Sex. I’m a big fan. It’s a beautiful gift that allows my husband and me to connect in a way that is ours alone. A safe, sacred place where we escape the cares of the day and just get lost in our love for one another. It can be fun and silly, it can be a gift given and received, and it is intimate and holy.
One of the most tragic aspects of our post-modern, “enlightened” culture, is the devaluing of sex. Because it has been violently ripped from its rightful and beautiful place within the marriage bed and brashly inserted into nearly every area of our society, one can hardly escape this foul imposter of what I experience as a godly woman.
Sexually immorality is, of course, older than the hills. We are not the first culture to allow sexual immorality to seep into the normalcy of daily life. But what is new to me is that I have never been a parent, raising two precious and beautiful daughters, in the midst of this kind of corruption. I was not handed a pamphlet in the delivery room entitled, “How to raise children who love Jesus and thirst after righteousness in a sexually distorted and saturated world.” Nope. I got an odd smelling vinyl diaper bag filled with 11,000 Similac coupons and a great new offer from Gerber Life.
This topic is so vast, the implications so far-reaching, that it is difficult to single out just one aspect, but I will do my best. Here are a few wake-up call stats:
Over 50% of 15-year-olds report having had oral sex, intercourse, or both.
Experts in addiction treatment and recovery are calling pornography “the drug of choice among our Christian youth.”
The average age of exposure to pornography has dropped from the ripe old age of 8 to 5. That’s right. Five years old.
Now that you are thoroughly disgusted and/or completely freaked out, let me say that you cannot protect yourself, let alone your kids, from what you do not acknowledge. You must be aware of the trap that has been laid for the sole purpose of destroying any semblance of virtue and purity. You must get to them first. You must lay the foundation of God’s wonderful design for sexuality before the perversion begins to take hold.
So what is God’s design for sex? In comparison with our society’s counterfeit, I believe it can be boiled down to three major points:
1. Society tells us that sex is for any individuals who are physically attracted to one another. God says sex is for husband and wife.
2. Society tells us that sex can only be experienced to its fullest by becoming a better, more experienced and skilled lover. God says sex is experienced to its fullest in the physical, emotional, and spiritual union with just one person.
3. Society tells us that sexual satisfaction is found in frequency and variety. God says sexual satisfaction is found in the safety and intimacy of marriage.
These are diametrically opposing views! How will my kids make it through their teens and years of singleness with the rest of the world shouting at them that sex is no big deal? That they deserve pleasure whenever they desire it?
This may feel like a bit of a David and Goliath scenario. One little prepubescent voice raised against the booming giant of culture. But the good news is that David had the right weapon for this confrontation, and you, too, have the slingshot. In it is the simple, ordinary stone of communication. It’s talking to them. Talking often, and sometimes at length, and pressing through awkwardness, and being willing to listen calmly and quietly while they process all of the confusing messages they are being bombarded with. This is no guarantee, but it’s the biggest tool in your toolbox. Here are some guidelines I find helpful when talking to tweens, teens, or single adults …
It is normal to feel uncomfortable talking about sex, especially with a parent. Do it anyway. Embrace the awkwardness.
It is okay if they are quiet and don’t ask questions. Sexuality is a topic they will be processing for years. They are listening.
Watch for teachable moments, which seem to happen quite often in our highly sexualized culture; movies, TV, fashion, ads, music, etc.
Always talk about sex in conjunction with marriage. It is a part of our value system.
Be positive, reminding them that sex is a wonderful gift from God that they get to look forward to and enjoy!
Discuss what TO DO as much as you discuss what NOT TO DO.
Avoid labeling. It is normal to wonder about all aspects of sexuality. Being curious is how we get answers. Don’t freak out.
Be unshockable. Prepare yourself to answer every question you can think of. If caught off guard, ask to think about it a bit and get back to them tomorrow.
Create a way for them to get the correct information about something they are too uncomfortable to ask face-to-face. Use email or a discreet box for passing notes.
If possible, talk about dating, romance, and sexuality as a couple. It is helpful to hear the perspective from both genders.
Do not talk about sex when you are angry.
Lastly, help them create a sexual plan and vision to help get them through to marriage. Encourage them to prayerfully consider and complete the following statements:
Physically, this is what I will do while dating …
Physically, this is what I will NOT do while dating …
This is what I will tell my boyfriend/girlfriend about my sexual boundaries …
This is what I will do when I find myself tempted to go further than I planned …
This is what I will do if I feel I have gone further than I should have …
You can help them along in this process, but you must let them answer these questions. It has to be their plan! They have to buy in. Few make it to their wedding without a few mishaps, but it doesn’t have to be a big one, and it doesn’t have to take them out. Self-control is a fruit of the Spirit, and it is also hard work.
If your children are still young, I highly recommend the series, “God’s Design for Sex” by Stan and Brenna Jones. This series is broken up into four age groups to help you know how much to say and when, and the storybooks provide a structure for giving this good information in a relaxed and enjoyable way. They are available on Amazon.
I admit, I take it a bit personally to see, once again, Satan’s attempt to take something beautiful and corrupt it to bring pain and destruction to God’s beloved ones. What I see in the media is such a poor, pathetic counterfeit. Lust is nothing but selfishness and exploitation. It is not the tender, loving intimacy I experience. And my daughters are going to know that.