Thursday, October 26, 2017

Can We Teach Purity?

Purity and modesty are something we have talked about quite a bit here on Family, Faith and Fridays.  Most of you who know our family personally know we are pretty conservative, especially when it comes to relationships and dating.  As the years have gone by though, and several of our kiddos are grown and out of our house, we are continually reevaluating and adjusting our beliefs and standards.  Adjusting, not lowering, I promise!  So when we were given the opportunity to review Abby Ludvigson's video program, Sex by Design with the Homeschool Review Crew we jumped at the chance.

Let me make this clear right off the bat- this is NOT a sex education program.  Trust me, I would not touch that with a ten foot pole.  It is however a program designed to get your teens thinking about purity and what that means from a Biblical worldview.

What Is Sex by Design then?
This video and book series is taught by Abby Ludvigson who works with The Navigators,  a urban missionary group out of Colorado, to teach and equip young people to wait for God's best for them.  Single until the age of 34, Abby has lived what she has taught.  As a former teacher, her dynamic personality and teaching style are sure to capture even the most reluctant teen.  

Abby provides a 7 part video series to watch with your teen.  Topics include-
  • Plan Ahead: Living Pure in a Sex-Saturated Culture
  • Counting the Cost: Every Decision has a Price Tag
  • Dating: Doing Relationships God's Way
  • Sex: God's Purpose and Plan
  • Modesty: God Cares What I Wear
  • Pornography: Its Deception & Steps to Get Out or Stay Out
  • Secondary Virginity- Running Back to God

Also included is the teen guide book and a parent edition.  These almost 200 page books have chapters that correspond with each lesson.  Each lesson begins with the Film Outline section and is a place with fill in the blank sections to be answered while watching the video.  That section ends with scripture reference and Truth Statements.  Consider those the main points of the lesson.

Next you will find the Follow Up section that includes discussion questions.  Don't worry parents- the parent guide has answers for you to be looking for and ideas of topics to talk about and also includes a script of the video.  The next section is called Personalize It.  Here is where your teen can write in notes and answer questions Abby asks, as well as get ideas for further study or other assignments she gives.

The final section, Apply It is where the rubber hits the road, asking your teen to make the topic their own, beginning with starting a journal to their future spouse.  Those journals are what Abby presented to her now husband, Greg, on their wedding night.  There are also activity suggestions and book recommendations.

Sprinkled throughout each section of each chapter in the margins are icons that point them to the Online Resource Guide.

The Online Resource Guide is on Abby's website and gives you access to related articles and more for each lesson by leading Christian authors and speakers.  Books are listed, articles are linked, and downloads are available for you to print, as well as video clips for you and your teen to watch.

Also included in the student book is a short Bible study to go along with each chapter.

So how have we used this and what do we think? 
When we first got this program I spent some time looking through the parent guide, reading the intro from Abby and the 8 page section Getting the Most From This Series.  This section tells the who, what, and why of the program as well as provides a chart of a "helicopter view" of the program as a whole.  I then watched the first video by myself to get a feel for things.  Since that time, my 15 year old son has been watching one lesson a week by himself and then we come together to talk about what he has seen, questions he has answered in the workbook,  and discuss any topics he or I feel need to be addressed. 

On the day he watches the video he also downloads any assignments, such as the purity pledge in Lesson 1.  In advance of his watching the lesson, I print off any articles from the Online Resource tab that I want him to read so he can do so sometime during the week at his own leisure.  We have also made note of several books Abby mentions that we would like to order. 

I have also since sent the video links to my college daughter to watch because I think they offer a lot of good information. The information is certainly not new to her at age 19, but I think it is a good reminder for older teens as well.

Let's face it, no program is going to change a persons' life in an instant, especially a teen.  BUT, I do believe that the more we talk about sensitive subjects and the more open we are, the more likely our teens are to hear us out and consider our advice.  Plus let's face it, sometimes the same advice we as parents would give comes easier from the mouth of someone else.

For us, this has given my son and I a starting point for some good conversations.  I know many would want to watch the videos together, but by choosing to allow him to watch them alone first I feel it has given him room to think and process first before being plowed over by mom.  Not that I ever plow over my kids, right?!

Why do I love this program?
  • Abby is honest and forthright while being sensitive to the subject.
  • This is not a "gory details" program, but one based on Biblical Worldview.
  • This is a faith based program.
  • The videos are in short 15- 25 minute segments keeping it from being overwhelming.
  • It is strategy based, giving kids not just goals to make, but ideas for how to obtain them.
  • It is multifaceted approach will capture the interest the various types of learners from auditory to visual!
  • The included Bible Study allows your child to dive into the subject at an even deeper level.

Sex by Design is designed to make your teens think for themselves, to make plans for purity before they are in the situations that require action, and then gives them the Biblical "whys" for those decisions.  It approaches sensitive subjects with respect and opens the doors for family discussion.  It is a program every family with teems needs in their arsenal.

After all, purity is a war worth the fight! 

Sex by Design {Abby Ludvigson Review}
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