Many of you have asked about when and how to get started on this oh-so-delicate topic of Sex. What I can offer you is what I learned as an abstinence and relationship teacher and what I have done with my own girls. I am going to try to break it down in bite-sized pieces.
1) Start sooner than you think and start sooner than you are ready.
Parents often wait to discuss the whole sexual side of relationship until they “think their children are ready.” But in my experience, this is a fallacy and is often a big cover up for parental fear. The thought goes, if my children don’t ask, then my children aren’t ready. But we don’t do this in any other area. We talk to our children about fires being hot and able to burn you, chocolate being wonderful but the need for moderation, and even what to do around “scary people” and how to get help.
I doubt any of our children asked about these topics. But we deemed them as necessary discussions for their development. So is sex.
We live in a highly sexualized culture. Your children are being educated All. The. Time. So my firm belief is that parents should be the primary voice even in sexual matters for their children. Why? You want to be the Go-To person for your children. You want to be the trusted expert. Not the TV, movies, social media or even their buddies.
I feel so strongly about this. I want to create a foundation of truth for today’s generation that is based on God’s idea of sexuality. I want it to be so strong that when the world tries to dump its toxic nature into my kids, or your kids, that they can see the lie for what it is. Otherwise, the opposite is true. The world establishes the foundation for our kids and parents then resort to trying quick fixes. Too many parents wait so long that their kids have no need to hear from mom and dad.
Too many times, and I have seen this first hand, kids give up on their parents. The parents act like they don’t know anything about sex so they lose credibility with their own children. Children will go somewhere to get answers. You want to be where they go. If you shy away, or sugar coat or even Christian-coat their real questions, you will lose them. Oral sex, anal sex, homosexual sex. You don’t flinch. You answer their questions. But they won’t even begin asking if you have never opened the door for them to walk through.
We began the “sex talk” by celebrating marriages. Our girls were often flower girls or we attended friends’ weddings so we talked about the honeymoon being a special time for the husband and wife to share secret and beautiful things. At one point, then five -year-old Charis was so excited about the idea of a honeymoon she exclaimed, “Daddy I want you to come on my honeymoon with me and my husband!”
Chuck laughed and said, “I tell you what, when you get married if you and your husband still want me to come, I will be glad to be there!!”
Early on, we set the stage for them that something wonderful was coming. As they got older, lots of conversations naturally happened as we watched movies where couples had sex on the first date. Why are they kissing already? Why are they having sex, they aren’t married yet? It is easy to have lots of “sex talks” as you are doing life together, rather than having one big weekend or event.
We honored their bodies. When they were very small we called their sexual areas “privates,” because they were not to be seen or shared with anyone but who God had for them. Sound like overkill? With the prevailing sexual abuse, we wanted our girls to know that we highly valued them and they were worth protecting. In hindsight, this even prevented the “playing doctor” and other forms of curiosity.
We covered their privates. We talked about honoring their privates and when they began to talk, we called body parts by their anatomically correct names. Why? Because believe or not, the labeling of women’s bodies begins the objectification process. Boobies, ta-tas, titties, all these phrases and even the ones related to the vagina, are part of a culture that separates a woman’s body from the total person. I know this is extreme to some. But we are honoring what God has made. Not what the culture dictates.
Yes there was awkward in the beginning. For example, when Salem was three she came with me to the office and we ran into the Director of the Board. As he was walking away, she loudly asked, “Mommy does Mr. Mickey have a penis?” Gasp. Gulp. “Yes he sure does honey. All boys do.”
She wasn’t embarrassed. So why was I? I had told her that God made us differently and that it was beautiful. So why do we drag all this shame into our conversations with our kids. Sex is God’s idea. Let’s give Him glory even in this. He’s not embarrassed. So why should we be?
Okay this is all for today. Lots more to come.
photo credit: artsmarts4kids.blogspot.com