Teaching Your Children Healthy Sexuality Small Group Curriculum Leader’s Guide, Session 2 Helping Your Children Set

Standards
INTRODUCTORY SESSION NOTES In order to make the most out of facilitating this series experience, be sure to read the curriculum introduction document in Teaching Your Children Healthy Sexuality prior to preparing for Session #2. THE BIG IDEA Perhaps the best first step we can make as parents in helping our children foster a healthy vision of sex and sexuality is to help them set clear sexual standards for themselves. GOALS OF THE SESSION • Explore the factors that often contribute to young people becoming sexually active. • Challenge participants to take up the calling of helping their children make right and wise decisions in regard to setting clear and healthy sexual standards. • Discover and identify critical areas of sex and sexuality in which young people need to set standards for themselves. • Lead participants to creatively explore practical ways in which to help their children set standards in these critical areas. • Offer FREE Parent Resource information from HomeWord by handing out the INFORMATION CARDS. LEADER’S PREPARATION • Read chapter 3 in Teaching Your Children Healthy Sexuality before the session. As you do, highlight ideas, quotes or comments that you would like to explore in the group setting. SUPPLIES • Television and DVD player • Prior to the session, make sure that each participant (or each couple) in the group has a copy of Teaching Your Children Healthy Sexuality. • Print enough copies of the Participant’s Guide Session #2 from the CD-ROM to distribute to each participant at the beginning of the session. • Print enough copies of the INFORMATION CARDS from the CD-ROM to distribute to each participant. • 5 pieces of poster board and 5 Sharpie markers. • Enough pens or pencils for each participant to use.

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Small Group Curriculum – Leader’s Guide, Session 2

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1. Getting Connected:
JUST FOR FUN (OPTIONAL) Healthy Sexuality Challenge: Beforehand, write the following words and phrases on individual slips of paper or 3x5 cards (feel free to make up more words or phrases, as desired): • Virginity • Hooking up • Media • Sexually Transmitted Diseases • Grace • Purity • Abstinence • Flirting • Dating • Pornography • Peer Pressure • Friends with benefits

Divide the participants into two groups by gender. This is a challenge based on the game Taboo. Decide which team will go first. One person from the starting team should select a slip of paper from the leader. The person has 30 seconds to give verbal clues about the word or phrase to her or his team, but the player may not say the word or phrase. (If he or she says the word or phrase, the opposing team wins the point for the round.) The player’s team tries to guess the word or phrase. If the team guesses correctly, they get a point. If the team cannot guess the word or phrase in 30 seconds, the opposing team has the chance to make one guess at the word or phrase. If they are correct, they get a point. Next, one person from the other team selects a slip of paper from the leader and play continues. Keep score and continue playing until all the slips have been used. The team with the most correct guesses at the end of the game wins.

CHECK IN Have participants pair up with their partner from the last session. Give them 2 minutes to share with each other how they did on the action step they were planning to take (which they wrote on a 3x5 card at the end of the previous session.) After this, gather the group back together and move on.

LEADER’S NOTE Before each and every session, encourage participants to read the assigned chapter in Teaching Your Children Healthy Sexuality; the chapter will provide fertile ground for discussion each week. The purpose of the “Getting Started” section is to help people get connected—to move from a face and a name to a story. With your group gathered together, have each participant respond briefly to the following: 1. What scares you most about our culture when it comes to the issue of sex and sexuality? 2. What is the most influential piece of advice you were given about sexuality and standards? Who gave it to you? What kind of impact did it have on you?

2. Getting Started:
AGREE OR DISAGREE ACTIVITY: Read the following statements to participants, one at a time. After you read a statement have participants get up and move to an area in your meeting space that you will designate as either the “agree” area or the “disagree” area. Once people have moved to their area to indicate their agreement or disagreement, ask for comments from participants on why they “answered” the way they did. 2 | Small Group Curriculum – Leader’s Guide, Session 2
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LEADER’S NOTE This activity can result in some passionate discussion regarding why people either agree or disagree with the statements. That’s okay. A certain level of tension is healthy. Facilitate the discussion in such a way so as to convey that the point isn’t to resolve the issue or to convince others that their position is mistaken. If you perceive that the tension level is rising or potentially might become unhealthy, stay positive and simply move on to the next statement. The ultimate point of the exercise is to allow parents to see that one of the challenges of helping kids to set healthy, biblical sexual standards has to do with what their parents believe about the standards themselves. Statements: 1. Christian kids should not date someone who is not a Christian. 2. It’s healthy for a teen to have some sexual experimentation with a boyfriend or girlfriend during adolescence. 3. Kids who have sex before marriage will always regret the decision in later life. 4. Sex before marriage is always wrong. 5. Christians should not kiss anyone until their wedding day. 6. Kids should be allowed to go on un-chaperoned dates after they turn 16.

