Unless you’ve been living under a rock, it’s not hard to see that we live in a sexualized world in just about every way. Themes and images of sexual and sensual things are lurking around every corner that we turn.
And if we can’t help but notice it, our children certainly are as well. Granted, they may not know any different because that’s the way things have always been as far as they know. But as parents, we know better.
In a culture where mom and dad struggle to watch a Super Bowl as a family without having their finger readily on the remote, and where multiple forms of unbiblical sexuality are now promoted as common in kid’s shows and movies, what are parents to do? Well, first, we must recognize the obvious of what we can’t afford to do:
- We can’t trust the media. Long gone are the days of simply putting our kids in front of a television on Saturday morning and not having to worry about what they might watch. Hollywood lost it’s family-friendly card years ago.
- We can’t simply overlook the sensuality of our culture and hope that our children will as well. Our kids hearts and minds are soft and impressionable. They have to be given boundaries and be taught from us what is right from wrong in the daily culture around us.
- We can’t live by default, thinking that because ours is a ‘Christian’ home, “Well, my kids just know better.” It’s not enough just to be a Christian family or to raise our kids in church, thinking that all will be well. We must be more intentional than that.
As a nation, we’ve sadly come to the point where we need to fix a generation of sexually broken kids. From rampant abuse, pornography, and the media’s saturation of sexual content, children are growing up with a wrong idea of what sex is all about. And with research showing that the average age of a child’s first exposure to pornography is now as young as 8 years old, we can’t be afraid to address the issue.
Our children need to understand that sex is a good and beautiful thing because it’s God’s idea, but that the world’s perspective of sex is distorted and dangerous.
So what’s a parent to do to teach their kids how to avoid sexual sins? Here are a few suggestions:
1. Consciously Oversee Their Media Diet
In a culture where kids spend more time watching TV and on the Internet than they spend in school, we must guard what they watch, read, and listen to. (For more ideas on how to do that, click here)
They are developing appetites at a very early age for what brings them pleasure and satisfaction. We have to cultivate healthy appetites while starving out unhealthy ones.
2. Don’t be Afraid to Talk About Sex
In many Christian families, the issue of human sexuality is taboo. Maybe because that’s the way it was in our home when we were growing up, or maybe because some parents have convinced themselves that if they don’t talk about it, it just doesn’t exist in the heart and mind of their kids.
Nothing could be further from reality. Our kids are thinking about it because they are created as sexual beings. They are wanting answers. And they need to find them from the one source they should most be able to trust—their parents.
Parents should not be ashamed to discuss what God was not ashamed to create.