Focus on the Family


Understanding sexual development and integrity for children ages 13-18

by Rob Jackson

Foundation: If our children cherish their spiritual engagement with Christ, they can learn that even now they are complete in Christ. Having a boyfriend or girlfriend won't be necessary for the deeper fulfillment that only God can satisfy. In this age span, we want to encourage them to embrace their life in Christ in such a way that whether single or married in the future, they have learned how to sustain their total fidelity of body, mind, and spirit to Christ. And should they marry in the future, their greater fidelity to Christ thus far will be the best wedding gift they can give to their bride or groom.


  1. Continue to maintain the goals from prior units.
  2. To equip your child to know and delight in the fact that in Christ he is complete now, and that virginity is something to cherish.

Iceberg Zones:

  1. The body discussed in Unit 1 and the mind discussed in Units 2 and 3.
  2. The human spirit with an emphasis on sexual health and integrity as they relate to loving God.

What's normal

Developmental tasks for your child

How to foster sexual health and integrity in this stage

What to avoid

What to do if you're concerned for your child's development

During this stage of development it's not uncommon for adolescents to challenge their parents. Peers will become more important to them than ever before. Their individual identities will continue to emerge, and this can be a time of personal insecurity and significant anxiety.

If your efforts to reach out to your child are failing, consider family therapy sooner than later.