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Spiritual Sex-Ed
Our children need help navigating the minefields of our sexually explicit culture. Long before they reach puberty, we need to convince them that sex belongs within the boundaries of marriage.


Movies exploit it. Comedians joke about it. Songs obsess about it while their singers flaunt it. How are we as Christian home schooling parents supposed to negotiate our children safely through the odious minefield of our sexually explicit culture?

…conversations about sex and sexuality have been as common around our house as the dust that settles on the television set.

This subject first captured my interest when my firstborn son Tymon was only a teetering toddler and a young neighborhood girl came over to play with him. As she sat on our living room floor, rolling a ball back and forth with my son, she sang a song she'd heard on the radio, "Let's talk about sex … baby … " My jaw dropped as I asked her with shock if she even knew what she was singing! Of course she had no clue. She'd just heard it on the radio and liked the catchy tune.

That's how insidious sex has become within our depraved society. Weaving our children through the maze of both subliminal and obvious sexual corruption is a challenge to the bravest of hearts. My son is now approaching puberty, with his brother Asher close at his heels. Although neither of them has any interest in girls at the present moment, conversations about sex and sexuality have been as common around our house as the dust that settles on the television set. I've had rather candid chats with our boys since they could carry on a conversation. This is partially due to the early sexual experimentation I had experienced as a child, as well as an attempt to face head- on the pervasiveness of our sexually permissive society.

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And so I entered parenthood committed to saving our boys from making the same kinds of mistakes I did while growing up. I began by carefully guarding all they watched, listened to, and were exposed to. But as I already indicated, that alone wasn't enough to combat the onslaught awaiting us. By the time the boys were six and seven, their neighbourhood friends had introduced them to The Spice Girls and The Backstreet Boys and I was determined to fight fire with fire. One day, we sat down on the front steps and I read the lyrics of their favourite CDs to this little cluster of boys. We discussed each song and I pointed out the fact that most of them had to do with falling in love, breaking up and having sex. I asked them why they were even interested in listening to such a serious subject matter at their young ages and most admitted that they just liked the sound.

It seemed like overnight that our kids went from listening to children's songs, to listening to Christian bands like DC Talk, Newsboys, Audio Adrenaline and Five- Iron Frenzy. In some ways I felt bad, like they were growing up too quickly, but in other ways I felt reassured that at least we were arming ourselves for battle against the tune the rest of the world was singing.

Convincing our children that passion is in fact God's idea, but that sex belongs within the boundaries of marriage, is not something that we should only start to bring up as our children face puberty. It should begin as soon and as naturally as possible. Our first serious conversation about sex was when Tymon was only three years old. We'd been watching a talk show about homosexual couples who wanted to adopt children. Tymon recognized the depravity of such an idea and a deep discussion followed concerning how the world has rejected God and has therefore fallen farther and farther away from His will for His creation. In fact, our conversation ended with Tymon asking Jesus to come into his heart! He wanted to be as far away as possible from the craziness he'd witnessed on that television program.

These days our boys can be overheard telling their friends how dumb it is to have a girlfriend when you're so young because you'll only end up breaking someone's heart or being hurt yourself over and over again. They understand the ideal I've embraced, of postponing dating until they are actually ready to start looking for a wife. Not too long ago I read Joshua Harris' book I Kissed Dating Goodbye and I wholeheartedly recommend it to parents and teens alike. It is a wonderful book that actually compares dating to going into a grocery store pushing a cart with a swerving wheel! Like school, it's the entire system that's faulty and not just a lack of self- control that gets teens into trouble! I just picked up a copy of the sequel to this book called Boy Meets Girl, dealing with the concept of courtship, which I'm beginning to read as well.

Another series I'm excited about is the Diary of a Teenage Girl collection, by Melody Carlson. When I was a pubescent teen, I gobbled up books by the still popular Judy Blume, such as Are You There God, It's Me, Margaret. Unfortunately, her ideas were far from Christian and those novels along with books like Our Bodies, Our-selves, helped form my perspective and later my decisions about sex and sexuality. I'm thrilled to finally see a series for young girls that approaches such poignant subjects from a biblical perspective and I highly recommend this series as well.

Unfortunately, I don't see a whole lot of difference between Christian teens and their un-churched peers when it comes to matters such as male-female relationships and even modesty in clothing. Hopefully, as parents become bolder and more vulnerable in sharing their hearts and their own experiences with their growing children, a new generation of Christian young people will rise up from the perversity of this present generation.

As well as explaining to our children the reasons why sex should be saved for marriage, I think it's also crucial to paint a picture for them of what God wants them to focus on during their teen years. Most of my energy in those days was directed towards becoming someone's girlfriend and little else. Although I came from a loving family, I still hungered for affirmation. I wanted to be wanted. I'm not sure why I was so starved for male appreciation but I was, and that desire opened me up to all sorts of pain and shame. I've done a lot of research since becoming a Christian in my early twenties and I believe that part of my longing and emptiness came from not having a personal relationship with Jesus. As well, I've come to recognize the importance of fathers affirming the femininity of their daughters and the masculinity of their sons. I received plenty of praise from my parents, but most of it was for the more masculine traits of competence rather than affirming my feminine side, which may have been a contributing factor.

So if those years of stumbling toward adulthood are not meant to pursue romantic love, what is it that God intends for that stage of life? According to Joshua Harris, those years are meant to discover whom God created you to be, and how He wants you to use the unique gifts and abilities He designed within you. His deepest desire is for us to get to know Him more intimately and follow Him more passionately. He wants us to seek out ways to serve in His kingdom and draw others to Himself.

…unless their passion is rooted in God, their priorities are going to be out of line.

It's obvious that most parents want to help their children live vibrant, meaningful lives. The call to home school especially demonstrates the high priority we've placed on our families. I've noticed that many parents are run ragged driving their offspring to activities and lessons intended to develop their talents and keep them out of trouble. We hope that if our children are busy enough or passionate enough about their various pursuits, they won't fall into the same trap that so many young people seem to find themselves in. We instil in them values and stress the need for respect and self-control, but is that enough? I believe that unless their passion is rooted in God, their priorities are going to be out of line.

Even our whole concept of love has become "Hollywoodized" instead of being biblical. Love is not butterflies and sweaty palms but laying aside our own desires for the good of another. When educating our children about sex, one must go back to the Garden of Eden and fill in all the blanks so they become truly educated concerning God's purpose and plan for the wonderful, mystery of sex and sexuality. Only then will they begin to understand what God meant when He smiled at His creation and said, "It is good." It's the devil who comes to steal, kill and destroy as John 10:10 states. God desires to give abundant life. Let's educate our children about sex … from a godly perspective. Our children will be blessed.

Michele Hastings writes on home schooling topics. Her husband Ted is an educational assistant in a structured learning classroom in a public elementary school." The Homeschooling Trail … A Journey of Faith is available at their website: www.michelehastings.com. Michele Hastings can be reached at hastings@accesscomm.ca, or (306) 543-6413. Mailing address: 7101 Bowman Avenue, Regina, Saskatchewan S4T 6K9.

Originally published on the website, Michele's Musings, April 2005. www.michelehastings.com

 

 
 
 
 

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