There may be a certain Salt-n-Pepa song in your head after reading this title…that goes to show you’ve lived long enough to be able to pass on some relevant, life-giving truth to the next generation. No singing required!
The decrees of the Lord are firm, and all of them are righteous. They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold; they are sweeter than honey, than honey from the honeycomb. By them your servant is warned; in keeping them there is great reward.
When our kids were little, we introduced the “circle of obedience”. We drew a big circle and described how much fun, how safe and how good it was when you stay within the circle of obedience. There was a freedom in the circle that could not be found anywhere else. But once you step out … there are consequences, hurt and the supposed freedom you feel lasts just a little while before it actually makes you its slave.
The circle continues to be referred to as we have “THE TALK” about sex and every small conversation about sex that follows with them. Of course, kids want to hide under the covers and throw up a little in their mouth when we talk about sex with them … but it gets better … promise. Do not stop at the initial talk. Weave it into conversations in small ways so that it becomes normal (or as normal as they can tolerate). If we shy away from these conversations, they will shy away from it too.
While we don’t need to discuss all the specific benefits and joys of sex in a healthy marriage, we can make it clear that staying within God’s “circle of obedience” (striving for purity) is worth it. Striving for sexual purity will keep us from heartbreak, disease, guilt and so many other circumstances AND allow us (at the right time) to freely enjoy the goodness of this gift.
- Talk. Our kids are going to hear about sex from someone. Let it be you. Let them feel safe and free to discuss it. If it isn’t with you, find someone you trust and have them be your kiddos’ safe place to discuss.
- Teach. Teachable moments are everywhere (especially teens). A commercial, a movie and popular song will almost always produce an example of how the world views sex … good or bad. Push pause and ask a few questions: what is this song/show saying about relationships or sex? What would be the consequences if they (or when they) kept going down that path? What does God’s Word say about the decision being made? What do you think? (Even if they roll their eyes at you … they will catch themselves asking the same questions when you aren’t around!)
- React well. Our body language, our words, and our reactions say so much. Don’t shut the conversation down with a lecture, but instead listen and lead them to what God’s Word says about the good gift of sex within marriage.
I grew up hearing sex was wrong, bad and sinful. Which is good as it kept me out of trouble, but bad because I had some retraining of my brain to do when I got married. It’s a tricky balance (especially with hormonal teens, adult kids) to teach them that it is worth the wait. In our society and even the church, talking about sex is sometimes taboo and hushed. These children are ours to teach and teach well. Consider this: having sex outside of marriage is no different than stealing from a store … it is sin and there are consequences. We would talk to our kids about one … therefore we should be steadfast about talking about both of them. (No matter how much they gross out!)
Even though rules seem like a waste of fun sometimes, we know they are given to us for so many good reasons … to keep us safe and to let us live life fully within those rules (How much fun would football, basketball, or soccer be with no rules??). It takes a lot of pressure off of us in deciding just what we should do.
When you were little the rules were to keep you out of the street so you wouldn’t get hit by a car … now the boundaries are different, but still with the same purpose … to keep you safe. Keeping our heart and body pure for marriage will be life giving! What are ways you can strive to stay pure…what steps will you take?