I have never met anyone in my life who said, “Dang! I wish that I had slept with more people before I got married!”
It’s always, “Dang… I wish I had waited”, myself included.
Yet, we often receive letters saying that our “I’m Waiting” message is not a healthy message to tell kids today. And I just don’t get it. We ask kids to stay off of alcohol and drugs because if their dangers. We tell them don’t drink and drive because it’s deadly. We tell them don’t smoke because of the damage tobacco will do to your lungs. In all these instances, we preach risk avoidance NOT risk reduction.
But, when it comes to sex, it seems we give kids a pass on avoiding the innate dangers that come with sex before marriage. So, we get a lot of opposition at I’m Waiting.
What we’ve learned, though, is that it’s not the teachers who are opposing us. The teachers are the ones who can clearly see the after-effects of their students’ sexual activity. They see the depression following break ups. They see the kids’ grades drop, or the kids drop out of school altogether. They see the teen pregnancies. They even see suicide attempts. The teachers are on the front lines along with us and want just one thing: to help today’s teens establish a foundation that will lead to happy, productive, successful futures.
According to Ricky Garza, the impact I’m Waiting has on this generation is HUGE, especially in the face of peers, media, and other influences telling them that there is no ill effects to having sex outside of marriage in the 21st century.
Consider Ashley Madison’s tagline: “Life Is Too Short. Have An Affair.” There’s simply nothing holding people (even teenagers) back from doing whatever they want whenever they want to do it, so long as you cover up your tracks.
Yet, any wise person will tell you that the blessings of self-control will always come later in life. And the truth is, if today’s teens wait until marriage to have sex, they’re not missing out on a whole lot! We speak with many teen moms and ask them how glamorous their lives are now, especially compared to what they envisioned before they became sexually active. Time and time again, they agree with us that it’s not at all what they had assumed.
Then, there are those who say that with proper use of a condom, safe sex can prevent any bad consequences.
However, you can’t guard a heart with birth control. Most of the time, guys can move on after ending a relationship with a girl he has had sex with. But the girl is often left with shame, guilt, and other psychological and emotional wounds that last far beyond their teenage years.
As Ricky puts it, he was 28 years old when he decided to become a parent – on his and his wife’s terms – and it’s difficult enough. To add the pressures of parenthood along with passing algebra class, not having a loving spouse alongside you at all times, and so much more is overwhelming, to say the least.
So, with this in mind, Ricky says that even if I’m Waiting only affects one student’s worldview, they could hopefully influence their friends’ lives, and many peoples’ worlds can be changed for the better!
You see, the myth that is prevalent today is this: Life choices have no consequences.
We see this rampant in politics, entertainment, social media, and cultural influences. Even when they admit possible consequences, there seems to always be a quick and easy fix for it, which generally is just a band-aid, and doesn’t really heal the wounds we inflict.
Think about this: in America, the average eight-to-ten-year-old-boy has already viewed pornography. That’s a cultural norm for fourth or fifth graders. What’s worse is the message they regularly receive that there are no consequences for this. Porn, masturbation, and sexual activity are natural, healthy and do nothing to damage their minds, hearts and spirits. The truth is that, just on a human development level, their minds are not ready for such things at such a young age!
Think about life on a more practical level. If you go outside and drive through a stop sign with a police officer behind you, you’re going to get a ticket. Likewise, if you cheat on your spouse, eventually there will be bad consequences. Every time. There are real consequences for every decision we make. You may not see or experience them right away, but they are real, and they do affect your life!
Regarding our kids, when we visit middle schools, we have learned that about 30-40% of the seventh graders we meet are already sexually active. They may not have experienced full-on intercourse yet, but they are engaging in heavy petting, oral sex, or anal sex. And the reality is that the human brain releases oxytocin, which biochemically bonds you to your partner, every time you have sex of any variety. So, twelve-year-olds are bonding with other people and then being torn apart when that relationship ends.