’t count. 

Here’s what we know to be true: Sex is extremely good and sex is extremely powerful. That’s because God created sex! And what God creates is good. But like most things that are intended for good, sex can also cause problems. When sex is used in the right way, it’s extremely powerful in a good way. But when used the wrong way, sex can be very powerful in a bad way. We will see how God—the Creator of sex—has an intentional and incredible plan for sex in our lives. 

Technology has made our lives simpler, more efficient, safer, and better connected but technology also has a darker side—a secret side. And it’s a dynamic that arises when we use technology alone. Being alone isn’t the issue. Being alone can be a good thing when we’re thinking, writing a paper, or spending time with God. However, being alone with technology has some very real dangers. It’s really easy for us to go down the road of looking at images and videos that aren’t healthy for us to see—pornography. Viewing porn has some very real effects on real relationships—our relationship with God, our future relationships with others, and our relationship with ourselves. What we do in secret can cause separation. 

Sex is really tempting. The pull towards sexuality is strong. The urges are real. The feelings are real. The struggle is real. And sometimes making the right choice feels impossible. Isn’t everyone doing the stuff we’ve been talking about? And sometimes no matter how much you don’t want to cross certain lines, you find yourself stepping over that line again and again. How can teenagers experience freedom that God intended? Guardrails make sense to us in most areas of life. When you drive on the edge of a mountain, the guardrails protect you from falling off. Guardrails around a playground make sure that the area is safe. So naturally, guardrails in our relationships with others and ourselves would do the same. So how can you live as a teenager with raging hormones and experience freedom and the life that God intended for you to live? Sometimes we just need some guardrails in place for our protection.

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