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The Sad Truth Print
Written by Karen Farris   

When I was a young teen I was close to someone who was great with little kids. She earned lots of money babysitting because kids absolutely adored her- and she adored them just as much.  She played games. She did art projects. Parents dialed her number first.

Watching her babysitting style and fun-loving approach to life, I tried to be like her.  I just couldn’t do it with her same success. I wondered what she’d be like as a mom. In our late teens, she babysat less and partied more. I also watched her go into different relationships with guys.

Even though STDs have gotten much worse and far more prevalent than when I was a teen, my friend contracted Chlamydia. This STD has good news and bad news. First, the good news: it’s treatable. The bad news? The symptoms are vague and sometimes hard to notice.  And in today’s world, it’s really spreading rapidly-- it’s the #1 bacterial STD.

My friend didn’t know she had it.  When she was finally tested it had done all the damage it needed to.  It robbed her of the one thing I knew she would have loved and been most amazing: motherhood. She was sterile. She never had children.

I always thought she would have been a terrific mom. It never happened. Sometimes the choices we make become consequences. If you want a 100% guarantee to be STD free and have no excess relationship baggage, save sex for marriage. Please don’t let my friend’s story be yours.

 
Choosing What’s Right Print
Written by Karen Farris   

Why is it so hard to send a clear message to teens? We have no problem telling people not to drink and drive. We have no qualms about the labels on cigarettes either. We even have no problems showing graphic photos of people who suffer because they make bad choices to drink and drive or smoke.

Why all the confusion about saying “no” to sex. Teens aren’t ready for parenthood and no one needs an incurable sexually transmitted disease—so why do we equip them with all of the information about safer sex, giving them condoms and telling them about birth control, just to leave them confused about what we know is the right choice.

If having sex as a teen is such a great thing, why is depression so prevalent? Why are STD rates at epidemic levels. Our poverty rates are due mostly to teen pregnancies. If we were facing the same statistics with car wrecks and lung cancer, as a nation we’d fully support a campaign to change our thinking.

But somehow we don’t have the courage to say we had it wrong. We imagined that if given the information about the sexual dangers, teens would choose safety. Wrong. Nothing will change teen sexual behavior until older adults change their minds too.

It’s a big problem and like all the other big problems we face in this country, it will take a real effort to make a difference. But if you’re reading this, it begins with you.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 17 August 2011 12:16
 
Pastor’s Son Marries Porn Star Print
Written by Karen Farris   

Not your usual type of love story, but this one actually happened. A compelling new film, Out of the Darkness recounts the horrific life of Shelley Lubben—from a teen kicked out of her home to drug addict, prostitute to porn actress.

Out of the Darkness shines a light on another ugly side of the porn industry. After years of escalating availability via computers, we are now discovering how pervasive and destructive pornography is.

Porn changes the way we relate to people. It damages those who watch it and it wrecks the lives of those who work in the industry.  We can thank porn for many of our nation's sex crimes and to a lesser degree many the intimacy struggles facing so many couples.

For porn star Shelly Lubben, contracting incurable genital herpes catapulted her to the lowest of lows and led to a suicide attempt. The overdose of pills landed her in a hospital where she was revived and ultimately placed in a Christian recovery program.

She rebuilt her life and eventually met the man who would later become her husband—the first man to ever show her what real love was. And yes he was a pastor’s son. Shelly now works for the Pink Cross Foundation which is dedicated to getting sex workers out of bondage to the sex trade.

Pornography doesn’t have a happy ending. But for Shelley Lubben getting out of porn gave her a happily ever after.

Last Updated on Thursday, 11 August 2011 19:50
 
Single moms don’t have it easy Print
Written by Karen Farris   

 

As more young unmarried women are choosing to become mothers, it is prudent to examine the facts. The children raised by single moms comprise 70% of juvenile murderers, delinquents, drug abusers, dropouts, runaways, teen mothers, and suicide victims. Wow. That’s a lot of dysfunction.

Children born to unwed mothers don’t have an option if they will be in the unlucky 70%.

The statistics for children who were given up for adoption at birth by their teen moms have vastly different lives. They have higher self-esteem, greater levels of empathy for others and were far less likely to engage in high-risk behavior.

With over two million American couples seeking to adopt each year, why don't more unmarried young women make that choice? Clearly, they aren’t checking out the chances for success for their child. Too bad that a child becomes the victim and the odds for success are stacked so high against them.

Maybe we could encourage the next young woman we know facing this choice to consider things from her child’s perspective and make a choice to give some parents who don’t have a child, the opportunity of all their lives. Now that would be an amazing gift of life.

 

Last Updated on Monday, 01 August 2011 18:30
 
Girl’s Guide to Guys Print
Written by Karen Farris   

 

In the search for the perfect prince, the reality is we kiss a few frogs along the way. Sometimes in the pursuit of the prize we start at the finish line—by giving away our bodies to guys who don’t intend to stay for the future. So as you consider your romantic options, here are some tried and true guidelines:

 

1. Girl Time: Your girlfriends can help you keep your perspective. Listen to their advice—and if you want to keep sexual boundaries in your guy-relationships, your girlfriends can ask you the tough questions and hold you accountable.

2. Alone Time: This is the time you are alone with him. If you want to keep those sexual boundaries in tact, then don’t tempt yourself with too much alone time.

3. Too Much Time: Having every waking hour spent together can make life lopsided and you lose perspective. We can become emotionally attached beyond the level of the relationship. Take your time—lots of it, to consider who you’re with and where it can lead.

4. Talk Time: We girls like to talk and talk and talk. Talking too much too soon in our guy relationship helps us “feel” bonded to him but he may not actually be all that “bonded” to us. Share the personal stories slowly. Use your girl time to do some of the talking we girls need to do.

5. Warning Signs: We don’t mind reading the warning signs on roads, so why not pay attention to those in our relationships? Does he have self-control with his temper? Does he isolate you from others? Does he respect your boundaries?

6. Caution Ahead: Use those boundaries you’ve set up…as you proceed with the shared affection—don’t lose sight of the goal—having someone you can marry and spend your life. Emotions can easily take control here.

 

Remember that our time in relationships is to learn about one another and see what characteristics we have. It can expose us. We learn and develop the qualities we need to have lasting relationships. No relationship will ever be perfect, because we are imperfect people. But as we make these discoveries, saving sex for marriage helps our relationships be places where we can be sharing our minds, not our bodies.

 

Last Updated on Wednesday, 17 August 2011 12:16
 
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