LEADER’S NOTE This would be a great time to re-remind the group about the ground rules for group discussion. Be sure to reinforce the idea that this group is not built around lectures, but rather is built upon interaction and collaboration. We learn best when we learn together and learn from each other. To this end, let them know that you are not the “final answer” person but a facilitator of discussion. The following questions will help in beginning to focus and transition the conversation to the themes presented in chapter three of the book. Ask participants to share their thoughts on the following questions: 1. What can this activity teach you about the issue of setting sexual standards? 2. (Ask this next question if you sensed tension in the discussion, otherwise skip to question 3.) Why do you think our activity generated tension? Do you think it’s reasonable to expect some tension when you discuss sexual standards with your kids? Why or Why not? 3. What do you feel is the biggest challenge to overcome in talking with your children about setting healthy sexual standards in their lives? 4. Though talking with our kids about this topic can be tough, what could be some of the consequences of not talking with your children about sexual issues? 5. What do you see as the main benefits of having honest and transparent discussions with our children? 6. Have you had any conversations with your children about sex and sexuality? If so, how did you approach the discussion? What did you talk about? How did they react? Looking back, what would you do differently?

3. Video:
LEADER’S NOTE During each session, we have provided you with a brief video segment featuring Jim Burns. These video segments are designed as a personal welcome, as well as a way to help introduce the session topic. In this session, Jim encourages parents to have conversations with their children to help them set sexual standards.

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Introduce the video segment, letting your group know that each session you will be seeing a brief video from Jim helping introduce the session topic for the evening.

4. Going Deeper:
LEADER’S NOTE In this section, the group is focusing directly on the content of chapter 3. The goal of this specific time together is to help participants begin to identify and interact with areas they need to discuss with their children in setting positive, healthy standards. Ask the following questions: 1. As you read chapter 3 of Teaching Your Children Healthy Sexuality, was there an idea or a comment that most stood out to you? What was it? How did that comment impact you? 2. In the book, Jim gives three reasons why young people go further sexually than they might have wanted: a. Pressure to Conform b. Emotional Involvement that Exceeds Their Maturity Level c. Lack of Value-Centered Sex Education from Home Of these three reasons, which connected with you most? Why? Are there any other reasons you might add to this list? 3. How might entering into a conversation with your children about sexuality and standards begin to address those three reasons? 4. In the book, Jim offers five concepts to zero in on as a starting place for helping young people set standards: a. Modesty b. Garbage in/garbage out (media influences) c. How far is too far? d. Self-control e. Sex and alcohol Of these five, which area stands out most to you in terms of importance? Is there an area that you would add as a discussion point? 5. When you think about these areas, which do you feel are the most pressing for dialogue with your child?

5. In the Word:
LEADER’S NOTE This section has been created in an effort to have participants interact with what the Scriptures have to say in regards to this session’s topic. Depending on the amount of time you have for this section, you can choose between either having the entire group read through the passages and discuss the questions or forming smaller groups of 4 to 6 people to foster relationshipbuilding and greater participation in discussion.

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Read Proverbs 22:6 1. Is Proverbs 22:6 a God-given guarantee? How so? How not? 2. What does it mean to “train” a child in the way they should go? What might this kind of parenting look like in every day situations? 3. How does this verse relate to helping our children set healthy, God-honoring sexual standards? Read Philippians 4:8-9 1. How would you summarize the key idea of this passage in your own words? How might you say it if you were talking to your children? 2. What impact might this principle have on a young person when it comes to the area of entertainment choices? What impact might it have on their self-control? 3. Reconsider the above question. How do you think your kids would answer it? 4. What are some creative ways that you might help your kids learn this principle?

6. So What?
LEADER’S NOTE In every session participants need to wrestle with what practical steps they should take in actively teaching their children about sexuality. Frankly, it is not enough for us grown-ups to merely gather and discuss the matter; we need to make practical, incremental steps forward in our role as parents, being assisted and supported by a community. This section will help participants brainstorm together creative ways in which to help their children set God-honoring standards. Introduce this section of the session by reminding participants that we need to do more than merely talk and discuss the issues—we need to creatively explore practical ideas that can help us in our everyday parenting. We need to do this together, as a community—encouraging, supporting, and praying for one another. On the top of the five pieces of poster board, write in large letters the five areas of sexual standards Jim referred to in the chapter (one per poster): a. Modesty b. Garbage in/garbage out c. How far is too far? d. Self-control e. Sex and alcohol Have participants divide up into five groups; give each group one of the posters and a marker. Direct groups to go to different parts of your meeting area and talk through the following questions (included in the Participant’s Guide,) writing their responses on the piece of poster board. Remind them that they will be sharing their observations with the rest of the group when they are finished. 1. 2. 3. What standards would you like your child to have in regards to the area on your poster board? What are some practical ways in which you can help them set standards in this area? What kind of consequences and rewards can you set up for your children as they try to live out these standards?

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When groups are done, have everyone gather back together and invite them to share their observations and thoughts with the rest of the group. If anyone has anything to add, allow people the opportunity to share their thoughts and insights as well. Next, prompt participants to form pairs (with spouses if possible). Direct partners to discuss and choose which of the practical action steps discussed in the larger group they feel is most important for them to act upon in the coming week. Have partners work together to come up with a specific plan of action for interacting with their kids on this issue.

7. Conclusion:
Close your time together by spending few moments in corporate prayer. Allow participants the freedom to pray about whatever they wish, either out loud or in private. Close the prayer time by asking God to make his presence known this week as we work out ways in which we can help our children set healthy standards.

8. For The Next Session...
Encourage participants to read chapter 4, “How and When to Talk With Your Kids About Sex and Sexuality,” in preparation for the next session.

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