Someone on the GCM message board asked about whether we should provide our teenagers with birth control if we know they are going to have sex. The question is whether or not this is the same as condoning teenage sex. Is it the same as telling them to go ahead and do it. I wanted to save my response. So, I thought I'd post it in my blog. Here it is:
This is an excellent question & one definitely worth discussing. If anyone has read my posts on teenage dating you know that I'm all about open communication & honest, forthright education. Vespera is aware that sex is a beautiful, wonderful, pleasurable thing...and that it's not for her right now because it would compromise her integrity and her future. At this point, she isn't finding it hard to wait...yes, we talk about these things. I suspect that in another year it will be getting harder if she's still with the same guy. We've talked about how it gets harder over time...especially when, as someone else mentioned, it's "not some sweaty thing in the backseat of a car," but something borne of deep emotional connection and is an expression of a long-term commitment, something sweet and tender and loving and all those things I hope for her *after* the wedding.
We've actually talked quite a bit about how sex has the potential to be this beautiful, sacred, holy, pure and, therefore, very life-giving connection in a relationship when people wait for the God-ordained time to be together. And sex has the potential to be fraught with emotional baggage when a couple does not wait. We have emphasized that this does *not* mean that healing cannot happen, that people cannot be restored, that the life-giving qualities of sex cannot be restored to a relationship. BUT, we have emphasized that this is a choice she can make...to choose the one path or the other.
Sooooooooooo, where does this leave us? *If* it should happen that Vespera decided to have sex with her boyfriend anyway despite our best efforts to educate and encourage AND supervise (and after expressing my concern & disappointment), I think I probably would help her have access to birth control. I'm not sure I would provide it for her. She already knows about the types of birth control available to her from health classes at school and from the books I've shared with her over the past few years about bodies & sex. She is currently morally opposed to birth control. So, I don't forsee ever being faced with this situation. wink It's good to think it through, though.
I have to say, though, that in the past few years, I've had a lot of experiences where I feel like the wisdom to handle particular situations has come to me on an "as needed" basis. Mango & I strive to be always connected to God's plan for our lives, to be ever listening for the still, small Voice. And we've found that our parenting has evolved situation by situation. We don't always know how we would handle something ahead of time, but, when the time comes, we simply know. We have experienced the Holy Spirit in nearly tangible ways as we've made decisions we hadn't been prepared to make. So, I always hesitate a little now to say what I would or would not do. I cannot know for sure what I would do, but it's good for me to think, in theory, about what I'd do. I think these discussions are valuable and helpful...yet, I know that, ultimately, I will have to be open and flexible to the voice of the Holy Spirit.