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High School: You Are Designed for a Great Story

Blueprint Big Idea

Your high school son or daughter is in an ongoing search for personal identity where they ask, “Why am I here, am I ok and what is my purpose?” It is a complex journey, but one you can enjoy as you lead them, allowing them to make choices to grow and mature in all five aspects (physical, intellectual, emotional, social, and spiritual). One key foundation to their identity search is understanding why God made them male or female, and how to integrate their sexual nature in all parts of their life. Your guidance in this journey is so important and so needed! Your willingness to dialogue with your son or daughter as they process life lessons about relationships, theology, biology, neurology and more will make the experience life changing. The theology of life, love, family, sexuality, unity, wholeness, holiness and much more were previously addressed in great detail in the previous grades. If you are beginning your Blueprint reading at this level, we recommend you review the previous grades in addition to high school when you have time. High school students (9-12th grade) should learn the foundational truths that follow and the 10 blueprints below will help you teach them and guide them. Have fun!

Your teen’s relationships

Teens tend to form friendships from the various groups they are involved with, such as clubs, sports and life-long friends they have at school and church. This is a beneficial time for them to be friends with a lot of people, while maintaining their closest friendships with a handful of people from freshman year to graduation. Young ladies tend to adjust their friend groups more than the guys, but their closest friends will likely be cemented by sophomore or early junior year. The challenge of these teen years is due in part, to their physical and emotional development. Teens are also impacted by peer pressure and the need to be liked and accepted by everyone, including their teachers. It will help your teen immensely for you to be a sounding board when needed, making sure they get good nutrition, sleep and not too much social media! Be prepared to support their healthy friendships by opening your home to their friends, showing up at their important events and praying for them without ceasing!

Blueprint Truth #1


Biblical Background

Most teens want a life story full of adventure and purpose and a love story that will be romantic and authentically amazing. The good news is, it is possible for them to have great stories with God’s leading and in God’s timing. God, the King of the Universe, has already started an amazing story (history) creating mankind for relationship with Himself. Genesis 1:26a says, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness.” He created men and women to uniquely reveal His nature, on purpose! Genesis 1:27 says, “And God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him, male and female He created them.” Then Genesis 1:28a says, “And God blessed them and God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply.’” In other words, “be” what I have created you to be as a man and as a woman and the result will be fruitful, life-giving stories! Your teen needs to learn why God designed mankind with a male and female nature, and what purpose He has for men and women to influence the expansion of His Kingdom plan. Additionally, they should learn what it means to live with sexual integrity, in other words to live in agreement with their male and female design.

God has designed men and women to be different, but this doesn’t mean one is better than the other. While men and women can “do” a lot of the same things, they cannot “be” the same in everything. Even when doing the same task, you will find men and women approach the job differently. I often teach male and female differences and describe men and women symbolically through Adam and Eve. The sample list below is just a foundation and by no means a complete list. Let’s take a look at God’s royal design for men and women as follows:


Prince – Royalty, possessing admirable qualities, son of the King of the Universe.
Warrior – A soldier in a cause greater than himself.
Strong – Powerful, competent.
Handsome – Attractive in behavior and demeanor.
Masculine – Overall qualities of a man lived out in agreement with his male design.
Regent – Ruling on behalf of a sovereign who is not present.


Princess – Royalty, possessing admirable qualities as a daughter of the King of the Universe.
Noble – Excellent, honorable, influential.
Strong – Powerful, competent.
Beautiful – Attractive in behavior and demeanor.
Feminine – Overall qualities of a woman lived out in agreement with her female design.
Regent – Ruling on behalf of a sovereign who is not present.

