The “Sex” Talk
by Drenda Keesee
One of the frequent questions I receive is, “How and when do you talk to your children about sex?” With a society that has few moral boundaries left and no restraint for protecting a child’s heart from adult topics, we must be the ones who introduce these discussions with our children, and unfortunately for the same reasons, at increasingly earlier ages. The exact age will depend on the environment you create for your children and their exposure to secular training in the school systems. I encourage parents to set the stage for openness very early in life so that your children see you as their source for information and not their school or peers.
I learned the facts of life from…
…reading the curse word of all curse words on the elementary bathroom wall in the third grade. I asked another girl what it meant. She volunteered the graphic information to my horror. Because I had no idea where the conversation would go, I carried some serious guilt and wrong perceptions for too many years.
It’s sad to think that one of the most impactful areas of marriage would be introduced to a child by a stranger or worse yet, a system that does not recognize God’s rapturous plan for marriage or sex between one man and one woman. I won’t even go into the horrible presentations and considerations being propagated to small children in the school system today. These designs come from those who deplore God’s design for family and have done everything in their power to corrupt and destroy the simple purity and organic beauty of sexual intimacy. Too many children are being introduced to sex through exposure to pornography—another good reason not to allow technology outside of your supervision.
Innocence should have a place once again in the tenderness of childhood. Guard your child’s heart from sitting under the mentorship of thieves and carefully tend to your child’s heart by sharing truth before someone tells them a lie! Children should not be made to feel shame concerning their sexual organs. I encourage you to use the appropriate names for these areas so later it will be easier to explain reproduction. It is also necessary to explain and help children understand, “These are special hidden parts that we don’t show to people or let others touch. Tell me if anyone tries to touch your special parts.” You can create your own positive wording.
Introduce children to reproduction by casual mentions in daily life from the time they are small children, but don’t take information into conversations past their curiosity or appropriateness. A five-year-old may ask, “Where do babies come from?” A simple explanation such as, “Mommies and daddies make babies,” may suffice. If they ask, “How do they do that?” you can escalate to the next level. “They both give something from their love to make the baby” could take it a step further. “Th e mommy gives an egg and the daddy gives a sperm” may be the follow-up. Often simple explanations are enough for their understanding at early ages. Referring to a mommy’s pregnant belly as where the baby is also lets children begin to understand reproduction. Eventually, this conversation can keep going until through a natural process over time, the information they need is covered.
Some children have more curiosity and will continue to ask until they are satisfied. One of our sons was riding in the car with me at age ten and asked every question possible until he had the entire basic understanding. It wasn’t awkward and it was unplanned (at least in my mind). One of the reasons I am such an advocate of home education is that you can’t always plan these times, so you’re grateful that quantity time offers a better opportunity for mentorship in quality time.
During adolescence, take this conversation to a place of understanding of the changes that will start occurring in their body as they grow into adults. Discuss menstrual cycles and bodily changes before they happen to your child. Dads should address the negative influence of pornography, handling temptations, and the importance of honoring God and women. Again, if you talk about this beforehand, you are established as the “goto” person for answers in this delicate area. I recommend that dads have these talks with their sons consistently and moms with their daughters if possible. It doesn’t always work that way as in my son’s situation. If you’re a single mom, you can handle this with the help of God’s Spirit guiding you (age dependent on their innocence and environment), and maybe the help of a trusted godly man in your son’s life.
Beyond adolescence in your child, I encourage you to share all the information in this chapter. Help guide your youth to make a commitment with God’s help to maintain a pure heart and physically abstain from sexual intimacy or encounters until marriage. Some families follow these talks with a ring, certificate, or other reminder of their desire and commitment to follow God’s plan of waiting until marriage for sexual intimacy.
It is important to give them an understanding of “the gift” of sexual intimacy that is intended by God as a wedding present to the one they will marry. If a couple models marriage as this writing encourages, children should have a healthy picture of the relationship and will want to save the gift of sex for their future mate. Asking questions such as, “Do you want your future spouse to save this gift for you? Do for them as you would like them to do for you. You can also pray for this person now, that they would learn to honor and obey God in this area, too.”
I was a youth minister for nine years, and during that time I had the opportunity to encourage parents about leadership and communication, but I was surprised that many parents would not address sex with their youth. It became such a concern that I eventually decided to teach the scriptural and physical aspects of the “marriage bed” with the older teens and their parents. I did so with the girls in our home with their mothers present. My husband did the same with the boys at a camp out with their fathers present.
Our thought was we could break the ice for parents scripturally, and this would turn the discussion over to their parents to continue. We made our intentions clear through invitations, letters, and signed releases that we were having this discussion and that it was important for a parent to attend if possible. Unfortunately, less than half of the parents attended, but they sent their youth.
Parents must reclaim their right and responsibility to be the voice in their children’s lives. This is a vintage value. Churches can only go so far in the spiritual leadership of your children, but God holds you personally accountable. Do not delegate this role to a school system.
Excerpt from “The New Vintage Family” by Drenda Keesee
Drenda Keesee’s contagious zeal and humorous personal experiences help make her ministry of spiritual, emotional and relational wholeness one that will bless your life and spark a new fire in your spirit.
A wife of over 30 years and a mother of five children, Drenda has ministered at churches, seminars, and conferences, and through the mediums of television and radio, for more than 20 years.
Her books, The New Vintage Family, Better Than You Think, and She Gets It are available wherever books are sold. In these heartfelt books, Drenda shares her personal journey and the life lessons that have brought her to where she is today, as well as practical answers that all people need to live a joyful life.
Drenda and her husband Gary founded Faith Life Now, a ministry designed to spread the message of freedom in the areas of finances, faith, marriage and family. Faith Life Now hosts conferences worldwide, and sponsors both Fixing the Money Thing, which Drenda co-hosts with her husband Gary, and Drenda.
Through their own life experiences, the Keesees have found the principles from God’s Word to be powerful and effective. At one point, Drenda was a young, suicidal feminist with no hope of ever being “good enough” for her own standards of perfection. She never wanted the “inconvenience” of a husband or children, and she was on her own path to success. But the stress of trying to achieve perfection and perform for love left her broken and used. She had success, but it was nothing compared to the pain and loneliness it had also brought.
That’s when God got a hold of her heart. It was there—at her lowest point—that she found the One who accepted and loved her, faults and all. Since that transformation, Drenda has had a passion to reach women who find themselves where she once was.
She married Gary after attending college, and there she found herself in a personal boot camp of sorts. She says, “I cried and told God, ‘I can do anything but be a wife and mother.’” She committed to learning how to do it God’s way. Through the many years of raising their children and struggling to make ends meet, Drenda learned from their mistakes. “I didn’t know how to be a wife and mother, but God saved our marriage, taught us how to parent our children for success, showed us how to have financial success, and then irony of all ironies, He called us to ministry.” It’s truly because of these life experiences that Drenda can now share so many insightful principles for people who are now going through the same struggles.