7 Ways to Teach Youth to Discern Sexual Predators

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dazed and confused girl
  • If you can only remember one thing, this is it: What is legitimate and godly is done in the light, known by others, and doesn't violate biblical standards. Anything you experience that is done furtively, in the dark, and kept secret is nearly always sinful.
  • Which means young women need to know biblical standards for godly living. They also need to know the Titus 1 and 1 Timothy 3 passages about the qualifications of leaders so that they can recognize those who twist the Word for their own gain.
  • They need to know that a man who genuinely loves them will honor this relationship publicly, a love that is shown like a banner over them (Song 2:4).
  • They need to know that a godly man and a future husband is an imitator of God who walks in the light, avoiding sexual immorality, taking no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, and who desires to nourish and cherish his wife (all of Ephesians 5). Therefore, one who pursues sexual immorality and encourages them to lie and deceive others is not an imitator of God and needs to be confronted or exposed.
  • They need to know the standards of godly speech, so that a man (especially a man in authority!) who texts and talks to them nonstop about sex is automatically suspect in his motives, because this reveals the defiling overflow of his heart (Matt. 15:19).
  • They also need to recognize, in humility, that their desire for romance and pursuit is legitimate, but it can become the very thing that trips them up if they aren't willing to acknowledge this is exactly how predators and abusers operate. If they aren't willing to consider that they are being lied to in any particular situation, then they aren't going to ask the hard questions—of the men or themselves.
  • Love is an action. It is measured equally as much in the deeds of those who claim friendship or affection as it is in the proffered words. Make sure they match. 
This are just some of my initial thoughts. I'd like to hear your perspectives too. I don't want young women to distrust men, but to be wise and discerning, able to question improper actions but also eager to encourage the godliness of others around them.
 Taken from Carolyn McCulley's blog post "Discernment and Sexual Predators," www.TrueWoman.com. Used with permission.

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