Over the past few months, issues such as virginity and sexual purity have cropped up in sermons at BBC. Christo even went as far as challenging the children in one of his sermons to ask their parents to talk to them about the issue of virginity. I am sure that this challenge, and the heading of this article, caused many a cringe moment.
As parents we need to get over the cringe factor around these topics, which are dealt with by God in Scripture. We should be talking about issues of virginity, intimacy and sex with our children. As with all other areas of life, parents are to be the primary sex educators of their children. Many forces will push your children to make bad choices about sex. From their earliest years, children are bombarded by destructive, false messages about the nature of sexual intimacy. These messages come through music, television, the Internet, social media, discussions with their friends and school sex education programs. First messages are the most powerful. Why wait until your child hears the wrong thing then try and correct the misunderstanding? Our children must know that they can ask their parents anything about sex.
This is a vast subject. Where do we start?
If our children hear about sex from a person who does not have a biblical worldview, invariably their concept and idea of sex will be that it is a bad or ugly thing. In light of this, we need to ensure that, as parents, we are the first ones that address the topic of sex with our children. Parents need to start where the Bible starts, namely that sex is a gift from God and we want them to understand that gift (Genesis 2:24–25; 4:1). In the opening chapters of Genesis sex is not portrayed as bad or ugly, but as a beautiful gift given by God to a man and a woman within the covenant of marriage. Parents’ most important task with a young child is to lay a spiritual foundation for a child’s understanding of sexuality. God loves the human body (and the whole human person) and called it very good (Genesis 1:31). Children must not only see their bodies, but also their sexual organs, as gifts from God.
Young children can begin to develop a wondrous appreciation for God’s splendid gift of sexuality by understanding the basics of marriage and human reproduction. Parents can take their children through those wedding photographs and not only share with them memories of that special day but also the wonderful gifts God gave dad and mom to enjoy in marriage. This is a good point to also discuss virginity and when God expects men and women to give up their virginity: in marriage (Hebrews 13:4). Parents can then take their child through God’s gift of human reproduction and show them by what means (dad “knowing” mom) God made them and how they grew inside of mom’s womb and the birth process. With technology such as sonograms and recordings of scans showing baby’s heartbeat, we take our children on a wonderful journey and show them that life begins in the womb. There are also many good books to help us take and talk our children through the reproduction process. I would highly recommend a book called, Where Do I Come From? by Murray Janson.
So my encouragement to you is that you talk to your children about sex before the wrong people do, and give them the wrong ideas about sex and sexuality. Parents must not avoid the hardest subjects and must have the following goals in mind when engaging their children:
- Establish God’s view of sexuality.
- Explain and defend the biblical view of sexual morality in these modern times.
- Explore how you can most powerfully influence your children to live a life of sexual chastity.
- Equip your children with the strength necessary to stand by their commitments to biblical and godly morality.
Sexuality is a beautiful gift from God. Why not present it to children the way God intended? Why not establish yourself as the trusted expert to whom your children can turn to find out God’s truth about sex?