You know what is kind of crazy? How weird adults get when talking about sex to their children. I mean that is literally how we made our children and we don't want to tell them how it really went down?! It is ridiculous that we have to have sexual education at school. Teachers have to tell our children what sex is and about the consequences of sex. Sex is one of the most innate things we do. Parents are happy to teach their children how to eat and walk but we are going to avoid talking about how life is made? Nonsense.
The "sex talk" does not have to be complicated. Let's first remember some truths about sex. Sex is supposed to be a good experience. It was designed to be pleasurable. It can be safe. Often our conversations about sex are fear-driven. What if our conversations about sex were faith-driven? What would a faith-driven conversation about sex look like? I have a few suggestions.
We need to start by telling the truth about sex. Sex is a beautiful thing. It is fun. It is pleasurable. It is life-giving. It is important that we acknowledge all of these things about sex. But like most good things in life, we must take care of our sex lives. This means we have to be intentional and thoughtful about the decisions we make concerning sex.
When we describe sex as dangerous, dirty, and shameful we are lying. It is natural and human to desire sex. When we misrepresent sex, we teach our young people that we are not honest resources about sex. If they can't trust us to be honest, then they will reject what we have to say. This is dangerous because adults have more experience and youth don't fully understand the consequences of their actions. The best sex education for children is one in which parents honestly answer children's questions as they come. Sex education should not be a one time event at school. It is an ongoing process as children become aware of their developing sexuality and how life is created.
One of the most basic changes we can make to ensure that our children have positive and safe sexual experiences is to be open and honest about sex. We all laugh about "the sex talk," but it really ends up being an awkward lecture. There needs to be discussion. As a parent or mentor, you need to be listening more than you are talking. You need to know what your kid is thinking about sex. You might discover that your child has been watching something on the internet that has totally distorted his/her view of sex. You might find that your child's peers are engaging in risky sexual behavior. You can tell yourself all day that your kid doesn't know about sex but your kid does. Kids are curious. You don't have to be perverted to want to know about sex. Even your little angel is wanting to know about sex. I recommend that you start discussing sex by age eight. Most likely your child will have already asked questions about where babies come from. TELL THEM THE TRUTH! If you use correct terminology and use words like "penis," "vagina," and "sex," then guess what, they are going to know that they can talk about those things with you! When you won't even say the word "sex," you send a message that you are not willing to talk about sex. Of course, these discussions should be age appropriate. As children grow in comprehension, these discussions can become more detailed. If you want to be the greatest influence on how your children understand sex, then you need to be willing to talk to them. When you expect church, the bible, or a school to do it, your children will turn to friends and the internet for more information. It is not enough to say wait till marriage or just don't do it. Sex is a very layered experience and sexual education is going to happen in layers. Don't be afraid to tell the truth. Have faith that your children can make good decisions when they have good information. Now, go start discussing sex with your kids! They've been waiting for you to do this.