We live in a sexually saturated society. There is no secret to Victoria. There is nothing subtle about Miley Cyrus. And the sanctity of marriage is no longer sanctified. Parents, your children need to have a God Rating when it comes to romance and relationships. The world’s R-rated messages and images bombard our children. It’s in direct conflict with God.
Parents having “the talk” can feel like jumping off a cliff without a parachute. So, most parents put it off too long or avoid it all together. As a preteen, I was given a book and instructed to “ask questions if needed.” I got more out of the illustrations than the explanations.
The G rating
For kids, romance and relationships is summed up in a simple verse in Song of Solomon 2:7 that warns “not to awaken love until the time is right” (NLT).
This verse points to the importance of keeping the emotions of love dormant until the time of life is right. Kids should not seek after love and romance before their season of maturity and wisdom has fully developed. A little girl desires to be a beautiful princess, marry her prince, become a mom and live happily ever after. Every little boy wants to be a handsome and brave hero, winning the heart of his princess. Help your kids understand “real romance and authentic relationships.” God designed romance and relationships to be a reflection of Him. God woos us unto Himself. He went to great lengths to have you. He gave his life for you to experience His love! To experience a relationship with Him that is so personal and so deep.
The R rating
Unfortunately, the world’s R-rated message to our children is that identity is about the body. While a healthy body is important, it does not determine our identity. Help your children indentify their true identity by what’s on the inside. Girls need to understand that “charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised” (Proverbs 31:30 NLT).
Guys need to realize that “The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” (1Samuel 16:7 NIV)
The transforming work of Jesus living within our kid’s hearts is where true identity starts.
“The talk” begins at a very early age through scripture. Point your children toward God’s creative process of man and woman, husband and wife. Children love the creation story; share foundational truth that God is the one who created creation and offered the gift to pro-create.
“The talk” progresses when those changes occur between boys and girls. If you do not confront this mystery with them before they reach puberty, then they will believe the R-rated message from peers, advertising and media. Parents must be on the offense and not on the defense. I took my two sixth grade boys through Passport to Purity by Dennis Rainey. (Familylife.com)
When they become hormonally overcharged teens, “the talk” gets tricky for most parents. Teens are not going to be open to “the talk.” So, don’t be hurt if you are the last person on Earth that they want to talk to about romance and relationships. They are more interested in experimenting than talking. Don’t panic! Most likely they will come back around in a few years. For now look to your church for support. Make sure that your church and the Student Pastor holds a biblical perspective and that you expect it to be addressed in a biblical and healthy environment. This does not replace your responsibility; it simply supports it.
Choosing an age
Don’t place an age on when your kids can date. You will lock yourself into a commitment, and you may regret it. Let the time to date be when they are mature enough to handle the responsibilities that come with dating.
The time, love and affection that you give your kids will pay big dividends later. For an example, if dads give love and respect to their daughters, then there is a great likelihood that their daughters will expect this type of love and respect from a man.
It’s never a too late to get rid of R-rated influences from your home that pervert G-rated truths on romance and relationships.
Pastor Brody Howell is the founder of Core Solutions For Family Life where he consults and teaches in churches and schools to help impact youth and families. He is also an area advisor for First Priority of South Florida. Pastor Brody offers parenting seminars at churches and schools and can be reached at [email protected]