4 Talking Points for Discussing Sex with Your Kids

My older two kids probably will tell you that I blew this conversation. There are several factors that contributed to my lack of paternal initiative to have this conversation. One, I was scared. Two, I was scared. Three, I was scared. 

Maybe you will find my struggle encouraging, knowing that you are not alone.

When the day came to “have the talk” with my third child, I still wasn’t the one to initiate the conversation. She did. She was curious and had questions.

I couldn’t avoid it this time.

What I discovered is that when we talk with our kids about sex, we are not introducing them to the subject. They know. They are curious. And they have questions that parents need to be equipped to answer.

The main question for me is whether I would let the culture dictate their understanding of sex or whether I would impart a biblical worldview through which they can process the details.

Looking back, it may have been that I just didn't know where to start. We are all afraid to mess this up. But starting the conversation is the biggest hurdle. Once you begin, you got this!

This is what I want to help you do. Just find a place to start the conversation.

Here are four talking points to get it going.

#1 - God Created Sex.

It may seem odd to begin sex with God, but historical, biological, cultural, social, and intellectual integrity demands it.

For example, if we talk about the automobile there must be a connection to Henry Ford. If we discuss the telephone, we will name Alexander Graham Bell as the inventor, in the same way we would give credit to Thomas Edison for the creation of the light bulb.

When it comes to the cosmos, God is the Creator. Not only did he design the entirety of the material universe, he designed every function within it, from gravity to precipitation to human reproduction.

Not only did God design the entirety of the material universe, he designed every function within it, from gravity to precipitation to human reproduction.

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Yes, God created sex.

God even designed the way sex works, including how it feels.

The fact that sexual intercourse produces a feeling of physical and emotional euphoria does not make the act a sinful thing. Where did we get the idea that pleasure is sub-spiritual or anti-God?

Psalm 16:11 says, ”In your presence, O God is the fullness of joy; there are pleasures forevermore at your right hand.”

According to the Bible, God himself is the mastermind behind the climactic, sexual sensation we call orgasm. He designed it. Yes, God intended for sex to feel good.

The point is that God likes sex and likes that we like it. In fact, he encourages it.

It may surprise some to discover that the first command he gave the first two humans for their married life together was the exhortation to be fruitful and multiply.

How does a couple multiply? You guessed it.

It was a command to have sex! To enjoy what God intended sex to be for the human race.

#2 - Sex was created to be a good, beautiful thing.

Although our culture has trained many of us to think of sex as a bad, dirty thing, human sexuality as expressed between a man and a woman was created by God to be good and beautiful.

Although our culture has trained many of us to think of sex as a bad, dirty thing, human sexuality as expressed between a man and a woman was created by God to be good and beautiful.

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There actually is an entire book of the Bible devoted to the joy of sexual fulfillment, the Song of Songs, which also is called the Song of Solomon.

It shouldn't surprise us that the primary textual description of sex is in a song. Music in practically every generation has been a common means by which people have expressed the deep emotions connected with physical intimacy.

Years ago I did an experiment while driving on a road trip. The experiment entailed listening to 20 songs on the radio and determining how many of them were about romantic love. While this was not a scientifically verifiable study, 19 of the 20 songs, in some way or another, were “love songs.” Seriously!

But then again, that doesn’t surprise us. Sexuality is hard-wired into the human framework. We are sexual beings.

We don’t talk about this as much as we probably should.

After all, there are not many children’s Sunday School lessons taken from Solomon’s Song. Why? It is explicitly erotic, and that scares us.

“Certainly,” we say to ourselves, “the images in the Song of Solomon are metaphorical, alluding to the relationship between Christ and his bride, the church.”

Yes, a redemptive understanding of Scripture demands that we see the shadow of Jesus on every page teaching us about our need for a Savior and God’s provision of a Savior. The Song shows us in vivid, graphic detail what inexpressible joy is available to those who know the Savior with the kind of intimacy that is described as indwelling and as a union, words that we often use when speaking of marital intimacy.

