We have been so blessed over the past few months to have Mary Flo Ridley sharing her expert advice on the challenging topic of talking to our boys about sex. If you’ve missed any posts in this series, here is a brief synopsis:

The first step is to establish the primary message you hope to send to your children. What is the image you hope your children have about sex as a result of growing up in your home? Write it down, memorize it, and it will help give purpose and clarity to your conversations.

Step two is to make sure that your vocabulary is respectful and anatomically correct.

In the third step Mary Flo gave us a sample conversation for answering the question that so many children ask, “How is that baby getting out of mommy?” Children need to understand the basic biology of birth.

For step four, the goal is to help our children see and understand that seeds and eggs are inside of every living thing. God’s design for reproduction is in all living things.

If you want a fuller explanation of these steps, please go to Mary Flo’s website, where you will find the books, “Simple Truths with Mary Flo Ridley” and “God’s Very Good Design”.

Now on to the last and most challenging (at least for me) step, answering the question:


What your child wants to know about is simple enough, but the honest answer leads them to their first understanding about sex, and that can be a little complicated. What an unexpected answer it will be. No matter how old your child is when they first learn the truth about how babies are made it is a surprise…but my hope is that you will be ready for this question, and how can you be ready?

1. Go back to your message, and use language from that statement.

2. Focus on the mechanics, with an emphasis on God’s design.

3. When they are young, no need talk about dangers or pleasures of sexual intercourse…like I said, “just the mechanics”.

Want to know how this conversation would go?

Let’s start with the message that Dave and I used:

“Sex is a gift from God for marriage.”

Keeping that message statement in mind we would answer our daughter’s question: “Mommy, how did that baby get inside of you?”

“I’m so glad you asked me that! It’s pretty amazing, but by God’s design, a husband and wife were made to fit together in a very special way. When that happens, a seed, called sperm from inside of Daddy meets with the egg that is inside of Mommy and that’s what God uses to start the baby!”

Not too difficult, would you say?

Not too much information for a young child, and yet you have begun to unfold the story of sex.

You have introduced the main characters: God, a husband, a wife, sperm, and egg. This was my answer to my 5 year old. She was still so young, this is all I felt like she needed, and she went away satisfied with my answer. (WHEW)…but I knew there would be more.

“So what do you mean, ‘fits together in a very special way?’  “

“Great question…I see you have been thinking about this, and I’m glad when you bring your questions to me. How this happens is quite amazing. Do you remember how I told you that the sperm that is inside of the daddy meets with the egg that is deep inside of the mommy? Well in order for the sperm to find the egg, the husband places his penis inside the wife’s vagina, and the sperm actually travels through the penis and finds the egg inside the wife. God designed it this way, and He calls it being ‘One Flesh’, in science it’s called ‘sexual intercourse’, and people usually call it ‘sex’. Because God made it, we know it is right and good for husbands and wives to be one flesh and to have babies.”

Try to keep it simple, factual, and with age-appropriate biology and theology.

I know this may sound daunting to many of you, and I totally understand. But think about this…wouldn’t you like to be the one to tell them? Wouldn’t you like the power of the first impression? When your children have access to the confusing and degrading messages about sex that our culture is offering up…what can we do? We can fight back with truth, and God’s word and point them to His design and purposes.

I like to think about highlighting the BEAUTY and the BOUNDARIES that God has made so clear.

My daughter, Jill is the child that had all of the questions at age 5. I had the privilege to speak at her church last year. When Jill introduced me, she said that she doesn’t really remember these conversations, but that she just grew up knowing and understanding these things.

I just loved that. We were able to impart important information and values, without the awkwardness that is usually a part of it all. Just like your child may not remember how or exactly when you taught him to take his plate to the kitchen, or pray, or the general rules of baseball…they just somehow picked it up by living life in your home. Wouldn’t it be nice to bring this topic into the fabric of your family in a less frightening way?

God introduced this topic right up front. Genesis. What He has created and ordained, we should not shy away from explaining to our children, and when we ask Him to help us, He will do that.

{The previous posts in this series will be available soon here on the blog.}

Heather has been married for 14 years and is the mother of 4 young boys. In her “free time,” Heather likes to read, crochet, & write for her blog,  God Centered Mom. Her goal is to encourage other moms (and herself) to daily clothe themselves in humility by placing God in the center, so they can serve their families with joy and bring God glory.

Since 1986, Mary Flo Ridley ( has encouraged and equipped parents of young children to be successful in the daunting task of guiding their child’s sexual values.  Mary Flo is a graduate of Southern Methodist University and has been married to her husband, Dave, for 30 years. They reside in Dallas, Texas, have 3 adult children, and one grandchild.