Thursday, August 20, 2009

Teaching Children About Sex, Part I

I have been asked to expound a little more on some advice I gave on an email list recently regarding how we taught our children about sex. With our oldest son getting married this summer, I can truly say we are so very blessed to reap the benefits of having taught our children about their sexuality in such a way that would honor God and preserve the beauty and the mystery of marriage. Let me share with you some of the wisdom God gave my husband and I in teaching our children about their sexuality.

A godly, Christian woman gave me a book called The Act of Marriage by Tim and Beverly LaHaye just before Les and I got married. It explained not only the mechanics, but the emotional and spiritual aspects of the marriage bed. Les and I both read it just before we were wed, but we both agreed afterward that it would have been better if we had known nothing much at all and had explored the book together after marriage. So, that is what we did for our son. We gave him the book and made him promise not to read it until his honeymoon. (Of course, whether he did or not is his business. We won't be discussing their intimacy.)

However, giving our son that book was not the beginning of his sex education. Though our philosophy has always been that there should be a mystery about the marriage bed until it is time to enter that sphere of life, our children's education concerning their sexuality began early on. We taught our children about this beautiful part of their being in a more or less here-a-little, there-a-little way all throughout their lives without giving them all the intimate details.

For instance, when our little ones wondered how the baby would get out when I was pregnant, I explained that God had prepared a special place for him or her to come out. If they asked where that place was, I would tell them it was a private and secret place. They were content with that answer once I told them I would explain it more to them when they were older.

Another opportunity to share sexual differences was when the new baby's diaper was changed. When our second son asked why his new baby sister didn't have the same private equipment as her older brothers, big brother piped up, "Because she hasn't grown one yet." After a muffled giggle, I explained that baby sister wouldn't have the same privates. That was what made her a girl. They were content with that answer also and were not at all embarrassed about it.

As they got older, of course, we insisted that they keep their own privates covered and to respect the privacy of others. In fact, once the children reached puberty, I never again saw them unclothed. No one ran around our house in their underclothes, and house coats were used if someone got up to use the restroom or didn't feel like getting dressed right away in the morning.

I am convince that, if children are taught personal modesty from a young age, they will accept sexual purity more readily as they get older. If you want your children to be virgins when they walk down the aisle, then begin early on to teach them respect for their own bodies. They must be taught to cover themselves with clothing which does not reveal what should only be reserved for the marriage bed. Their coverings should not be revealing nor skin tight.