Yesterday I kicked off “5 Days of Sex” in my blog, and the point was simple: we need to talk with our kids about sex. Yes, even our middle school kids. Scratch that—especially our middle school kids!
In yesterday’s blog I wrote about why we need to talk to our teens and tweens about this subject. Now it’s time to talk about what to say! In other words, what good is it for me to tell you that you should talk with your kids about this, but not provide any ideas of what to actually say!
Some of you have heard me speak about purity, sex, or relationships at conferences or camps. Some of you have even used my talks on this subject like the talk, “A New Beginning” in my book, 10-Minute Talks. You’ve seen my candid approach. In my experience speaking to teens and tweens for the last 20-years, combined with my own experience as a parent of three teenagers, I find four facts about sex that we just can’t keep to ourselves. Today I’ll share the first one.
#1: SEX ISN’T NAUGHTY
Perhaps we should start talking about sex the way God designed it, as something good!
Sex isn’t naughty, it’s not inappropriate, and it’s not shameful. The Bible isn’t afraid to talk about it in graphic detail and we shouldn’t be afraid of it either. The Bible opens with the story of a naked man in a garden who wanted a partner. God saw this and didn’t want Adam to be alone. So what does God do?
“Poof.” A naked woman.
Then what does God tell Adam? “Go forth and multiply!” How’s that for a sexual green light.
God is so awesome!
The Explicit Truth
Why isn’t the Bible scared to talk about the subject? The Bible is not afraid to talk about sex for the gift it is. The Bible tells us the unedited truth throughout. See Proverbs 5.
18 May your fountain be blessed,
and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth.
19 A loving doe, a graceful deer—
may her breasts satisfy you always,
may you ever be intoxicated with her love.
20 Why, my son, be intoxicated with another man’s wife?
Why embrace the bosom of a wayward woman?
I love using this passage to talk with young people about sex for several reasons:
- It’s always good to drive students to scripture, and for some reason, young people always like this passage.
- This passage is a voice not often heard in the world today—it’s pro marriage. It talks about marriage not only in a positive light, but with the passion and intoxication that this kind of true love relationship brings. (Very romantic)
- It doesn’t hold back on the specifics. It brings up the fact that a man can enjoy his wife’s breasts (and it’s not naughty to do so). How often do you hear this in the church? Not often. But you hear these kind of details everywhere else.
- It’s realistic about the consequences of looking around at other women (more on this point in my fact #2 tomorrow). If you read further in this passage, it goes into more detail of living out this kind of folly.
This is an amazing passage to go through with young people today. It tells us a pretty graphic picture of how wonderful it is for a man to enjoy his wife sexually. The passage isn’t even afraid to talk about her boobs!
Oh boy…look what I just did. I just made a bunch of people mad. Why? Because I said “boobs.”
Think about this for a second. What word do you think the Bible would use today? Consider the world we live in. The word “boobs” is an innocent and commonplace term in actuality. Most teenagers would use the words “boobs” with their own parents before they would say the word “breasts.” Most teenagers are used to hearing a lot worse from sources just a click away on iTunes. Take a peek at what literally millions of young people are hearing from rap star Tyga, the words he uses for women and their breasts, in his hit song Rack City that was #7 on the Billboard Hot 100 last week (Google the lyrics if you’re curious). Now that’s derogatory!
My point here isn’t to argue the word “boobs.” Use the word “breasts” if you think that would work better. Just let me ask you a bigger question:
What are you afraid of?
Too Much or Too Little?
Are you afraid of telling our kids too much? Do you really think our kids live in a shoebox? Do you think they’ve never heard of “boobs” before?
When it comes to talking about sex with our kids, we can err on the side of giving them too much information, or too little information. Which side would you prefer to gravitate towards?
I’ve met a lot of parents who, in fear, would rather err on the side of telling them too little. I’d love to ask these folks a question. What are the consequences if you tell your kids the unedited truth about a little more than they were already exposed to? Is it dangerous to tell them that sex is an amazing gift from God that they can enjoy when they are married? Do you think if you show a teen or tween this above scripture he or she is going to start downloading porn? Do you think that if you use the word “boobs” that they are suddenly going to start thinking about boobs?
