Better understanding the male/female dynamic, developing self-respect, and deepening and healing relationships are among the goals of a new program being offered by Clear Choices Pregnancy Resources Center.
The center will be offering a “sexual integrity” class starting later this month. Director Nicole Higdon said while it will be open to men and women from about age 10 and up, audiences they especially hope to reach are teens and pre-teens.
“My daughter is 10, and as a parent I look at her and think ‘She’s just 10,’ but when I sit and think she’s going to the middle school next year, I feel better that these tools are available,” Higdon said. “Parents may think 10 years old is too young, but these kids … are getting ready to go to middle school, and face all those issues there.”
She noted that statewide in 2010, there were 69 babies born to girls under the age of 14. Add to that Grayson County’s status as having one of the highest teen pregnancy rates in the state, and it’s a lot for parents to be concerned with, she said.
CCP’s course will be centered around three Christian-based books: “When God Writes Your Love Story” by Eric and Leslie Ludy, “Single Men Are Like Waffles, Single Women Are Like Spaghetti” by Bill and Pam Farrel, and “The Five Love Languages” by Gary Chapman.
The Ludys’ book focuses on the idea of waiting to develop a serious relationship until you’ve met the person God has selected as your life partner. Among its recommendations: keeping one’s purity, both physically and emotionally — not sharing your heart with someone who won’t care, for example.
Higdon said she likes that the Ludys’ book includes both the male and female perspectives on developing fulfilling relationships.
The Farrels’ book focuses on the differences in male and female communication styles. Higdon said the authors stress men communicate and think in a “problem solving” mode, in effect thinking within boxes — much like the squares in waffles — and can only focus on one box at time. Women, according to the book, are more emotional communicators and link topics together, much like a plate of spaghetti.
Chapman’s book examines how differences in communication styles can lead to unhappiness in a marriage. Higdon said Chapman identifies those styles as Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Receiving Gifts, Acts of Service, and Physical Touch, and teachers readers to identify their and their spouses communication styles.
By learning how to express love in a way your spouse can best appreciate — praise for one, doing household chores for another — your marriage is strengthened, Chapman writes.
Other aspects of the program will focus on ways of identifying good matches and determining what you want in in a relationship, determining whether you are ready for a relationship, and determining if the other person is relationship material.
She said parents can contact her first about the classes, or even take the classes first, if they are concerned about the subject matter.
The classes may help parents combat the messages the more secular society is sending, Higdon said.
“Everything you see on TV is sex based,” she said. “That’s what our whole society is based on right now, is sex — it’s all about the visuals. We’re really getting away from what God intended for us.”
The registration deadline for the free classes is July 20. To register, contact the center at 230-0303 or email