I am always in search of analogies, quotes or stories to use in the classroom to help students understand the benefits of abstaining from sexual activity. I would much rather spend my time focusing on the benefits of abstaining from sex than the consequences of having sex, which seems to resonate more with the students.
When I read the following quote, I knew immediately that it would fit perfectly with my message:
When you give up something now for something better later, that’s not a sacrifice. That’s an investment! ~Andy Stanley, Pastor of North Point Community Church
Doesn’t “investing” sound so much easier to do and less painful than “sacrificing?”
When you frame something in the positive it works much better than doing so in the negative. I call it teaching “toward” something instead of teaching “away” from something. Think about it: “Get healthy” sounds a lot better than “lose weight” doesn't it?
My goal is to help the students understand that abstaining from sex will allow them to gain benefits in the future that are much more long lasting than the short-term pleasure they receive from sex. Instead of thinking about what abstaining from sex is preventing them from enjoying now, they should think about what abstaining from sex will allow them to enjoy to an even greater degree in the future.
We have to start teaching young people to invest in their future families. They “get it” when you present the message from that perspective, as evidenced by the following letters from two high school young men.
Thank you for coming to our class and protecting our future. You answered all the questions that I wasn’t sure who to ask. I’m a virgin by choice and it surprises people, mainly girls, because it’s rare to find a high school virgin. They feel that if I am attractive, I should be having sex on a daily basis. But because of you, I look forward to protecting my future wife, my future life and my future marriage. Thank you again.
Dear Ms. Jackie,
Your stories and words are so inspiring. Truth be told, before you came I was making plans to go out and have sex because I was tired of being a virgin. But you showed me that it's not about what I want right now but what I want for my wife and kids later on. It doesn't matter what people think of me because I am a virgin, but what kind of higher standard I hold myself to.
Isn’t it encouraging to read letters from these young men who are making choices today to benefit themselves and their future families later?
Much of what I share with students is equally as valuable for adults and I think the above quote by Andy Stanley is definitely one that could also benefit adults.
Are there things in your life that you are having a hard time giving up that you know you should? Would it help to change your perspective from looking at it as a sacrifice to considering it an investment that will benefit you even more later in life? I’d love for you to share your thoughts below.