In the last year, I have either held hands or kissed a boyfriend/girlfriend:
A. Never 78%
B. Once or Twice 4%
C. Quite a Bit 6%
D. You really don't want to know 12%
The results turned out not so bad, but perhaps complete honesty could be in question; but we shall give the benefit of the doubt. I would love to say that amongst our Independent Fundamental Baptist (IFB) teens, that immorality was never a problem, but I believe all would agree that this is just not the case. While I believe that our success rate is much higher than that of the worlds, there is still a grave problem amongst our churches.
I recently read that over 1 million teen girls will become pregant this year in the U.S. (Guttmacher Institute) and that 70% of teens will have committed fornication by age 19. Recently, it was surveyed that only 5% of Americans go to a marriage altar pure. Our government spent 50 Billion dollars last year dealing with teen pregnancy. Out of the 1 million pregnancies last year, 520,000 resulted in births, 80,000 resulted in miscarriages, and 400,000 resulted in abortion (http://www.teenshelter.org/data.htm).
While I am confident that our IFB young people's percentages are greatly lowered, it is an unfortunately increasing problem that parents, pastors, and churches are having to deal with.
Now, let me first say, that if you are a young person that has fallen into this sin, get it right with God. Confess the sin to the Lord, repent, and allow His forgiveness and cleansing. Get things right with your parents and church, and determine to allow the Lord to lead in your life, accepting all consequences, and accomplish something for the Lord.
To those who have not given themselves to this sin, I would counsel: DON'T TOUCH! Our Bible's read in 1 Cor. 7:1
...It is good for a man not to touch a woman.
The reason we see this principle so grossly ignored is due to a lack of discipline in the home as a young child. In the garden, God gave to Adam and Eve everything they could ever desire, but one tree God said, "Don't touch!"
With all three of my children, the very first lesson that we have taught to them is "Don't touch!" Be it a hot stove, electric socket, indoor plant, knife, my glasses, or grandma's knick nack, they each have had to learn "Don't Touch!" There have been many slapped hands as a toddler and rods applied as a young chlid. Why? Because there is going to be a day when I don't have time to explain why they can't touch and they need to obey immediately; or there is going to be a day when they will be confronted with one of the above items and I will not be around, and for their safety they had best learned that lesson.
Parents, rear your children with the knowledge that there are somethings you don't touch. Nothing breaks the heart of a parent, pastor, and church like that of a young person with so much potential that loses their purity. One is too many.
It amazes me how youth pastors many times not only allow it to go on, but even encourage it. As a youth pastor, I learned quickly what to look for: both teens sitting with arms crossed close to each other...are holding fingers. Teens sitting on a bus in same seat or infront or behind each other...are holding hands. Some teens have even used a Bible between them to cover their hands while they commit hand-whoredom. Coats, blankets, hats, garbage bags, all have been used to try and hide the rebellion. Don't be naive.
Our 8 month old daughter reached into my shirt pocket the other day to grab my Gospel tracts. I told her "No! No touch" She withdrew and looked at me oddly and reached for them again. "No! no touch" With a pooched out lip and determined look she grabbed for them again. "No! no touch" was followed by a soft slap on the hand. Big tears rolled down her cheeks and a pouting whimper came from her mouth and she grabbed for them again. "No! no touch" was again followed by a soft slap on the hand. This time it was followed by a full out cry, but her rebellion was broken (for this time) and she laid her head on my shoulder not reaching again for the tracts. Would it be terrible for her to grab a tract? Perhaps not, but there were principles being taught...one of which is that there are some things you don't touch. Someday, she will be confronted with much greater temptations, and she needs to have learned that if Daddy said "Don't Touch," then there is a reason, there is a purpose, and it is for my safety that I obey. May all our children learn not to touch.