Teaching Our Children God’s Design for Sex Webinar
We live in a sexually confused culture. It is, therefore, of utmost importance that we engage our children and teach them God’s design for sex. In this webinar, Brian Sutter frames up this task for parents by giving them five areas of focus: beliefs, values, needs, skills, and supports. (Please note the intended audience of this webinar is parents and not children.)
Greetings, everyone. Glad that everybody made it and a few people looks like might be coming on yet, but it is 7:30 and we wanna be prompt. We’re real excited for the topic on speaking to our kids about sex. That’s right. Which is on every parent’s radar.
So with me, I have Brian Sutter. We’re glad that he’s along. And you’ve shared on this topic a number of times. Yeah. It’s been a topic that has come up and we’ve seen this. Parents routinely bring this one up. A space that every parent just can’t wait to jump into. So, right now I have everybody muted.
We’ll just stay muted here tonight. But we will have some opportunity at the end. We’ll open up the questions. If somebody has a question, feel free then to unmute your microphone and go ahead and share that. Or you might key it in as a chat. You can key it in that way. And, I’ll try to read that and, you can include it that way as well. So, welcome. I’m gonna go ahead and share my screen here, in a moment. Okay. So, teaching your kids about God’s design for sex is tonight’s topic. Welcome everyone. So, Brian, where should we start? I guess the thing that I would just say that this has been a topic that’s kind of grown more and more of interest to me as I’ve worked as a counselor here at ACCFS and just seen that there are topics that us as parents love to avoid, that we need to step into.
And, I’m certainly speaking from experience in this topic, and that’s so, Brian, when he says, seek to avoid. So I had a three and a half hour, one way road trip with my son, who’s nine years old. And I know that I needed to take it to the next level.
And in my mind, this whole time I was thinking this is gonna be my opportunity to talk to him about and take it to the next level . But I just instead listened to Hank the Cow Dog audio tape. Wow. And missed my opportunity. But in the moment I was like let’s just listen to this. I think it speaks to the reality that Hank the Cow Dog it’s a good audio book too. Highly recommend it. Yeah. Is much easier for both son and parent to just and that’s not bad, but there’s certainly being purposeful in this area, unless we’re purposeful, it won’t even be on our radar to even think about shutting down Hank the Cow Dog.
And so I think that’s really my heart for tonight. Not that we’re gonna handle this perfectly or take all the opportunities, but just like if we can keep it in our radar that this is a topic for us as parents and even as a church to step into even though it’s uncomfortable and it’s easy to avoid.
Great. And along those lines here see if I click it again, these are gonna be some of the questions that we walk through tonight, some in more detail than others. Who’s gonna step into this? Who accepts responsibility? Why would we even consider stepping into this space?
When should this talk occur? What do we teach? And, then just some practical, how do we step into this topic. But like Matt certainly don’t hesitate to jump in and ask questions and anywhere at any point. So, who should be the teacher? And, I think we all know just being here that we as parents have been commissioned by God here in Deuteronomy.
We’re told that we should teach these things to our children diligently. And what you know is you back up further in this from verse seven, whether that’s the 10 commandments or just who God is and his ways. That’s something that God has given to us as parents that the home, it’s a place for learning and teaching and parents are the primary people to do that. One visual that comes to mind with this, as I think about, is I think about, I’ve got three young kids, seven, six, and three. I think about them sitting in front of an audience and let’s say there’s like a half dozen or a dozen seats in front of them of different things that are gonna be speaking into their life over the years.
and that some of those chairs, I get to decide who’s gonna sit in those. And then some of those chairs, I don’t get to decide. Society gets a chair that’s gonna speak into their heart and I don’t get to decide necessarily. I get to influence, but I don’t get to decide and so I really wanna be purposeful to take my seat at this banquet of their heart. I like what you said there too, that we can do this that almost as a function of being parents. God has equipped us to do that. So I think that’s exciting. And I think that being true, even in the case that we can do this, doesn’t mean that we’re gonna do it perfectly.
It doesn’t mean that we’re gonna have all the answers or that it’s gonna feel comfortable all the time, but that we can be confident. And God having commissioned us to teach our kids that even in our incompetence, he can work through that and redeem it, and bring about his purposes, which I think is super exciting very much.
And if we move on here. So why? Well, I think at the end of the day, God has a message about sex and it’s good. And, that’s probably one of the fundamental things here to remember is that sex is good, God’s designed sex as good, and that’s so easy to get lost in all of the ways that sex can get corrupted or used for evil or hijacked by Satan and our flesh.
