A Youth Pastor’s Experiences with Pornography

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In my last post, I discussed how parents could lessen their child’s risk for exposure to pornography. As I said, it’s not a matter of if their child will be exposed to pornography, but rather when. This week, I will share a very enlightening interview I conducted with a Youth Pastor at a large, prominent church in the metro Atlanta area about what he sees in his interactions with the youth in his church.

It’s bigger than you think!

Jackie: How big of a problem do you think pornography is for teenagers based on what you see in your work as a Youth Pastor?

Youth Pastor: I have no doubt that pornography has become one of the biggest threats and attacks on teenagers today. I think it’s a bigger problem than drugs or alcohol, even more so with technological advances such as, smart phones, iPods and even gaming systems that can access the Internet. When I started in youth ministry 10 years ago, I would sometimes hear about struggles with pornography. As the years have advanced, it’s now one of the top issues I hear from teenagers as far as their struggles and for a lot of them it has become an addiction.

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5 Things That May Increase Your Teen’s Likelihood of Having Sex

mother shouting at doughterIt’s not easy being a parent today. Your teens are inundated with so many competing voices that influence their decision-making. I certainly empathize with the countless number of parents that have reached out to me over the years, seeking advice on how to talk with their teens about sex. Sometimes it’s just as important to know what not to do as it is to know what to do. So I thought it would be great to hear directly from teens.

I believe the following letters will speak for themselves…

1. Yelling:

I thought I was in love with this boy until your class.  My mother has always told me these things, but she yelled so I didn’t listen.  I really want to thank you. Now I will be a virgin until I’m married. 

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Six Things I Learned from a Former Student’s Phone Call

Cell PhoneI received a call Saturday from a soon to be 22 -year-old young lady who served on the leadership team of an after-school club I worked with when she was in high school.  I had not spoken with her since she graduated from high school.

She began by telling me she had wanted to talk with me for a couple years, but had just built up enough courage to call me. She was reluctant to call because she was ashamed of her decision to begin having sex at 19 years old. She was also afraid I would be disappointed in her.

As I listened to her talk about how she was parented and why she made the decision to have sex, I heard some very interesting things that I would like to share with you:

1. Children need rules and want high expectations!

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Fatherless Sons: Exposing the Epidemic and Breaking the Cycle

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For the past two months, I have been hearing a great deal about Oprah’s Lifeclass series on "Fatherless Sons," and was finally able to watch a full episode last night.

It was not long into last night’s show before I realized it would be difficult to watch the entire show without being reminded of the painful stories and letters that I have heard and read over the past 11 years.

One of the stories I was reminded of while watching was a conversation I had with a 9th grade young man four or five years ago. This young man waited to speak with me after class and shared the following: 

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How do children spell “LOVE?”

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What is good for the goose is good for the gander

I had a conversation with a 16-year-old young man today who was scared he might have gotten a girl pregnant. Although they didn’t go “all the way”, they had done enough for him to be afraid she may have gotten pregnant. [Read more…]