But the Song is not merely a metaphor or to be read as a parable or allegory. Solomon wrote it in the context of his very real, physical relationship with a wife. Therefore, while the book does reflect the depth of intimacy between a believer and Jesus, it also gives us a road-map for enjoying the human analogy of our spiritual union--which is marital union, as the groom indwells his bride unto oneness and joy.

In the opening chapters of Genesis, we read that Adam and Eve were naked and not ashamed. This is what every human desires. To be fully known and fully loved… at the same time.

God designed the sexual relationship to be the opportunity where that is known on a physio-emotio-spiritual level, where we are not only physically connected but emotionally connected; and not only emotionally connected but spiritually connected.

This is the “one flesh” design of God. It was created to be good and beautiful.  

#3 - Sex has been corrupted.

So, our sexual being-ness is a good, beautiful thing. At least that is how God painted it on the original canvas.

But we humans have sprayed graffiti on the canvas, making what was beautiful, scarred, ugly, and shameful.

The influence of internet pornography it's practically destroying the possibility for us to see sex as good and beautiful. The way sex is depicted in popular movies makes it is easy to understand why discussing the topic feels taboo.

The result is that sex has become a ruined masterpiece.

But the graffiti is not new. Humans have been vandalizing sexuality ever since Adam and Eve left the garden.

The solution to rampant sexual immorality is not to build a wall between an individual and sexual connection but to build a wall around two people who are to experience and enjoy that connection in the context of marriage.

The solution to rampant sexual immorality is not to build a wall between an individual and sexual connection but to build a wall around two people who are to experience and enjoy that connection in the context of marriage.

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#4 - The proper context for sex is marriage.

A good place to start understanding the fullness of the goodness and beauty of human sexuality is to recognize the context in which God designed human intimacy to flourish.

Just like a fish was designed to flourish in water, so also sex was designed to flourish in marriage.

Just like a fish was designed to flourish in water, so also sex was designed to flourish in marriage.

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Our cultural perspective on sex largely has taken it out of the context for which it was intended. The results have been catastrophic, like a fish languishing and suffocating after it jumps out of its bowl and onto the carpet in order to roll around with the family dog because that looks like more fun than living in the tank.

Take the fish out of the water and there will be problems. Take sex out of marriage and there will be problems, too.

Hollywood has attempted to depict the goldfish on the floor that's having much more sexual enjoyment than those remaining in the tank. Pornography is influencing young men with the idea that women enjoy being treated like animals. Our own sin natures do the job of corrupting sex well enough. But coupled with external forces just exacerbates the problem.

Some may see the corruption of sex as a strategy of the enemy, taking something that God designed as something for us to enjoy and turning it into something harmful. In fact, in 1 Corinthians 7, the apostle Paul connects Satan to sexual temptation outside of marriage.

Not only does the enemy want to distort and destroy what God had made beautiful and good, Satan does not want Christians to enjoy sex in marriage. He knows that if we are abstinent long enough, he can tempt us with what Paul calls porneia (the Greek word that is translated “sexual immorality,” which is any form of sex outside the context of marriage).

This is why it is so important for us to reclaim and redeem human sexuality, reinstituting its design and purpose under the Lordship of Jesus.

Where do we start? How do we fight back?

With four talking points:

  1. God created sex.
  2. God created sex to be good and beautiful.
  3. We have corrupted sex.
  4. The proper context for sex is marriage.

What about the technical questions of sex technique? How the body changes in response to sexual stimuli and stuff like that. What about the actual, well, process of intercourse?

I drew a picture. 🙂

Biology class helps, too.

Help keep the conversation going! Post your thoughts, questions, and suggestions in the comments below.

If this article was helpful for you, maybe it will help someone else, too?

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You need to know that I blew this big-time with my older two kids. I just waited until they had biology. Of course, by that time, they knew. Peers talk. A lot. There are several factors that contributed to my lack of paternal initiative to have this conversation. One, I was scared. Two, I was … Continue reading 4 Talking Points for Discussing Sex with Your Kids