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Wait For Marriage
The Cost of Sex Print
Written by Karen Farris   

We’re used to checking prices before we buy. We even like to do comparison shopping when we can save some money.  So how come we don’t check out the price tag of premarital or extramarital sex? Oh yes, there is a cost. Sometimes it’s higher than we ever imagined it could be. But it will be paid.

Ask the single mom. Ask the one who lives with Herpes. Those are price tags that are seen more easily. Other hidden price tags are the ones that come with broken relationships and damaged hearts. Sometimes the cost is buried under memories that emerge at the wrong time, but cost is paid in insecurity, jealousy, and misplaced anger.

Sex has a cost. And when sex happens outside the boundaries of a monogamous, life-long commitment, the cost can be spendy. Take time to check those price tags before you get into bed.

Responsible Teen Sex? Print
Written by Karen Farris   

The letter to Dear Abby was from a concerned step mom. Her fifteen-year-old stepson was having unprotected sex with several girls at school. An honor roll student-athlete, he was excelling at life and had much to look forward to. But his stepmom feared an unplanned pregnancy or STDs could short-circuit those plans.

Even though his dad and mom knew about their son’s sexual activity they weren’t concerned enough to confront him. “What to do?” the step mom asked.

Abby confronted the issue head on. Sex outside a committed monogamous relationship can lead to lifelong problems—just like the stepmom feared. STDs continue to increase in our nation’s youth. Unplanned pregnancies thwart the plans of many young girls (and young guys)—many of whom will live on welfare the entire time they raise their children.

Maybe this gifted, smart student-athlete will listen to common sense about the other side of the sexual equation. Sex may seem like a fun game but just like real games, eventually there is a loser. And isn’t your life, dreams, and hopes a terrible thing to lose?  Save sex for marriage and you won’t be stopped short by things you weren’t planning for.

Paralyzed Bride Has Her Dream Come True Print
Written by Karen Farris   


Last Updated on Friday, 28 September 2012 10:06
Choosing Better Print
Written by Karen Farris   

Remember that life is always better when we use our regrets only as reminders of how much we’ve learned.

Each morning she left home with a sweatshirt pulled over the low-cut, tight-fitting shirt underneath. Once at school, the sweatshirt got shoved in her locker and she received what she hoped for—looks of admiration from all the guys who stared. Their approval helped mask her conflicting feelings of shame and regret.

Shelly* couldn’t remember when she’d felt happy. It had to stretch back years—back in grade school when the hardest things she’d faced were gossipy girls. Virginity meant little once she was past having sex with five guys. Her reputation didn’t matter since her friends slept around too.

Even though she didn’t understand why, Shelly admired a girl who was totally different. Cindy* cared about school and didn’t seem to care about sex or at least wasn’t advertising her body. Shelly wondered what it might be like to not take birth control pills and deal with creepy guys wanting sex just for fun and not because they liked her.  Shelly listened to Cindy talk to a teacher about college and studying in Europe. Making plans in Shelly’s life went no further than Friday or Saturday night.

As Shelly looked at her reflection in the school lavatory mirror, she wondered what it would be like to make plans like Cindy—college, traveling. Life beyond high school. As Shelly was getting ready to shove her books back in her locker and grab her sweatshirt for home, she made a decision. School might be the first step towards a better life. She’d never been a good student, but then she’d never really tried either. She grabbed her books and went home.

Over the next few weeks, her teachers noticed the change and it was all the encouragement Shelly needed to begin the next chapter of her life. Who Shelly was no longer mattered to the Shelly she was destined to be.

*names changed for privacy

The Back Door's Cracked Print
Written by Karen Farris   

You met each other at a campus party and almost immediately felt THE connection. It all seemed so right and after some sex and short-range discussions you signed a lease agreement on a one-bedroom apartment. It all fell into place, how could it not be right?

Combining households wasn’t hard either. There were enough towels, sheets, cooking pots and random chairs to make things homey.  With the rent savings on having just one place there was money for a love seat on Craig’s List. It made a temporary living situation seem much more permanent.

What neither one saw was the back door. Even in a one-bedroom apartment there’s a back door. It’s hidden. It’s the option to leave when it gets tough….too many arguments….boredom….maybe some cheating on the side. These aren’t noticeable when the thrill of sharing a bedroom begins.

Usually the back door starts squeaking when someone wants more permanence or someone wants more freedom. Sex is a marvelous thing. Some even liken it to glue—bonding relationships together. It is also something else—a mask. It hides flaws and gives false assurances to couples who’ve used it for the wrong reasons.

The cohabitating statistics aren’t pretty—failure rates nearing 70%—breaking up before ever walking down the aisle to make it permanent. They escape through the back door. It seems less messy, but it isn’t. Besides the heart break there’s this repetitive tendency to do it all again with someone else.

Before you sign a temporary lease consider this: a marriage license. Saving the sex for after the wedding ceremony allows clear thinking before and then having that sexual “glue” work its magic when you share a place that’s far more permanent.  Married couples don’t use the back door. They tend to know what they have and work much harder to keep it.

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