Moment of truth: I asked my teenage son to help me write this. He’s an almost-sixteen-year-old, who is willing to give me input about initiating the “sex talk.” I kind-of-most-definitely want to hear what he has to say. I wanted to know what he feels we’ve succeeded in and inevitably, what he feels we’ve failed at over the years. I asked him because, truth be told, it’s hard for me to pinpoint exactly how to initiate this conversation with kids.
My entire parenting life has always been about bearing through things together, as a unit. And thus, that has created this ebb and flow of good, healthy conversations about sex and relationships over the years. (Admittedly, there has definitely been a fair amount of backpedaling upon the realization that we may have needed to use more discretion as well, so don’t go thinking we accomplished this amazing feat without a hitch!)
The entire context of Sexuality Mentality is that Biblical sexual integrity be integrated into a person’s frame of mind. . . . into a family’s frame of mind. . . .that it becomes part of a Christian person’s mentality and mindset. If there’s one thing I know, it’s this: the sex talk isn’t one conversation. It’s a lifetime of dialogue that rinses and repeats, ebbs and flows, throughout every experience our children face in this world. It continues to come up and remains a constant companion, no matter the age. Why? Because we have a relational God who has created us to be relational people. We are required, above all else, to be in relationship with the people around us. More than anything else, we need to nurture this in our children’s lives because this is the foundation on which every. single human interaction will be based. Most especially, our intimate relationships. So, instead of giving a step-by-step about having the sex talk, I wanted to share with you these key points that will help you initiate the many conversations with your kids throughout all the years of their lives.
- Teach them God’s value of all human life from conception to natural death. Let them see you living that respect and loving others unconditionally. “We love because He first loved us. If anyone says, ‘I love God,’ and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother.” (1 John 4:19–21)
- Start at the beginning and build upon it. If there’s one thing I’ve learned serving in pregnancy center ministries, it’s that we should never, ever assume that our kids know basic anatomy. Even if they have been taught it once in health class, they need constant reminders about how it all works. From there, it’s natural to talk about how our bodies relate to one another: not just physically, but also mentally, emotionally, socially, and spiritually. The natural progression after that point is to get your kids asking the question, “Where does God fit into my relationships? Into my life?” It is mind-blowing when they realize that it all comes full circle as God, through His Son, Jesus, is the very center of it all; every interaction.
- Be straight with them. It’s not the conversations they’re dreading! It’s the (very well-intended) “moments” that make us all cringe. We have to move past the stereotype that this has to be a special conversation and acknowledge it for what it is: a part of everyday life. If they don’t hear from you, who will they hear it from? What version will they get? Which leads me to my very last point. . . .
- Be the standard. Be the ones to show the kids in your life who God created them to be and how He created them to live in relationship with others. “What does it look like to care for something of value?” Think about this! This phrase alone will set you on a solid course toward God’s truth about sex, dating, marriage, and relationships; a Biblical sexuality mentality.
- Buckle up! There is no one talk. The world is not going to give our kids one talk. The world is constantly talking, non-stop. Therefore, we need to as well. It’s not like the world is coming out and saying, “You should have sex before you’re married,” or “Casual sex is the way to your best life now,” etc. . . . the message is incorporated in the culture that’s being created around us. Christian families need to create a counter-culture that stands parallel and superior. A culture that speaks and manifests the value of each human life, the value of marriage, the value of faith, and one that values God as the Creator of it all, and the Savior of it all, through Jesus Christ, our Lord.
Never doubt the incredible value that God has placed on every one of our lives, yours included! You are loved. Hear of this love and the value God has placed on us, HIS children, and then take it, and teach it to your children. He says this about you: “Can a woman forget her nursing child, that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you. Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands, your walls are continually before me.” (Isaiah 49:15–16)