The above terms are general in nature and I intentionally use prince and princess language to remind us of our spiritual position before the King of the Universe. Royalty means being a member of God’s family, and it is a spiritual reality for those who have chosen to follow Christ. Galatians 4:7 says, “Therefore you are no longer a slave, but a son; and if a son, then an heir through God.” Many of the terms for Adam and Eve are interchangeable. For instance, a man should also be noble, and a woman can be a warrior. Spiritually speaking, both are necessary to fight the good fight of faith (I Tim. 6:12). Joan of Arc is a great example of a “princess warrior” who was able to influence her countrymen. Many masculine leaders have also shown compassion and sensitivity. King David was a mighty man of war, but he was also very musical and poetic. The point is this: we want to celebrate and notice the differences in our design, but not over generalize common traits because each young man and woman are so unique. Sexual integrity means living in agreement with your design, so knowing the distinctions validates our identity.

God has designed each of us with a sexual nature (male or female), and we also have unique personalities, talents and gifts. It is this whole package woven together and integrated, that creates your son or daughter’s unique personality and their potential! They can achieve all that God has for them because He designed them for a purpose, and their gifts and talents often reveal early on what that might be. Their sexual nature is not limiting to them, but enhancing them with internal power. Sexual integrity is living in agreement with our design rather than pretending it doesn’t affect us. Once you realize this, the sky’s the limit on your possibilities! To bring home this point, you can have your son or daughter write a list of their gifts and talents and a list of goals to help them create a personal roadmap for success in their story. Their sex is not a hindrance, but a help when they integrate it throughout their five aspects and when utilizing their gifts and talents! We will discuss this further in additional blueprints.

Your teen should also learn at this age that a healthy culture regulates and respects appropriate sexual behaviors and attitudes. What happens to a culture that does not “regulate” sexuality or decide that the biblical teaching on sexuality is outdated, or doesn’t fit their view of sex? Historically, those cultures declined and eventually fell. On the other hand, those cultures with healthy boundaries and biblical standards flourished and thrived. It is not outdated, old fashioned or even unrealistic to want our social mores to match a biblical standard. It is the right goal and should be something we all strive to support.

Blueprint Truth #2


Biblical Background

In Genesis 1:27, it says, “In the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” God intentionally designed mankind with two distinct natures – male and female – to reflect Him and to show different aspects of His nature. What an amazing idea! Based on what we see in scripture, God’s view of men and women is they are equal in value, but distinctly different. They may be able to accomplish the same tasks, but will likely manage the process differently. This is a good thing. God certainly values unique capabilities in people who function together in power. God’s intentional design of men and women is a powerful plan for completion, unity and relationship. He brings the woman and man together in Genesis 2:24 for the first marriage, “For this cause a man shall leave his father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.” In God’s economy one plus one makes one! Then, the amazing life story continues when the result of one man and one woman becoming “one” is new life! Let’s look a little more closely at this miracle called life.

Your Son or Daughter’s Story Began at Conception!

The miracle of life begins when the egg and sperm unite in the fallopian tube, to form a single cell called a zygote. This new life contains 46 chromosomes, 23 from each parent. Once this genetic fusion, or conception, takes place, we have a new cell smaller than a grain of salt, containing all the genetic information needed to design a new immortal soul! The height, skin color, eye color, gender (sex) and more are in this blueprint, uniquely designed to create each of us. There is more information in this blueprint than it takes to run a city! Your teens’ genetic history came from you, your parents, grandparents and other relatives in your family tree which show how generations of people make up a family. Today is a great day to remind your teen to be grateful for their “story” because regardless of the circumstances, they are alive and a miracle! There are no accidents in God’s handiwork! Your teen needs to know that God gave us life and a roadmap for success when we see how “fearfully and wonderfully we are made” (Psalm 139:14). As part of the wonder, they can learn that the male and female brains develop differently in the womb, due in part to various hormones. This process is complex, and as a result, most male and female brains have some differences that lead to certain behaviors. These differences, are part of the thread of intention in our design, and help us understand why we behave differently as men and women.

In their book, Men Are Like Waffles and Women Are Like Spaghetti1 Bill and Pam Farrel explain in a humorous way how our brains work. Men process life like waffles, where they think and act by moving from box to box. Women process life like spaghetti, where every issue is connected just like a plate of noodles. This fun reality can be seen in your own life and is based on real research!

