Coptic Orthodox Diocese of the Southern United States
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I have heard my Sunday School students, Grades 5 and 6, talk about dating exchanging notes concerning who they like describing them as being 'sexy" and other such similar words. I would like to talk to them about purity and holiness, but I am afraid they might think that I am just being conservative or old-fashioned. They might be convinced that this is some sort of a cultural and not a Christian issue. Also, they might argue that they aren't doing anything wrong. or that they might be too shy to even open up. The problem is that some of them are involved with their school friends and fear of being left out forces them to participate in topics that their school friends are talking about. What do you think would be the most suitable approach for this situation?

Nowadays it is a misconception to think that 5th and 6th graders are too young. Unfortunately, they are not; for in this era they have been exposed to so many sexual materials either through the media or through their classmates and therefore they enter adolescence prematurely. Avoid treating them as children; because if you do, they will not take you seriously, but if you treat them like adults they will listen.

Your approach should be to acknowledge that to have feeling for someone from the other sex is natural. However, to pursue, nurture or act on these feelings is surrendering to your fleshly desires. As Christians not as Egyptians, we should strive to have self-control, preserve our senses from all temptations, and definitely avoid opportunity. What starts with a simple liking can easily turn into ungodly desires.

The Holy Bible talks clearly about lust, desire, and impurity "You have heard that it was said to those of old, 'You shall not commit adultery. But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart" (Mt 5:27,28). St. Paul said to his disciples St. Timothy, "Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity" (1 Tim 4:12). Which means not to give in to peer pressure, nor let anyone look down on you because you are young; but set an speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity. These words are spiritual from the Holy Bible and not cultural. Bring to their attention the fact that not all of their Americans have girlfriends I am sure they will realize that not everyone does.  

Tell them they should learn how to avoid making mistakes now rather than regret them for the rest of their life. Do not let the devil convince you that this is not a sin because just entertaining these thoughts is a sin. Live the life of purity and have all your thoughts directed to God.
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