Home Youth Leaders Articles for Youth Leaders Preteen Sex Talk: Addressing Biblical Sexuality With Middle Schoolers

Preteen Sex Talk: Addressing Biblical Sexuality With Middle Schoolers

If This Happens in Your Ministry

“When kids are developmentally ready for this information, they will look for it,” says Kurt Goble, children’s minister at First Christian Church of Huntington Beach, California, “and they will find it. We have to partner with parents to make sure that the family and the church are viewed as the adolescent’s source for this information.

“Eight years ago we started a class for fourth- through sixth-graders on Entering Adolescence. Three simultaneous six-week classes transpired: one for boys, one for girls, and one for parents. One main goal was to open the lines of communication between kids and their parents regarding sex.”

Preteen Sex Talk: The Homosexual Parent

Ellen and Nick have been married 15 years and are a high-profile couple in the community. Nick announced he’s divorcing Ellen because he’s fallen in love with a man and can’t “live a lie” any longer. Their preteen children are lost, and they’re in your ministry. What do you do?

Advice for the Teacher

“There are many issues these kids face that are greater than homosexuality,” says Goble. “They’re dealing with abandonment, infidelity, financial impact, the destruction of their family unit, and probably questioning God. Love these kids through the process of dealing with these issues first. Obviously, homosexuality is the most prominent hot topic in our minds, but kids who’ve had their family rocked this way have greater immediate needs than explanations and discussions regarding their father’s moral downfall and subsequent lifestyle.”

If This Happens in Your Ministry

Focus on being there for the family, advise the experts. Your ministry should serve as a source of comfort and acceptance. The family doesn’t need a series of lectures on right and wrong. Most of all, don’t say or do things to create division between the children and either parent.

“Comfort them; cry with them,” says Bryan. “Encourage them to love their father and pray for him and be there for their mother during this time. Minister to their mother and strive to expose her to excellent resources.”

Resources include 101 Frequently Asked Questions About Homosexuality by Mike Haley; and When Homosexuality Hits Home: What to Do When a Loved One Says They’re Gay by Joe Dallas.

Preteen Sex Talk: Navigating Sexual Orientation

Terry, 12, has always hung back from boy’s activities and typical “boy” behavior. But this year, you notice he seems particularly withdrawn from other kids. You see Terry once per week, and he’s a regular fixture in your class. The other kids used to tease him, but now it seems that rather than picking on him they avoid him almost totally. What do you do?

Advice for the Teacher

It’s time for a frank, private discussion. But bring your leader and the child’s parents into it. Start with the child’s immediate and most important needs.

Ask Terry if he feels unsafe in the classroom or church because of the way other kids are reacting to him,” advises Sharon Lamb, psychologist and co-author of Packaging Girlhood: Rescuing Our Daughters From Marketers’ Schemes. “If he feels unsafe, ask what you could do to help him feel safer. Ask how he copes with the teasing and tell him you want him to come to you if he feels other kids are making fun of him or treating him badly. In the classroom pair up kids in listening pairs to work on important issues, such as What’s My Vision of God or What’s Jesus’ View on Bullying? Pair this boy with the most sympathetic, open girl in your class. Once one child treats Terry as okay, the others will treat him better.”