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‘Safe sex’ is false advertising, runaway-turned-youth leader says

NORRIS, Tenn. (BP)–Kim Hurst believes that anyone who tells
teenagers safe sex means wearing a condom is promoting false
“I got pregnant when I was 15, the very first time I had sex. And he was wearing a condom,” said Hurst, who is now a youth leader at Island Home Baptist Church, Norris, Tenn.
Hurst said she’s a big believer in the Southern Baptist Sunday School Board’s True Love Waits campaign — the international movement that challenges teens and college students to remain sexually abstinent until marriage.
A college student and mother, Hurst has about 30 in her youth group. She took two of the four over age 12 to a True Love Waits Super Rally, Jan. 29, at First Baptist Church, Concord, Tenn.
The rally was held to promote True Love Waits Goes Campus, which was launched on Valentine’s Day 1997 and is being held again on school campuses across the nation Feb. 13. The Goes Campus event give teens who take a virginity pledge the opportunity to display their commitment
cards at school.
“The vision for 1998 is that True Love Waits commitment cards will be displayed on every secondary school campus in America,” said Jimmy Hester, one of the SSB campaign organizers.
“I was a runaway at the time I got pregnant,” Hurst said. “My life was a mess. One thing I’ve said to kids ever since is, ‘If you believe a condom is safe, let me introduce you to my daughter.’ (Getting pregnant) ain’t so much of a statistic when it’s you.”
Hurst said the thought of an abortion never crossed her mind even though the father “was nothing but trouble.”
Hurst, 22, married the music minister at Island Home church three years ago. They have the daughter from her first pregnancy, a second child and another on the way.
The youth leader believes older children are not too young to hear about the perils of sex before marriage.
“I was younger than 12 when I was first confronted with sex, and my sister, who is in high school, knows a seventh-grader who is pregnant.”
With her youth group, Hurst is studying the True Love Waits resource, “Until You Say I Do,” which she said gets at some of the real issues teenagers face about sexuality.
“The book has five lesson plans, and we study one a week. It talks about stuff most people don’t talk about — like that little tingly feeling you can get if you get too physical. They need to know that feeling is normal, but they also need to know how to handle it.”
Hurst said she wants the teens in her youth group to know that virginity is a gift they can give to their future mates. “They also need to know that they just can’t take the pledge and expect to remain a virgin. They have to have a growing relationship with Christ,” she said, adding,
“It’s not just these kids who have to make the commitment, but it’s the parents and the church.
“(Adults) can’t just throw a teenager out into the water and say, ‘Come on now, make a commitment and stick to it.’ They’ve got to help them.”
Being a virgin no longer carries the stigma it once did, Hurst asserted.
“When I was in school, people made fun of you if you were a virgin; now it’s cool.”
Hurst is planning to conduct a ring ceremony at her church Feb. 15 where at least two of her female youth are going to repeat their pledges to virginity before the congregation.
“We’re going to pray first, then they will say the pledge which they’ve memorized and then their fathers are going to slip the rings on their fingers.”
She said the experience is especially touching because the fathers do not attend church.
Students and youth leaders who conduct True Love Waits Goes Campus events are asked to report the results of the efforts to the national True Love Waits team by Feb. 27. Reports may be faxed to (615) 251-2830, sent via e-mail to [email protected], or issued electronically
through an on-line reporting mechanism at www.bssb.com/tlwbase.htm.
On April 14, True Love Waits leaders will deliver a full report (including the name of every participating public and private school that reports and the number of students on each campus making the TLW (commitment) to the office of President Bill Clinton and other government
For more information, call 1-800-LUV WAIT.

    About the Author

  • Terri Lackey