Parent-teachers are relieved and yet apprehensive about teaching
their children sex education. Ours is the opportunity to join
our moral values with necessary instruction about health and
sexuality. Despite our reluctance to open the subject prematurely,
we mustn't let our offspring wander into the world unarmed into
For quality education to take place, the scene must be set
from the time a youngster becomes aware of their home's climate.
Ideally, several qualities should be modeled in the parents:
- Appropriate sexual orientation of parents
- Affection between two Christian parents
- Comfort level talking about personal subjects
- Quality time and quantity time
All the above create an easy atmosphere to teach. However,
any person attempting to instruct can use the Biblical concepts,
even when there has been past failure in his or her life. Too
many parents hesitate to attempt to teach because of their own
weaknesses. Surely our goal is to allow our children to benefit
from our mistakes, while we grow in our own sanctification.
In American society, gender boundaries have been eroded. While
there is no harm in a father who is gentle and nurturing, and
mom can wield a power tool when necessary, parents should be
secure in their own Biblically-prescribed sexual identity. The
world's message seems to be that women will never find fulfillment
as wives and mothers. "Gayness" is now viewed as an
option, and men are made to feel ashamed of their leadership
The best visual aid is two parents who model Christian marriage.
Do your children see you laughing, talking, and praying together?
Do you allow God's plan for families to bear fruit in the reality
of everyday life? Not every home is blessed with two committed
Christian parents. However, we can instruct our children to
seek God's best even while we share openly our mistakes, heartaches,
Our children are bombarded by sexual messages even when we
are unaware of the impact. Unless you live on a desert island
without television, radio, or even neighborhood friends, you
cannot totally filter all unsavory messages. Kids need to know
before they reach puberty that ungodly thoughts are dangerous
and lead to ungodly actions.
Positive sexual education prepares children for healthy, happy
marriage. Rather than learning embarrassment toward their bodies
or fear toward normal conjugal relationships, the teaching should
focus on the wonder of God's design and the safety enjoyed when
two loving parents choose to bring children into the world.
There is freedom in purity, a lack of fear concerning comparison
to previous partners. God blesses the faithful union of two
people committed to monogamy. Christian biology books present
these ideas with appropriate visual aids.
Christian young people are in a position to witness to others,
and in spite of the blitz of sex education, many teens are terribly
ignorant of sexually transmitted disease (STD and the negative
effects of abortion. Our children often can warn their peers
of danger, when those at-risk kids wouldn't confide in an adult.
The devastating effects of the heart and soul are more tragic
than those wrought on the body by disease. Our kids must prepare,
not for divorce and multiple marriage, but for one life partner
provided by God.
Numerous excellent books have been written about courtship
instead of dating between Christians. Parents and teens could
read and critique some of these books together. This should
be done before "dating age," so that expectations
will be clear cut when the subject arises. Also, children are
less embarrassed discussing the subject before adolescence.
Once their bodies begin to change, an already-established dialogue
We have found that kids are open to honest discussions with
both parents. One parent may notice what the other misses. Once
puberty hits, opposite sexes seem like beings from different
species. Brothers can tell sisters "what guys think when
you wear those shorts." Sisters can voice "how girls
feel when you say those things."
Nationwide programs such as "True Love Waits" educate
and emphasize purity. A positive church youth program should
also support parents' teaching. Investigate any programs your
local church sponsors. Be certain they stand firmly for Biblical
teachings! We have occasionally run into church or student programs
that, unknown to parents and church staff, offered birth control
devices just as secular programs do. Our goal is more than preventing
pregnancy; it's purity of the heart as well as the body. "Above
all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life."
Finally, ask your children a lot of questions. Don't assume
you know their inner opinions. Prepare to back up your stance
with scripture. Many of our liveliest discussions are ignited
by something we see in the mall, at a ball game, or when out
with friends. More instruction on moral choices takes place
in our car than at the kitchen table with books spread out!
- Here are some discussion-starters. You may be surprised
at the conversations that follow.
- How should a girl dress? What is modest and what is inappropriate?
- Do the same rules apply to guys?
- What makes a woman beautiful? (1 Pet. 3:1-7)
- How should husbands view their wives? What happens to their
prayers if they are inconsiderate? (I Pet. 3:7)
- Does the Bible say anything about homosexuality? (Rom..
- Whose body is it, anyhow? (I Cor.. 6:18-20)
- When does human life begin? (Psalm 139:13)
- What can a teen tell a friend who is becoming sexually active
or considering abortion?
Many health issues should be taught concerning proper nutrition,
abstaining from harmful habits,and getting proper exercise.
But sex education, combined with Godly moral training, reaps
future benefits in mind, spirit, and body. In Proverbs 3:3,
we read the admonition: "Let love and faithfulness never
leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet
of your heart. Then you will win favor and a good name in the
sight of God and man."