Purity: Ages 12 - 13

Give a Vision for God-Honoring Thoughts and Actions
Purity: Ages 12 - 13 Hero Image Purity: Ages 12 - 13 Hero Image

What is The Purity Step?

Ages 12 and 13 are great ages to intentionally guide and challenge your child to commit to a lifetime of purity, which is why we’ve created the Purity step on the Faith Path. As parents, it’s always wise to help an early teen establish clear boundaries before they face tempting or awkward situations.

The purpose of this resource is to offer practical ideas and resources to help you navigate the important conversations and questions on the near horizon. You can also refer to the additional resource to give you more conversation tools if your teen is struggling or has questions.

Put It Into Practice

Purity is much more than refraining from sex or heeding a list of “don’ts.” It is a positive, passionate existence that frees us to experience what God made us to enjoy. Sadly, our culture bombards kids with opportunities to tarnish their lives, even making fun of those who try to remain separate. So how can you help your teen go against the norm and live a life filled with the joys of purity?

  • Step One: Clarify the Standard
    • Psalm 119:9 says, “How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word.” While Jesus Christ was the only person to live a life of total purity, He invites us to follow His example by fulfilling the purpose for which we were made. When it comes to purity, our children need to understand that their bodies belong to God first and to their future spouse second. 1 Corinthians 6:18-20 says, “Flee from sexual immorality… your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you… You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.” 1 Thessalonians 4:3-8 is another great passage to walk through with your teen, explaining God’s heart behind purity, and providing practical reminders for fighting sexual temptation.
  • Step Two: Focus on Purity, Not Just Sex
    • It is vital to emphasize remaining a virgin before marriage. But purity is much more than saying “no” to premarital sex. There is a current trend in teen culture to define purity as not “going all the way,” while anything else is considered fair game. God desires for us to have much more than “technical virginity” before marriage. He has a great plan for our hearts, minds, and actions. Teach your child that purity involves every area of life.
  • Step Three: Give a Positive Vision
    • Give a positive vision of the purpose and joy of sex in the context of marriage. Nothing gives a child a positive view of God’s design for passion like basking in the love of parents who cherish one another and speak positively about the joys of marital intimacy.
  • Step Four: Delay Temptation
    • God made us with desires that are very good. But those desires can be awakened too early, so talk to your child about purity before allowing them to date, and continue dialogue after they start the process. The topic can be awkward, so try to make the experience comfortable. That could mean scheduling a regular coffee date, or it might look like chatting while hunting, or attending a sports event. Find some context for keeping the lines of communication open.
  • Step Five: Pray for Them
    • Commit yourself as a parent to cover your child in prayer. Pray specifically for his or her purity in relationships, a clean thought-life, integrity in school and other activities. Pray for a heart that is connected to Christ and a mind immersed in God’s Word.

Next Steps

Here are some additional ways you can reinforce the importance of purity with your teen:

  • Write letters to your child. Share your heart and scripture instead of mere rules. Give them a vision of God’s plan for their lives. Plan a time to talk about the letter after they have read it, such as a special breakfast or coffee date. Take time to listen to what they say and try to steer clear of teaching or lecturing.
  • Have your child write out what they want in a future spouse. As they get closer to dating, have them pull that list out and talk through the potential individuals that they are interested in dating to see if they fulfill that list.
  • Ask the following questions: What would your future spouse want from you in purity? What do you want from your future spouse?
  • Help your teen solidify a commitment to purity. Remember, this is their decision. Your job is to provide guidance, support, and honest conversation. Other ideas to help solidify their commitment include:
    • Encourage them to write out their standards and commit to remain pure with their signature.
    • Write a prayer to God or note to their future spouse explaining their commitment.
    • You can buy them a ring or other items as a symbol of their resolve.

Additional Resources

©Inkling Innovations 2019, updated Watermark Community Church 2023.