The Sex Talk
By: Kent Evans
3 min. read
It’s not just one talk
Helping your kids arrive at a healthy view of sexuality is not a talk. It’s a series of conversations that takes place over several years.
If you’re a dad, this should inspire you. That “first” conversation doesn’t have to carry the day. You don’t get just one bite at this apple.
However, if you’re looking for a quick-hitting-single-chat that gets you off the hook, best of luck with that approach. I think you’re in for a disappointing outcome. Maybe an analogy will help convince you.
Learning to Drive
Do you remember being taught to drive a car? Maybe it was your mom, dad, or crazy uncle. Some brave soul hopped in that car with you and risked his or her life to help you get the hang of it. Or maybe you’re old enough to have taught your own kids how to drive. I’ve done that with three of my five sons so far. I can attest to some perilous moments as they were starting out.
There have been times when I yelled, panicked, cussed, pleaded and even just had them pull over. I’m not proud of every moment. But we made it through.
A few things are true about a moving vehicle:
- The first time you get behind the wheel can be intimidating and awkward.
- The stakes are high. A car’s a weapon and it can hurt a lot of people.
- Conversely, a car well operated is a delight and can open new worlds.
- You learn more as situations present themselves through real-life scenarios.
- It takes hours to master the craft. One quick spin around the block doesn’t cut it.
- Kids can get confused by watching the approach of other drivers.
Grace to Learn
I’m sure you see the similarities.
A discussion with our children about sex can be awkward. If they don’t learn to handle this well, they can hurt a lot of people. If they learn sound, Biblical principles about sex, it can be a glorious gift. Many small conversations in the context of real life – temptations, failure, dating – often are better than one major sit-down. The way others handle this topic can be shocking or downright evil, causing confusion for our kids.
The topic of sexual integrity, purity and helping our kids avoid negative consequences, is not a one-and-done proposition.
If we’ll spend hours and hours learning how to operate a car, why would we think something as complex, glorious, mysterious, tempting and powerful as sex can be covered in a thirty-minute chat about the birds and the bees?
How stupid would we have to be to take a teenager on one drive in a car, then, hand them the keys and say, “You’re all good. We’ve had the driving talk.” If that’s how you teach your kids to drive, please let me know where you live so I can avoid your neighborhood!
Sex and Steering
As a father, I hope you’ll be one of the primary teachers of your kids in this area. Sure, if you have daughters, and you’re married to a godly wife, y’all can tag team these chats. But, dad, there’s no replacement for you stepping up and helping your kids understand this powerful machine God has blessed us with.
You’ll be increasing the odds of your kids staying out of the ditch along the way. And you’ll be handing them the keys to a healthy sexual relationship with their future spouse. This will steer them into a joyful future full of wonder. Dad: get in the driver’s seat and take the wheel!
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Kent Evans is the Executive Director and co-founder of Manhood Journey, a ministry that helps fathers become disciple-makers. After a twenty-year career as a business leader, he embarked on biblical Fatherhood ministry projects. Kent has appeared on television, radio, web outlets and podcasts. He’s spoken at parenting and men’s events. He’s authored two books. The first, Wise Guys: Unlocking Hidden Wisdom from the Men Around You, was written to help men learn how to find mentors and wise counsel. The second, The Manhood Journey: Charting a Course to Biblical Fatherhood, aims to help dads not be good or great dads, but be godly ones. Learn more at manhoodjourney.org or fatheronpurpose.org.