Blueprint Truth #3


Biblical Background

Scripture shows us in Genesis when God finished creating man, He was very pleased! Genesis 1:31a, “And God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good.” God made man in His image, and this means there are attributes and design features that reflect God Himself when a man, acts like a man. It is never too early to begin to teach your son to “man up!” Proverbs 20:11 says, “It is by his deeds that a lad distinguishes himself, if his conduct is pure and right.” Scripture tells all young men how to be strong and godly and prescribes a spiritual boot camp in I Timothy chapters 4 & 5.

  • I Timothy 4:6: “Be constantly nourished on the Word.”
  • I Timothy 4:7: “Have nothing to do with worldly fables fit for old women, but instead, discipline yourself with the purpose of godliness.”
  • I Timothy 4:12: “In speech, conduct, love, faith and purity, be an example.”
  • I Timothy 5:2: “Treat young women as sisters (in the Lord) in all purity.”

If You Treat A Man With Respect, He Will Be More Successful!

Every male person on the planet has been designed to reflect God Himself. Every male, young or old is esteemed by God, respected by God and highly valued by God! This reality might be news to some, since there are those in our culture who treat men with disrespect, or devalue men. The way some behave, they act as if men aren’t even necessary. If you disagree with this last statement, just turn on the TV and see how the majority of men are depicted in sitcoms or ads. Your son and daughter are seeing and hearing these demeaning messages, and this will have a negative impact on your daughter’s view of men and your son’s view of himself. While it may be true there are some men living beneath their dignity (i.e. treating family poorly, anger issues, not providing for or protecting their loved ones and so on), most men strive to be their best and men are key to the success of every culture.

If we begin to treat all men, young and old with more respect, we will see men acting more like the strong and loving warriors God intended for them to be! Respect is “man fuel” thus a man at any age can sense when he is respected. Appropriate respect creates a safe platform for him to attempt to be his best, knowing he can fail and try again. This is why respect is so important to a young man. He should not be talked down to or belittled in front of anyone, and whenever possible he should be trained and disciplined by a man. When our oldest son was 13, I knew it was time for dad to be the key voice in his life and I needed to be the cheerleader. I would still direct and teach, but instructions and training are different coming from a mother. For that matter, serious discipline should come from a male teacher or coach if possible as well. When a young man hears a female voice (he doesn’t hear it as well as the male voice), he often focuses on the female emotion, as well as the information, making the message less clear. This is not to say he can’t hear and respect this input because he should. However, when a young man hears the voice of a man giving him direct “orders” and input, it is more of a direct bullseye on his behavior. Somehow, the male voice and style are more effective in disciplining young men and I do believe it is the job of a man to train a man.

One of the ways a father can train a son is to expect him to respect and honor others. Here are a few basic ways young men can show respect:

  1. Have a firm handshake even if he is shaking a woman’s hand.
  2. Make eye contact with all adults.
  3. If your son wants to spend time with someone’s daughter, he should know young women deserve to be treated as ladies, protected and honored. If a young woman does not require this, it may be because she doesn’t think she deserves it. A real man knows she does!
  4. If there is a special event, your son should call the father and ask permission to take his daughter, even though they are just friends. In our home, this was required. If a young man doesn’t have the courage, he doesn’t get the privilege of spending time with our precious daughters.
  5. Your son should postpone a serious relationship until he is whole, mature and integrated in all five of his aspects: physical, intellectual, emotional, social and spiritual. Living with sexual integrity will give him success in all his relationships and when he is mature, then he is a man. The adult brain doesn’t fully complete till around 25 so encouraging him to wait for a serious relationship until his late teens, or early 20’s is wisdom.

Scripture describes two kinds of men:

Carnal: Being governed by the flesh, instead of the Spirit of God. The flesh is your body and your soul (mind, will and emotions). Your flesh is not innately evil, but very prone to sin. It is so easy at times to let our minds and bodies tell us what to do!

