A teen chastity retreat challenges teens to remain chaste until marriage. Chastity is more than abstinence, which can simply mean abstaining from sexual intercourse, according to REAP, a Catholic youth ministry that has chastity retreats. Teens can learn to avoid participating in other sexual activities such as petting, pornography and masturbation. If you want to create a chastity retreat, you need activity and presentation ideas.
Your chastity retreat could happen as an overnight lock-in, a weekend getaway or a series of Sunday school lessons. Your retreat can take place in a home, at a church or at a campground where the teens don’t have access to TV or other distractions. You can ask them to leave their cell phones at home or turn them off when they arrive at the retreat. Speakers could include your youth pastor, married couples, youth sponsors, an individual who experiences a teen pregnancy or ministry leaders from an organization that promotes chastity, such as True Love Waits or Chastity.com.
Your speakers can cover various chastity-related topics such as “What the Bible Says About Sexual Purity,” Why Wait Until Marriage for Sex?” Does Pornography Matter?” or “What’s the Difference Between Abstinence and Chastity?” Teens will appreciate practical tips on how to remain chaste, how to deal with teen hormones, how to combat peer pressure and sexual advertising and what kinds of behaviors are allowed in dating. You could have a teen panel to open up discussion about any of these topics or have adult speakers talk about what they did right or wrong during their teen years.
Some teens who attend a chastity retreat could already be sexually active. Those teens might wonder what they can do about their past and how to move forward. You could have a break-out session for those teens and other break-out sessions for young teens who have not yet dealt with sexual issues or those who are headed into puberty and need honest answers about body changes. Some retreats will provide separate break-out sessions for guys and girls so the teens can talk more honestly and openly about sensitive subjects. Teen sponsors, youth pastors and other trusted adults can work with teens one-on-one where issues are too sensitive to talk about in a group setting.
End your retreat with a pledge ceremony where teens can pledge to wait for sex until after marriage. Some teens might want their parents to be a part of this ceremony, so parents will need to know when to arrive if you include them in this part of the retreat. Some parents could give a ring to their teen to emphasize the importance of the pledge and to serve as a reminder when the teen is tempted to engage in sexual behaviors. True Love Waits offers a sample closing ceremony the teens can use if they are willing to pledge to remain chaste.