I think I started the third talk about sex with an old story/legend about a man in the early 1900’s whose Model “T” had died on the side of the road. A stranger pulled alongside and offered some advice. The stuck driver was reluctant and argued, claiming to know a lot about cars. The good Samaritan insisted. An argument ensued which ended suddenly when the man who had stopped revealed that his name was Henry Ford.
Suddenly arguing with him about how a Model “T” operates must have seemed a little silly.
I told Mark that I don’t think we always are going to know why God draws lines around sex… why there are rules about sex revealed in the
Bible*. Often we look at the rules and just don’t understand why they are there – they aren’t the rules we would make and often they aren’t the guidelines we want to follow…
But this is often true of children and we are His children.
Children often don’t know why a parent doesn’t want them to do something – it seems like it would be fun and a child often cannot see a
downside… but the parent can.
I re-iterated that sex is an amazing gift from God created for pleasure, intimacy, bonding and procreation… and that it is like fire –
life giving in the right settings (just like anything else powerful) but incredibly destructive anywhere it shouldn’t be.
This year I wanted to give him some insight into what it looks like outside of the fireplace…
the broken world’s perspective on sex.
We talked about how when God offers a good gift and a provision for something He wants us to have, Satan will always offer other ways
to experience it outside of God’s plan/provision.
So, we started with pornography, which because of the way our family has worked on it, he has not seen yet (that is what he says, and I
believe him). I talked about how he would know… and discussed the concept of the conscience. The gut feeling that something is wrong or right… and how listening to that voice is usually a good idea…
I told him that I was aware of pornography and how tempted it can be and how it can turn up when you least expect it. I told him there was a very good chance that it would be a friend he trusted who wanted to show it to him. I encouraged him to lead others to what is right in that moment by turning away. I also invited him to come tell me about it.
I want to comment that I am not so foolish as to think my son will somehow, in this society, go many more years without seeing a woman’s
naked body. I certainly would love for his wife to be the first one he sees – and I am not giving up, but neither am I naive. I think there is something in men who want to think that nudity is not sacred… but I hate the thought of giving up on this.
I hate the thought of nudity becoming something…
The female form is art and to treat it as anything less is at minimum, poor form.
Why would we treat the painting of a nude woman as more valuable than a woman’s nudity? Because we are a twisted and perverse people.
The longer he can go without this sacred thing being treated as common…
(“treasure” vs “ field” https://chrismlegg.com/2010/05/19/a-different-treasure-principle-by-chris-legg/ )
The better chance I think he has to engage with treasure as a mature man who understands what treasure is and means.
There is a strip club that we happen to drive by periodically. My son learned years ago that he could get a response from his mother by asking about it. However, like most such things, our response has been that we promise that when we thought he was old enough, we would tell
(remember the idea that we don’t hoard information?)
We told him that we wanted him to know, but we didn’t think he was ready.
I have been impressed at how content all of our children so far have been with this answer. I think they really trust us to be pushing the boundaries of understanding and experience for them, so they don’t have to (yet).
So I told him. I think he was feeling pretty sober about it when he finally understood.
I explained stripping in terms of pornography being acted out. I told him about the counseling I had done with strippers in the past and how they were all hurting and broken ladies in need of real love and freedom (like the rest of us). I talked about how easy it is for people to forget that people in pornographic videos, jobs, magazines or whatever…
They are someone’s daughter, often a sister, friend, etc.
Prostitution was the next natural topic, but it was basic – people who accept money to have sex.
I spoke briefly about homosexuality, mainly so that he would know the terms – the common and accepted terms as well as those not accepted.
I went over whatever terms I could think of that he was likely to hear so that he would know what they meant, or at least know where to
go to get the definition if he forgot (me).
I reminded him that anyone caught up in any of the world’s broken – wildfire – views of sex needed to be rescued and loved, not judged and
This time when I asked him if he had any questions, he said no. I wasn’t expecting any in this conversation, but again, I want to be the person he comes to. This year, he didn’t seem as… I suppose embarrassed as the other years. He was calmer and more comfortable with talking with me about a topic of sexuality.
I pray that this means that my original goal of him knowing that he can trust me to get him the information he needs and that he doesn’t have to feel awkward talking to me (both of which he claims to believe) are really in his head and heart now.
However, know that the conversation between Mark and I isn’t done.
There will be the conversation when he has a girlfriend…
The one when/if I discover he has seen pornography…
The one where we offer him to chance to make a pledge to remain a virgin until he gives that gift to his wife…
The one where he learns not to call anything unclean that God has called clean…
The one when I talk to him about my mistakes and issues…
And I am sure there are more that I am not aware of…
Plus he has a younger siblings.
The conversation has just begun…
And there is still one more conversation for the future –but it is for engagement. I will want to talk to him about the actual skills of listening learning and lovemaking and how those go together. Due to the potential graphic nature of that talk, though, I want to it be very close to
when he will be able to practice what we talk about! Plus, he will probably get some of that through the pre-marital counseling he will get.
One further note: I have a daughter who is just in this age range as well… and my wife has already started the first talk – about the purpose of sex… but she mainly has come at it so far as the purpose of the woman’s body for bearing children – kind of in preparation for menstruation… and the message of sacredness is being developed through their conversations on modesty.
I think the stage is set for the next conversation… maybe I will report on how she handles it… or better, get her to be a guest publisher
for the website!
I look forward to hearing your feedback. I know there are things I mentioned to him that I have already forgotten about, and maybe you can jog my memory.
Blessings and Grace as you are the ones to talk to your kids, grandkids, foster kids, etc… on this topic.
Sex is a grand gift, a sacred act of worship between a husband and wife devoted to God… another great reminder is to make sure our sex
lives are what God would have them be – then talking to our children about us makes us feel less like hypocrites than we already do!
I realized that I might recommend a book for parents – mainly this books is helpful with older boys, but I believe that if mom & dad read it, they might gain some insight that could be helpful. It is called “Who Moved the GoalPosts” by Gresh http://www.amazon.com/Who-Moved-Goalpost-Strategies-Integrity/dp/0802483313