Note: This post first appeared in 2011. Now that I’ve done retreats with both of my girls, I’ve updated it and turned it into a four part series. Visit the rest of the series for: Preparing for the retreat, 8 tips for getting the most out of the retreat, and what to do when you get home.
What is a Purity Retreat?
I first heard the idea of planning a mother-daughter, or father-son purity retreat at a homeschool convention in 2010, and I knew right away it was something I wanted to do with my girls.
A purity retreat is a one-on-one weekend away with your child to have “the talk” (you know that talk), to learn about God’s standard for purity and marriage, and set boundaries for future relationships. Of course, that is just part of it. The other part is awesome fun and bonding time with your girl! Please note that all of the following applies to boys as well. There is a father-son option in the same kit!
Why a Purity Retreat?
I heard about this option a few years ago at a homeschool convention and I will be forever grateful that I did. There are so many things covered in this particular kit that I never would have thought to discuss with my girls, and I really love the point of view the teachers have. We could have had a fun bonding trip anytime, but this was different.
When I was in High School, True Love Waits had just started becoming a thing. I think our youth group went through that program just after I graduated, which would be right around the time I was pregnant with my daughter.
So, yeah, I was definitely looking for some guidance in this area. I wanted to know how to approach all of this beyond saying, “Don’t do what I did.”
And I never knew when to start that conversation. I didn’t want to do it too early and ruin their innocence, but I also didn’t want to wait too long. The suggested age of 12 ended up being perfect for this.
If you have younger kids, The Princess and the Kiss and the Squire and the Scroll are fabulous, age appropriate books to read. We started talking about saving our kisses for our husbands when my youngest was 6!
Materials Needed for Your Purity Retreat
What I love most about these CD’s is that all the work is done for you! You don’t need to decide which subjects you’ll cover, and you don’t need to worry that you’ll leave out something important during the talks. Dennis and Barbara Rainey cover it all. And, yes, we found ourselves blushing a few times listening to them! This is the same set that works for dads and boys, too. No need to buy two separate sets.
The CD’s are geared towards 12 year olds, but I went with my 14 year old and we thoroughly enjoyed each lesson. I hadn’t heard about it until she was that age, so we made it work for us. With my second daughter, we went when she turned 12. If you have the opportunity, I would recommend going with your 12 year old. Don’t let her age hold you back, though, if she’s older. It’s never too late! Some of the lessons might be on the young side, but you can just go into further depth if needed.
In addition to the CD’s, you’ll receive a workbook for your girl, a parent’s guide, a passport, and stickers. The parent’s guide is invaluable. It includes checklists for materials you’ll need, suggestions for fun times, and great insight for Mom. The passport you fill in with stickers as you complete the lessons.
You can use this kit for each of your kids, and you’ll only need to purchase a new travel journal each time.
Should You Upgrade to Version 3?
I used the original version of Passport to Purity when I took my first daughter, Coco on her retreat. After reading lots of reviews and praying about it, I decided to purchase the updated version of the Passport to Purity when I took my second retreat with Soleil. I don’t exactly remember the content of the old version, but I do know that the most recent version has added a great deal of content, including info on p*rn*graphy, s*xting, and things along those lines.
Side note: If you’ve ever wondered why bloggers try to disguise certain words like I did above, it is to reduce spam. We’ll see if it does the trick!
If you have the original version, and can’t afford to upgrade, it will certainly do the job.
The new version includes some additional topics that are not included in the workbook and are considered optional. There is one session just for girls and several are included just for boys.
When I took the retreat the second time, using version 3, I had decided not to cover the additional topics, but after praying and listening to the CD, I decided to listen to a portion of the optional session with Soleil and I paraphrased the rest on my own. You know what your children are ready for and what they may or may not need to hear about. That being said, be open to what the Holy Spirit may be leading you to do.
In the end, I feel I was able to sufficiently warn and guide Soleil as to some of the dangers out there, while also keeping her innocence. The sad fact is, it is impossible to completely shelter our kids these days and I’d rather be the one to explain things than have her hear it from a friend or see it online. I am truly thankful for this resource to guide me in discussing these things with her!
Have you considered a purity retreat with your son or daughter?
Next up, Preparing for the Retreat.
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