Unless you’ve been living under a rock, it’s not hard to see that our culture has become very sexualized in just about every way. Themes and images of sexual and sensual things are lurking around every corner that we turn.
And if we can’t help but notice it, we must recognize that our children are noticing as well. Granted, they may not know any different because that’s the way things have always been as far as they know. But as parents, we know better.
In a culture where mom and dad struggle to watch a Super Bowl as a family without having their finger readily on the remote, what are parents to do? Well, first, we must recognize the obvious of what we can’t afford to do:
- We can’t trust the media. Long gone are the days of simply putting our kids in front of a television on Saturday morning and not having to worry about what they might watch. Hollywood has long lost it’s family-friendly card.
- We can’t simply overlook the sensuality of our culture and hope that our children will as well. Our kids hearts and minds are soft and impressionable. They have to be given boundaries and be taught from us what is right from wrong in the daily culture around us.
- We can’t live by default, thinking that because ours is a Christian home, “Well, my kids just know better.” It’s not enough just to be a ‘Christian’ family or to raise our kids in church, thinking that all will be well. We must be more intentional than that.
As a nation, we’ve sadly come to the point where we need to fix a generation of sexually broken kids. Our culture’s increased perversion of sex, especially over the last decade, has negatively affected the hearts and minds of today’s children, and kept them from understanding God’s original plan for sex.
From rampant abuse, pornography, and the media’s saturation of sexual content, children are growing up with a wrong idea of what sex is all about. And with research showing that the average age of a child’s first exposure to pornography is now as young as 8 years old, we can’t be afraid to address the issue.
Our children need to understand that sex is a good and beautiful thing because it’s God’s idea, but that the world’s perspective of sex is distorted and dangerous.
So what’s a parent to do to teach their kids how to avoid sexual sins? Here are a few suggestions:
1. Consciously oversee their media diet.
In a culture where kids spend more time watching TV and on the Internet than they spend in school, we must guard what they watch, read, and listen to. (For more ideas on how to do that, click here)
They are developing appetites at a very early age for what brings them pleasure and satisfaction. We have to cultivate healthy appetites while starving out unhealthy ones.
2. Don’t be afraid to talk about sex.
In many Christian families, the issue of human sexuality is a non-topic that’s off-limits. Maybe because that’s the way it was in our home when we were growing up, or maybe because some parents have convinced themselves that if they don’t talk about it, it just doesn’t exist in the heart and mind of their kids.
Nothing could be further from reality. Our kids are thinking about it. They are wanting answers. And they need to find them from the one source they should most be able to trust – their parents.
“Parents should not be ashamed to discuss what God was not ashamed to create.”
The world is not shy or holding back in any way from trying to influence our children with their filth. We must take an offensive position, and realize that there’s a spiritual battle being waged for the hearts and minds of our kids. To keep silent is to inadvertently allow all the other voices they are hearing to become that much louder and go unchallenged.
This conversation is not a one time ordeal. It must be an ongoing conversation where the door is always open for our kids to feel comfortable coming to us with their questions and thoughts.
Don’t wait for your kids to have to come knocking on the door, because many of them never will. They’ll conveniently find their answers elsewhere if we’re not intentional, because there are many other sources out there with their arms and doors wide open.
Some of our parents were able to get away without having an open-door policy in the home when it came to the issue of sex, but that’s just not the case anymore.
“Mom, Dad, if you haven’t already, it’s time to implement an open-door policy in your home when it comes to the issue of sex.”
For more ideas on talking to your kids about purity, sex, and relationships, you can click here.
3. Be honest about the issues.
Warn your kids of the potential dangers of sexual sins. When they ask you the tough questions, do your best to be fully honest and upfront. They don’t need a sugar-coated version of the truth, because if they’re asking the questions, they’re already hearing about it from somewhere.
Give them real life examples from your own experience or others of mistakes and consequences.
Our children in the next generations are the ones who will have to fight the biggest battles of the sexual revolution that has taken place in ours.
- They need to understand why purity matters on all levels.
- They need to understand the reality and dangers of pornography.
- They need to understand why God commands sex to be saved for marriage.
- They need to understand what homosexuality is and what the Bible teaches about it.
And they ultimately need to hear it from us, their parents, and see purity lived out in our daily lives.
Certainly we must use discretion depending on the ages of our children, but let’s not be guilty of glossing over reality simply out of convenience. Let’s just be honest about the issues.
Psalm 127:4 As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth.
Let’s get real honest. Raising spiritual kids in a sexual world is tough…. but it’s doable! God has given us the arrows, it’s up to us what we do with them.
Stay on your knees. Stay engaged. Be intentional about teaching your kids how to avoid sexual sins. The payoff will be worth it!
What are some things that your family does to train your kids in this area? I’d love to hear your thoughts.