There is an expression that you hear in Christian circles—”more is caught than taught.” This simply means that in many cases people learn more effectively by personal experience than by being taught or spoken to about a certain subject. What I have learned is that talking about sex to your kids is definitely NOT one of those subjects! I grew up in an ultra conservative home (think Leave it To Beaver) where sex was definitely not discussed. The opportunity to talk about it was there, but it was considered taboo and so it was regularly avoided. I honestly never even heard people speak of having “The Talk” with their kids in our circles. I knew about sex from probably the age of 11 or 12 but not because anyone told me about it. Some basics I learned in school, some I picked up in the boys bathroom, and some from TV or other cultural sources but none from my parents. Unfortunately, for my kids, I repeated this cycle to a certain degree as a parent, particularly about what sex is physiologically. I allowed the awkwardness of the moment to keep me from teaching my kids about how God made men and women differently both physically and emotionally, and how sex can glorify God in the context of marriage. On the other hand, we have been much more open with our kids about what God expects from them in the area of sex (waiting until you are married, giving yourself to your spouse and only your spouse, etc). We have made sure that our kids have been present at any opportunity to hear about sex from a Biblical perspective from Godly men and women, and we have not shielded them from people who didn’t do things God’s way and had to suffer the consequences.
The point is, culture is ready, willing, and able to teach your kids all the wrong things about sex..if you don’t. I believe in my heart that my parents believed that the world I was growing up in was the same world they grew up in in terms of sexual issues. Now that I’m older, I am more aware that the challenges my kids face in this area are exponentially greater than anything my wife and I faced as kids. My exhortation to parents is to be open and honest with your kids. Admit the areas where you failed and allow God to use that to help your kids meet God’s standard and have a healthy view of sex from His perspective. Please don’t allow the awkwardness of the moment to keep you from saying what you should say or allow culture to teach them from a secular perspective. Instead, allow His grace to shine in this area and bless your family with a biblical perspective on sex.