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Raising Pure Kids in an Impure World
Richard and Renče Durfield

"The Alan Guttmacher Institute reported in 2002 that 'By their 18th birthday, 6 in 10 teenage women and nearly 7 in 10 teenage men have had sexual intercourse.'" (p. 14)

"One in four sexually active teens, according the Centers for Disease Control, will contract a venereal disease before they finish high school." (p. 15)

"(I)n 2003 alone there were four thousand newly reported cases of AIDS in children 13 to 19 years old." (p.16)

With statistics in the church nearly as bad as those above, what can parents do to help their children remain pure?

Richard and Renče Durfield offer a strategy to help children resist temptation in Raising Pure Kids in an Impure World.

Raising Pure Kids in an Impure World

The Durfields have developed the "Key Talk" concept to bring their children into a covenant with God to maintain their purity. They explain the steps in the book. If possible, the parent of the same sex plans a private dinner in a nice restaurant with the teenager. The parents buy a unique ring for their teen. They let the teen know that on that evening they want their child to come with any questions they have about sexuality, bodily changes, marriage, or the opposite sex. After completing prepared topics and answering the young person's questions, the parent explains the importance of the covenant with God and the beauty of God's gift of sexuality, offers the ring, asks the teen to pray and then prays for the teen.

Richard Durfield, the pastor of Eagle Heights Community Church in Chino Hills, California, hold a Ph.D. in Marriage and Family Studies, and teaches at Azusa Pacific University. Renče directs For Wedlock Only. Both are popular speakers. They have described their strategy on Focus on the Family and on other national programs.

They wrote the book with a straightforward readable style with plenty of statistics and anecdotes. I found the chapters "Praying for Your Child's Future Spouse" and "Becoming Your Child's Advocate," helpful for even parents who do not use their key talk strategy. The Durfields' method has successfully helped their own four children and numerous others continue living purely until marriage.

They also include a helpful chapter on becoming mentors for adults who wish to be held accountable for living purely. To help young people establish godly dating guidelines, they share ideas for parents whose children have already become sexually involved.

Though I've never seen the "key talk" used among my children's friends, it seems a wise strategy. The Durfields encourage parents not to allow their children to watch or listen to immoral music, television, movies, or videogames, but they do not discuss school situations where they would face temptation. As aids, a list of scripture verses and a bibliography of resources round out the book. Richard and Renče Durfield provide a thoughtful, enlightening, and useful aid for parents.

(Bethany House, ISBN: 0-7642-2902-8, PB, 188 pages, $12.99)

This review was originally published at

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