CRESTVIEW — Jeff Childers hopes younger generations will gain a newfound respect for marriage, which, for his flock, means waiting to say "I do" before having sex.
The First Baptist Church of Crestview's youth pastor has scheduled a Feb. 12 "True Love Waits" conference to help spread the message.
Debby and Jeff McElroy, a Tennessee couple who have been married 29 years, will be the featured guest speakers. Their mission is to "lift up the brand of marriage ... to inspire this generation to see marriage can be better than what the '60s generation turned it into," Jeff McElroy said.
Waiting to have sex has a purpose, Childers said.
Abstinence, the McElroys said, can take the focus off the relationship's physical nature and make a relationship stronger, which is crucial when troubles arise after the couple marry.
"If the marriage crumbles, everything else goes with it — the family, the strength of the kids, and the stability of the culture," Jeff McElroy, referring to sex-based relationships, contended.
"(We) want teens to know that dreams can come true if we are willing to wait and that the wait is worth it," Debby McElroy said.
The seminar will feature live music, provided by local churches, and free food.
The McElroys said they hope attendees will hear their message, learn lessons from their marriage and take it to heart.
WANT TO GO?
WHAT: "True Love Waits" conference
WHEN: 6:30-8 p.m. Feb. 12. Food served at 5:45 p.m.
WHERE: First Baptist Church of Crestview, 171 E. Hickory Ave.