It’s good to remember that God’s created sex, he’s created it good and he has a message and that we get to share that message with our kids and be the teachers of that goodness. It makes me think too, Brian, actually, I’ve heard it said that when people misunderstand sexuality, they very often will misunderstand God.
Sure. Understanding the one goes a long ways in understanding the other. And as I think of our children, right? Whoever might be influencing them or might be speaking this message into their life, let’s say on the playground or in the locker room. Chances are they don’t have that good connection between what God thinks about sex.
Does that make sense? Oh yeah. And so it very much erodes their concept of God. So when we see that, I think there’s some real additive importance here. To say this actually comes along with one’s knowledge of God. And that a right understanding of who God is just even the triune God and that God is one, and yet there’s a community that there’s love in what he is.
That in and of itself helps inform the topic of sexuality. And again, it pulls back the layers of just when we’re talking about teaching our kids about sex, it’s not just talking about biology and the physical functions of sex. It’s talking about theology and life and relationship, and it just explodes.
And so I’m gonna just accent what you said there too, Brian, that it’s not just biology. Not just biology which I think is one of those applications I think that we want to hear tonight and say, Okay, there’s more to what I need to talk to the kids about than the physical bodies and sexual intercourse and the consequence, all of those types of things. There’s something more expansive to be addressed. You said here absence of information communicates a message. Sorry, I guess something in my eye there. So I think where we aren’t willing to step into it when we’re not sharing anything, basically we’re leaving them to fill that information in with either mom and dad are clueless or, they don’t want me to know this, they don’t trust me, or this is a scary topic, or you don’t know. They just get to fill that in with something and likely from either their friend on the playground or their buddy or friend at school and if mom and dad or whoever haven’t spoken into that, you’re communicating something and you don’t know exactly what that is, but it’s not gonna be what you want.
And then how that connects then also with, if dad’s embarrassed about it, God is too. So here we’ve gone back to what God feels and we paint these images on how God must think about sex. So that’s good. And it’s so interesting as you do that, and even, this is a bit disjointed, but I was talking to my five year old son just the other day and he just said, You know what, dad, When I heard people talk about Jesus being in my heart, I used to think like he was locked actually inside my heart. And now he says, Now I’m realizing that’s not what people are talking about.
And I think that’s as their minds expand, whether it’s about God being in our hearts or what sex is and those topics, as their mind expands, then unless we’re speaking into that, they’re gonna walk away with concepts that are just maybe so far from really what we want or what’s true.
But even using that illustration, he had a foundation, he didn’t have the concepts quite connected. But they at least were able to come together because they were there. Does that make sense? And I know sometimes we think, okay when is the perfect age? And Brian’s gonna share with us the perfect age to have this conversation. But we wonder when is that perfect age that they can make all those connections? Sure. But per that example, we lay some foundations early on that come together later. Exactly. I like to think of it, you’re building shelf space in your child’s mind, whether it’s at five or 15 or 25, you’re building a shelf in their mind for concepts to hang onto.
And, those are concepts about God or tonight about sex. And as they walk through life and have experiences, that shelf will be begin to make sense and hopefully then it allows for open discussion on the questions that are there, but without that shelf space, there’s nothing there. And very often it can lead to misunderstandings or somebody else gets to build that shelf space and it may or may not align with biblical truth.
The other thing that I would wanna make sure that we say here too is just in this topic, and this is particularly for younger kids, but without any information on the topic of sexuality and body parts and those sorts of things. I think we’re leaving a real void for the possibility of abuse going on without us knowing it.
And so it’s not that we can keep our kids from all evil or things like that happening, but in sharing information and opening that dialogue, hopefully. Brian, I know exactly what you’re saying. Brian, I want you to be even more direct than that. Okay. So give us a stem or a prompt that you might use with your four year old daughter that would help give her an education and yet, and also protect her from possible harm. Does that make sense? Yeah. So, for example, part of the foundation as you’re teaching your kids just to start wherever they’re at, if they’re four, you’re talking about them, what boys and girls are different and they have different body parts and oh, what are your body parts?
And you’re using proper names, and so is that a public body part or a private and beginning to frame that out, you’re starting to build that shelf space. And so if somebody were to touch a private part who’s not mom, dad, or a doctor, what would you do? And, that would be an example.
