As you look at our culture, it’s obvious we are not sure about the role or the purpose that our sexuality plays. For far too long the Christian home has attempted to teach a child about sex with one word: DON’T. Then the child goes off to school, or turns on the television, or listens to music or social media or TikTok and hears a totally different message from every other part of our culture: Go for it… experiment!
Parents must first decide what they think about sex and then be very proactive in teaching their children about sex. Is sex merely a biological act for procreation? Is sex a pleasurable experience one person gets or takes from another person, or is our sexuality something much grander than what is revered on the internet?
Could it be that God actually invented sex and created us to be sexual beings? If that is the case, it would make sense that the Inventor Himself would give mankind sexuality with instructions for how to make use of it.
Our sexuality is a beautiful part of the way God chose to create us. For thousands of years, children had a much better and much earlier understanding of their sexuality. They walked into the barn with dad and asked, “Hey, what’s going on here?” Mom or dad was forced to do some explaining… then months later the child participated in the birthing of the calf. The children were also present or at least nearby when their siblings were born. They understood at an earlier age.
Today’s child understands at an early age, but mom and dad have been removed from the training process. No longer is it portrayed as the beautiful act of marriage that it is. Sex has become a commodity… an experience you get. It is little wonder that today’s youth are confused about their sexuality and their sexual identity. Dating is seen as a sport, and the commitment of marriage is viewed as something to be avoided.
We as parents have not done well at portraying and explaining God’s plan for a man and a woman, and our children have been left to figure it out. But they haven’t been left in a vacuum. The world is working overtime to stimulate their biology and passion while confusing their goals. It’s time… past the time… for parents to spend time opening the doors of communication about sex.
First, sex is good
The life lesson about sex begins with the understanding that sex is good. Of course it’s good; God made it. In the two-parent home, it is important that the children know mom and dad enjoy a passionate relationship; obviously, not by demonstration but rather by innuendo, touch, kiss, romance, etc. Children can be taught much by growing up in a home where they know their parents obviously enjoy time alone in the bedroom or a weekend alone at a hotel. It tells the children that physical intimacy is good. It also demonstrates the proper arena for this intimacy: marriage.
Second, sex is of God
It’s also important to include God in the lesson. God made it so he has a plan for it. That plan is for marriage not for pre-marriage recreation. Though the world will challenge that truth, it’s important to emphasize that the world challenges every truth of God… right from the beginning… right back to that apple in the garden.
Third, sex is so good, discipline is needed
That fact that sex is good and tempting before marriage means there will need to be personal discipline and training in the area of impulse control. The reason smaller children need to be taught that there are consequences for temper tantrums and lack of impulse control is obvious. It prepares them for the reality that there are also consequences for walking away from God’s plan for handling our sexual urges.
When you train a child to fight the urge to stay in bed, when he is told that it’s time to get up in the morning, you are teaching him more than good early morning habits. You are teaching him impulse control. You are teaching him to do what is responsible rather than what seems momentary pleasurable. The lesson is much bigger than getting out of bed. It’s the beginning of personal discipline. Personal discipline is transferable to the other… greater… temptations of life. It’s not about getting out of bed!
Fourth, sex is the ultimate wedding present
Teach your children that the greatest gift they can give to their spouse is the discipline of their virginity. The discipline of staying pure before marriage helps stamp the resolve to stay pure after the wedding.
Get a book (There are many amazing age-appropriate resources for Christian families.) and read it out loud with your child. Read it to them earlier than you think they are ready. Then keep reading it so that you spend their first decade opening the doors of communication about this extremely important topic. Remember, it’s not the children that are squeamish about talking about sex… yet.
Visit parentingonpurpose.org for more advice from Dr. Bob Barnes and Torrey Roberts.
For more articles by Dr. Bob Barnes and Torrey Roberts, visit goodnewsfl.org/author/dr-bob-barnes-and-torrey-roberts/