Spiritual Sex Ed

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It’s one of those topics that make parents and teens blush, but almost every family faces the issue at some point. We’re talking about sex. A lot of parents struggle with how to talk to their kids about sex in a way that makes sense to the kids and doesn’t make the adults too uncomfortable. How about bringing the subject matter up in church? Allysa Adams reports that’s exactly what some United Methodist churches are doing.

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It’s in music, in magazines, on TV, and this weekend, it’s even in church.

Cathy Colby / “Let’s Be Real” Facilitator: “OK, we’re talking about sex.”

At this United Methodist church in Glendale, Ariz., they decided it was time to get real about sex in society, and offer teens a different view.

Cathy Colby: “God invented it and we want to affirm that it is a good gift from God.”

The emphasis here isn’t on preaching. It’s on teaching kids how to make smart decisions by giving them all the facts, from biology to peer pressure.

Lynn Hamilton / Attending Seminar With Grandchildren: “There’s just so much information out there and teenagers are learning, whether you want to accept the fact that they are learning it or not.”

Lynn Hamilton brought her two grandchildren to the seminar because she knows they’ll get honest information.

Boy asking about condoms: “What are those ribbed ones?”

There are role-playing and games, but don’t be fooled. Sex is a scary topic for both parents and teens.

Erika Mayer / 16 years old: “Most guys my age just like to get a girl and be with a girl for a while until they do have sex and then it’s over with.”

It’s a tough subject to tackle, but both parents and teens seemed relieved to have a safe place to open up.

Lynn Hamilton: “God created it, so why not teach it in church?”

And it seems the teens are getting the message.

Chess Mobley / 14 years old: “There’s no such thing as safe sex.”


The teens are divided by age, with high schoolers getting more advanced real-world knowledge. The parents and teens also break up and have separate sessions to discuss issues they might not be comfortable discussing in front of each other. The “Let’s Be Real” program is not an abstinence-only program. But facilitators say that they give the kids all the facts, including the idea that abstinence works best, so that the teens can make their own best choices.