(Important Note: Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying to throw discernment and wisdom out the window. In yesterday’s blog, two of my readers commented, asking me to specify exactly how much is too much when talking about sex, porn, masturbation, anal sex, etc.? See my answers to both Eric and Ben in the comments section where I give them my two cents, diving into even more specifics on this issue)
Why are so many of us afraid to share too much, so we settle for too little?
Consider this extreme. What if we do share too little? What if your kids would really like to know about sex but are too scared to ask? What if they have questions that aren’t being answered because we’re tiptoeing around the issue? Should they raise their hand in youth group or walk into their mom’s room before bedtime and ask, “Mom, I’m masturbating every night. I’m going for a world record! I can’t stop. It started with the JC Penney’s catalogue but now it’s internet porn. Help!!!”
The “Sex Talk” (singular)
A few months ago I met a young teen mom who became pregnant during her first year in college, got kicked out of her house, and had the baby on her own. Everyone in the church knew. Huge ordeal! It’s years later now, she’s living back at home and she’s back in church with her toddler, living with the day to day struggles of being a single mom. As she was reflecting back and telling me about her mistakes, I asked her, “What would you do different as a parent to help your own kids not make the same mistakes?”
Without hesitation she responded. “I would talk about it more!” She was adamant. “Not once—all the time!”
She continued. “My parents never talked about it. My dad couldn’t talk about it. He sent my mom into my room once to have ‘the talk.’ It wasn’t enough. I had questions, struggles and desires and I knew that they didn’t want to talk about it. So I didn’t ask them. I found out on my own.”
I hear this perspective all the time.
Three weeks ago I met a college kid with a two-year-old son. After hearing him share his heart, I asked him the same question, “What would you do to equip your son for these kinds of life decisions?”
He didn’t even blink. “I’m going to talk about sex with my son a lot!”
De ja vu!
He continued. “My dad talked with me about it once. Youth group talked about it once a year, but they never answered my questions.”
He gave me specifics. “When I went to college, I would go in my girlfriend’s dorm room. I just thought, this is so cool! This is what happens in every movie! I didn’t think through anything. No one had told me specifically, ‘If you get alone with a girl that initiates sex, it will be impossible to stop!’ I want my kid to know the truth. I’m going to prepare him for that day so he doesn’t have to figure it out on his own.”
Wow. Is it possible that some of us are unintentionally holding back the truth that our kids need to hear because we’re being so careful editing what we think is profane.
We need to start talking openly and honestly about sex. I’m not trying to give license to flippant use of course slang. Far from it. Personally, when I’m talking about sex in a youth group setting or with my own kids, I like to just use a word that is the least offensive or even the least “creepy.” This can change from crowd to crowd. Some people will tell you to always use the scientific words. Just make sure you know you’re your audience. Some kids will cringe if you use words like “intercourse” or “coitus.”
But definitely don’t hesitate to share a passage like the Proverbs passage above. Believe it or not, you’re going to encounter people who say that it’s just inappropriate to talk about the subject of women’s breasts at all. This is just bad discernment with no Biblical backing. If this were true, then why does the Bible talk about breasts? The Bible isn’t afraid to talk about body parts and sexuality in lurid detail. (You think this Proverbs passage is explicit, check out Ezekiel 23:19-21.)
The fact is plain and simple. The Bible isn’t ashamed to talk about good sex the way it was intended, and it’s not afraid to denounce sexual immorality just the same. This Proverbs passage talks about how husbands should enjoy their wives’ breasts. If you think the word “boobs” is offensive, then just use the word breasts. The key is, these body parts are not something bad. Sex is not naughty. God created this whole process. It’s not bad or dirty or shameful.
We need to communicate this to our kids! We need to present them with a holistic Biblical picture about sex.
So often, Christian adults are afraid to talk about “the naughty thing.” Satan loves this! The church has unintentionally propagated this lie for years. Our kids have learned that sex is naughty and we don’t talk about it!
Our kids sneak to find answers elsewhere…from the people who are talking about it: their friends at school, movies like Friends with Benefits, songs like Last Friday Night, and TV shows like Two and a Half Men and Jersey Shore.
Don’t be afraid to tell our kids the truth. Sex is amazing, a gift from God, something they’ll eventually get to experience when they find the right person and commit to them in marriage.
This isn’t naughty…it’s just good teaching.
Tomorrow… the second fact we can’t hush when talking about sex!