So you build the sacredness of their body, right. Affirm their body. So that’s taking that embarrassment piece out of it. You affirm their body parts, you affirm that it’s them. You affirm that it’s private. So that they would have a conscience that if somebody touched me it feels wrong and it is wrong and even might be confusing. There might be part of it that feels good and part of it is confusing and just being able again to lay that, hey, I want to be open with you, and if you’re uncomfortable, even with touch from mom or dad or doctor, let’s talk about that and not just feel like you have to run away or you can’t share this with us.
We want to know about this and walk through this together. So I couldn’t help notice you said and use proper terms proper names. Yes. So I’m guessing there’s some more behind that. So sometimes we do, we have, well, I really don’t want to say that it’s a penis, so I’m going to call it something different.
And that’s natural, right? So what are you getting at here? Well, and I think that’s as we moved maybe into the or no, not quite yet. But, as we get into some of the later topics, the point there is just that we want them to understand and be able to use like, what is the penis, vagina, those body parts for them to have proper names is the way that I think we want to teach this versus for some reason we get really uncomfortable and squeamish with those words. And I do too. But we make up all kinds of bizarre names and nobody really knows what you’re talking about. Or again, the covert message you’re saying is this is a shameful thing that we’ve gotta shroud and hid in our cryptic language.
And I think outside of that, we just, this is what God’s created, this is what we call it. And, let’s talk about it as if that’s just what it is. Just like we would with an elbow or a nose or an ear. And, then we would follow that up by saying, This is what it is, and I’m so glad God gave you that.
And so we bring God into that picture. God’s not ashamed of it. We’re not ashamed of it, but it is private. Exactly. And, that private, what that means is that’s for a specific thing it’s for a specific time. In the context of sex, we’re talking about marriage and sexual intimacy.
You probably don’t go into that with the four year old just yet. But, you talk about bathing and what that means and how to clean body parts. And you might talk about what you do if you’re getting dressed and who it’s appropriate to be in your room and who it’s not.
And I think in this context too, you don’t want to get so rigid that you turn nudity and body parts into bad again. You can get to a place that, okay, all the boys, you stay on that side of the house. All the girls, you stay on that house and so you don’t go to that place, you create that mystery again with that.
So there’s ditches to fall into. Why am I not surprised? Every, every side. And I’ll never forget, like the first time I’ll, at the end we’ll share some resources that talk about this and give parents resources to sit down with their child and read. And I’ll never forget reading those first books with a two and a three year old and just thinking,
and you’re using the word penis and vagina, and you’re just imagining how Sunday School’s gonna go in a couple of days. You know, they’re gonna go and tell their buddies or their friends about these new words that they’re learning and you’re just wondering, So that is a risk, Right?
That’s certainly what everybody’s thinking. But even then and I know kids are different. But to instill in them this is something to talk to daddy and mommy about, right? These are words for a very special part of your body made by God. And we keep this conversation here.
And I know that doesn’t work for every kid. But I think there is maybe some ways that we can build that this is something that we talk about here. And it is reinforcing that this is sacred, this is a sacred thing, and I’m gonna trust you with this. And this is a safe place for us to talk about a really important, big topic.
And again, I think that kind of principle flows through, whether you’re talking about a three year old, 13. That’s a principle that falls all the way through that course because we want them God forbid, but if something were to happen when they’re seven, we want them to be able to talk to us about it.
We’ve talked about their body parts. We have these conversations. If something happened, we want to talk about it. And in that 15 year old who’s got a girlfriend or a boyfriend. We want them talking about it then too, don’t we? Exactly. And as an 18 year old, so right on that openness.
That makes sense. Not shrouding it behind a mystery. Seems like it makes sense. And I think along with that point too, it brings up just, and this has happened over and over in the counseling setting where I’ll be talking with somebody on the topic of masturbation and they’ll talk about as a seven year old, they found out that it felt good to self stimulate and then, but they didn’t really know what they were doing and nobody told them. And then they ended up masturbated for years not knowing what they were doing. And then there’s so much shame around it by the time they figure out what they’re doing and what’s been going on for all this time.
And again, some teaching of these are the body parts. Yes, it does feel good. Here’s the context through which that’s been designed by God again, helps open up those doors and that communication so they know what’s going on and it doesn’t catch them by surprise years down the road. And then, missed messages or lies, get tangled into that, that nobody intended.
