The best way to combat the world’s view of sex is by teaching your child the truth of the Scripture. God created sex. Not Hugh Hefner, not Dr. Ruth. Genesis 1:27 tells us, “And God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” The Creator of the universe stamped and embedded His image within us in a way that is somehow mysteriously tied to our sexuality.
Christians often are portrayed as backward, narrow-minded prudes. But sexual intercourse in marriage glorifies God. God was not embarrassed when Adam and Eve had intercourse in the garden. He didn’t put His hand over his eyes and shame them, “Cut it out! I didn’t create you to do that!” No, God designed the equipment and He blessed the union. When God made them male and female He said it was “very good” (Genesis 1:31).
Here are some major points you will want to share with your child about God’s view of sex.
1. Sex is for procreation in marriage
God created sex so that we can reproduce after our own kind. Genesis 1:28 tells us that God blessed the man and the woman and commanded them to be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth. Sex is for intimacy in marriage. Genesis 4:1 says, “Now the man had relations with his wife Eve, and she conceived.” Adam did not shake Eve’s hand. He had relations with his wife, and she conceived because they had intercourse. God intended us to become one flesh to draw us together. It’s a wonderful aspect of sex.
One night one of our teenagers came into our bedroom and said to us, “You know, it really bugs me that you shut the door to your bedroom at 10:00 or 10:30 at night. I feel like you’re shutting us out of your lives.”
We replied that this was by design! It gives us a chance to talk and to know each other better. Neither of us explained how we were knowing each other, but it was the idea that we need the opportunity for intimacy—spiritual, relational, and sexual.
2. Sex is for pleasure in marriage.
God approves of appropriate gestures of love, romance, and pleasure within marriage. Look at Proverbs 5:19: “As a loving hind and a graceful doe, let her breasts satisfy you at all times; be exhilarated always with her love.” That is not Playboy 5:19; that’s Proverbs 5:19. God said it. He also wrote an entire book of the Bible about sexual love in marriage, The Song of Solomon. God is not down on sexual pleasure in marriage.
One of the best sex education tools you can use is to model a warm, affectionate, honest marriage. Your children need to see their mom and dad hugging; this lets them see healthy expressions of human sexuality in a marriage relationship that is blessed by God.
3. Sex was created to be enjoyed by a man and a woman in marriage.
These days our media bombard us with the idea that God created and blesses other kinds of sex, like that practiced by homosexuals. You will need to share with your child that there is a radical homosexual element in our culture saying, “We’re going to be in your face. You’re going to see us kissing on television and in movies. We want to become acceptable.”
Our children must know that just because some group wants to validate their behavior, that does not make it right in God’s eyes. Our children need to learn how to hate the sin (see Romans 1:26—27) while loving the sinner.
4. Sex outside of marriage is a sin.
God very clearly forbids fornication (1 Corinthians 6:9, Matthew 15:19). Some believe only a cruel God would give teenagers a strong sex drive but then order them not to act upon it until marriage. But when God forbids something, it is for our own good.
Use the following points to develop a clear, well-thought-out explanation on how God uses sexual purity for our good.
- You have no guilt, no shame, and no emotional scars when you hold to a standard of sexual holiness. You don’t hear any accusing voices in your own conscience.
- You won’t be tempted to compare your future spouse with a past lover.
- You have no risk of sexually transmitted disease.
- You will not face the possibility of bearing a child out of wedlock.
- You will have much-needed training in self-control and self-denial.
Much of this information about God’s view of sex can be discussed with your child in a formal setting as you look up Scriptures together. But also look for casual opportunities to communicate these truths.
I was bringing Ashley, who was about 13 at the time, home from piano practice one evening. She told me about a note being passed around in class about a boy and a girl who had taken their clothes off and messed around.
I remember telling Ashley, “Sex is beautiful in marriage. There is a time that’s right, and if you will wait, God will bless it. But what those two young people are doing is shameful and wrong.”
I don’t really know what Ashley thought of that conversation. But I believe these moments are the building blocks of a godly perspective about sex.
Adapted from Parenting Today’s Adolescent: Helping Your Child Avoid the Traps of the Preteen and Teen Years. Copyright 1998 by Dennis and Barbara Rainey. Used by permission of Thomas Nelson, Inc., Publishers.
FamilyLife is a donor-supported ministry offering practical and biblical resources and events to help you build a godly marriage and family.
1. Read “Helping Your Child Win at Purity” and apply it to your parenting.
2. FamilyLife has developed Passport2Purity® to assist you in building heart-to-heart communication with your preteen while laying a foundation of purity that will prepare them for the turbulent years ahead. Learn more about Passport2Purity and begin planning a mother/daughter or father/son getaway today.
3. Since its inception 14 years ago, parents have been using Passport2Purity to fashion a memorable getaway weekend for their preteens. Listen to one young woman tell how her P2P weekend over 10 years ago is still impacting her today.