I have rarely met a parent who did not experience some nervousness about the birds and the bees talk. Explaining sexuality to our young ones, though it is absolutely our job, feels a little too up close and personal! After all, as parents we want to think we can have some measure of privacy in our lives even if we have children of all ages interrupting our daily schedules!
I hope you had a chance to gain some insight from our featured columnist, Mark Gregston's recent article. As Mark shared about the importance of open communication between parents and children, he raised an interesting question for us to address. At what age should a Christian parent begin sex education with their child?
I think the most obvious answer to that is...you already have!
Every time our children go through a check out line, walk past a television, open an online computer session, or sit in a theater, they will be adding to their sexual education! The real question is, whose voice will they hear the loudest and clearest?
While I have appreciated long and more formal "birds and the bees" discussions with my children, I think the teachable moment discussions that accompany real life encounters have by far had the greatest impact for shaping their views and values. So my tip for parents of both teens or young children is: Do not shy away, instead, embrace your opportunities! If sex is a regular discussion topic in your home, you stay in the driver's seat of where they will go to get their questions answered.
In this day of sexual over-saturation, abuses, and perversions, we have no choice but to arm our children with enough information that they can maintain their God-given purity. Notice I did not use the word innocence. Just how innocent will our children be able to be in our culture today? How I wish I could shield their eyes from all impurity, but, short of living in a cave on a deserted island, I do not believe that will be possible. Therefore, we must arm them with wisdom and equip them with self-control.
I would love to hear from you about the teachable moments the Lord provides you to explain things to your kids. We have had some outlandish moments at our house! But I am grateful for every awkward question I have the privilege of fielding, even if they come in public...or at church!