Truth is really what you’re talking about. That’s exactly right. Is freeing in a lot of ways. So when should we talk about it to our children? Looks like that’s pretty straightforward. . Yeah. My buddy Craig Stickling, who I love to do parenting stuff with, and he does this section in a parenting seminar that we do.
I love his line, he says, if they remember the first conversation, you’ve started too late. So hopefully, we’re starting early enough that they don’t remember that first conversation. But then to see this not as a conversation, but as like an ongoing conversation that you continue to unfold and add detail and nuance and information as their brains are able to process different information. And that’s good. So, my encouragement with that would just be no matter where you’re at. Satan loves to just bring shame and Oh, I messed this up, or I should have done this, or, so my encouragement would be to fight that road and instead just say, Okay, what does it look like right here, right now to step into this space and to begin to train them on this topic and in this space today?
And not getting stuck in the regrets that may be there. God is able to make beauty from ashes and also restore the years the locusts have taken. Some awesome, awesome redemptive work. So, love that accent that the time is right now and whatever level. That’s right. Let’s move to the next one then.
What to teach. And, so this is a little bit where we’ve been a little already. And again, and we’ll, you’ll have to help, we’ll walk through this together. Different ages is gonna be different detailed here. But as a starting point, I think we wanna, again, present truth to our kids.
If we give them a foundation of what is right, then that helps us be able to teach them why this is wrong. If we’re always just responding to what’s wrong and there’s no framework for what’s right. Then that teaching becomes much more difficult and much more cumbersome. But if they have a sense of, Okay, this is truth, then that gives you a starting point.
So if our sex education is only consequences. It’s probably not the full package here. Or just don’t do this and don’t do that. Don’t do this, don’t do that. Don’t do this. If you do this, then you could have a pregnancy, right? Or you could get a disease, or you can get all of these things.
Which again, it paints sexuality in one direction. Doesn’t it? Right. So, there’s much more to sex education than those things. Those are important though, right? Absolutely. And so just as a starting point would just be God making male and female.
I think that’s a concept that has always been, and yet one that’s under major attack today when we’re talking about gender. Well, and I made this comment to you already when you shared with me this slide deck. I remember when my father talked to me about this topic.
And never was there a point. Did he make a point to affirm my masculinity. I mean, just wasn’t on his radar. It really wasn’t on my radar, but I see it very much today as being a part of the sex education discussion that we would be affirming the gender that God gave our children.
What does that affirming look like? So if you give us a couple of stems, what does it look like at a young age? Really young. And what might it look like in the middle years, or, well, I think at a starting point with a really young, I think you’re talking primarily about biology.
You have these body parts, penis for example. And over here, you have these body parts, vagina, and that’s male and female. And, then in that there’s also what we would call typical or atypical behavior. Typically, most boys are gonna be interested in balls and cars, and most girls are gonna be more interested in dolls and other things.
That’s not universal. But those are a framework to be thinking about. And again, I would encourage parents to just, you don’t have to push those sorts of things. But just a starting point of biology, male and female, God made these things where God’s made us equal, and yet we have different strengths and weaknesses and we compliment each other and what that looks like.
And then as you move on, thinking about, okay, what does that mean if you’re talking about puberty, for example, and then you’re gonna have more layers on both sides of that, what that means as far as body development, those sorts of things. And maybe interest or, but even to take that puberty time is an opportunity to say, my son, you are turning into a man.
This is exciting. And these are the things that are going to happen because that’s very shrouded with awkwardness and all of that same thing for our daughters. As they have their period and those types of things. That, would be something that we would affirm as this is exactly what God is working in your life. He’s building you into a woman. And to affirm that process. Is that what I’m hearing? Right. Absolutely. So that was what it might look like there, right? Right. And in that as kids go through different, you’re going through life with them, there’s so many opportunities to be talking about this whether somebody in your family has a baby and they’re breastfeeding. And what that means, that’s part of what it means to be a woman or a mother or the menstrual cycle. And as a mom or an older female goes through that and there’s opportunity to teach the little girl, maybe she sees something in the bathroom, a tampon or something like, those are teaching moments to begin to unfold some of these things about what it means to be a female or on the other side a male and to frame masculinity in a biblical way, not just societal way.
And that’s tricky in and of itself, but just really exciting things for us to be able to speak into and teach our young people whatever age they are. What it means that God’s been their creator and he’s designed them for purpose, on purpose, and that there’s specific things for them to step into in their gender alone.