Spiritual: Being governed by God’s Spirit, through your spirit. The key is in Galatians 5:16 which says, “Walk by the Spirit and you will not carry out the desires of the flesh.” A man becomes a prince when he chooses to let his spirit lead his body and soul.

The Power of the Spoken Word

In the beginning, God spoke all things into existence. This power to speak and impact those around us is part of our design whether we are male or female. When a young woman or man uses their speech to bless, encourage and bring truth to others, they are noble. Friends will seek their counsel, adults will trust them, and ultimately they will be more successful in walking out their sexuality (meaning their male or female nature). The male voice has particular power in helping cement sexual identity. Since identity is an ongoing job for the teen, it is important that fathers (and mothers) speak truth to their sons and daughters. Tell them you love them. Tell them you are proud of them. Many men grow up without these key phrases planted in their minds and hearts, cemented by the key male voice, their dad. These men can accomplish all important endeavors in life, and yet if they don’t have the question answered: “Am I ok and does my father love me?” They will have a void in their life. Don’t let that be your son!

Blueprint Truth #4


Biblical Background

In Genesis 2:18, God said, “It is not good for man to be alone, I will make a helper suitable for him.” Since the beginning, a woman’s influence and gifting has been an integral part of God’s plan for His Kingdom. God views women as equally valuable to men and uniquely gifted in such a way, their usefulness is unmatched! God calls the woman “helper” and she is the compatible opposite to Adam. As helper, she is not less worthy than the man. In fact, the word helper in Genesis 2:18 (in Hebrew “ezer”) is the same word God uses for Himself! Psalm 46:1 says, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” Adam later names Eve woman (Genesis 2:23, “She shall be called woman because she was taken out of man.”) Finally, Adam calls her life-bearer (Genesis 3:20, “Now the man called his wife’s name Eve, because she was the mother of all the living.”). Woman, helper, life-bearer are important foundational descriptions for all women and areas of important exploration to teach your daughter.

God adores His daughters and He created them to be whole, cherished and loved. Sadly, our culture often portrays women as sexual objects to be used. This couldn’t be further from the truth! God’s greatest treasure is people, and you can be sure He will protect His girls! God has designed women in such a unique way, they are vulnerable due to their complex design. Similar to artwork that takes years to create and deserves proper care and display; or computer technology that is incredibly complex; the reality is that women need to be treated with care. However, this vulnerability does not mean weakness. A woman can be strong and vibrant, but she is complicated and that fact should be recognized and respected by everyone, including your daughter! No matter what age a woman is, there is intrinsic beauty in being female. God intentionally created women compatible yet different than men. The female body or “frame” is artwork on display and this living canvas, designed by God, needs to be treated as the valuable work of art it really is! Ephesians 2:10 says, “We are God’s workmanship created in Christ Jesus for good works.” This means God designed all human beings uniquely for a purpose. The female frame has power that can be used for God’s purposes or the enemy’s, and what makes the difference is how each young lady chooses to present herself. To be her best, she should choose to display her beauty with creativity and modesty.

So… What is Modesty?

Many people make the mistake of thinking modesty is all about clothes. It’s not. Modesty, when practiced, will impact your clothing choices because modesty is a form of humility. Modesty means not thinking or acting in a way that says we are better than someone else or need attention. It also means not revealing too much about who we are. God made us for relationships, and we all want to be known deeply. Sadly, too often people in our culture rush to reveal parts of themselves: their bodies or telling too much of their personal story, because they want someone’s attention or they want someone to draw closer to them. We all need people to “know” us. In fact, intimacy (being known deeply) is the greatest human need we have! This desire is good, this method is not. Often the results of a young woman dressing inappropriately are many people will not want to know who she really is because they create an opinion of her based on her dress. Similarly, if someone brags all the time, trying to get people to think they are special, they actually sabotage their chances of having real friends because bragging pushes people away by virtue of natural human responses. On the other hand, humility in dress and speech usually encourage people to want to know the “real” you because they are not distracted by something else. This prescription leads people to trust you and build a real friendship. This is key information for your wonderful daughter who wants to be liked by her peers and accepted by those in authority.

