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Resource helps teens explore dating relationships


Idea Mart: Discipleship Ministries
March-April 2016

A new resource to help teens develop healthy dating relationships is now available from Young People's Ministries (YPM), a unit of Discipleship Ministries.

"Teen Dating: Making Smart Choices, Respecting Yourself" will help United Methodist high school teens grow in their understanding of sexuality as a good gift from God. It explores the theological concept that God calls people to be in relationship with each other, treating every person with love and respect and working together for God's purpose in the world, said the Rev. Michael Ratliff, head of YPM.

"This newest module joins ‘Hope and Self-Acceptance: An Additional Module Related to Teens and Suicide' in exploring issues of faith and sexuality for high school teens," said Ratliff. Both are additions to "SEX: A Christian Perspective on Our Bodies, Decisions and Relationships" for younger youth.

Cindy Klick, youth program director at St. Andrew United Methodist Church in Highlands Ranch, Colorado, wrote the module.

"The topic is so important, (yet) often underaddressed in the church and misrepresented in our culture," Klick said. "High school youth using the module should find helpful resources and accurate information that they can share with their friends and ways to start healthy conversations with their parents."

The goal is for high school students to understand that they can be in control of their relationships and can set relationship and sexual boundaries. The two-hour module includes information and engaging learning activities about what constitutes healthy dating relationships and how to recognize unhealthy behaviors.

Klick hopes people teaching the material can "work past any personal stigma or embarrassment (so) they can be confident and comfortable sharing these resources with students who don't always have that relationship in other areas of their lives."

Order the resources and modules here

Discipleship Ministries