My husband was speaking to a packed room, filled with parents who were eager to hear about how to give their kids a godly sex education at home. There was some nervous energy in the room—though, not as much as I was expecting—and most were very engaged.
But outside of his formal presentations—mostly on the Internet—we often meet parents who are downright opposed to the education we provide parents. There are some Christians, so it seems, who have some deeply held (and, I would say, false) beliefs about sex education.
Lie #1: Teaching children about sex robs them of their innocence
When I hear parents say they want to guard their child’s “innocence,” what they typically mean is they want their child to maintain a sort of sweet naivety about “adult” topics.
As a mom, I understand that desire. There’s a reason I don’t let my boys watch TV shows or movies with vulgar language, nudity, suggestive humor, and the like. There should not be even a hint of sexual immorality or crudeness in our homes (Eph. 5:3-4).
However, sexual topics in general—and more specifically, the things God says about human sexuality—are not crude.
We need to remember: innocence is a function of attitude, not information. A child can be well-informed about what the Bible says about sex and still maintain an attitude of innocence. It is the abuse and misuse of sex that scandalizes our kids, not godly knowledge about sex.
Lie #2: It’s best to wait until puberty starts—or later—to broach sexual topics
By the time puberty is in full swing, many kids have already learned their fair share of false information about sex from their peers, from their teachers—and unfortunately from the Internet.
Even in the most sheltered homes, if you wait until 11, 12, 13, or even the later teen years to start conversations about human sexuality, this is a more difficult time to lay a foundation of conversational openness about the subject of sex. Why wait until our children feel a sense of awkwardness about their emotions, attractions, and bodily changes to start the conversation? Why not lay the foundation much earlier?
Lie #3: The focus of sex education is learning about sexual intercourse
The focus of sex education is not sexual intercourse. Rather, the focus of sex education should be like the focus of all education: giving glory to God.
Sex education is a rich subject that embraces many topics:
- what means to be created male and female
- why God has commanded us to be fruitful and multiply
- what it means that married couples are “one flesh”
- how we are “fearfully and wonderfully made” in our mother’s womb
- God’s purpose for the family
- the danger and prevalence of sexual abuse
- the eternal dignity of our bodies
- the value and importance of modesty
…and, of course, sexual intercourse. Many of these subjects can be taught, bit by bit, using simple, child-friendly language from a very young age.
Lie #4: Public school and/or church programs are sufficient for kids to learn about sex
Public education standards are always changing, and they very from state to state, from country to country. Many schools offer decent sex education programs. Others say next to nothing. Others teach sexual values that are totally contrary to the Word of God.
Regardless of what your child’s school teaches, parents are entrusted by God to not just see to it their kids get “educated.” They are entrusted to disciple their children in the ways of the Lord (Eph. 6:4), and this includes what the Lord teaches about human sexuality.
Of course, it is wise to make use of the best tools when it comes to teaching our children—books, curricula, church programs, schools systems, co-ops, and other community resources can be very helpful. But more than anything, we want our children to look to us as the ones they can trust with their sexual growth, questions, and concerns.
Lie #5: Sex is an uncomfortable topic, no matter how you talk about it
We know the mess sin can make of sexual desire. Many of us, as Christian parents, aren’t proud of our sex histories. Many of us grew up in homes and in churches where sex was taboo, and its a taboo we’ve never been able to shake.
The good news is that God has given us the perfect tool to break the ice about sex with our kids: the Bible.
Do you already do regular devotions with your children in some fashion? This is your launching pad to talking about a wide variety of sexual topics.
Free Video Series to Help You Use the Bible for Sex Ed
*affiliate links below
My husband and I have a free online video series that teaches you how to use the Bible to give your children a foundational understanding of human sexuality.
I am convinced there is no safer place for children to learn about sex than sitting next to a loving parent with a Bible in their lap.