Cultural Engagement Tip: Proactively Talk to Your Kids about Sex
In today’s sex-saturated world, it seems like children are exposed to dysfunctional ideas about sexuality at younger and younger ages. This is why some parents say they feel almost powerless when it comes to teaching their kids a biblical perspective on sex in a midst of popular, yet unbiblical views in the prevailing culture. But there is hope.
In a recent Table podcast episode called “How Do I Talk to My Teen About Sex?,” Marriage and Family Therapist Debby Wade tells parents that they are actually “the most significant sexual educators in their children's lives.” She highlights the importance of beginning an open, ongoing conversation, with children at an early age---not just thinking of this in terms of the dreaded “sex talk.”
“One of things I'm most grateful for (is that my parents) started with my older sister and me at an early age. We were six and eight when they began talking to us very directly about sex.”
These ongoing conversations about sex---from a biblical perspective---coupled with appropriate signs of affection between Wade’s parents played a key role in her maintaining sexual purity as an older child:
“I knew that the relationship that my parents had I wanted…when it came to fighting pressures in my teen years and what I saw friends being pressured to do, I knew I wanted what my parents had, and everything else seemed less than.”
Still, Wade notes that many Christian parents tend to fear these kinds of conversations, thinking that “if we give our child information, then they'll be so curious and want to go explore, (but) research shows just the opposite.” Wade has found that children who seem to be the most curious and take risky behaviors are those who haven't been taught about sex from a biblical perspective though open, ongoing conversations.
Further, she says that neglecting this responsibility leaves a “huge vacuum for all the distorted messages to come in from a sex-saturated culture.” Christian parents need to see their role as the primary sexual educators of their children. In this, there is honor. There is privilege. And there is hope.
Watch the Table Podcast Episode: How Do I Talk to My Teen About Sex?