A winner and a strategy for talking with teens about purity

Thank you to everyone who shared how they take care of themselves on last Thursday’s post. If you need ideas on how to take care of yourself while you’re caring for your family, you can read all the great ideas HERE!

The winner of the drawing from Thursday’s discussion is Stacy!  Stacy, I’ll send you an email with the instructions for choosing the Hearts at Home book of your choice.

Now for the strategy…

Last night I was cleaning up the kitchen when my 17-year-old starting talking to me about boy/girl relationships.  It was a good conversation and I felt it was time to share the “pie illustration” with him.

This illustration can be shared with any pre-teen or teen who is showing interest in the opposite sex.  A friend shared it with me years ago and I found it helpful with a couple of my older kids when they were teens.

The concept of the “pie illustration” is that each of us comes into this world with a whole pie.  The pie represents our heart which is all of who we are emotionally, physically, and relationally.  Our job before we get married is to keep our pie whole so we can give it to our future spouse.

If we date too early or too much in the teen years, we risk giving away pieces of our pie.  Then someday when we find the one we want to marry, we only have part of our pie to give them.  The parts we gave away may now be replaced with mistrust, hurt, and self-protection—all things that don’t belong in a marriage.

I also shared with him that it is his job as a gentleman to protect the pies of any girlhe is friends with or any girl he likes.  Someday she will be someone’s wife and he needs to be responsible to not take a piece of her pie that she will someday need to give to her husband.

The illustration seemed to make sense to him.  I remember it being effective with a couple of our older kids, as well.

That’s why I thought I’d share it with you.  If you’re looking for a creative way to talk with your pre-teen or teen about purity and making wise choices about dating and relationships with the opposite sex, it’s a good tool to have in your parenting toolbox!

If you’re looking for more strategies for raising tweens and teens check out my book Got Teens? Time Tested Answers for Moms of Tweens and Teens.

Speaking of parenting toolboxes, don’t forget about the free online parenting event I’m “speaking” at starting today.  You can find more info and register HERE.

And it’s still not too late to register for the upcoming Hearts at Home conference in IL. You can find that info HERE.

What about you? Do you have any discussion tools you can share to help communicate purity to teens?

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10 Responses to A winner and a strategy for talking with teens about purity

  1. I have never heard this illustration before. It makes sense! I’m filing this one away to remember in a few years when I have teens.

  2. Christine Taylor says:

    What an excellent idea, Jill! My oldest daughter is 21 and having gone through a very painful breakup (even with a mindset of intentional dating) she has learned this lesson the hard way. After two years, there is still a scar on her heart that will hopefully be healed when God brings the right person into her life. As a youth leader, she has talked with her girls about this issue so that hopefully they will not make the mistakes she did. I think this illustration would be great to use with her youth as well. It’s something I plan to use with my two younger children.

  3. Cathy says:

    Thanks for another tool for the toolbox of parenting! My girls are quickly approaching the teen years. Also, keep an eye out: Elsa Kok Colopy has recently just finished a book directly addressing the purity issue with teens, and has already submitted it to the publisher. I imagine it will be out in the next year. http://www.elsakokcolopy.com/

  4. Jamie Grant says:

    Jill, Brandon and I were just talking yesterday about the overwhelming task it is going to be to help Elyse understand how precious her purity is. This is a really good illustration! Thanks so much for sharing!

  5. Shelly says:

    Love the “pie picture”, Jill!! Raising three teens right now and two more littles up and coming this is a huge passion of mine. I just blogged today about a podcast I shared last fall with a group of moms about how “Our Father is Faithful”. Having come from a broken past it makes me deeply passionate about my kids and helping them to remain pure. NOT perfect, but pure. http://encouragingfamily.blogspot.com/2011/03/our-father-is-faithful.html
    Blessings, Shelly

  6. Treva Buchanan says:

    Jill,
    What an awesome way to illustrate purity and saving yourself for marriage. I have a tween daughter (Hannah 10 yrs old) and a 5 yr old daughter, Maddie. It’s been on my heart to teach both my girls purity. Even more so when my 10 yr old came home a month ago telling me she had a boyfriend. A girl who swore she’d never get married because she just didn’t “want to” immediately changed & is now interested in the opposite sex. I about freaked out!! Since then God has been dealing w/me about teaching her how to remain pure. She has since broke up w/her boyfriend (thank God) but I know there’ll be more in the future. Thank you for offering this tid bit of info. Getting your book “Got Teens?”, I believe it will be an excellent source of information for me and my daughters!

  7. Deb Strom says:

    Jill,
    I used a similar illustration with my son and will be with my daughters. We are parents that believe dating should be for finding the person you will marry. I tell him that every time he focuses too much on a girl (going out with her), decides to kiss her, etc., he’s giving a piece of his heart away to that girl and he’s also taking pieces of her heart. And of course a bigger chunk is given if their is any inappropriate behavior! I explain he can’t give it back to her and he can’t get his back…even after the break up, and that since he’s not marrying her, he doesn’t have the right to take pieces of her heart. Then I brought in the whole “broken heart” syndrome and why that feels the way it does. It really hit home for him when his girlfriend broke up with him and I hope he takes it to heart (no pun intended) in the future. I’m not sure how my girls will respond…I may just have to have props to help remind them (maybe cut out a paper heart, etc). I want to say I read this somewhere…maybe Lisa Whelchel’s “Creative Correction” book…I’m not sure….I enjoyed your pie illustration as well. We need to be creative to talk to our teens that’s for sure! Thanks for sharing!