Brian, I want you to speak a little bit to, I think we as parents have our antenna up for gender confusion. Okay? Sure. So let’s go back to the balls and the toys and the cars, right? Sure. All right. My son’s not interested in those things, now what? Oh, no. Yeah. What’s gonna happen here?
Here, let’s put a car in his hand. And let’s you come out hunting with me. I’m gonna get him into hunting, right? And sometimes we can try pretty hard to push those things. And my question is, is that effective? Is that the right way forward? The short answer is no. And I think it comes back to just one of the thing that we’ve already said several times, but it’s so easy to miss and that is that God’s the Creator and that sex is good.
And, I think what happens is when some of those things happen, we panic and generally speaking, whether it’s that or we find a child viewing pornography or we’re starting to wonder is there some homosexual or same sex attraction, like we just panic and we go into fear mode and I’m gonna force this.
But instead to be able to say, you know what, my son, maybe he doesn’t like tractor, he doesn’t like balls, but I wanna love him and I wanna teach him what it means to be a godly man who’s courageous, who’s willing to lead, who’s willing to recognize his gifts and talents, and use those for God’s kingdom.
Whether that’s he is very musical or artistic. What does that look like to be a man with those sorts of things? And that can be a very beautiful picture. And I think that’s exciting. That’s actually very inspiring to think. Okay, my son is into music. I’m gonna do some research on male musicians, You know what I mean?
I’m gonna find some awesome guys or whatever, to see that and to connect with him in that way, to affirm that he doesn’t need to be wondering about his gender because he loves music and art, or he likes fashion or something. So anyway, I think that encouragement hits well, and we get it. So, good. Yeah. And I think maybe too, just in the topic here as we think about this, I think you wanna, it’s not just talking directly about sex, We’re talking about, God and the way he has created and designed things to work. And so I think sometimes as Christian parents, we can say, Okay, this is the right thing.
Here’s the wrong thing. Don’t do this, do this. And, then what happens? What do you do when your son, who’s 15 now has a friend who is gay? When, the only context for that is that’s bad. Stay away. This is the right thing, rather than a context that says, Okay. You know what? We are all fallen human beings who struggle with the flesh in different ways.
We have different urges or things that we have to fight. Not because we want to, but because we know who God is. We know what his design is and what he’s called us to. And yet in that, if I’m honest with myself, I recognize that it’s hard for me to do X and that may be different than my friend here.
But it doesn’t divide us into good and bad. It divides us into, okay, we are all people who need a Savior and maybe we’ve been blessed with a family or a church that has pointed us to the Savior. And it’s not that we run away from them. It’s like, Oh, I hurt for them and I see them as a human being.
Do I wanna pull along and help instill truth? And there’s almost this recognition of a broken world. And I think our kids need to be aware. We live in a broken world. And that broken world manifests itself in lots of ways. Like us hitting our sister when we shouldn’t.
Exactly. And like us having affections in places that are confusing but that would probably go along with the teaching of this is wrong and this is right. That’s exactly right. Just what does it mean to love another human being on a very basic level? Like you said, I just want to take the toy.
Well, what does that mean about your relationship with your sister and I think loving another human being is finally in the context of marriage is able to be played out in the sexual relationship, but that’s way down the road we’ve gotta figure out how to love and in a very deep, meaningful way.
And that’s like a privilege that’s been given to a very specific relationship, but that’s not love, and yet that’s what society is gonna define it as. And it gives us such opportunity to teach what love is. I don’t know if that makes sense. So I’ve got another question for you, Brian.
And that is a lot. God has created sex and he has given it as a gift, husband and wife and in marriage. And so it’s very easy to say Don’t do it. Save it. It’s for marriage. That’s what it’s for. And we have individuals by their own choice or by their lot in life are single.
Okay. Sure. And their sex education has always been save it for marriage. And at some point, they become exasperated. That’s like, why am I doing this? You know what I’m saying? So is there more that needs to be said about sex and sexuality than you’re gonna get married someday, and that’s when you’re gonna do it, because some may not.
Does that make sense? No, that’s a real hard reality, and when we’re looking at our 15 year old, we’re not really thinking about that. But is there sex education that prepares them for the long road? Well, and I think it back to like, we started with just this context of starting with who God is and him being a God who is a communal, connected, unified God and what that means, and then in that context, it means that the ultimate goal is not marriage. The ultimate goal is not sexual relationship. The ultimate goal is to find relationship and fulfillment in God. That’s the goal.
