4 Principles In Talking To Your Kids About Sex

1. See to it that you are the one to teach your kids about sex.

Parents have the responsibility to raise their children in the “discipline and instruction of the Lord” (Eph 6:4). This has more to it than just teaching attributes of God and the basics of salvation. Sex is not merely biological, it is theological. The Bible has lots to say about sex, its purpose and its design. We must do better than just saying, “Don’t do that” (more on this later). As the ones who are to teach our kids about the things of God, we must also be the “go to” authority when it comes to sex. It is not the job of the teachers at school (expounding our government’s view of sex) or the 6-year-old “expert” on the playground. That leads to the next point…

2. Start young.

TV and movies often portray, quite comically, what we think of as “the talk”. A dad nervously and clumsily describes the “birds and the bees” to his teenage son. It seems that this has become the norm, but hear this caution: don’t wait too long. If you wait until your child is a teenager to begin to talk about sex, someone else has already beat you to it. Statistically, 9 out of 10 boys and 6 out of 10 girls are exposed to pornography online before the age of 18, and the first exposure to pornography for boys on average is 12 years old. Is it any wonder why so many in our culture have such a distorted view of sex?

3. Don’t have just “THE Talk” but a series of conversations.

With this encouragement to start young, that is not to say give them every detail all at once. You start with the basics of gender and  proper anatomical names in the toddler years and you build from there as they get older. Stan and Brenna Jones have written a series for discussing sex at age appropriate levels *.

4. Teach not just the biology but also the theology of sex.  

As mentioned before, sex is far more than scientific. There are theological components to it, and we must teach our children God’s design for it. We must teach them that sex, in proper context of a one man-one woman covenant of marriage, is a good thing and part of God’s good creation. The world thinks of sex as a god and ultraconservatism thinks of sex as gross (“Don’t do that!”). We must give our children a more compelling view that sex is good while emphasizing it’s only good when it’s in accord with God’s design.

Luke Gilkerson, who wrote this helpful guide *,  had a conversation about sex with his son. After answering all his questions the boy replied, “Isn’t God amazing!” What if we saw conversation about sex not as an awkward moment to be put off but as an opportunity to lead our child to worship?

*Whenever Apex Parents lists resources, it is not an unqualified endorsement of every word within it. Use discernment. Chew the meat, spit the bones.