Sex Talks: A Place to Start
In today’s hyper-sexed world, having only one “sex talk” with your kids just won’t cut it. So, we are going to write a series of posts under the title “Sex Talks” that will help us address our kids in their various ages and stages of growing up. This piece is an introduction about the vision behind talking to our kids about sex and sexuality.
A Corrupting Cultural Context
Do you remember the public service announcement with Smokey the Bear saying, “Only you can prevent forest fires”? Whether or not Smokey the Bear was right, if you are a parent of a child under seven or eight, only you should present your child with their first experience of sex education. Tragically, other kids and pornographers are already beating Christian parents to the punch.
All it takes for your first-born kindergartener to be exposed to the world of fallen sexuality is to sit next to another kindergartener who happens to have a sixteen-year-old sibling. Many elementary school children have gone home and Googled a new word they learned from a friend, and bam! They see hard-core porn movies. Our world, along with the Internet, is already teaching our children about sex and sexuality.
Do We Feel Inadequate?
As we think about having conversations with our children about sex and sexuality, it’s normal to feel inadequate. We really are! And, in some ways, that is a wonderful place to begin. But we can also feel inadequate because of the strength of the world pushing its own agenda on our children, the weariness of parenting in general, and the sin of our own past. So let’s take this time to take a couple of brief looks at the power of God in Jesus for us as parents.
He is the Physician to the Broken. Jesus’ mission is to messed-up people like you and me, and He offers forgiveness, grace, and transformation to us as parents for all the stuff we’ve done in our past.
But He is also the Calmer of the Seas. Does parenting ever feel like you’re on the Sea of Galilee and the storm is raging around you? We want Jesus to wake up from sleeping in the boat! What we want to see today is that we are safe with Jesus before he calms storms and after He calms them. We are safe, because Jesus is in our boat. He is the master of the seas, including the crazy world of parenting.
Finally, He is the King of the World. As we look around at the world around us, we can remember Jesus’ words to His apostles: “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). Before talking with our children, it’s good for us as parents to bring our own hearts back to Him in faith, asking for strength and a reminder of who He is and what He’s done.
Participating with Christ in Raising Kids
It’s also good to remember that God loves your kids more than you. On top of that, He is almighty, all-wise, and works all things for our and our kids’ good. Because of His work, God wants you to teach your children the truth about sex and sexuality from their earliest years until they leave home. We are coworkers with God in redeeming and loving our children well.
Being “in Christ” means participating in His life. This saves us and gives us His righteousness, a new identity, a new destiny, and an intimate relationship with God. In addition to participating in Christ’s life, we get to participate in Christ’s work too. Parenting falls under the category of participating in Christ’s work of reconciling sinners to God. Practically, it means that we deal with a lot of sinfulness and fallenness in our children. Our kids exit the womb already corrupted by sin. And yet, we clearly know that we need to both protect and prepare our kids to deal with the sexual corruption in our world. But we also need to model the Christian sexual worldview and teach it to them as they grow up. Deuteronomy 6:5-7 instructs believing parents:
You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.
It is our privilege to join Christ in His work! The resulting love we have for our God because of His mighty work in us and through us in Jesus can be a wonderful tool to use when beginning these conversations.
From here, we will give you talking points so you will better know what to say about the competing sexual worldviews your kids face. We will examine both the big ideas of the Christian sexual worldview and the secular sexual worldview so that we can point out the differences to our kids in age-appropriate ways as they grow. As we go along, be assured that your loving God is for you and with you in this great privilege and daunting challenge of talking with your children about sexual issues.