Sex and Screens

fleeing-pornLast Friday night I spoke to a group of middle school kids in Cincinnati about sex and screens… here’s a glimpse of how we got the conversation started.

The format was fun. I spoke to them first, letting them know Sex Matters, even in a world that thinks it’s no big deal (DYM actually published a version of this talk HERE). Then I gave them four tools to become smarter than their smartphone, fleeing some of the temptations that can be distractions today (something I also addressed in this week’s Parenting Help article, Preventing the Permeation of Porn).

After a break, the students met with an adult leader in small groups and dialogued about what they heard. Here are the discussion questions I provided: (starting light, getting a little deeper/personal with each question)

Discussion Questions:

  1. AROUND THE CIRCLE: What is your favorite thing to do on your phone, tablet or other piece of tech?
  2. JUST A FEW: What are some of the distractions from technology that you think might be causing problems for many young people your age today? What is dangerous about these?
  3. AROUND THE CIRCLE: What are some distractions from technology that you might be struggling with?
  4. AROUND THE CIRCLE: What is one really good piece of advice you heard tonight that you want to apply in your own life?

Read the following passage:

Run from anything that stimulates youthful lusts. Instead, pursue righteous living, faithfulness, love, and peace. Enjoy the companionship of those who call on the Lord with pure hearts. (II Tim 2:22, NLT)

  1. JUST A FEW: What does the verse tell us to run away from? What are some examples of “youthful lusts” we might encounter through technology?
  2. JUST A FEW: What does the verse tell us to pursue? What does this look like in your world?
  3. JUST A FEW: Who does the verse tell us to enjoy? Why do you think the verse tells us to hang out with other believers when telling us to flee distractions? (Leader- the answer you may be looking for: this is a good example of the Bible providing us with something to run towards when it just finished telling us what to run away from- see Hebrews 12:1,2 also)
  4. AROUND THE CIRCLE: What is a way I can apply this in my life this week?

Close in prayer:

“Before I pray, while your heads are bowed and your eyes are closed. Would any of you like to talk more about this later this week? If so, raise your hand and let’s connect and talk.”

The next morning I taught my Parenting the Smartphone Generation workshop to the parents, followed by a 30-minute time with parents and students combined in the same room. In that final time together I provided them questions to interact, kid-to-parent and parent-to-kid. So fun to watch parents and kids engaging in healthy dialogue.

Good times.

ENJOY TWO BRAND NEW RESOURCES FROM JONATHAN ON THIS SUBJECT: 

MORE THAN JUST THE TALK—the brand new book helping parents and adult mentors create a comfortable climate of continual conversations about sex and intimacy. (See what others are saying about this book The-Sex-TalkHERE!)

SEX MATTERS—the brand new book for teens answering the toughest questions about sex and intimacy, questions like, “Why should I wait?” “How far is too far?” “Is porn better than sex?” “What about homosexuality?” and more…

About Jonathan McKee

president of The Source for Youth Ministry, is the author of over twenty books including the brand new The Teen’s Guide to Social Media & Mobile Devices, If I Had a Parenting Do Over, 52 Ways to Connect with Your Smartphone Obsessed Kid; and the Amazon Best Seller - The Guy's Guide to God, Girls and the Phone in Your Pocket. He has over 20 years youth ministry experience and speaks to parents and leaders worldwide, all while providing free resources for youth workers and parents on his websites, TheSource4YM.com and TheSource4Parents.com. You can follow Jonathan on his blog, getting a regular dose of youth culture and parenting help. Jonathan, his wife Lori, and their three kids live in California.
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