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Leo, a cytologist, works in the lab at a local hospital spending his days peering through the lens of a microscope. The anonymous numbered blood samples and slides all look the same at first glance, but when Leo powers up his microscope he is looking at intimate and tragic human storylines contained in a single drop of blood. On a daily basis he identifies cancers, abnormalities and sexually transmitted diseases.

“Here’s one,” he says, motioning for me to take a look. As I look through the lens he explains what I am seeing on the cellular level. “Now, this one’s normal,” he says as he quickly switches the slide. “Look again, normal … deadly … normal … deadly.”

“What does this slide mean in layman’s terms?” I ask.

Leo leans back, rubbing his eyes as though each slide exacts an emotional toll. “It means that somewhere out there a college student is sitting in class this morning with no idea that his or her sexual activities have destroyed their bright hopes.”

Although HIV and AIDS soak up the headlines, a malignant family of sexually transmitted diseases is quietly destroying lives. Nearly one in four sexually active teens is living with a sexually transmitted disease (STD), according to Dr. Meg Meeker in Epidemic: How Teen Sex Is Killing Our Kids (Lifeline Press, 2002). Although teenagers make up just 10 percent of the population, they acquire between 20 and 25 percent of all STDs. Sexual activity outside of God’s moral boundaries comes with an incredible risk. When a teenager chooses to give up his or her virginity, their first encounter with a sexually active partner carries a terribly high chance of infection.

Statistics, though shocking, can also produce a numbing effect. The chances of infection are around one in four, but if you are infected, you are 100 percent infected.

The spiritual toll of sex outside of marriage can be measured in percentages too. Sex outside of marriage exacts a horrible cost on 100 percent of those who participate. Sex is God’s gift to a married couple who make a covenant together before God. A man and a woman become one flesh. Sex outside of marriage is the tearing asunder of the human spirit. We need look no further than the divorce court to see the results of “one flesh” torn asunder. That loss is measured in broken vows, broken children, broken hearts, broken finances, broken testimonies, broken dreams and broken friendships.

Sexual activity before marriage is an unholy establishment of one flesh without the benefit of a guiding covenant. It is the violation of God’s temple and law, and the trampling underfoot of His gift. The premarital loss of virginity is not a casual and youthful rite of passage. Most people who come to see me with struggles concerning premarital sexual guilt are years into their marriage and approaching middle age. One lady put it this way: “I was so promiscuous when I was young, I guess I didn’t have much left of me to give when I got married.”

A culture driven by a selfish pursuit of pleasure is a culture littered with lives torn apart. Christian parents face the absolute responsibility to prepare their children for life in a sex-soaked world. It is a spiritual duty. It is a protective duty. If we are derelict in this duty, we have sent our children out to play hopscotch in a minefield.


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