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Teens and Dating: “The Purity Code”

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Many of us are parents of ‘tweens and teens, which means dating is a hot topic of interest. It’s not always easy or comfortable tackling the deep subjects, and parents (and kids) often feel awkward and embarrassed by frank discussions about temptations and curiosity. Yet our children are exposed to social influences and the risqué behavior of peers… meaning the time to counteract negative influences is NOW. But how best to accomplish this?

I was inspired by author Jim Burns’ book The Purity Code, which is written for ‘tweens to prepare them for teenaged relationships. Rather than shy away from the tough questions, Burns addresses head on the issues facing 21st-century preteens. The book comes highly recommended to help kids and their parents build a solid “theology of healthy sexuality” and instill godly values about sex, their bodies, and relationships. 

The Purity Code

In honor of God, my family, and my future spouse, I commit my life to sexual purity. This, in short, is the “Purity Code,” and the author further shares with youth: “Can you believe that the decisions you make today can affect you for the rest of your life? That’s why thousands of preteens and teens are committing to the Purity Code. It’s a promise to God, your family, and your future spouse to live a life of sexual integrity and purity. It might sound easy, but it actually takes an incredible amount of faith in God and a lot of self-discipline to make it work. To fully live by the Purity Code, you need to understand sex and your body. 

This book is a must read if you’ve ever wondered: What do the changes in my body mean? Am I old enough to go out on a date? How far is too far? What do I do if I think I’ve been sexually abused? Can I get an S.T.D. without having sex? They’re probably some of your most embarrassing questions, but you’ll need honest answers to make the important decision to keep your body, mind, eyes, and heart pure. With the Purity Code as your lifelong personal challenge, you’ll honor both God and yourself, and you’ll be healthier and happier for life!

A Note to Parents 

Burns reminds us that “Kids learn best when they talk and you listen,” and he encourages parents to read Teaching Your Children Healthy Sexuality before reading The Purity Code together with their children. Further, he counsels that every child is different, so some material may need to be adapted to fit each maturity levels when discussing the questions at the end of each chapter.

Burns writes for the Christian Broadcasting Network, and I stumbled his article about the “purity code,” plus concepts of “radical respect,” “exclusive and inclusive dating,” “socialization” and more. Visit cbn.com/family/youth/burns-teens-dating.aspx to read the article and Amazon.com to purchase the book (just search by author and title). It may just help you and your kiddos stay the course during the turbulent teen years.

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