We have teens and with teens comes that “talk” about the birds and the bees. While we’ve already had that discussion, there’s always the need to teach purity and we were blessed to be able to review Sex by Design by Abby Ludvigson.
This is a DVD / workbook series written by Abby Ludvigson on the topic of purity. Sex by Design dives into 7 different areas of how to discuss purity with our teens – whether individually or in a group setting. These seven areas include:
1) Plan ahead: living pure in a sex saturated culture
2) Counting the cost: every decision has a price tag
3) Dating: doing relationships God’s way
4) Sex: God’s purpose and plan
5) Modesty: God cares what I wear
6) Pornography: Its deception and steps to get out or stay out
7) Secondary virginity: running back to God
How We Used This Program
We have had “the talk” with both of our children (ages 19 and 15). And, while we have addressed purity with them and what God wants between a husband and wife, I feel that there are ways to reinforce those discussions and God’s will for us in many ways.
When we originally received this book, I had every intention of using it with our daughter (she’s 15). She was not so thrilled when the package arrived, though. She thought it would be another portion of “the talk”. But, after reviewing the first two sessions, it’s not what either of us expected.
So far, it does NOT address the biological functions of sex. It does NOT address how to use a condom. But, it DOES address peer pressure, how drinking and drugs can affect one’s will power and ability to say “no”. Abby also addresses the results of having sex before marriage (in session 2).
For the first session, I watched it alone and then asked Lauren to watch it. Once she was finished, we sat down and discussed what we both learned. There are some “to do’s” in the first session. Well, they are more like suggestions for how to really make a commitment to the purity lifestyle. Her suggestions include buying a purity ring as a way to remember to whom you belong (God) and what He has in store for you. Or, writing a journal to your future husband. She also suggests knowing your limits and at what point you will stop (like kissing, holding hands, etc). And, consider a few mentors to whom you can go when you have questions, concerns, or to hold you accountable when you feel weak.
In the second session, Abby discusses the results of having sex before marriage – the rate of depression among teens, pregnancy rates, suicide rates, and so much more. She addresses these in detail and ways that she herself has been impacted by her decision to be pure. She calls these “price tags”. Even those who remain pure have price tags.
For the second session, Lauren and I watched it together. She wrote in her student workbook and we discussed the questions at the end of the teacher edition.
When we first started this, Lauren was hesitant. She wouldn’t want to talk about anything and was pretty dismissive. It’s not that she has a boyfriend or any possibilities. And, it’s almost as if she’d already made a pledge to purity and therefore this wasn’t important to discuss. But, as we’ve entered session two, she’s opened up a bit more. Today, she purchased a locket rather than a purity ring. Her thought was that she would lose the ring or wouldn’t wear it every day but she wears necklaces all the time. And, being that it’s a locket, she said she can put her husband’s picture in there when she has one. I like that. She’s really been considering these things and is acting on some of Abby’s suggestions.
We have been taking our time with this series. It’s not one that I would suggest doing weekly, but maybe every few weeks. It’s a lot of material and some kids just aren’t open to discussing everything at once. They need to process.This is a very important topic and one that should not be glossed over.
We have only made it through the second session and plan on finishing the other sessions over time. I’m finding though that as we go through these things together, we are having deeper discussions. When I least expect them, questions are arising. I’d rather address these things in time and at Lauren’s pace rather than mine.
I appreciate that Abby is a living, breathing virgin at the age of 30+. She’s actually living what she believes. I find that highly admirable. Plus, she’s a living testimony to what God has planned for each of us.
If you have teens, this is a great series. It does address porn and a few other topics that tweens may not understand (or what you may not want them to know) so just know that up front. You may want to address certain parts of this series but not the whole thing. I leave that for you to decide for your family. However, I do recommend this series overall.
Connect with Abby on Facebook and the Sex by Design page!