Having real conversations with our teens about sex might be uncomfortable, but it is vital to teach them God’s design for sex and marriage.
According to Jonathan McKee, it’s not about just having ‘the talk,‘ it’s about having honest, ongoing conversations with our children. He encourages parents to create a climate for honest conversations.
“They would love to be able to have these conversations, and the first thing on their mind is probably not ‘I want to know what dad thinks about sex.’ They don’t want to necessarily think about us in the context of sex, but what we really need to do is create a comfortable climate of continual conversations. That’s where we prove to them over and over again that we’re a safe person to talk to.”
To create a safe atmosphere for our children, we need to carry an honest, non-judgmental demeanor.
“It is that we’re a safe source; that when they come to us and if they’re asking have a question about this, we’re not saying, ‘You better not be talking about that boy, I knew I shouldn’t let you hang out with him!’ Then they’re thinking, ‘Whoa, forget it. I’m not going to talk to mom about that if she reacts like that.’
“A key to creating a comfortable climate is not freaking out.”
In addition to not overreacting, it’s important to portray sex through God’s word, rather than portraying it as a naughty subject that shouldn’t be talked about. Jonathan elaborates,
“If we let them know this isn’t a naughty thing, this is God’s plan. Let me tell you what God’s plan looks like when you find the one person who you join with for a life and enjoy the sexual relationship with, how amazing it can be.”
“But also, look at the consequences that happen if we are engaging this kind of activity with everyone we meet. We need to have these conversations.”
The Bible is very honest about the topic of sex, so we should have the same confidence while discussing it with our children. Jonathan points us towards Genesis 2:18,
“It starts with a naked guy in a garden and God looks down at him and says, ‘it’s not good for you to be alone, I have an idea!’ Then poof –naked women. That’s how the Bible starts.”
“Somehow in the church, we for some reason sometimes think it’s taboo to talk about this subject; a subject that the Bible is not afraid to talk about in explicit detail. The Bible is having these conversations; the Bible is giving us this information and this is great stuff for us to talk with our kids about and let them know that sex isn’t this naughty thing.”
As parents, we have an opportunity to inform our children of what the Bible actually says about sex and teach them how to honor God’s design for it. By handling these conversations in a Christ-like manner, it will also open up the door for teachable moments and honest, ongoing conversations.
Jonathan McKee has over 20 years youth ministry experience and speaks to parents and leaders worldwide. He is the author of over twenty books including 52 Ways to Connect with Your Smartphone Obsessed Kid; More Than Just the Talk and Sex Matters.