Just Say YES!


For some reason, when people hear that I teach abstinence many just assume it is a “Just say NO!” message and that couldn’t be further from the truth. It is actually a “Just say YES!” message. I challenge the students to say “YES” to their dreams, goals and futures.


The following story demonstrates why “Just say YES” is more effective than “Just say NO”!

Today was my second day of classes at a high school. After my second class, a young man asked if he and his girlfriend could come back later to speak with me. I often have girls who want me to talk with their boyfriends, but this was the first time a young man had asked to bring his girlfriend to speak with me. So, I was really intrigued to hear what they had to say.

They were both waiting to speak with me after my next class. The young man shared the following while his girlfriend listened:

My girlfriend heard you speak in her health class last semester and was pregnant at the time.  She had a miscarriage shortly after your presentation, so we were ‘lucky’ that we did not have to deal with the consequence of the pregnancy. After hearing you speak, my girlfriend told me she wanted to stop having sex. I didn’t agree and kept pressuring her to have sex.

She kept telling me that I would understand why she wanted to stop having sex if I could just hear you speak and she was really excited when she found out you would be returning to speak to my health class as well.

After hearing you yesterday, I GOT IT! I totally understand now why we should stop having sex and I told her I would not pressure her for sex anymore. I wanted to tell you this after class this morning, but she wanted to be with me when I told you.

I’ve always had a dream of playing football at the University of Georgia and that’s what I’m going to use as my ‘YES’. That will be my motivation to keep me away from sex because I don't want to risk getting the opportunity to play football at UGA.

One of the things I tell the students on the first day of my classes is that everyone needs a “yes” in their life—something they want so badly that they won’t let anyone or anything keep them from getting it.

I spend much more time in the classroom helping students realize the importance of finding their “yes” than I do trying to convince them to say “no” to sex. My philosophy is that if I can get them to find their “yes”, saying “no” to sex becomes much easier for them. This young man is proof of that.

I found everything you said very interesting and I agree with a lot of it. The thing I liked most and thought was very wise of you was the idea of having a bigger “yes” to keep  yourself from saying “yes” to other more temporary things. 

Many people have told me the principles I share with teens in the classroom are applicable to areas other than sex and just as relevant for adults. I agree!

As a matter of fact, it's never too late to come up with a "yes" that focuses you and keeps you on track with making good decisions (whatever the decision(s) may be). Have you discovered your "yes"? If so, what is it and how has it helped you with your decision-making?

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