My husband settled in for The Talk with my son many months ago. After explaining the um, mechanics of the parts, my son stopped his dad and said, “From now on, can we just refer to everything as Thing One and Thing Two?”
It sort of ruined Dr. Seuss for all of us.
We’ve been talking about sex in our house with our older kids lately.
They are at the age where it’s being mentioned or joked about in some way nearly every day. And my husband and I want to be a part of their sex education. It’s not just public school kids talking…you might be surprised what kids say at church or what my son’s homeschool friend saw on the Internet. Not to mention what’s readily available on just about every TV show and screen in our homes with just a click.
Kids talk about sex.
So, we do, too…much earlier than I thought we would. But I think it’s important to set up God’s standard of purity before they start believing the world’s.
We’ve talked about things that make us blush and giggle and hurry and change the subject. We’ve corrected rumors and dispelled untruths, but most of all, we try and teach the importance of purity.
My husband and I grew up in an era of purity commitments and to put it bluntly: a church environment of shame-based sex education. Your commitment was all fine and good until you broke it and then there was no going back. You were ruined.
This kind of pressure to be pure doesn’t really work because it’s in and of itself, not pure. While my husband and I married as virgins, we did so because we chose to be pure in our hearts first. It took some time for us to untangle the guilt and shame wrapped up in our view of sex.
We lived in the time of “don’t confess you’re struggling with impure thoughts because you’ll be condemned and certainly don’t admit to giving into them or you’ll be damned.” We want to teach our children that they will in fact probably struggle with impure thoughts and possibly act on them at some point because they are human. And while this isn’t ideal or what we want for them, it doesn’t void or negate their purity commitment. It just gives them reason to talk to God about their hearts and ask for his help again.
I desperately want my kids to know this about sex:
1. They can talk to Mom and Dad about anything. I don’t want to hush them or tell them it’s inappropriate. The older they get, the less they talk, so I want to keep the lines open. I want to keep my kids talking, even if the first ten minutes aren’t important. If they hear a word they have a question about or someone sexts them a picture once they have phones (it happens to even good kids) or applies pressure in the cyber world or whatever…I want to be the one (or their Dad) they come to, not peers.
2. There is grace in this life. We all struggle. We all need to forgive and be forgiven. I want my children to know that if or when they make a mistake, their life isn’t over. They aren’t ruined for life. There are consequences for actions, especially sexual promiscuity. But God often uses our mess-ups to draw us closer to Him. My life is full of broken pieces he’s mended. And I’m stronger because of them. The last thing I want my teenager to believe about themselves is that they are damaged goods. God is about redemption and I want my children to know we serve a God who can redeem anything. Romans 8:1 “There is therefore now no condemnation in Christ Jesus.”
3. God’s way protects and provides for you. I want my kids to know we don’t just make up rules because we’re mean. We are teaching our kids that if we follow God’s standard of holiness, it protects them physically, spiritually and emotionally. It also provides for them in the future without all the cumbersome baggage and guilt that comes from doing too much too soon.
We are still figuring out what to teach our kids. With heavy media influence and availability (and the apps!), the dangers change nearly daily. But instead of creating a giant list of Do’s and Do not’s, we’re focusing on the heart.
It’s really where purity begins and ends.
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