Modesty is not just for women. I Peter 5:5 says, “You younger men, likewise, be subject to your elders; and all of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, for God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” How we dress and how we act tells people what we believe about ourselves. What does your daughter believe?

The Power of Body Language

In the beginning God created, and did so by speaking everything into existence. Genesis 1:3 says, “Then God said, ‘Let there be light’ and there was light.” God, who spoke all things into being, gave us the ability to “speak” with our mouths and indeed our whole bodies. In Genesis 1:28, God gave Adam and Eve dominion over creation, which gave them power and authority. Power comes in many forms, and the power of body language cannot be understated. We are created to “be” a picture of truth: reflecting our Creator. So what we say, what we wear, how we act and how we treat people, communicates something. Are we speaking truth or lies with our bodies? We are a body, we do just not have a body. We are integrated people, not dualistic. Therefore, what we say on the outside should match what we believe on the inside. Too often, our body (the first billboard of us) tells people the wrong message, or even a lie. I remember once when my husband and I were driving to church with all the kids and we saw a woman crossing the road wearing an outfit that “said” she was a bimbo, but the truth about her is that she is made in the image of God to be a royal princess! I declared to my husband, “She is lying with her body!” Immediately, my husband grabbed my arm and said, “You are not getting out of the car!” Ha Ha, He knew I wanted to free her to “be” who God made her and thankfully he kept me from making a scene in the intersection! Sometimes our precious daughters make this mistake, and it is our adult duty to stop them. Not only do the clothes we wear on the outside send a message, they actually affect us on the inside. A man in a uniform somehow feels and acts more dignified. A woman in a beautiful dress acts more ladylike and somehow feels noble. Psalm 45:13 says, “The King’s daughter is all glorious within, her clothing is interwoven with gold.” Do you see the connection? If your daughter wears clothes beneath her dignity, she will feel she is worth less than she is and this will impact her choices.

How Women Create, Communicate, Cooperate

Young women can do just about anything! Many have gifts and talents like drama, singing, organizing, cooking, sports, leadership, Bible study, teaching, serving, etc. For example: A young woman creates an environment at school that is fun by being funny, dressing up for spirit week or decorating her locker. She communicates love and truth with her speech, notes to friends or leading Bible study. She cooperates by working with teachers, coaches and classmates listening to the leading of the Holy Spirit, to do something for a friend or serve the homeless alongside friends. When you tell your daughter how special and influential women are in every-day life, you empower her to come alive in who she is. Your daughter should be reminded that the more she functions in all five aspects and utilizes her unique gifts, the more power she has to impact her world. The goal is to teach her to integrate her female design with the personality and gifts unique to her. If a woman doesn’t live in agreement with her complete picture as a woman, she misses a key part of her identity. We cannot raise daughters or sons to be gender neutral, or they will not fully come alive to the power they have as people, made in the image of God. Her sexuality, or feminine nature is not a casual bystander in her design that she can live without. It is a key blueprint feature she must learn to integrate throughout all of her aspects in order to really become who God designed her to be!

Blueprint Truth #5


Biblical Background

Genesis 2:24, “For this cause a man shall leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.” Part of the blueprint for living with sexual integrity, is teaching our sons and daughters to wait to become “one” physically until after they are married. Why? In part because of the amazing power contained in their physical body. They have a unique gift of fertility, with power to procreate another human being of equal value with God’s help! While it makes perfect sense to postpone childbearing until marriage, there is something we can teach our teens to practice right now. We can help them prepare for their future, by helping them frame their world “view” about children. How we see children is important to our theology of life. Psalm 127:3 says, “Behold children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb is a reward.” Psalm 127:4-5 says, “Like arrows in the hands of a warrior, so are the children of one’s youth. Happy is the man whose quiver is full of them.” Let’s take a moment to look at the amazing gift of fertility and its power, in the intentional thread of our male and female design.

