When I looked at him quizzically and asked, "How?," he replied by sticking out his tongue and licking all over the pickle.
He's right about one thing.... that is definitely HIS pickle.
And that funny episode rattled around in my brain for a few days until this morning, when I started thinking about my sons and the road ahead of them regarding purity.... and a white plastic fork.
(Don't ask me how my brain works... just go with it!)
This is untested - as I don't run a teen group and my kids are too young for this talk... for now. So if you use it, please let me know how it goes.
Fork In The Road
An Object Lesson on Purity
by Maggie Buckley, 2012
Intended Audience: Junior High or Older
- White plastic forks
- Sharpie Markers
- CAKE! (or some other awesome dessert)
Pass out one plastic fork to each student as well as a Sharpie Marker (any colors - having each kid with a different color will help illustrate this better).
Adapt this conversation for your group:
Take your fork, and color on it with your Sharpie marker. You don't have to color the whole thing - just make enough of a mark to show you've been there. Imagine you are using the fork for real - the marker symbolizes your spit/germs/etc. But obviously, for germ reasons, we are not all going to lick the forks! Instead, we are going to color with markers to show that we "used" it.
Now pass the fork 2 to the left. THIS is now your fork. Claim it by coloring on it.
Pass it 3 to the right. THIS is now your fork. Claim it by coloring on it.
Pass it 2 more to the right. THIS is now your fork. Claim it by coloring on it.
Continue passing the forks around in different directions and patterns until the forks are all yucked-up with marker.
Then bring out the gooey dessert.
- If all of these people had "licked" or "used" your fork for real, how interested would you be in using the fork to eat this cake?
- How many people would prefer that I give them a new, clean fork?
- Notice that while you all had fun coloring the forks, but when it actually came time to USE the fork, you didn't want the dirty, germy, used-up forks; you wanted a nice CLEAN un-marked fork.
- Notice that sometimes, when you got another fork, someone had colored where you would like to have colored on the fork. You had to move over and find a new place.
Now imagine that fork was your body.
When you make decisions about sex you are like the fork. Every time you choose to have sex or intimate behaviors with someone, it is just like when your fork was colored on by someone else . And when you choose to have sex or intimate behaviors with multiple people, you are used over and over just like the forks that were colored on again and again. And, as with a permanent Sharpie marker, those experiences never go away. They are always stored in your brain - comparing experience to experience.
When you receive God's wedding gift to you (sex) on your wedding night, you *SHOULD* be able to enjoy it without worrying who else has been there too. And your spouse deserves the same consideration.
Choosing abstinence may not be the world view or the "popular" path... But if you wouldn't even eat cake with a fork that had been used by 1...2...5...10+ other people, why in the world would you share the most intimate of moments with a person who had similarly been so used?!
In a bar, the best liquor is kept on the top shelf - hence the expression "Top-Shelf Liquor." This is the most expensive and typically viewed to be "the best" when it comes to liquor. Middle-priced liquor is on the middle shelves - and the bottom shelves, the "well," holds the cheap stuff. Not many people buy the "Top-Shelf" liquor - because it's too expensive and they are just as content with something cheaper or more common. "Top-Shelf" liquor is considered exclusive... special... priceless. Not many people experience a "Top Shelf" drink.
When you are looking for your future husband or wife, you need to be looking for a "Top-Shelf" person. You are deserving of a "Top-Shelf" Spouse! Find someone who didn't choose to be common, used, average, or cheap. Find someone who valued their body enough to treat it as an exclusive treat for their future spouse.
Back in high school, we studied Robert Frost's poem, "The Road Less Traveled." In it, Frost ponders the choice of which path to take when you come to a "fork" in the road:
|TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood,|
|And sorry I could not travel both...|
He took the path LESS traveled - the exclusive one - the one NOT already trampled by a myriad of other people... that THAT has made all the difference.
Cherish yourself and your body. Treat yourself as a "Top-Shelf" person and look for the same in the person to whom you will pledge your faithfulness and the rest of your life.
You are worth it.