Photo by Bill Bilsley
My parents were never very comfortable talking with my sisters and I about sex. Mom became unusually reserved whenever the subject came up, though she would talk openly about her own embarrassing dating encounters. For the most part, Dad was silent on the subject, apart from a few well-timed chuckles. Perhaps it was that awkwardness that prompted me to want to teach my children differently.
Determined to create an open atmosphere in our home where our kids felt free to talk with us about anything, my husband and I resolved to stay calm regardless of what our children asked. For us, the question wasn't whether we would teach our kids about sexuality, but when and how.
And it wasn't long before our kids began to ask tough questions: Dad, is it true that a man puts his penis in a woman's vagina to make a baby?and did you do that to Mom? Yikes!
I can clearly recall the day our 4-year-old daughter barged in on me in the bathroom and cried out, "Mommy! What's that?", pointing to the sanitary pad in my hand. After a brief, what-do-I-say-now moment of panic, I took a cleansing breath, smiled and gave Joanna my best?albeit totally spontaneous?answer.
We all want our children to have a healthy, godly view of sex and sexuality. We want to be our children's primary source of information about sex. But many of us have no clue how to talk to our children about such a sensitive, and sometimes embarrassing subject. Here are some principles that will help.
For Further StudyDownloadable resources to go deeper
- Carolyn Custis James: What It Means to Be a Woman in MinistryeBook Format Available! Author and speaker Carolyn Custis James offers leadership insights for women.