Truth be told, I was planning on writing something warm and encouraging today about the end of the school year. But then I woke up to the the news that the FDA has now approved “Plan B”, or “The Morning After Pill”, for use by kids as young as 15 years old, without parental consent. As the parent of a teenager, I am extremely concerned. This unraveling of morality starts way before the teenage years, and it’s vitally important that we get a handle on our role as parents before our kids are faced with the very adult decisions of dating and sex.
When our little ones are in grade school, the furthest thing from our minds is their sexual morality. Boys still have cooties and girls are too bossy. I love this age of innocence! We purchase their clothing, decide what they are allowed to watch on TV, or what games they can play. We know who their friends are. There is little in their world which we don’t control. These are the years when we start to teach them what it means to have a Biblical world view. Going to church with the family, Sunday school, and Christian groups like Awana help us teach them the lessons about loving our neighbors, forgiving others, and becoming the hands and feet of Jesus to the world around them. Important life lessons, for sure! But sex and purity are those tough topics that our kids need to hear about first, from us. Those topics can be pretty intimidating to teach!
“The Talk” used to consist of a very biological discussion about how all the pertinent body parts fit together in God’s ultimate plan of love-giving and life-making. Sounds good, right? The thing is, that whole concept probably gave some adults a bit of a panic. Understandably. Inevitably it’s at that part of “the talk” when our kids put two and two together, realizing that mom and dad even do (or at least have done) those things. Parents then finish this somewhat awkward discussion by telling the kids how beautiful sex is, and that it’s a gift from God….FOR MARRIED PEOPLE ONLY. I think it’s safe to assume most of us have (or will) emphasize that last fact, hoping that those words hang in the air, in some sort of perpetual thought bubble until our kids are actually married, themselves.
Unfortunately, they will undoubtedly face challenges to the Biblical morality which we have so fervently taught them. Love or LUV? While it’s perhaps a many-splendored thing, it’s also a fleeting emotion, based a lot on hormones in those who are young. It’s tricky because we know what the world tells us about love – sex and love are synonymous. If you have one then you are in the other, or visa versa. It’s a trap which we must…MUST, MUST, MUST prepare our kids for.
As great as my parents were, and okay, yeah, you can add Catholic and Hispanic guilt to that mix… I was still tricked by the world around me into thinking that my parents were “old fashioned” and “out of touch” on the issues of sex and love. I was NOT taught that sex is a gift. In fact, I was taught that sex was just something that married people did, but if it was done before marriage it was a sin. I remember not being sure why sex was so mysteriously naughty one minute, but after a church ceremony it was okay with everyone, including God. Here’s the kicker–guilt actually saved me many times! That’s not necessarily the correct way to approach this topic, granted. But, for me that’s what worked. Okay, guilt and a heavy dose of fear that my dad would kill me (metaphorically of course, but still…).
We should probably continue teaching our kids what God says about purity, sex, and marriage. Making it clear that in God’s plan of marriage, everything physical does work out beautifully, but that there is also a spiritual side to this action. That sex isn’t like what the movies says it is. It isn’t like what the kids talk about at school, either. It’s a lot more wonderful, because it is something that God made our bodies minds and spirits to do with the one who He’s already chosen for us. Those feelings we get when we’re in our teens when a pretty girl or cute boy walks into the room are normal feelings. Our bodies are working correctly, and there’s nothing to be ashamed about. But God does lay out a plan about how He wants us to use sex and when He wants us to celebrate this gift and with whom He wants us to wait to use it with.
So, mom and dad, what does the Bible say about sex? What can we start teaching our kids, in age appropriate increments, so they don’t become victims of the world’s hedonistic ideas of this very beautiful gift?
Let’s start at the beginning. In Genesis we get a wonderful example of God’s plan of marriage and sex. (Genesis 2:24) Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.
Here are some other verses we can share with our kids on the topic of sex, marriage, immorality and…waiting:
(1 Corinthians 7:2-3) But because of immoralities, each man should have relations with his own wife and each woman with her own husband. 3 A husband should give to his wife her sexual rights, and likewise a wife to her husband.
(1 Corinthians 6:18) Flee sexual immorality! “Every sin a person commits is outside of the body”—but the immoral person sins against his own body
(Hebrews 13:4) Marriage must be honored among all and the marriage bed kept undefiled, for God will judge sexually immoral people and adulterers.
(Titus 1:15) All is pure to those who are pure. But to those who are corrupt and unbelieving, nothing is pure, but both their minds and consciences are corrupted.
(1 Thessalonians 4:3-5) For this is God’s will: that you become holy, that you keep away from sexual immorality, 4 that each of you know how to possess his own body in holiness and honor, 5 not in lustful passion like the Gentiles who do not know God.
Lisa Strnad is a weekly contributing writer/blogger to What’s in the Bible? and Jelly Telly. She has been a homeschooling mom of two, who works independently in Christian media in the areas of writing, promotions and marketing. She lives with her husband and children in Nashville,TN. Follow her personal blog posts on Talking Like A Girl.