Positively Waiting FAQs
How did it start?
Several of us back in 1997 got the brilliant idea that if we just TOLD teens, “Sex makes babies!” they’d stop doing it… yeah, right. So THAT didn’t work. Teens already knew sex makes babies, but what they didn’t know was how they were being LIED TO.
Ramsay Devereux (now a Positively Waiting Advisory Board member) and Karen Kropf (Program Director) started asking the students what affected their attitudes, decisions and behavior about sex. The program we use today is the result of what the students taught US.
After many years developing the program under the auspices of our local pregnancy center, our non-profit was launched in January of 2003 with their blessing.
Do teens really listen?
We do something very few adults are able or willing to do. We tell our own story. Teens have heard the facts, stats and data. But those are just numbers floating around in their heads. They don’t have any meaning in “real life.”
Our story is compelling. We live with the permanent consequences of our adolescent sexual decisions. But our story also describes the challenge of starting over, the years learning to resist temptation, how we gained control of our passions, so that when we took our wedding vows “You and you only until I die” it wasn’t just some words without meaning. Those words had power behind them.
Teens are very relational. They want to belong. They are in love with being in love. The Kropf story is a real-life example of love’s highest standard.
Are your presentations usually done in an assembly format?
No, most often, we are in one classroom all day, for 5 or 6 periods. We prefer it this way, because it’s so personal. No one “escapes” hearing they are worth waiting for!
Do you use the exact same messages in every venue?
Every presentation is specifically tailored according to guidelines of the hosting authority, without exception.
On public school campuses, probation camp or any other secular environment, we scrupulously follow the authority of our hosting facilities. Secular presentations deal exclusively with the physical, emotional and relational consequences of non-marital sexual activity. When we speak in a church or religious school, we add, on request, the spiritual aspects of non-marital sex.
Ultimately, we only bring the material that is appropriate and allowed for the environment we are in. One host prefers to emphasize the physical/emotional risks and another wants to emphasize the spiritual/relational risks. We can adapt. All we want is for kids to be safe.
Are churches or Christian schools more receptive?
Actually no. Churched kids have “heard it all before,” so they're a little harder to win over, and sometimes they say unkind things. But there is a lot of satisfaction when churched kids say, “I’ve been hearing ’don’t do it’ for years but THIS time I finally got it.”
Is that where you get your funding, from churches?
As a matter of fact, very few religious organizations support us financially. Their objection is it's a waste of time to talk about the benefits of sexual self control in public schools, because young people will not be able to stick to their pledge without supernatural intervention.
While we agree that resisting temptation in our sex-saturated culture is extremely difficult, we also believe young people are capable of making healthy choices, if they are given practical tools and compelling motivation.
All of our support comes from the communities we serve. We do not accept any government funding, and we do not charge a fee for our public school presentations. They are a community service. However, we do send out a monthly newsletter inviting donations (the average monthly donation is about $30.00) and we supplement those donations by charging a nominal fee for parent presentations, adult workshops, and singles seminars.
What about the kids who won’t wait, the ones who WILL be sexually active?
This may be controversial, but we are not against birth control or condoms, per se. Some kids smoke, drink and do drugs in spite of knowing the risks... so? No one wants to lower the standard for smoking or drinking because some teens do it. But we are dead set against giving any child the impression that “Sex with Protection” is the same as “Abstinence until marriage/Faithfulness in marriage.”
OUR advice assures their safety (physically, emotionally, relationally and spiritually). Every OTHER option puts them at risk for serious consequences.
Teens already have easy access to condoms and information about free birth control (have you seen a bus bench lately??). But WE will never be willing to look a child in the face and say, “Yes, dear, everyone ELSE deserves 100% protection for their body, heart and dreams. But YOU only deserve 85% protection... so here’s a condom.”
Someone who cares a lot less about that kid than we do will have to say that.
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