Tuesday, August 20, 2013

The Dreaded Sex Talk

I'm not one to write lengthy blog posts about great sex or ways to improve intimacy within marriage through sex.  While I believe that it is vitally important and a wonderful gift from God, I'll leave that to the other Christian bloggers out there who are as passionate about that topic as I am about hope and freedom and redemption.

But I do want to talk about sex.

Specifically when it comes to how it impacts my children.

Because this world scares me.

I worry sometimes about what my kids are being exposed to.  And as I let them go out into the world, knowing how prevalent sex is in our society (much more so than when I was a kid), it fills me with dread.  I have 3 preteens right now, with a fourth heading that way in a few years.

Sometimes I am just floored by the things that my kids tell me.  Things that they have heard at school.  Conversations they have overheard.  Pictures their friends have on their phones.  I'm astounded, and appalled that kids so young are growing up in a society where sex is dominant.

Kids have to grow up earlier and earlier.  This is a very frightening time to raise children.  That's not to say that it wasn't scary for my parents, or grandparents, because I know that each generation faces fears and worries as they see society changing.

Image courtesy of photostock / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

You have to admit that what is going on in our society, specifically in the US, is overwhelming.  I hate that each day my children leave the house and run the risk of seeing pornography.  In MIDDLE school!  That they hear their friends or other peers talk about "jacking off" as my 11 year old son told me tonight.  We discussed that terminology and while he apparently hears that often, he didn't really understand that it could be vulgar.  Maybe that wording isn't vulgar to some of you, but when you have the background with pornography that Kris and I do, I find that particular slang repulsive.

I didn't come home from work intending to have a sex talk with my kids.  I did what most of us do when we come home from work and want to wind down:  I opened Facebook.  One of the first things I saw was this blog that was shared by a friend.  On a whim, I decided to read it.  It's called Three Things You Don't Know About Your Child and Sex.  When I finished reading it, I thought, "What if one of my kids has already been exposed to inappropriate touching or talk of masturbation?"

I know that Kris has talked to Kaleb about pornography and masturbation, and I didn't know the details.  I figured that was between the two of them.  And I have talked to Katherine at length for several years about sex in general-how it works, God's design for sex within the confines of marriage, etc...but tonight, after reading that article, and getting over my initial anxiety attack, I felt a pressing on my heart to really talk to the older kids about sex and masturbation.

Kris and I have always been open with the kids.  Granted, they don't know all of the ugly details about everything, but they know some.  And while I didn't relish even having to have this conversation with the kids, I knew it was necessary.  And I know it will be necessary again, as many times as God puts it on my heart to discuss it.

As a parent, you wonder if your children will follow in your footsteps and make some of the same mistakes that you did.  And depending on what mistakes you have made in your life, the LAST thing you want is to see your children follow you into that.  It isn't that I want my children to choose drinking or drugs or stealing over sex outside of marriage or pornography.  If I had to choose, my children wouldn't struggle with low self-esteem, thoughts of suicide, bullying, cutting, or any other number of scenarios.  But it just isn't realistic to think that they will never experience hardship.

So on that end, I have to just trust that God will guide them and see them through whatever trials that they will face as they continue to grow up.  I have to pray that Kris and I set the best example that we can of what it means to love each other and have a true relationship with Christ.  And that they choose to have the same in their own lives.

I feel as if I am talking in circles, and that is likely because I am, but I am just trying to process this whole "having to talk candidly to my 10, 11, and 12 year old children about sex because they're already hearing it at school and I'd rather be the one to tell them than some inexperienced, not-very-knowledgeable peer."  So, I did what the author of the article suggested, because I felt led by God to, and I chose a few words and defined them for my oldest two children.

I explained to them that surrounding the topic of sex, I do not want them to ever be afraid to ask us questions or to talk to us about it.  If they hear something at school that they don't understand, ask.  If something happens that is inappropriate, tell.  I know that my pleas for this doesn't ensure that they will be open and honest about every little conversation or experience, but I hope that they feel safe enough.  I hope that they know we are here for them.  Knowing that there is no judgement and there is no condemnation or punishment.  I poured my heart out, because if by doing this I can help equip them to make better choices than Kris and I did, I'll do whatever it takes.  The future is going to be difficult enough as it is without adding sexual addiction into the mix.

I could sit all day and think up scenarios about the kids and what might happen, but I've been down that road and I have learned that I have to take those thoughts captive.  I won't live enslaved in fear of the future any longer.  So, while the exposure to sex that my kids are daily bombarded with causes that physical sensation of panic within me, I have to keep those scenarios from playing out in my mind.  I think that as a parent you will worry about your children.  The Bible says not to worry, which many of us know.  I don't think that means that the initial thoughts that come into our minds are wrong.  I think it's more about surrendering those thoughts and fears to God, and not dwelling on them.  Taking them captive and making them obedient to Christ.  Because you know what?  We can't control ANY of it.  We just have to do our best each day to set a Godly example, and pray that our children's hearts and minds are protected as they grow up in this scary world that we live in.


  1. Thank you for posting this Jamie. I agree, it is a very scary time to be raising children, in the midst of how our society has no shame, and privacy in intimacy is no longer something that's important. I think about this often too and pray when the time comes that we will also be able to have that open and honest conversation with our kids and that God will lead them in the right direction.

  2. It is crazy what goes on these days! I worry about the kids and what they are exposed to just leaving the house. But I know I have to trust God with them and make sure we continue communicating with them.

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