Talking to Teens About God's Plan for Sex and Their Lives
Jason and Crystalina Evert Share Testimonies Regarding Chastity
SAN DIEGO, California, DEC. 12, 2003 (Zenit) - More than 100,000 teens each year hear God's plan for life and love, thanks to the efforts of Jason and Crystalina Evert.
The Everts are a newlywed couple and chastity speakers who work for Catholic Answers and visit high schools -- public, Christian and Catholic -- around the country.
Jason Evert, author of "If You Really Loved Me" (Catholic Answers), shared how their young audiences respond to their message about chastity and what parents can do to help their teens choose to be chaste.
Q: What are the key points you stress to your young audiences?
Evert: If I could sum up our talk in one sentence, it would be this: The peace and joy that come from a lifestyle of chastity is worth more than all the pleasures of the world.
During a high school assembly, Crystalina and I share our testimonies with the teens. This seems to lower their defenses and open their hearts.
We begin by addressing the "how far is too far" question by inviting the teens to consider how far they would want someone to go with their future spouse. Other topics include the dangers of pornography, the power of modesty and the growing trend towards chastity among the youth.
We stress that God's plan for life and love is exactly what the teens are looking for. Once we see the truth about our bodies and the truth about sex, we change our lives not as a result of force, obligation, persuasion, guilt, fear of pregnancy or disease, but because God's view of love is everything that the human heart longs for.
Q: How do you think the media mislead the youth today?
Evert: The most obvious trend seems to be the portrayal of premarital sex as liberating, fulfilling and without negative consequences. The myth of "safe sex" is especially damaging. Beyond the spiritual and emotional consequences of "safe sex," the teens are lied to about the physical dangers.
We recently spoke in Michigan to 10,000 students. During each talk, I asked the students what the most common sexually transmitted disease was. Not one of the students knew the answer. It is human papillomavirus, HPV, which is now responsible for the deaths of more women every year than AIDS, because it causes 99% of cervical cancer. The media won't talk about this because the condom is useless in preventing HPV. So much for safe sex.
Q: How have young people responded to your message?
Evert: Recently, we were invited to an inner-city public high school, where 72 girls were pregnant on campus. This number did not include the middle school, which brought the total closer to 100.
Before the presentation, I told an administrator that we offer the students chastity commitment cards at the end of the talk, and that we'd like a table to put the cards on, so that the students could pick them up. She kindly set up the table, winked at us and informed me that she would individually hand them to the teens, in case anyone actually wanted one.
When the talk ended, she later told me that she had never felt like she was in a stampede before. She said the teens thundered down the gym bleachers towards her and she threw the cards on the table and literally ran out of the way. The teens cleared out the cards and were nagging the administration because there was none left.
The young people are thirsting for truth, for guidance and for someone who believes in them. They've heard how to avoid gonorrhea, but what they want to know is the difference between love and lust. They know what it's like to come from a broken family, and they're more than happy to hear about how they can offer their future children something better.
Their openness to the message is beautiful to watch. But, I must add that it is not our message, since we can't take credit for Pope John Paul II's "theology of the body."
Q: How can parents help their children to practice chastity?
Evert: First and foremost, we encourage the parents to pray for their children. The offering of Masses, rosaries and days of fasting should not be seen as a backup plan when all else fails, but as a parent's most powerful tool.
When Pope John Paul II challenges young people, saying, "Do not be afraid to be the saints of the new millennium!" the call extends to parents as well. In the words of the Holy Father, "The Church and the world today more than ever need married couples who generously let themselves be schooled by Christ."
Chastity is a virtue, and like all virtues it is easier caught than taught. When a married couple practices chastity, their purity of heart, reverence and sacrificial love is obvious.
Here, I should add that chastity is not ...
Rate This Article
Leave a Comment
More Featured Today
- Monaco & The Vatican: Monaco's Grace Kelly Exhibit to Rome--A Review of Monegasque-Holy See Diplomatic History
- My Dad
- A Royal Betrayal: Catholic Monaco Liberalizes Abortion
- John Paul II as an Apostle of Mercy
- Embrace every moment as sacred time
- A Recession Antidote
- The Why of Jesus' Death: A Pauline Perspective
- Father Lombardi's Address on Catholic Media
- Pope's Words to Pontifical Latin American College
- Prelate: Genetics Needs a Conscience