Home > Christianity, Church, Youth Ministry > Teens Thoughts on Sexting

Teens Thoughts on Sexting

December 3, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

How appropriate that I would log onto Yahoo this morning to see the headline:

Poll: 1 in 4 young people have been involved in sexting

Go ahead and read it for yourself. It’s scary.

For the life of me, I can’t figure out how to address the issue with teenagers. I’m still a young guy; newlywed who barely has my feet wet in ministry. But, it hasn’t seemed to be that big of a deal just to be honest – until now.

This is two articles this week that I’ve read concerning sexting.

In case you don’t know, sexting is when students send sexually explicit photos of themselves to someone else. I suppose that words could be sent too, but with today’s society and photo phones, just jump to the worst conclusion, because it is happening.

This article raises a lot of good points:

  1. There is no guilt involved…sorta. “I just don’t see it as that big of a problem, personally” is what 16-year-old Sammy replied concerning the issue. Sammy admitted to sharing nude photos of himself with his girlfriendS.  Yes, that large “s” is on purpose.  That’s plural.  At the age of 16, Sammy has done it twice. Likewise, Thelma, a 25-year-old has shared her photos with love interests, too. She said…”It’s just when you’re talking to a guy who’s interested in you, and you might have a sexual relationship, so they just want to see you naked,” she said, adding that she never complied with those requests.  That language use is scary to me. “Just” is used so casually.  “Oh, sexting…it’s just sending nude photos of yourself that you’ll probably regret someday!”
  2. Why is there only “sorta” no guilt? Well, both interviewees asked that their last name not be used. This is pure speculation, but why? If it’s just “not a big deal” and “just sending nude photos to love interests” then why not proclaim who you are?
  3. Guys claim it is hot when girls send photos of themselves. Girls call it “slutty…” and yet most do it anyways.
  4. I don’t want to have children now.

There’s a lot to chew on in that article. I mean, just look at your teens, whether they’re in your youth group or live in your home because you’re one of those parent things. What ways do you have to control this and address the issue?

For parents:

  1. Break out of the mold and be a parent! I’m addicted to the show “World’s Strictest Parents” and I’ve come to realize most of the situations, it’s not the teenager’s fault, its the spineless parents who give in. Control your kids. God set you in place of these teens to control their lives and raise them up in the ways of our Lord Jesus Christ. YOU have to be the example for them. YOU have to show them what it is to live a holy life.
  2. How can you prevent these things? I have a great respect for the parents of one of my teenagers. I was talking to him about cell phones for some reason and about picture messaging and he told me that he wasn’t allowed to have picture messaging because of this issue right here. His parents are mine and Lindsey’s good friends from here in town, and I’ll be honest, I have a lot of respect for that. Not just because they are preventing something like this from happening, but also, whenever their son explained it to me, he did so in a way that seemed so understanding! To me, that is good parenting. Pushing your child towards holiness, but for them understanding how it is beneficial to them. It removes the temptation.

 

For youth workers:

  1. Our parents should do it. In an ideal world, parents should be the ones to address said issue. Honestly, the Biblical mandate for raising a child in the Lord is found in Deuteronomy 6.    But, that’s not always the case. We all know this.
  2. Like parents, it’s all about the holiness factor. It is about showing students how to strive after holiness. It’s about showing them why it is important to live their lives for God. Fixing the symptoms does nothing until you get to the root of the problem.

 

Holiness. I don’t know why every blog this week has come down to it.  Maybe it’s a pretty important thing. I mean, it seems like God thought so when He said, “Be holy because I AM HOLY…” What does that even mean for us? What would happen if you told your teens to explain that verse to you? Would they understand it? Would they recognize what it meant for their lives? Have you even explained that to them? That’s a command straight from God.

Holiness and sin never party together. Holiness is on the other side of the world compared to sin. The two never go together. When we hit on holiness with teens and get them to push after those things, and sincere “holiness seeking” takes place, that’s where lives change.

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  1. Laura
    January 4, 2010 at 1:52 pm

    As a youth pastors wife, this issue is a huge concern for me. My husband and I are planning to do a little more research on this so we can discuss it with our teens and I am sure it will take more than one session. We plan on having all of them bring their cell phones to the last session and doing a cell phone dedication to dedicate their cell phones to be used as a tool for God to reach their friends and family. I figure this would at least make them mindfull of what they are doing. I just wanted to share the idea, it is still in the begining stages for us.

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