By Dale Denwalt, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle
ENID, Okla. —
In promoting abstinence to seventh-grade boys Wednesday, Enid resident and former NBA player Brent Price used analogies of fire and land mines.
Sexual purity, he said, is about treading carefully.
“Sex, much like fire, is a wonderful gift when it’s in its proper place. And that proper place is between a man and a woman in marriage,” Price said. “But when sex is abused ... it will burn you, it will harm you and yes, it can even kill you, in a sense.”
Price spoke to 430 boys from 13 area schools. This is the sixth year for Hope Outreach’s character-based tailgate event, where men volunteer to hang out with the boys that afternoon, providing insight into good character. Hope Outreach also sponsors a tea for girls.
Nearly 70 men volunteered for the tailgate party this year, according to organizers. Enid Fire Department was on scene to cook hot dogs for lunch.
“It’s men getting out there with the boys and having fun, and having the opportunity to engage,” said Lee Langshaw, coordinator of homeless and community care ministry.
After the kids spent an hour having lunch and playing games on the grounds at Northern Hills Golf Course, Price talked in the Northern Oklahoma College Briggs Auditorium about the challenges of staying abstinent, or waiting until marriage.
“You’re under a cultural attack. It’s a deliberate attack,” he said. “I want you to understand that unwise choices in this area can kill, and steal, and destroy areas of your life.”
Having sex before marriage can steal youth, he said, especially if it results in an unwanted pregnancy or sexually transmitted disease.
“It’s a tough road. It’s not easy. The temptations are great. But if you have a game plan, all I can promise is the blessings of waiting are incredible,” said Price.
Aaron Betts was one of the volunteers who helped corral the seventh-graders Wednesday. This was his third time at the tailgate event, and Betts said keeping the kids together to play a game of football or Frisbee isn’t too hard.
“Some ears are better than others. But we’ve got a good group this year,” he said.
“It’s kind of a long shot with the abstinence thing, but you never know what one it might change. I don’t think abstinence is as rare as people want to believe; it’s definitely worth it,” Betts said.
Music, TV, movies and other areas of a young teen’s life are subject to displays of sexuality, Price said. To avoid temptation, he stressed, the kids should understand how to process what they are seeing and hearing.
“Sexual purity actually begins in the heart and mind. The goal is to save yourself in that committed relationship of marriage,” he said. “That’s why, above all else, we need to protect our mind and our heart.”