I began teaching in 1981 in Dona Aurora High School in the town of San Mateo, Rizal. Twenty six years ago, San Mateo was still a primarily agricultural town, with rice fields lining both sides of the street. After staying there for two years, I then transferred to Quezon City Science High School. After one year there, I went to Rizal High School in Pasig where I taught from 1984 up to 1995. One thing I learned from teaching in high school is that perhaps the most problematic time for students (boys and girls) is their junior year.
I remember in my first year of teaching, I saw a group of girls from my 3rd year advisory class climbing across a low wall at lunch time in order to cut their classes and as I found out later on. to spend time with their boyfriends. Together with one of my class officers, I ran after them and traced them to a house. I then went back to school and reported the incident to the principal. Parents and guardians were informed and disciplinary actions were handed down. One of these girls later on (right after high school) had to get married because she was already pregnant.
Statistics on teenage pregnancies and sexual experiences
Dr. James Dobson, I think, said that a million teenagers in the US get pregnant every year. In the Philippines, according to the 2003 National Demographic and Health Survey, one out of four women become mothers by age 19 while four out of 10 women in the 20-24-year-old bracket have already engaged in sexual activity.
In recent times, I have known of incidents involving unwed pregnancies and premarital sexual activities involving pastors’ kids and teenagers who grew up in church. One pastor asked me if he could solemnize a marriage between members of his church (both minors), the girl having gotten pregnant. I informed him that under the Family Code, no person below 18 can get married, even with parental consent. One pastor in Cavite who has become frustrated by what was happening to the young people in his church once asked me what to do.
I strongly support sexual abstinence and purity programs such as True Love Waits and Silver Ring Thing. One author I highly recommend to you (whether you are a mother or father, a teenager, a pastor or youth director) is Dannah Gresh.
Resources on sexual purity before and during marriage by Dannah Gresh
Dannah’s websites are www.purefreedom.org, www.secretkeepergirl.com and www.dannahgresh.com. Her books on sexual purity before and during marriage are “And the Bride Wore White,” “Pursuing the Pearl,” and “Secret Keeper Girl”.
November last year, I gave a lecture for the BMP-HELP pastors conference in Tagaytay City. Rushing home to Manila in the afternoon, I got to OMF Lit Bookstore in Boni Avenue, Mandaluyong just before 5 PM. From the love gift given to me by the pastors, I was able to buy at nearly seven hundred pesos the very last copy of “And the Bride Wore White.” Several months later, I gave this book as a graduation gift to the love of my life. She is the second most beautiful woman in the universe. Who is the most beautiful woman in the universe, you ask? Well, who else but movie actress Angel Locsin!
In the Purefreedom website, Dannah and her husband Bob, explain what their ministry to young men and women is all about:
It is the mission of Pure Freedom to equip men and women of all ages to live a vibrant life of purity, to experience healing from past impurity if it exists in their lives, and to experience a vibrant, passionate marriage which portrays the love Christ has for his Bride the church.(Ministry verse: Ephesians 5:31,32)In their seminars for young men and women, Dannah and Bob have expounded on the Bible’s principles on sexual purity through their discussion of the Hebrew word "yada". In their website, they explain that "yada" is used to both refer to holy sexuality as in that between Adam and Eve AND to refer to the holy knowing that a man can know with God. It speaks of the emotional and spiritual nature of a relationship.
Pure Freedom provides resources with radically-unique approaches to focus on specific issues that teen girls and/or guys face in the area of purity and holiness. Our events, the hallmark of our ministry, are about sexual purity and yet they are much more about the totality of a life submitted to the will of God in a quest to enjoy the blessings of His plan.
We believe that the temptation to fail sexually comes in different forms for girls and for boys. We also believe that they will one day enjoy God's gift of sex within the confines of marriage for different reasons. Whereas the girls are primarily emotionally driven, the guys are primarily driven by sight. Because of this dichotomy, it is vital that we educate them separately and emphasize different areas of temptation.
Seven secrets to sexual purity
Dannah, in her book “And the Bride Wore White”, discusses the following secrets to maintaining sexual purity:
 Purity is a process.Dannah does not simply discuss things at a theoretical level. One of the very practical tips she gives in her book on how teenagers can stay sexually pure is to "stay public and stay vertical."
 Purity dreams of its future.
 Purity is governed by its value.
 Purity speaks boldly.
 Purity loves its Creator at any cost.
 Purity embraces wise guidance.
 Purity watches burning flames.
The quest for a pure, passionate marriage
The second book by Dannah Gresh which I have read is “Pursuing the Pearl” (it was a gift from Bro. David Witta and his family from Massachusetts, USA). In this book, she discusses what she calls “The Enemy’s Fake Pearls” which are  status and stuff;  social acceptance;  giving up and starting over;  pride and dreams.
Locally, this book costs around four hundred pesos. That is quite steep, but what Dannah says in page pages 62 and 63 are worth the price of the book. She warns her readers, “Sexual impurity is a zero tolerance arena. You are on shaky ground if there are emotional bonds being created between you and another man (or your husband and another woman).” Dannah explains that these bonds begin with little things like:
If you are parents concerned about your teenage kids and their sexual purity, a pastor or youth leader seeking to help your youth group, or a man or woman thinking of the best Christmas gift to give the love of your life, consider giving them any of Dannah Gresh’s books.
- Innocently having lunch alone with a man
- Seeking advice from a man about personal issues, especially marital issues
- Seeking or accepting frequent praise or affirmation from the same man
- Being or becoming comfortable with being alone in an office or a home together
- Intentionally seeking out time to be with this man
- Manipulating your schedule to see him
- Spending time fantasizing about him
The only book by Dannah Gresh I haven’t read yet is “Secret Keeper Girl.” Two problems. One, as far as I know, there are no copies of this book locally. Two, even if it were available, how do I go about buying the book? Hey, I am a guy and I’m thinking, what would the store clerks say if I bought a copy of this book?