Julie thank you sooo much for listening to the Holy Spirit and writing from the heart! I loved this post and will be referring back to it many times!!! Blessings to you and your family, as you continue to navigate through parenting teens. WOOHOO!!!!
Love, Sexuality and the Family
By Julie Schroth
Family as God designed – so beautiful. Different personalities, different preferences, different perspectives, each with our own faults, defeats, and frustrations; together spurring each other on to good deeds, betterment and growing in love. And though we often fall short, my heart still hopes that we will be a reflection of Jesus' love as God intended. I am a mother of three girls – Talitha 13, Emily 12 and Magdalena 11. And at this stage of the game; I feel most passionate about guiding my children toward a God centred understanding of His plan for love, sex, marriage and family.
I firmly believe this training is OUR God given responsibility – not our schools, nurses and our
children's peers. And I believe that we need to bring our children into this understanding from little
wee. We don't need to have 'the talk' with our children, we need continual conversation. When the girls were very little, we talked about bodies and the special parts that God gave us. “and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. And the parts that are unrepresentable are treated with special modesty,” 1 Corinthians 12:23. I love the way this verse presents our 'unrepresentable body parts' – not with shame, but honor that requires special modesty. I explained to the girlies that special modesty includes the clothes we wear and the way we talk about those special parts. So we don't show special honor when we make jokes about them or expose them for all the world to see. And now that my girlies are older this verse still rings true when they are deciding what to wear to school or if that outfit they are thinking of purchasing is even appropriate for them to wear.
From there we observed in nature, that God made males and females. Females with female parts and
males with male parts. And that in order for there to be babies – you need both a male and a female.
Sometimes they just took in the info I offered and sometimes it generated questions. Of course details
should be age appropriate, but I believe that honest answers to their questions are important. I found it beneficial to think about what I wanted to say before the questions came. There are lots of great resources (books, advice from respected individuals etc...). These are a couple that stood out to me:
God's Design for Sex Series, by Stan Jones & Brenna Jones (a series of books presenting these ideas and information in age appropriate detail that you read together with your children), From Diapers to Dating: A Parent's Guide to Raising Sexually Healthy Children by Debra W Haffner, Secret Keeper Girl by Dannah Gresh,www.focusonthefamily.com
Everyday common things and situations can easily become a tool for a teachable moment if we are
prepared: the lyrics to a song on the radio; the selection of bathing suits at your local mall; the feminine hygiene isle at the grocery store; weddings (especially the part where the pastor reads Ephesians 5:22-33 here I ask my girls, if God wants us to submit to our husbands, can they see how
important it is to find the right qualities in a man?).
We have conversations about modesty, dating, falling in love, praying for and waiting for a guy who
loves Jesus with all his heart, who will love her as Christ loves the church. “Promise me, O women of
Jerusalem, not to awaken love until the time is right.” Song of Solomon 8:4. To me this verse says,
don't play around with love. Date only when you feel you are ready for marriage and a family. We talk about true beauty in God's eyes and how the world's idea of “sexy” does not necessarily make you a good mate. Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. 1 Peter 3:3-4
At this stage of the game my girls have an understanding of sex, but even more important than information is the moral context we strive to put sexuality into. I hope I have helped the girls understand that sex is not shameful, but is God's wonderful way of bringing a husband and wife
together and children into the world. God's plan for the family - One man and one woman unite as one flesh and become a family, then come children.
Just a few weeks ago my oldest daughter graduated grade 8. We had fun picking out a dress and
shoes. We purchased some lip gloss and mascara. Our young lady was beautiful. It suddenly occurred
to me that we may only be a few years away from boyfriends. I am so glad that we have been
conversing with our girlies all these years about love, marriage, sex and family. And I am mindful that when we do fall short, even then God's grace is not too short to reach us. I hope that I have stirred you to consider how you will frame your children's understanding of these things at whatever stage you are in. I hope you will start the conversation.