And, there’s lots of things that we yearn for in this life that I think is saying ultimately that we need a Savior. And sex is just one of those places where that exists. So I think you’re right. We don’t wanna promise this is coming down the road. We wanna say this is where it’s possible if it is, but ultimately this is something that drives us into relationship with our Creator.
Well just think about what you’ve just said there. If the sex drive could awaken a person towards the reality of Jesus. What an evangelistic tool. I mean, you could go talk to any 15 year old boy out there and make the point pretty strongly. Does that make sense?
Exactly. And, so what we’re saying here is, Jesus was a fully flourishing human without the sexual release. What does that say? What’s that say about us? What’s that say about it all? There’s something really powerful, I think, again, in bringing Christ into this sexual discussion.
He’s very near to it. And I think that it speaks to pornography being so rampant it in our day and age. I think it speaks to a lack of knowledge of God and nobody intends that, and I wouldn’t say that to the person who’s caught in pornography, necessarily, but the reality is, without any context to rightly view sex and to rightly view other human beings, That’s where it’s gonna lead. I think at the foundation, God has created man to have dominion over the world and creation’s desires to have dominion over us and sex is just one of those many places where either we have dominion over it because we’re under God’s authority, or it takes dominion over us and ultimately conquers us and then destroys us though in the short term, it maybe promises things that it can’t deliver on. Some sort of satisfaction. Good. We’ve covered a lot of ground, I think with that one. Let’s keep moving. So, individuals may have something they wanna offer here. How do we engage the topic?
What are your thoughts here? So, certainly we’ve touched on this as we’ve gone as well, but I think that the biggest thing I would say here is just to be able to do it through day to day life but to be very purposeful and proactive in the sense that taking advantage of when you’re reading a Bible story and it offers an opportunity to talk about marriage or talk about the topic of sexuality, to not shy away from that, but to be able to step into it and use that story to give you something to teach from.
Or local and national news, as things come up and whether it’s, homosexuality or gender issues or the coverage of a celebrity, something’s going on, like use as a teacher. So I wanna ask you this question, Brian. To this point, is it wise for us to completely shield our children from the raw realities that are out there? Does that make sense? If we could possibly stop every influence, every message, every narrative would we be doing our children service and I know this is an expansive question when we think of ages four through 18, does that make sense?
But I think this one local national news is where things can certainly eke in. And we need to use those. Am I right about that? Yeah, I think so. And I know that’s super uncomfortable. And again, like you said, I think that looks different if you’re talking about a six year old versus a 16 year old.
But at the end of the day, I don’t think we can keep all of that from our kids. We wanna certainly be wise about that, but to be part of that discussion with them of, hey, this just happened. How do you think about that? And then you get to speak into that and give them some places of have you thought about this?
Or what about that? And again, it puts us into some scary territory because we’re gonna be doing some teaching maybe on an area that we don’t have the expertise that we wished we had. But by avoiding it, then the person down the street who doesn’t have any more expertise and maybe doesn’t have a relationship with God then is sharing.
And I think it does a disservice, I think, in my mind, what our ultimate goal as parents is. We wanna make disciples of Jesus Christ. And disciples are out in engaging the world with truth and I think we want to begin to train them on what that looks like. That looks like in our homes.
I really like that. And I do think it’s important, I got children that are moving on and they’re gonna be going to another school or whatnot. And to be preemptive in what they’re gonna learn there. I have realized in my sheltered home that like, he should probably hear about some of these things from me before he learns it, cuz I know he is gonna learn it. He’s gonna hear a gay narrative. He’s going to see, probably people kiss in the hallways that are same sex. And I don’t necessarily need to be afraid of that.
But I can be preemptive about what that is. I think some of these things that you’ve said here with local national news and the media and all those things is one way to bring some of those stories in and say this person right here, God loves this person. But they’ve made some poor choices.
And these are some of the poor choices they’ve made as we talk about sexuality. So yeah, and just helping them walk through that and sort through that. And I think that’s one of the things that just in different things I’ve read and talked to that can be very disorienting to kids, especially as they move into the high school and college years is like they’ve always had this picture painted of these people are bad over here, and then they go to college and they interact and the gay kid in the dorm is the nicest kid. The nicest guy that he knows. Or he meets with this professor who’s super smart, very winsome and is articulating this message and it just can be very discombobulating if that’s never been walked through of he’s a nice kid and he needs Jesus. And I think we’ve set that up for failure when we’ve demonized that position or laughed at it or have tried to supplant it through sarcasm or humor or something belittling. If we get that mentality in our children and then they meet that person face to face.
