Talking comfortably and credibly about sex is likely the most open and powerful way to enter into the lives of the children you love. To make a significant impact, however, you have to realize that sex education means more than the facts of human reproduction, or the typical “sex talk.”
Many parents, specifically Christian parents, have a hard time teaching their children about sex and purity because of their own histories. They feel because they failed to live purely, they have no authority to speak about it. They feel hypocritical. But my guess is that most of you have led an impure life in one way or another. Fifty percent of the moms who read this will have a husband battling a porn addiction. Many of you have children born outside of marriage. Maybe you have had an affair. There are lots of ways we can fail. So where do we start to train our children to do as we say but not as we did?
Be confident in the grace and mercy of God. Own that you sinned. Remind them of the great grace and forgiveness of God. You sinned, you reaped painful consequences, and you are done now. You don’t wish that pain for them. You are helping equip them to make better, wiser, happier choices. Speak clearly and often about sin, repentance, where you have stumbled, what you have learned and how God is helping you. Never let them think you are perfect. Transparency is key to keeping their hearts. When they know you are not a hypocrite, you are a forgiven and new person, they will trust you enough to talk about their own struggles and mistakes.
The only disqualification from being able to talk to a child about sex is if you are currently involved in sexual sin—a present sexual addiction or affair or sex outside of marriage. If this is part of your life today, your sin is not going to just impact you. Your sin will have an impact on your sons and daughters, your grandsons, and your granddaughters. It will shape their futures. STOP NOW. Get help, and turn to Christ so you can be what your children need for their future and their present.
As you think about what, when, and how to share, it's critical that you think through your own experiences to determine what has influenced you up to this point.
* How did you learn about sex? How have you been influenced by your parents, by your peers, and by the culture? By the media? What mistakes have you made? How
much do you know about what the Bible says on this subject?
* What fears do you have about interacting with your children about sex? Most of us experience fear because we do not feel like experts as parents. We're afraid of
not knowing the answer to a question, or of giving an answer that is too much for a child's age level. We're afraid of awkward moments. We have fear because we
aren’t sure what is the right godly answer in all areas. But that's okay. You just need to be a parent who loves your child and is committed to Jesus. God will give you
the ability and courage to tell your children about His great gift and His perspective.
You also need to be crystal clear about your own convictions. Are you committed to God's standards of purity and innocence for yourself? And are you committed to that standard for teaching your children. Virginity is not a high enough standard. One can engage in many activities that are not pure and innocent without technically losing virginity. Purity and holiness are actually the godly targets. Wavering on these will lead to all kinds of struggle in sharing and living. God is clear:
God’s will is for you to be holy, so stay away from all sexual sin. Then each of you will control his own body and live in holiness and honor—not in lustful passion like the pagans who do not know God and his ways. God has called us to live holy lives, not impure lives. 1 Thessalonians. 4:3-5, 7
Run from anything that stimulates youthful lusts. Instead, pursue righteous living, faithfulness, love, and peace. Enjoy the companionship of those who call on the Lord with pure hearts. 2 Timothy 2:22
Realize that “Just Say No” is not good enough. Abstinence is part of the answer, but it's not the whole answer. With just that, you seem outdated, legalistic, and irrelevant, But when you hear what God says about sex, presented with love, you have a totally different influence.
“What God Says About Sex” is our topic next time.