The other evening, as I was about to meet Edric for a date, Titus asked me, “Why do you have to go out on a date?” So I turned the question around and asked him, “Why do you think mommy and daddy go out on dates?” His adorable reply was, “Because you love each other and you want to make babies!”
This moment of comedy made me think about how innocent our children are. It is something that Edric and I try very hard to safeguard. We are careful about what we watch as a family, the music we listen to, and the access our kids have to the Internet. But at the same time, we answer the questions our children have about sex. We don’t evade the topic or dismiss it.
They don’t ask about it often. In fact, these sort of conversations rarely happen. But when they do, Edric and I are ready to explain sex. And there is no malice or silliness about our dialogues because we make it clear that sex is something special that is shared between a husband and wife. It is an expression of intimacy and love in the context of marriage. It is God’s beautiful design. There is no corruption in it.
Recently, Edric spoke to one of our sons about it once again. His explanation was well-received. It was treated like any other conversation. But what I really appreciated was when Edric said to him, “I want to be the one to tell you about these things because I am your dad. No one taught me when I was younger. I found out the wrong way…from my friends.” He also added, “If you have any questions, you can always ask me because we are guys and I can relate to the way you think. You can also ask mom, but mom is a girl so she might not always understand guy stuff.”
Admittedly, I felt a little bit bad that he had to add that last part but I also realized that certain areas are really Edric’s department. I was happy that Edric made our son feel like he can tell his dad anything, that no topic is off limits.
I really believe that sons need their father to talk to them about sex as God designed it to be. Who really mentors their sons in this area? It’s not something we commonly practice because there is so much taboo surrounding sex. We have made it such an awkward topic. We get embarrassed to use correct terminology or talk about the details. But it is the world that has made sex something dirty and carnal. As parents, we can present it to our children as the pure and undefined thing that it is. We don’t have to divulge all the details at once, but as they ask questions, we should answer them truthfully. After all, the Bible says, “To the pure, all things are pure; but to those who are defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure, but both their mind and their conscience are defiled.” (Titus 1:15 NASB)
I remember an instance when one of our sons said his friends were laughing and pointing at a poster that showed a woman who was not wearing much. He turned away and his friends noticed, so they made a big deal about it and said, “Oh, he’s not looking! He’s not looking!” This son of ours narrated the incident to me and I told him that he did the right thing. I have no idea what the poster was or how they even saw it. But it was one of those times when I was thankful that our son knew he should close his eyes to protect himself.
Edric and I want our kids to be informed correctly so they recognize that there is sex as God designed it and a corrupted version of sex out there that they need to run away from. If they are not taught early, they may very well discover the corrupted version first from others, making it difficult for them to perceive sex the way God designed them to. So we need to lovingly guide them to desire holiness and purity and of course, we have to model this ourselves in what we think, say, and do…
Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. (Philippians 4:8 NASB)