Parents and teenagers involved in the focus groups were frustrated because all they were hearing were safe sex messages that assumed all teenagers were sexually active.
They asked, "Can you help those of us who believe in abstinence until marriage share our commitment to God's plan for sexual behavior?"
Thus True Love Waits emerged.
From the beginning, the intent was for parents to take responsibility for the education, commitment and support of their children, especially as they navigated the trying years of adolescence.
We have attempted to maintain that foundation throughout the 17-year history of True Love Waits. Why is that important?
As Christ followers, we believe the Bible is clear that it is the parent's responsibility to "teach a youth about the way he should go" (Proverbs 22:6). This truth did not develop over time; it was present from the days of Moses. God through Moses placed the matter of education and spiritual development on parents (Deuteronomy 6:6-7). And it continues to be God's plan today.
Some parents want to pass the responsibility to someone else, but in reality parents are having the greatest impact on their children, one way or another.
The way I demonstrated my love for my wife when our two sons were growing up, the music I listened to in the family car, the things I watched on television and the movies I attended, and on and on, all expressed my value system concerning sexual issues. I like to refer to it as an ongoing conversation that leaves lasting impressions.
The new "True Love Waits 3.0: A Path of Purity" supports and provides resources for this ongoing conversation parents are having with their children.
Jimmy Hester is co-founder of True Love Waits and director of student ministry publishing at LifeWay Christian Resources in Nashville, Tenn. For more information, visit truelovewaits.com.
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