We are attempting to do some sex/dating talk with the high school youth group for a few weeks in a series called: “Flames and Flings: A Series on Relationships (and Everything In-Between).” A little crazy, I know (I usually get a shocked response or raised eyebrows from folks). Of course there’s no way to comprehensively cover everything there is to this topic, so we’re going to go fairly general, and hopefully spark some more conversations in the future. The resource I’m drawing from primarily is Kara Powell’s Good Sex 2.0. The layout is easy, and there are so many options for her topics, and each topic is broken up into 3 parts. There is a progression in the topics, but we’re kind of going random and hitting a few of the activities and discussions. Maybe in the future we can be intentional and go through the whole thing. I do agree that it’s important to strip taboo-ness from the topic as much as possible, and give kids a chance to talk and engage it in a safe, healthy space (as opposed to weekend parties and the locker room).
The first Wednesday we broke ice with a “moving survey,” and opened up with a panel discussion giving kids a chance to write down any question about dating, romance, marriage, and sex. The leaders spent most of the time sharing thoughts and experiences…very raw and real. One of our leaders said succinctly that hopefully the kids will walk away at least with an understanding that there is no blueprint to dating/relationships, and that usually it’s very difficult, messy, etc. but we can still shoot for ideal and healthy ones. The second Wednesday we broke ice with “musical body parts,” warmed up with a few more panel questions, but engaged the kids more for their opinions/responses to the written questions, and then separated into guys and girls to talk in general about identity, stereotypes and expectations for each gender. We got back together in a large group, and I ended our time with a spiel about having a healthy grasp of our identity is essential to healthy relationships, and this includes embracing all parts our identity, spiritual, mental, sexual, etc. I emphasized that our identity needs to rooted in God’s perspective of us as his Beloved, and talked about how important it is to be surrounded by a community that helps us know God’s perspective because this shapes our identity (we are the company we keep kinda thing).
Next Wednesday, we end the short short series with some more discussion on high school dating, and all that goes with it, as well as all the kinds of communication that go with it…I won’t be there, but I”m excited to hear how it turns out! And looking forward to future moments like these past ones!