And not just once, but repeatedly, weaving it into your conversations whenever appropriate. Because “talking about sex,” really encompasses so much more.
Yes, there are the actual acts. But there is also the larger context of masculinity and femininity, our innate sexuality, and the choices we get to make. There are desires, relationships, guardrails for your body and heart, the world’s narrative and God’s, the power of marriage, the purpose of singleness. And on and on!
Yet many of us can’t imagine getting past the first few words because this is a conversation too often riddled with our own shame, guilt, or fear from past decisions and our own upbringing.
You are already equipped!
Too often, the world wants to tell us that we are just a body, no soul.What we do with that body doesn’t have any sort of long-term implications and certainly won’t impact us emotionally. Sex is like a game of tennis, another form of exercise that requires a bit more privacy and a lot fewer clothes. And yet many of us know that isn’t true because of our painful experiences.
You may be feeling ill-equipped to speak to your kids about this because your own past isn’t what you would want them to model. To that lie, I speak this truth: you are a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17).
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:[a] The old has gone, the new is here!
2 Corinthians 5:17
Jesus is in the business of redeeming our worst mistakes to make something beautiful! This is good news to all of us, regardless of our past. No sin is too big for the extravagant grace of God.
When it comes to then sharing with our kids, does that mean getting into specifics? No. You still want to keep it age-appropriate. But you know first hand the pain of walking out your sexuality in a way that doesn’t align with God’s best. And you can speak to the power of His grace to cover all our failings. Your children will hear your heart for them and for the goodness of God’s way over the World’s way.
Sex and the Church
The Church, on the other hand, too often portrays us as just souls who have to put up with these filthy bodies. Oh, that we could be rid of our desires and then all be angels! Sex tops the list of things that are gross and dirty and yet magically become beautiful, holy, and covered in rainbows on our wedding day. But slip up a little and you’re “damaged goods” with your purity “gone.” As though God’s grace isn’t big enough to cover everything.
It’s confusing. And has done countless damage for many of us and our peers.
God created us and our children with bodies that get to house souls. They are both important to who we are as individuals and to living out our callings in Christ.
Maybe your parents didn’t speak to you about this growing up and so you picked up that sex is shameful. God made this a necessity for having children but we sure wish he’d come up with a less messy and awkward way of doing it!
I can confidently tell you that God gave sex as a gift to husbands and wives. The silence you heard around this was not His heart.There’s a whole book tucked into the middle of the Bible that celebrates marriage intimacy and the delight of one another in their bodies. Does that sound like something from a God who begrudgingly gave us sex?
A new way forward
Oh, but what if it didn’t have to be any of these ways? What if we could each be excited about slowly and consistently unpacking God’s heart for our kids on this beautiful and powerful aspect of their life?
What if we could know we were painting a vision that inspired Hope rather than fear?
In speaking to our kids, we get to pave a new way forward, to create a new position on sex. Or rather, a very old one.
In Genesis 2, we see that God created us male and female and while we were naked, there was no shame. None. Adam and Eve didn’t feel awkward. God didn’t feel embarrassed. He made the human forms distinct and yet complementary, to be enjoyed by spouses for our delight, His Honor, and the means of furthering humanity. It was only when sin entered the world that this perfect gift became twisted and tainted.
Move forward to Proverbs 5:18 and we are actually instructed to delight in one another and the intimacy we get to share within marriage. You see Paul in Corinthians instructing couples to not abstain from sex for too long.
What you do not see when you flip through the Bible, is a message that sex itself is “bad” or that our desires are to be disparaged. It is what we do with those desires that matter greatly. Like all desires, will they be a means of selfish gratification or another gift to surrender to Christ out of our love for Him? In doing the latter, He then helps us learn how to live for His Glory and our delight.
Our sexuality and its expression are part of the uniqueness God created in every individual. The world takes this and runs to give our children an identity out of this unique aspect. Yet any identity apart from Christ will ultimately leave our children battered, depressed, and confused about who they are and how to pursue a life of meaning.
A rooted life
Conversations with our kids about sex and sexuality are reallyjust another opportunity to point our children back to the Cross and a life rooted in Christ.
As the God-chosen mother for your children, you have the gift and privilege of helping your children build a sexual ethic that is life-giving, God-honoring, and world-changing. Never convince yourself that someone could do it better.
The author and perfector of our faith has asked us to join Him in this holy opportunity. He will give us the words, the insights, the means of reaching our children with HIS vision of sexuality that is both sensual and sacred. Get excited!
Joanna Hyatt is a mom of four girls, author, international speaker, and media personality most often dialoguing on the critical issues that intersect faith, culture, politics, and the human spirit. Writer and Host of the “Dilemma Series” for Right Now Media, she podcasts and writes at www.joannahyatt.com, offering encouragement to other women to live their faith in a way that is culturally relevant but biblically rooted.
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