Convincing teens on church teaching?

How should one go about convincing young people (highschool/college age) about the following:

  1. Sex outside of marriage is always wrong…even if the couple is “in love” and planning on marriage.

  2. The procreative purpose of sex can never be interfered with

and how does one explain about God’s will for sex using the natural law and reason?


maybe try this

And then find Jason Evert’s talk…I think he has a sample of his talk in audio format on his website.

here is his youtube page

Hi Tom,
My name is Pete and I don’t have all the answers but maybe we can use some dialog to help each other out because I’d like a better grasp on that myself.

I’ve heard it said by Fr. Robert Barron that to evangelize today you need to use the three ways of describing God. True, beautiful and good. He says to progress from beauty to good to true. My thinking here would suggest laying out the plan from the beginning of the human race and how we were nomadic kinda like Abraham and then how a stable family unit would be the basis for a civilization as it grew kinda too like how Abraham’s descendants eventually formed the greatest nation on earth at the time of David and Solomon where the rulers of all nations payed tribute to isreal because of its greatness. And then I would elaborate on how Gods design of the woman’s body and her cycles allowed for a time of natural infertility and this cycle would of promoted self control which is a really good thing! It’s a realy beautiful thing how God created this wonderful system that teaches self control to parents and how it would allowe her husband to be in tune to her as well, all by following the natural organic plan He in His divine wisdom layer down for us. Nature is truely beautiful! Then proceed to good, by citing that studies have been down actually linking the first man a woman has sexual intercourse is imprinted in her mind very strongly and helps her bond with him. Other studies show that the more partners a woman has the more difficulty she has bonding to the new ones. God may have done this to help strengthen the love between the two. You know the old sayings about “first love” and how girls “never forget their first”. It’s about loving one another in a way that they want what’s best for each other. Then move to the true. The truth of the matter is that sex and babies were always synonymous until the advent of the latex condom and the birth control pill. Our western culture went through a “sexual revolution” in the 60’s when and where the two aspects of the naturaly intended, God given act of sex were put asunder. God created sex to have babies, and be unitive between a man and woman for life, and for the rearing of a family. Statistics can, once dug up can show a lot of proof on the Church’s teachings on these matters. Like the scholastic success of a child in a stable family consisting of their biological parents vs one parent or only one biological parents. Crime statistics also show similar facts. These are hard truths that can be presented to show that Gods plan taught through the Church is one that indeed makes sense. I hope this may help you some.
God bless.

I personally don’t have alot of luck trying to convince a teenager of anything. However, if you start talking about it when their younger and demonstrate it in your marriage, I think that it will stick with them throughout their rebellious stage and come out on the adult side.

(I’m assuming Catholic teens?)

Perhaps some topics are best approached through authority. It depends on the individual, though. It may be that the particular individual doesn’t accept Church authority, or believes that one can’t believe a teaching if they don’t understand it with their own mind. If the latter, you might want to address that issue first, since having to convince ourselves one by one with the perfect logical explanation of every Catholic belief before obeying it is unlikely to work well as a strategy. I’ve understood some things more only after finally obeying, strange as that may sound. :blush: And by obeying, I mean obeying in my head a little too, as well as just outward appearance.

Are you talking about your own child, or are you referring to parish religious educaton programs?

If your own child, purchase some books from,, or another resource with Catholic chastity education and then discuss it with them-- although it is far too late to wait until they are this age to begin. Virtue is the basis, and it needs to be taught from the time they are very small.

If you are talking about religious education classes, you need to consult with your diocese. They have curriculum that is to be used and training. No one in our diocese may teach on sexuality topics without formation first. The Truth and Meaning of Human Sexuality is prerequisite reading, and courses from the diocese are required.

Thanks for the replies so far. Keep them coming :thumbsup:

Here is the thing: I am an 18 year old Catholic going to college next year. I believe the Church teaching fully first of all because it is the teaching of the Catholic Church. I understand a lot of the moral teachings, and think I have good reasons to back it up, but then when I get into discussions with other people it sometimes seems like I don’t always have an answer to the objections and/or I make a good argument but I’m not really striking the right nerve. Most of the time the biggest problem is when I am talking with someone on these issues we really are on totally different planets…like they have no concept of permanent marriage, sexuality as primarily procreative, mortal sin, hell, infallibiity etc. I go to Catholic school so mostly its kids brought up Catholic who I am talking too, but still they weren’t raised with fidelity to Church doctrine. So I am basically wondering from my first two questions what arguments could be used that would really strike them as I am having a real hard time arguing Church teaching in those 2 areas.

Yes that would be helpful, as it is a difficult topic. Thanks

I agree this is the case with me personally. I do sometimes try to do this but often they still want an explanation on why the Church teaches something. A bigger worry of mine though is that if I try to emphasize obedience to the Church and how rejecting the Church in one area is a big deal, I worry that I’ll completely push a person away from Catholicism. In other words, they’ll be a teen who prays some and believes in God and calls themself a Catholic in a vague sense but then once I argue they will end up a much more adamant anti-Catholic. So I’m not sure how to balance that as I don’t want to push anyone away.

Well, I think you should stop frame it as arguing, first of all.

Secondly, talk to the priests at the Newman Center and ask for their help, both in what may be working for them and in getting some educational programs around chastity presented at the center. Perhaps they could bring in Jason & Christalina Evert as speakers.

You do not have to be alone in this, you have resources there at the university.

What is the Newman Center?

Tell them unchastity often leads to anxiety, depression, and other disorders. They know about STD’s.

They must first, in my opinion, understand that lust is also a sin and can cause the same disorders, even without the physical act.

How would one explain that unnatural acts like oral sex are intrinsically immoral?

Sometimes you have to back up and deal with other things first.

For example, many young people have a tough time grasping that there are universal truths. If they believe that all opinions are equal, why should they listen to your opinions or your ‘truth’?

Back up:
Do you believe in God?
Do you believe he sent his son to die for us?
Do you believe that Jesus founded a Church?
Do you believe that the Church is a means of salvation?
Do you believe that the teachings of the Church are to help us get to Heaven?

I don’t think you can jump into the hard teachings if they’re not on board with the basics.

How exactly would this come up in polite conversations? That is not topic you should be discussing with young ladies.

I would again suggest you talk to your pastor and encourage a chastity oriented speaker.

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