What I Wish I’d Known
© 2007 Teresa Cook
My husband and I always assumed he would be the one to have "the talk" with our two sons when the time came. In our older son’s case, however, I had the pleasure of performing that task—not because my husband chickened out but because I happened to be in the right place at the right time. One day a conversation with my son naturally evolved from a discussion of health issues and biological functions into where babies came from. I sensed the timing was right and dove right in, laying the facts on the table and answering questions. I was quite proud of myself.
My husband followed up with explanations of other "male" details I had not covered and watched a video about the beginnings of life with him, answering further questions. We told our son he could come to us anytime if he needed to know more. Then we both breathed a sigh of relief that we had successfully completed that job.
How I wish I’d known developing a healthy sense of sexuality in children, essential in protecting them against our over-sexualized world, involves a whole lot more than a one-time talk on biological reproduction. How I wish I’d known this would have been one of the most effective weapons against pornography’s intrusion in our lives. How I wish we had taught him God’s view of sex.
Though my husband and I meant it when we said our son could ask us questions about sex, we were naïve to think he would. He could sense our natural embarrassment and rarely ventured near the subject. While I think we believed we would foster an unhealthy curiosity about sex if we talked about it too much, we did just that by not talking about it at all. More importantly, we failed to educate our son about sex from a biblical standpoint.
You have the opportunity to do better. If you’re not already doing so, actively teach your children about purity, but don’t just tell them what to avoid. Don’t just teach them not to look at porn or have premarital sex. God created sex not only as a means of procreation but as an expression of love between a husband and wife. Make that the core message your children receive. By discussing sex in an appropriate and God-honoring way, you will start your children on the road to a satisfying marital relationship and perhaps head off a fascination with pornography.
If you make this a lifetime conversation rather than a one-time discussion, you can mentor your children and help them develop the sexual integrity God intends them to have. For age-appropriate ways to teach your child about sex, visit Focus on the Family’s Pure Intimacy web site for parents at http://www.pureintimacy.org/cs/parents or read Talking to Your Kids About Sex by Mark Laaser.
We never modeled unhealthy sexuality for our son, but we also did not make a concentrated, intentional effort to teach him what he needed to know to conquer the temptations he would face. You can, and you have a powerful motivation—because if you don’t teach your child about sex, the pornographers will.