And he’s all that you just said he was. Which they are. Cuz they’re wonderful people. It’s gonna unwind some things. It is, and I think it to be able to start sorting through that in our own minds and with our three year old now. So if you’re sitting here thinking, I’ve only got a four and five year old, I’m not gonna talk about this.
Well, we need to sort through that in a proper way in our own minds and think about what that looks like to teach in a way that’s winsome now and like positive and theologically sound. And then as that moves forward, that discussion when they’re 14, you’ll have been able to work through it and you’ll be planting these positive messages, but also these messages of, there’s this war going on between biblical truth and the fall and the corruption of these things. The brokenness that we talked about. And so there’s the proactive, and then maybe just quickly here too, the response of that after something occurs, just our tendency is just to be very firm. No. Or we panic and understandably so, but just for us to be able to see those as teachable moments while our child is in our home. And, it’s scary, but it’s a good thing. I hate it when I get a call from a parent they’ve just found out that their 11 year old’s viewed something online.
I don’t like that, but I think, Wow, this is really a good opportunity too that you know this, and now you get to speak into this. And so that would just be my encouragement in those hard situations that come up, that as hard as it is, and it breaks your heart. That it’s good that it’s come out and now you get to speak into something too. Brian, that really speaks to me as you give those examples and and I’m gonna relay an account where I, and this isn’t isolated, but, where a father learned that his daughter was promiscuous and this just shattered his paradigm, right? All that he had, you know what I mean? Yeah. All, and it’s terribly sad. Oh yeah. But his disappointment and his own reaction was not for his child. It was all about this situation. Does that make sense? Sure. His confession would be, I didn’t react like God reacted.
Sure, I didn’t love her like God loved her. I saw her as a product of her works not a product of her heart. When she was crying out for love and when she was crying out for a daddy, when she was crying out for healing, when she was crying out for, I was just fuming because of reputation of, all this down the list. And isn’t that sound, I mean, I just can hear. That’s, parents. Right? So, there’s something to be said, I think as we lift the airplane, even above the sex education to say, Let’s not lose the heart of our children.
This whole thing that we’re for our, we love our children. And I think that has to be just one of the heartbeats of our interactions with them as I hear you. I’m here for you. I love you, and I care for you both in disappointment and in great joy. You know?
We all know that, but in those kind of moments it’s hard to hold onto. So, well, we’re right at eight 15 and there’s probably a few more things to say. If anybody has a question, I don’t see any chats that come through, you would sure be welcome to unmute yourself and to offer that question.
If you’ve got it, we’ll just take a few minutes here.
Maybe nobody’s heard of Brian. Maybe we’ve been on mute the whole time. I think that Katie’s he’s right. Okay. Hey, Matt and Brian, Great job tonight. I thoroughly enjoyed listening in. Thanks so much for sharing your knowledge and your wisdom. Quick question on that. One of the slides you mentioned about how often to talk about some of these conversations and so forth with our children.
What would you recommend? I know sometimes as parents, we think we’re reading books or we’re talking about conversations. Especially with the book reading with younger children, I find that I need to read it multiple times or we need to have the conversation multiple times. This isn’t necessarily just a story of fiction and they get it.
What would you suggest? How do you know when they’re ready for the next level? How do you know when it’s too much? That’s a great question, Katie. I don’t know if I have any hard and fast rules there, but I would say that repetition is basically mandatory. So there’s the God’s Design for Sex Book series that I think is really helpful and you know that to go through read the appropriate age with your child.
Especially at the younger years, couple times a year. And, if an older child is willing, certainly at that time too, that would be a good, just regoing through some really helpful truths in a very formal way. And, then outside of that, just in day to day interaction for that to be on your mind. I think that we probably, as parents and adults are talking and teaching more about sex in our day to day life than what we realize. And so just to be aware that we are communicating and teaching about the topic of sex when we’re interacting with our spouse and when little things come up and checking in with them and, Hey, what did you get from that? You can’t do that with everything, but a perfect example, just last week, one of my children comes up, Dad, what is, thou shalt not commit adultery mean in the Ten Commandments? Right? And I looked at my wife because that was her job. And she looked at me like, we went over this. But you know what I mean? Totally missed it. Like, and we all started over. So anyway, the repetition was probably needed there. But I would accent that too, to not always sit down and, Okay, we’re gonna talk about door goes closed.
