Even though you might know what you want to say, most people cannot just decide to talk about sex and effectively communicate. Our reaction, tone, attitude and even silence communicate more about sex than our words. Before your kids even hear your words, they will pick up on your emotions. Things like fear, discomfort and awkwardness powerfully convey how you really feel. If you want your kids to believe your words than you have you have to believe them yourself. The most important thing that you can do to help your kids embrace God’s truth about sex, is for you to work on yourself.
A woman shared that as a young child she answered the phone. On the line was a man who started talking to her. Though she did not understand, her mom realized it was a dirty phone call. What she remembers most was her mom crying later as she told her dad, “How he could do this to her! He ruined her!” Her mom’s reaction, impacted her much more than the phone call.
At some point our kids will be exposed to porn. How we choose to react will profoundly impact them. Will can convey disgust, or despair, or will we assure them how glad we are that we found out so that we can help.
If you find your kid in a child’s play situation, will you fill them with shame, or will you help them understand their own bodies and God’s design for sex? If your teenager crosses lines, you can either convey that they are ruined for life, or you can share how much God loves them and cares. Your reaction can shape what your kids believe about their body, sex and even God.
But your reaction comes out of your core beliefs. Do you believe that God cares more about your kids knowing Jesus, than their purity? Can God heal sexual baggage? Do you believe that God wants us to experience freedom in marriage even if we have stumbled? When we have experienced sexual healing ourselves, then we understand God’s power and goodness. What baggage do you still carry that impacts your reactions?
One of my favorite ways to advertise Awaken Love classes is to hang fliers in the bathroom stalls at church. One Sunday after using the bathroom, a 5-year-old girl asked her mom, “What is sex?” I don’t know what the mom said, but I know that she was upset enough to convince church leadership to remove the fliers. Regardless of what her mom said, I am guessing the little girl won’t ask her mom questions about sex again. The tone of her voice revealed what she really thought about sex.
The tone of our voice conveys more than our words. If you ask your husband to take out the trash you can either convey disgust or thankfulness based on the tone of your voice. The same is true when we talk about sex.
If we talk about sex using positive words, but the tone of our voice conveys anxiety or fear, our kids won’t ask. When we talk about sex with the normality that we talk sports or fashion, then our kids will ask again.
Beyond embracing sex for ourselves, we must develop a comfort level talking about the subject. Most of us did not grow up talking about sex. We will need to make a conscious effort just to get comfortable. Practice when the kids are young by reading story books about sex or porn. Have conversations with your husband about sex. Start by reading a book out loud to each other. Take an Awaken Love class with friends and practice talking with other Christians. Even practice tackling specific questions out loud with your husband.
How would you answer
- What is sex?
- What is a blow job?
- Have you ever seen porn?
- What does the middle finger mean?
Get comfortable talking about sex, so the tone of your voice does not convey fear. And if your kids asks you a questions that catches you by surprise, you can always say, “Hmmm, let me think about that and get back to you.”
As a kid she remembered her mom bragging about receiving a new china hutch. Her mom had promised to have sex with her husband every day for a week in exchange for the gift. Her mom’s antics communicated, women use sex to get what they want.
On their wedding day some women received the message, there are things you need to do for your husband. The message – sex is for your husband.
Others received the message, make sure to fulfill his needs. The message – he only wants sex. If he doesn’t get sex he might leave.
No shortage of lies exist when it comes to sex. Until I tackled the lies I believed, I could not embrace God’s truth. Don’t think that you can just talk to your kids about sex. You need to live it and believe it for yourself. If you want help figuring out God’s intent for sex, sorting through lies, and healing from baggage, then sign up for an Awaken Love class.
She was only 8 when she walked into her parent’s room after a bad dream. Even though she didn’t exactly understand what she saw, she knew that she had done something wrong. At her parent’s protests, she immediately walked back to her room close to tears. Her parents never talked to her about that night. She was left with silence, and feelings of shame connected to sex. A simple conversation explaining that sex is a special way for moms and dads to love each other could have created a different outcome.
Silence is the unspoken enemy of sexuality. Mark Laaser writes in Talking to Your Kids About Sex, “The greatest enemy of Sexual Wholeness is silence.” Silence about sex abounds from our most important influences – our parents, and church. Even subtle things that we do, like calling a study on sex a bible study, convey that we do not talk about sex.
Battling the silence around sex is one of the most important goals of Awaken Love classes. When we get comfortable talking about sex with each other, that we gain the power to change the status quo. We can learn to talk about sex in good and healthy ways but it will not happen without a conscious effort.
To communicate God’s truth about sex, we must embrace his truth ourselves. We must understand who God is and not think of sexual sin as the unthinkable sin. Lies and baggage can be dealt with in community and with God so that we can embrace His gift. We must get comfortable talking about sex. We cannot allow silence to speak shame, while we say nothing. Take a class, read a book out loud, and start talking to your husband. Go after healing by talking about sex, and be able to speak to your kids from a place of health. Work on yourself so that your kids can hear the truth.