The ability to bring a child into the world through pro-creation, is the most amazing power contained in your human design. Most likely, your son or daughter and their future spouse will create, with God’s help, a “snapshot” of each of them, combined! The two become one and that “little one” will have a name. This powerful union of two family’s genetic histories, combined to create one unique, unrepeatable, eternal soul is the biggest impact we will make in our whole life. Nothing you do here on earth will last for eternity except that which is eternal – life and love.

To bring this point home for your son or daughter, remind them that our choices are like a pebble in a pond… impacting you first, then those around you. The choice to take the power of your life-giving fertility and share it with someone else results in the most powerful human union on the planet. If two become “one flesh” as the Bible calls it, (sexual intercourse) they literally fuse their genetic information. This is not just a casual physical act; it is a sacred act that bonds the two people. But even more powerful, it is a union that potentially creates another life! When this happens, then the ripple effect continues to combine two families, two histories, two lives and no other union can cause this kind of outcome. The world tells you that the sexual union is just an ‘act’. They are wrong. It is the most power you will ever exchange with another human being and therefore it should be seen as the most powerful gift you can give another human being, because it is a gift of yourself, and your entire life story! Sexual Integrity means living in agreement with your design and that includes your fertility. This complex system in your body gives you the ability to pro-create another human being of equal value. Fertility is also an integrated system in both males and females that affects many of our daily experiences. For instance:

A woman will be affected by her hormones daily and at times during her cycle, she will feel it is difficult to take a test. She may feel fuzzy in her mind. This isn’t because she didn’t study, but because her complex system goes through many hormonal changes to keep her functioning, and one day allow her to be a mother. This “Tree of Life”, as microbiologists call it, is so complex it is good for women to learn about it in detail. Our fertility affects our energy level, our learning ability, our physical well-being, our moods, our temperature, our brain function and much more. It is so important to understand this and we encourage all teens, in particular women, to learn about their fertility.

Young women who learn in detail how their fertility functions, are not only better prepared for life and feel more confident and competent, but research shows there is a decrease in sexual activity for those who are already engaging in physical sexual activity. In other words, learning how you are designed elevates your value of yourself and your choices. I took a fertility class when I was doing research for our Sexual Integrity Program that we produced for pregnancy resource centers nationwide, and was amazed at what I didn’t know! I had five kids by this time and was disappointed I hadn’t learned about my complex fertility sooner. I think this is one area in the church we can improve for the next generation of women.

Fertility for a man is not as complex, but still affects his behavior. When a man knows he is producing life-giving seed 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, it validates the reality of the “drive” he has and the ensuing tension. My encouragement is for your son to use the energy and drive he has, to conquer and mature in the five aspects of his life! He can daily take his sexual energy and turn it in to social energy by placing his focus on his school work, sports, spiritual life and relationships. We have seen in previous lessons that sexuality when regulated, or strategically spent, advances cultures. Sexual energy is not for ourselves, but all sexual energy and activity should be a gift to another. Once a man realizes he is life-giving 24/7, 365 days a year and the energy does not need to be spent on self or pleasure, he is no longer at the mercy of the lie that says sexual pleasure is “the point” of sexual power. He can use his sexual powers and the energy contained therein and impact all five aspects of his life in a godly way, all the while becoming more mature as a man.

Teen’s Choices Will Impact Generations

Your son or daughter may think bad things won’t happen to them, or that they can beat the odds. This is classic adolescent thinking. Research shows us that even though a teen might make poor choices regarding their own story, they will make better choices for their future offspring when they actually contemplate that reality. In other words, we can tap in to the maternal and paternal instincts now to encourage better decision making for both your teen and your future grandchild.

The choices your teen makes regarding their physical sexuality, in particular, who they choose to become “one” with will impact their child’s story. Most adults say they would not intentionally put their son or daughter at risk, but intentionally choosing to have a child outside of marriage (over one-third of all babies born now are living in single parent homes), actually puts a child at risk for some of the most difficult social challenges a person can face. Why is this data important to know in High School? There is power contained in our fertility system to procreate. Remember, our physical sexuality is not just about potential pleasure; it is about a potential person!

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