I’ve experienced how damaging it can be when we step outside of God’s design for sex. Which is partly why I’m hyper-sensitive to the inevitable sexuality of my kids.
Culture has changed so much from when I was a girl. Now there’s the internet and cell phones and pornography and sexting. Can I please put my kids in a bubble until they’re…with Jesus?
The truth is, we can’t hide them away. We’re not supposed to. The Lord calls us as parents to train up our kids in His ways. He commissions us to teach sexuality as He designed it and then release them to reflect His love in this world.
As long as our kids live on this planet, they will face sexual choice. So here’s some parental encouragement as we seek to lay a good foundation for holy sexuality. And yes, there is such a thing.
- Use correct terminology. We’ve always used anatomically correct words for “private” areas. Which is why I almost choked when my then-three-year-old daughter tried to process the difference between boys and girls, “So all boys have a p#*%$, mommy? Daddy has a p#*%$? And Pawpaw has a p#*%$? And Mr. Jones next door has a p#*%$?” I said with pursed lips, “Yes. Baby. They all do…Look how pretty the sky looks today.”
Using the correct words may feel uncomfortable at first, but it gives kids the ability to talk intelligently and clearly about their bodies.
- Keep the conversation open. Families do this in a number of ways. But one way we’re trying to keep the conversation open, it by walking through a series called God’s Design for Sex. The series has four age-appropriate books that you read with your kids. And yes, some giggling is included.
Having a book series to help guide the conversation empowers us as parents in those more difficult, but necessary, topics of discussion.
- Don’t freak out. At least not to their face. I want my kids to come to me with their questions. So I’m praying that as they grow, I will keep a calm face and quiet voice when they want to talk about sexual things. We can freak out once they leave the room.
- Talk about their future spouse. Granted, not everyone marries. And we need to be sensitive to that possibility. But at night when I’m tucking my kids into bed, they hear me pray for their possible future spouse. I pray for their spouse to know and love the Lord. And I pray that they stay pure until marriage. Talking about their future spouse, even from a young age, lays a foundation for respectful “dating” in the future.
- Pray. Pray. And then pray some more. Did I say pray? This. is. so. key. Bottom line, you and I cannot change the hearts of our children. Only God can change hearts. So we ask Him. We go to Him and intercede on behalf of our kids.
I often pray that He would give them the desire to remain sexually pure. I pray that God would protect them from sexual perversion. I pray that He would give them a love for His ways. Remember, we wrestle against principalities of darkness. The fervent prayer of the righteous mom or dad availeth much!
- Rest in God’s absolute faithfulness. This may be the hardest thing for us to do, because we like to control things. But God. is. faithful! That doesn’t mean that our kids won’t make mistakes. That doesn’t mean they will always flee from sin or turn their eyes away. But regardless, God remains faithful!
If they are His — if that have accepted Him as their Lord — then they can never hide from His presence. He will finish what He started. We can choose to rest there.
And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.
I’m not claiming expertise. Believe. Me. We’re still in the early stages of teaching sexuality.
But just imagine the impact if we as parents stand side-by-side, diligently training up this generation in sexuality as He intended.
Imagine the possible assault on pornography or teen pregnancy or sexually transmitted diseases!
Imagine the beauty.
Fill me, Lord…
What other advice can you give to fellow parents as we seek to lay a good foundation for sexuality?
What resources do you recommend?