High School Sunday School Lesson on Dating, Marriage, and Sex

Dating, Marriage, and Sex
High School Sunday School Class

I. Letter to Parents

Prior to the class, email parents to notify them of the upcoming discussion related to dating, marriage, and sex.

Here is an example email:

Although only 13% of teens have had sex by age 15, most initiate sex in their later teen years. By their 19th birthday, seven in 10 female and male teens have had intercourse.” ***

Dear Parents,

This coming Sunday in High School Sunday School we will be discussing the sensitive topic of dating, relationships, marriage, and sex.  I will be leading the High School class and will organize it more in a discussion style than in a lecture style.  I am making the assumption that most of the youth have been in a sex ed. class at their school and that conversation about these topics is not unfamiliar to them and their peers. Thus this will not be a biology focused sex ed. class (S.T.I.’s, biology of intercourse, etc.), rather it will be a discussion of how our Christian faith relates to our romantic relationships and our sexual boundaries.

My training for this discussion includes [share your training].  The resources I will be using to prepare for this lesson include [share resources].

Since I am allowing this to be more of a discussion than a lecture, I can not guarantee where the conversation will go, but I will commit to upholding abstinence until marriage as God’s design for our best, while recognizing that some of our youth are already sexually active and thus need to make the healthiest choices possible within that decision.

In order to create a safe environment of trust for this conversation, I will ask those present to respect each person’s privacy and confidentiality in what is shared.   If a young person shares that they are doing something that is harmful, I will try to find a time to meet with that young person to further discuss what was shared and to determine if and how that information should be shared with a parent.

If you are not comfortable with your child being a part of this discussion, [explain alternatives].  If you have any questions, please feel free to call my cell: [enter number]

On a lighter note, here are some upcoming events of which you should be aware:
[list events]

***Abma JC et al., Teenagers in the United States: sexual activity, contraceptive use, and childbearing, National Survey of Family Growth 2006–2008, Vital and Health Statistics, 2010, Series 23, No. 30.



II.  Pray and Prepare

The Actual Class

III. Welcome

Invite each youth to introduce themselves with the following information:

a.     Name
b.     Have you ever had a date or dated someone?  Why or why not.
c.      What are you most or least looking forward to about Valentine’s Day?

IV. Personal Story

In order to set the tone, briefly share your personal story as related to the topic.  Be cautious to not share it in a dramatic manner, especially if you have a “past,” because the excitement of drama can increase temptation.  Also keep in mind that what you share will probably be shared with adults in the church.

V. Boundaries

Set the boundaries for the discussion.

Example boundaries:

a.     This is a sacred space – we are aware of God’s presence in the midst of our discussion.

b.     Confidence – what is shared here stays here, unless someone is going to hurt him or herself, is being hurt, or plans to hurt someone else.  Then the adult in the room will respond in a way that is respectful of what is best for the individuals involved.  If something is shared that concerns you, please let the adults present know.

c.      Respectful conversation.

d.     No use of names – avoid gossip.

e.     We will not laugh at each other.

VI.  How do you feel about these comments?” Hand-out.

Invite the youth to quietly read through the comments.  After about 5 minutes, invite the youth to engage in a discussion about what statements they liked or agreed with and which statements they didn’t like or with which they didn’t agree. During the discussion reference the Bible and church teachings related to the topic being discussed. Bible references can be found in Part VIII of this lesson.

After the discussion, ask the youth what comments are missing from the list.

Print double-sided hand-out with the following comments. Feel free to edit to make it better match your church’s theology and your youth’s needs.

How do you feel about these comments?

God is love and God wants what is best for me in regard to romantic relationships.
A boy can undress a girl with his mind just as quickly as a girl can marry a boy with her heart.
I have a choice as to how I control my body sexually.
It is okay to be single.
There is such a thing as secondary virginity. God gives second chances.
Marriage is a wonderful relationship.
During the time period in a young lady’s cycle where she is most likely to get pregnant she is the most attractive to young men.
One can lose his/her virginity without losing his/her purity.
It is possible to have intimacy in a relationship without having sex.
An important dating boundary is to guard my heart.
My body is God’s temple here on earth.
God is present with me when I am on a date.
Assume the answer is “no” to having sex until there has been an actual discussion and both people have said “yes.”
It is important to discover and feel good about my own identity before I begin a serious relationship.
Pornography is a sexual drug that warps reality.
The music I listen to impacts my views on relationships.
Temptation is not sin.  How I respond to temptation determines if I sin or not.
When we confess our sins to God, we will be forgiven and we will be refreshed!
If a person waits until their 20s to date, they will have their heart broken less times then someone who starts dating in their teens.
Premarital sex is a sin against my own body.
My gender/sex isn’t all that I am.
Only 13% of teens age 15 and younger have had sexual intercourse.
Avoid experiences of sexual passion outside of marriage.
God created marriage.
If you have been raped, you have not lost your purity.  You are of value and worth!
God created the universe and designed humans to be sexual beings, yet many churches are afraid to talk about sex.
It is not definite that you’ll marry your significant other until the moment you are exchanging your wedding vows.
There are consequences when we disregard God’s plan for our lives and have sex outside of marriage.
My friends can either help me or hinder me from keeping boundaries.
It is important to talk about your decision to wait until marriage to have sex.
I should avoid situations where I am weakest or most vulnerable to “crossing the line.”
We have freedom in Jesus Christ.
Sexual Intimacy is a gift for marriage.
A sexually active teen who does not use a contraceptive has a 90% chance of becoming pregnant within a year.
God invented sex.
Even though the media may make me feel like I am a sexual object, I am first and foremost a loved child of God.
I can dress in an attractive way that is still modest. 
Sex outside of marriage can cause a lot of people pain.
God created sex to be enjoyed, but he also designed it with intentional boundaries.
Everyone carries some type of baggage into marriage.
There are different ways that Christians approach dating.
God doesn’t hold our past sins against us once we’ve received forgiveness, and neither should we.
Dating and even marriage can be a distraction from worshipping God.
I respect people of the opposite sex and I expect people to respect me.
I will marry my friend.

VII.  Where is the boundary line?

Ask the question, “Where is the boundary line?” Give time for a discussion to follow. Ask, “Can sexual passion be a boundary line?” If needed, ask “what is passion?”

Resource if needed:

Stages of Physical Intimacy

From “Intimate Behaviors” – written by Desmond Morris.

1)   Eye to body
2)   Eye to eye
3)   Voice to voice
4)   Hand to hand
5)   Arm to shoulder
6)   Arm to waist
7)   Mouth to mouth
8)   Head to head
9)   Hand to body
10)                  Mouth to breast
11)                  Hand to genitals
12)                  Genitals to genitals

VIII. What does Scripture say?

If you haven’t already, read and discus the following passages from the Bible. Be sure to have a copy of these passages for youth to take home with them:

·      Mark 10:6-9 (the two become one flesh)
·      John 10:10 (Jesus Christ came to bring life)
·      1 John 4:8 (God is love.)
·      Matthew 7:9-11 (God gives good gifts to his children)
·      1 Corinthians 6:12-7:7 (sexual boundaries)
·      Job 31:1-4 (consequence of lust)
·      Colossians 2:13-15 (God’s forgiveness)
·      Mark 10:11-12 (divorce)

IX. Taking it Home

a.     Invite the youth to share what they think God would text their peers? Your church’s youth? Etc. about today’s discussion. Invite the youth to text themselves with the message that they believe God has for them.

b.     Invite youth to write down a note to God related to today’s lesson.  Perhaps it is to ask forgiveness or it is to make a commitment to waiting until marriage.

X. Pray Together


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