We are pro-life.
We may sign every pro-life petition that comes our way. We may constantly preach about the sanctity of life. We may donate money to a crisis pregnancy center. But, if we aren’t talking to our kids about sex (not just once, but throughout their childhood and teen years), then we are truly failing to live out our pro-life views within our own family. We can’t send our children out there with no sense of what sex was designed to be and with no real knowledge of how their bodies work or how reproduction happens. We MUST be open with our kids and acknowledge how strong sexual desire is and how hard it can be to wait until marriage. We need to instill in our kids a reverence for marriage and for their future spouse, and above all, we must show our kids that holiness is a life-long pursuit that includes the difficulty of denying ourselves sexual pleasure until marriage. A huge part of the pro-life movement is and should be sex education. It starts with us.
Sexual orientation isn’t a given.
In this strange culture that our kids are growing up in, many will begin to question their sexual orientation or even be told by others that they are gay. They need to be able to talk to us when these questions come up. We should be there to reassure them, to guide them in working through their fears, and to constantly be streaming the word of God in their ear, always leading them back to the holiness and goodness of God. The last thing I want is for my children to feel like I am not where they can turn if these feelings come up. I want to be the first place they run to, and I will be if we have a long history of talking openly about sex.
If we start young, we can easily keep the conversation going.
If your child is a teenager and you haven’t opened up a conversation about sex, just do it. It will be awkward and weird, but don’t miss your opportunity to influence him, here and now, while you have him in your house. Invite him to share his struggles with you, and give him godly guidance, even if he doesn’t act like he wants to hear it. He needs to hear it.
But, if you have younger kids, you have a golden opportunity to open this conversation during a phase of life when they aren’t self-conscious and embarrassed. Start small in age-appropriate ways, and begin an open-ended, ongoing discussion that leaves plenty of room for questions and honest talk. And, don’t stop talking. Just keep it going. Check in every once in awhile. Ask questions about what she has heard. Find out if she has questions to ask you. If you are especially feeling awkward about it, talk in the car so that you don’t have to look each other in the face. You may both talk more easily that way.
As Christian parents, we want to disciple our kids and lead them in the ways of God. We can’t fool ourselves into thinking that sex education isn’t a huge part of discipleship. Sexual sin is dangerous and rampant, and it always has been. We can’t help our kids deal with the incredible pull of sexual desire unless we talk about it. Will it feel awkward? Maybe, at first. But, it’s nothing we can’t handle. Sex shouldn’t be a dirty word in Christian homes. If we want our kids to think biblically about sex and about their own worth, then we have to teach them what the Bible says about it, one conversation at a time.