This is a very easy way to SHOW your students the difference that exists between people who wait until marriage to have sex and those who do not wait until marriage to have sex. All you need is a nice article of clothing and a really “used” article of clothing.
When all of your students have pulled together and are focused, hold up a brand new shirt in one hand, and a worn out, dirty, used shirt in your other hand.
Ask your students which shirt they would want for their birthday, or Christmas, or first day of school. Obviously, most will pick the new shirt.
Compare the beauty of the new shirt to the beauty of one’s complete devotion to Jesus Christ and commitment to sexual purity on their wedding night. You give the best you have to those you love. Only someone that we consider special would receive the brand new shirt as a gift from us. Likewise, how special do you think your husband/wife would feel to know that you were intentionally staying “new” just for them?
On the other hand, this worn out shirt has little value to me, so I don’t care who gets it. I mean, I still have something to offer somebody else, it’s just not much. The same is true for those who carelessly give their bodies, minds, and hearts away to other people, not thinking about their future spouse.
Then say something like, “The Bible shows us that God's ideal plan for you and me is that we save our virginity for lifelong marriage to one person. That's for our sake, and the sake of our future spouses, not just to have another rule to follow.
“Some of us have given ourselves away sexually. Maybe it seemed like no big deal or maybe the consequences were severe. Maybe you felt guilty; maybe you didn't. After all, God created sex to be GOOD! Regardless, if you've sinned sexually, God forgives those mistakes like any other mistake. 1 John 1.9 says it best, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”
“It's not that premarital sex has 'star status'; it's just that sexual sin leaves deeper impressions on us than most other sins because it's one of the most personal, vulnerable things you'll ever do. But my point is: God forgives when you ask. To the young man or woman humble enough to confess their sin to God and start fresh with His grace, I'm proud of you.
“For others, maybe you've remained a virgin. I'm proud of you, too. And you shouldn't feel like you're missing out. You're not missing out; you're saving up! But sexual temptation will never go away. And you need the same grace as people who aren't virgins.
Regardless of which category you fall into, without God's grace, we're all prone to sin. We're prone to make choices that gratify our flesh only. And when we sin sexually up to the time we marry, without repenting, and without any regard for God's law or our future spouse's feelings (not to mention health), we're like this old, raggedy shirt.
“And whether you're a virgin or a recommitted virgin, when we submit ourselves – body, mind, and heart – to Jesus, we may be tempted, but we'll think not just about gratifying our flesh, but about pleasing God, and about how our choices affect our future spouse. That makes us like this nice, new shirt that we would want to receive.”
Youth Leaders: It's so key that you differentiate between those who are repentant with their sin covered by God's grace versus an unrepentant heart, and therefore, unregenerate. If repentance and grace count for nothing, there's no hope for the 20-something year old who was either molested as a child, or who willingly gave up their virginity as an emotion-driven teen.
Original Idea by Leah Burris
Jonathan McKee is the author of over twenty books including the brand new The Bullying Breakthrough; The Teen’s Guide to Social Media & Mobile Devices; If I Had a Parenting Do Over; and the Amazon Best Seller - The Guy's Guide to God, Girls and the Phone in Your Pocket. He speaks to parents and leaders worldwide, all while providing free resources for youth workers on TheSource4YM.com. Jonathan, his wife Lori, and their three kids live in California.