There is so much shame surrounding the subject of sex in the culture we live in today. The media paints a perverted picture about what sex is supposed to be like, while the church rarely says a word. That is until we have a quiet, one-time, whisper of a “talk” with our kids that is filled with awkwardness and may leave them uncomfortable and scared. But what we’re missing is that sex is God’s idea! He’s not scared of it, ashamed of it, or hiding it! When God said, “Be fruitful and multiply,” He was giving us a sex drive. It’s time the church speaks up about God’s heart for sex and develops a healthy sexual culture, breaking the shame culture that’s been developed over years. Here are some practical tips for teaching your children about sex:
1. Celebrate sexuality.
It’s God’s idea, and He talks about it throughout the Bible. He’s not nervous about sex and He made it to be beautiful and desirable. In Proverbs 5:18-19 it says, “Let your wife be a fountain of blessing for you. Rejoice in the wife of your youth. She is a loving deer, a graceful doe. Let her breasts satisfy you always. May you always be captivated by her love.” That’s in the book of Proverbs—the book of the Bible known for sharing wisdom! Isn’t God’s heart for sex beautiful? Sex is something that should be celebrated, not hidden.
2.Teach them the power of sacrifice.
The goal of a healthy sexual culture is not to get rid of the desire for sex, but rather to manage the appetite for it. We must stop using shame to do this. Teach your kids that by saying no to temptation now means saying yes to a better future. The value of their virginity is in the battle it took to keep it. It gives them something valuable, that they’ve had to sacrifice and fight for, to give away to the one they love on their honeymoon night.
3. Teach them to manage their desires from a young age.
This principle begins when they’re young! Think about how your kids cry out for candy bars. We can teach them to manage this desire by telling them they need to wait until after dinner to have candy. This trains them in gratification delay, so that when they’re older they’ve already learned how to wait for good things. We can’t always get what we want when we want it, and every child needs to learn this lesson from a young age. It will only help as they manage their sexual appetite when they’re older.
4. Don’t punish them into purity.
We can’t create a positive by enforcing a bunch of negatives. In other words, we can’t just motivate our kids into purity by saying “Don’t have sex because you could get pregnant!” Rather, release and empower your children into fighting for their purity. Paint a picture and give them a vision of the importance of waiting so that they’re motivated by a strong “yes” to something beautiful, instead of a weak “no” to temptation that’s motivated by fear. Instead of motivating by punishment and shame, help them make a battle plan and always support them in keeping to it. And here’s the kicker—if they fail, God can restore anything, even your child’s sexuality.
5. Create a safe place for them to talk about sex.
Have age-appropriate conversations with your children about sex throughout their lives, so that you don’t just constrict communication to “a talk” but rather a normal part of your family culture. The principle of first mention comes in here. It says that when we hear about a subject for a first time, it becomes the foundation by which we determine what we believe about that subject. Everything else we are told about it is then weighed against the foundational core values we learned. In other words, the first time we hear about a subject it creates lenses that we will continue to have anytime we look at that subject. Let’s be the kind of parents who create the lenses and perspective that our kids view sex through. Let’s instill kingdom virtues in them by talking about God’s value for sex. If it is difficult for you to talk to your kids about sex, practice with your spouse. Get comfortable with it so that you don’t project awkwardness or shame when you actually begin to have these conversations.
I know this may be challenging for some of the parents out there because you probably didn’t grow up in a healthy sexual culture. Today I want to encourage you to break that pattern and begin a new culture with your family! I pray that you would have supernatural wisdom and be equipped with arrows of purity and morality. I pray that you would know how to bring light where there is darkness, and I break shame off of you and your home in Jesus’ name. I release a joy over you and a celebration over sexuality, that you would carry God’s heart on this subject!
Originally published on krisvallotton.com.
KRIS VALLOTTON IS THE AUTHOR OF NUMEROUS BOOKS, CO-AUTHOR OF THE BEST SELLING SUPERNATURAL WAYS OF ROYALTY, AND IS A WELL-KNOWN INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE SPEAKER. KRIS IS THE FOUNDER AND PRESIDENT OF MORAL REVOLUTION, THE SENIOR ASSOCIATE LEADER OF BETHEL CHURCH, AND THE CO-FOUNDER OF BETHEL SCHOOL OF SUPERNATURAL MINISTRY. HE AND HIS WIFE, KATHY, HAVE BEEN MARRIED FOR 40 YEARS AND RESIDE IN REDDING, CALIFORNIA. THEY HAVE FOUR GROWN CHILDREN AND EIGHT GRANDCHILDREN.