It’s just, I mean, those moments are nice. Sure. But to have the conversation, with your young person to say, Have you been thinking, is there anything you wanna talk about with sex? Very often a young man has been thinking about it. Is there anything you wanna share?
And if you have that rapport, I have those small soundbites, I think, are helpful. Yeah, for sure. Or to even come and say, I’ve been praying for your purity or whatever. I’ve been praying for your sexuality those types of things.
You bring it up, right? Maybe it drifts away. Maybe it starts the conversation. Good question. Would anybody else have a question? They would want to again you could key in there with a chat menu or you could unmute your mike.
Brian, these are the God’s Design for Sex. Oh, we do have one. We have a chat in here. Any suggestions for talking about how to develop healthy boy girl relationships in the younger years, 8 to 10 when it’s cool to have a boyfriend girlfriend? Excellent question. Oh, man, what do you think, Matt?
No, I think it’s a great question. I think it’s a good time to a continuation of what it looks like to love and respect another person. So I think that would be, really good at, and also a little bit of a breakout that I like to use. This would probably be for a little bit older than that, but I think it could be some seeds that you could plant, and that would be to break out like a boy girl relationship into five main categories.
And that would be their commitment to each other, do they have similar spiritual beliefs, time together, and emotional connection. And then the last area would be physical intimacy and just talking through those different areas and making sure that commitment to each other, to the relationship and being on the same page spiritually is what they believe about God as the two things that pace the other three areas of the relationship.
And usually that goes backwards. So that’s probably for a little bit older romantic relationships. But that would be one concept that comes to mind. One thought that comes to my mind too, Brian, is it’s a real opportunity as a father. So suppose it’s my daughter, right? It’s a real opportunity for me to pour into her emotionally. I’m not sure stopping that relationship has to happen, or to totally discourage it, but to say, I’m gonna be more on site here, in wooing my daughter and speaking into her. And that research is pretty clear that promiscuity goes way down when fathers and mothers are filling those emotional needs that kids have. So that would be something that would need to go along with it, I think. Another thing that comes to mind there is my seven year old girl, she is not touchy feely, but just a few nights ago or a few weeks ago, all of a sudden be, when I would go in to do good night prayers and things, she would give me a big hug and want a kiss.
And it was just like, This is great. I’m thankful for this, but it’s a little bit outside the norm. And then in doing some probing, I realized, That some of her friends at school were doing boyfriend and girlfriend things, and they were hugging and kissing and she was just curious what that was.
And so just to keep an ear out for the things that are going on. And then just being able to, okay, what does it mean to be boyfriend and girlfriend and why would you want that? And, to be able to speak into that. And, it led to some really good discussion but just interesting.
Well, thank you. And if you have any other questions, maybe that comes later, you can always email to [email protected]. We’ll route those right to Brian’s desk and he’ll be glad to. And I would, I’d be glad to because it is, I don’t know that I’ll have the answers, but I think it’s a really important topic for parents and the church to be able to speak into.
So, and even just this book series, they just came out with new additions here maybe in the last few weeks. And they let us read them and provide feedback and so there’s new additions and just really good stuff. And I think it’s a great place for us to try to speak into. I’m currently listening to how and when to tell your kids about sex,
that parenting guide as I was preempting thinking about this one. Terrific. Yeah, it’s really good. So it really is. Good. Well, Brian, any closing comments that you want to? We’re right at about 8:25. So this is good. I think the biggest thing I would just say is to try to step into it.
Don’t wait for a perfect moment and God’s gifted you to do this. And you may not know the details, but you and the people that God’s put in your life to encourage you and help you. We’ll be able to sort through this. I just last night had a niece who’s 16 stayed at our house and just spoke some really precious words into my kids in this area.
And just, so again, I would say that too to invite people into your kids’ lives that they get to be taught and maybe even the teacher of other kids would maybe be another closing thought. That’s neat. Yeah. That’s great. Thanks for sharing your insights. Thank you each one for being on here this evening.
And, it’s encouraging to even want this information. Oh yeah. Very much so. It speaks a lot. So that’s terrific. And we wish you Godspeed now as we part, so thanks. Goodnight .