My parents didn't talk to me about sex. Maybe your folks didn't either. Many parents of the previous generation were silent on the topic. In their defense, they raised us in a time when sex before marriage, though it wasn't uncommon, was still considered taboo in many circles.
A time before sexting and the sharing of lewd photos via Snapchat. A time when you could buy a pack of gum without being lambasted by mostly exposed airbrushed breasts on magazine covers. A time when network television didn't flaunt casual sex as the highest form of pleasure and fulfillment. My two oldest boys are on the verge of puberty, and they are about to walk into a minefield of over-the-top sensuality and sexual perversion.
It scares me. But it also motivates me to have those conversations my folks didn't have with me. Thinking through the things I wish I had known as a teen helped me formulate conversation topics to help my kids navigate through their teenage years. These five topics may give you a starting point with your kids too.
1. You Get What You Ask For
I want my kids to know that God will protect them from temptation, but if they mindfully choose to walk right into it, he just might give them what they ask for.
I asked for it when I was 18. The tall, handsome track star pursued me the summer I graduated, and I made a conscious decision to ignore the fact that his ideas about physical purity did not mesh with God's. I stepped right out from under God's protection by purposely ignoring his will, and he let me reap what I had sown.
I'm sure it pained God greatly to watch me choose the world and distance myself from him. But I'm also sure it didn't come as a surprise. The Bible is packed with stories of prodigals who were dissatisfied with God's way.
My favorite is the story of King Saul. Not content with God's plan, the Israelites asked for a king (1 Samuel 8). The king God gave them was a coward who was found hiding behind some luggage when he was supposed to be accepting his crown (1 Samuel 10:20–23). If that didn't make the Israelites regret asking God for a king, his poor leadership skills certainly did. And to add salt to the wound, according to Beth Moore's study, David: Seeking a Heart Like His, Saul's name literally translated means, "You asked for it."
We all join the ranks of the Israelites when we decide our plans should trump God's. I desire for my kids to understand that God's way is always better than the world's way.