Said one young girl, “I don’t care what kind of relationship you’re in or how devout you are . . . sex is always in the air. No matter if you’re sitting in the car alone with that person or at home watching TV—the question hangs in the air.” Sex is about a whole lot more than your body. It’s also about your heart. In fact, what you do about sex may affect your self-image and your relationships with others more than any other decision you make. Before you decide to have sex or to continue having it, search your heart and think about it . . . carefully. The following excerpt from a pamphlet, published by Journeyworks Publishing, should help. – The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens.

Think you’re ready to go all the way? Are you sure? Sexually transmitted infections, unplanned pregnancy, and emotional doubts are all good reasons to wait! Before you go too far, take a look at this list. Or make up your own ways to finish the sentence:

You’re not ready to have sex if . . .

    • 1. You think sex equals love.
      2. You feel pressured.
      3. You’re afraid to say no.
      4. It’s just easier to give in.
      5. You think everyone else is doing it. (They’re not!)
      6. Your instincts tell you not to.
      7. You don’t know the facts about pregnancy.
      8. You don’t understand how birth control works.
      9. You don’t think a woman can get pregnant the first time. (She can.)
      10. It goes against your moral beliefs.
      11. It goes against your religious beliefs.
      12. You’ll regret it in the morning.
      13. You feel embarrassed or ashamed.
      14. You’re doing it to prove something.
      15. You can’t support a child.
      16. You can’t support yourself.
      17. Your idea of commitment is an online subscription.
      18. You believe sex before marriage is wrong.
      19. You don’t know how to protect yourself from HIV/AIDS.
      20. You don’t know the signs and symptoms of STIs.
      21. You think it will make your partner love you.
      22. You think it will make you love your partner.
      23. You think it will keep you together.
      24. You hope it will change your life.
      25. You don’t want it to change your life.
    • 26. You’re not ready for the relationship to change.
      27. You’re drunk.
      28. You wish you were drunk.
      29. Your partner is drunk.
      30. You expect it to be perfect.
      31. You’ll just die if it’s not perfect.
      32. You can’t laugh together about awkward elbows and clumsy clothes.
      33. You’re not ready to take off your clothes.
      34. You think HIV and AIDS only happen to other people.
      35. You think you can tell who has HIV by looking at them.
      36. You don’t think teens get HIV. (They do.)
      37. You don’t know that abstinence is the only 100% protection.
      38. You haven’t talked about tomorrow.
      39. You can’t face the thought of tomorrow.
      40. You’d be horrified if your parents found out.
      41. You’re doing it just so your parents will find out.
      42. You’re too scared to think clearly.
      43. You think it will make you more popular.
      44. You think you “owe it” to your partner.
      45. You think it’s not OK to be a virgin.
      46. You’re only thinking about yourself.
      47. You’re not thinking about yourself.
      48. You can’t wait to tell everyone about it.
      49. You hope no one will hear about it.
      50. You really wish the whole thing had never come up.

If you choose to become sexually active, make sure you’re using appropriate contraception and practicing good hygiene. ALWAYS use a condom to prevent sexually transmitted infections and ALWAYS use 2 forms of birth control. You Pick Two – condom + female condom + spermicide + birth control pills/implant/IUD. Period tracking does not count as a form of birth control.

Females – Visit a gynecologist once a year for a checkup. Males – talk to your doctor if you notice any lumps, pains, or unusual discharge.

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