Absolutely! I discovered Theology of the Body (the teaching that is the foundation of our workshop) after my three kids had all bypassed the 18 year old "adulthood" marker! It is pretty much universally true that behavior management at that stage of the game is ineffective. The beauty of our approach is that it is descriptive. One of our recent realizations that brought clarity to us, thanks to insights from Dr. Dan Allendar, is the value of the descriptive over prescriptive. Prescriptive truth has been the approach employed during the past three or four decades in the evangelical world as we've given instruction to our young people about the body, sex and relationships. This type of approach :
- suggests rules and commitments hoping that these rules will promote sexual abstinence until marriage.
- provides rules to ensure that choices related to identity and relationships are consistent with scriptural teaching.
- cites studies that identify and predict negative consequences of poor choices (sexually transmitted diseases, failed future marriages, unhealthy relationships and others).
THE conversation Workshop developed out of our own excitement upon hearing a descriptive Biblical vision for the body, relationships and sex. The teaching of the Theology of the Body casts a beautiful vision of life with God that leads to flourishing. This way of LIFE is in stark contrast to both the destructive paths suggested by those in the world around us and to a system of behavior management dictated by a set of rules.
If we want to influence adult children and those we mentor, we start with our own embrace of this descriptive vision for the body, sex and relationships. We think deeply about the implications for our own lives and choices and allow the vision to transform us - because Theology of the Body is for everyone: single, married, and dating, young and old. As we authentically share with these young adults the unique approach and impact of this teaching, our words will be received. This must truly be a conversation with no agenda for behavior management or the walls of defense will go up.
My adult married daughter listened weekly to my excitement about Theology of the Body as I first was learning to articulate the vision. When she came to a crisis in her marriage, after many conversations and her own plunge into the teaching, she re-envisioned her marriage and was enabled to choose the way that directed her into a life that flourishes, with her husband. I am so grateful.
Although popular opinion tells us that it's not appropriate to offer guidance to our young adults struggling with choices regarding the body, sex and relationships, we encourage you to invest in a life of flourishing for all the adult children in your lives.
I would suggest:
- Attend THE conversation Workshop.
- Read our blogs (found on our website).
- Listen to our podcasts (found on our website).
- Use our talking points and family discussions from the workshop in your conversations.
- Be overwhelmed with the beauty of Theology of the Body.