Who Do You Want Teaching Your Children About Sex?

The Video Music Awards on Sunday night provide me an easy way to begin this post. I didn’t watch the VMAs last night but when I returned home from having dinner with a friend, my main Twitter list feed (mostly full of pastors and gal-pals and authors) was full of the words

shock!, heartbreak!, Miley Cyrus!, sad!, our children!, pray!

A few minutes of browsing through the #VMA hashtag provided me with more than enough imagery to see what it was that caused people to respond this way. I don’t recommend you Google it.

miley-vmas-culture-media-sex-christianity-anne-marie-miller

Photo: Washington Post

But generally speaking, this is a timely milestone in our culture and it gives me the chance to ask you one question:

Who do you want teaching your children about sex?

The answer is fairly simple.

a) You

b) Culture

“But I would never in a million years let my child watch the VMAs.”

Fair enough. But if your child is in contact with any other child in school, in church, on her soccer team, at sleepovers…if your child stands next to you as you check out at Kroger and sees the cover of any one of the magazines in line, or walks with you in the mall, or …

I think you get the point.

This is why it is essential you have these conversations with your children. And you may not know how. Or where to begin. Or want to believe it’s necessary, but it is. It is entirely mandatory for you, as a parent, to stand in between the pixels and skin of the media and the heart and the mind of your child.

Tomorrow, I’ll provide you with an extensive list of resources to help you do this but I felt the need to preface the resources.

This is not about behavioral modification. This is not about “doing” the “right” things to shelter and protect our kids. 

It has to begin somewhere below the surface, on a battlefield that is not fought on earth.

FIRST – It has to begin with prayer.

My pastor met with a college student recently who shared her small Christian liberal arts college was experience an epidemic of pornography. It almost became an acceptable thing to “struggle” with. She asked for resources – software, Bible studies, books – to help combat it. His reply?

“Do you guys have a prayer meeting?”

They didn’t. He went on to explain how we can try to change our actions, to do things we think are right but until we are on our face, humbled in prayer before our God, we don’t stand a chance.

So before we read twenty books and blogs on how to do the right things, we must begin to fight this battle in prayer. Pray for your children, for your church, for your community, for those in the media, for our country, for our world. Call me old fashioned, but I still believe in miracles. Call me naive, but I believe it doesn’t have to only get worse from here. I believe as we pray and fight on the spiritual plane, the dark forces that continue taking over us, that continue taking over our children must stop in Jesus’ name.

The same power that raised Christ from the dead lives in us and that same power can put to death the evil that wants to destroy our lives.

SECOND – Act. Yes, we must act. Erwin McManus once said, “Whoever tells the best story shapes the culture.” 

Right now, media is shaping our culture. It’s saying what’s right and wrong. What’s okay and what’s not. A relatively recent study (10 years ago, so I imagine the numbers are probably worse now) says about media with sexual content:

“Risks and negative consequences of sexual behavior were found in only 2% of all scenes with sexual content.”

This is after learning “83% of programs popular with teens had sexual content, and 20% contained explicit or implicit intercourse. On average, each hour of programming popular with teens had 6.7 scenes that included sexual topics.”

We must tell a better story. We must portray the beauty of what the Scriptures say about sex and educate the brokenness that happens when we make choices outside of what the Bible says. We do this with our lives. We do this with our words. We do this with what we create.

If we make the choice to sit by and let conversations with our children just happen, we have waited too long. Involve your church, involve your pastors, involve your family, involve your neighborhood. Don’t go into this battle alone. Link arms, pray, and fight by painting beauty.

We cannot be afraid of this anymore. 

We can change this.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive, off-topic, hateful or rude. Let's be grown ups here!

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12 thoughts on “Who Do You Want Teaching Your Children About Sex?

  1. I would suggest that the problem isn’t about sex. Pagans have publically engaged in vulgar sexual practices since the beginning of time. (Look at the sexual acts depicted on walls in Pompeii or in India or…) This never has changed and I see no reason to think it will. Nothing Miley Cyrus did was “new under the sun.”

    The problem is our treatment of women. Women are harmed when sex is linked to subordination and worse yet, violence. Consider Mod Carosel’s remake of the infamous “Blurred Lines” by Robin Thicke. http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2013/07/24/why-the-mod-carousel-parody-of-blurred-lines-works-so-well/

    In it they demonstrate–very clearly–how women are treated by society. The goal is not merely to “look away” but to understand how this is corrosive and evil.

    As Christians we have a higher duty to build a Kingdom in which women are not sexually harmed. We do not have a duty to build a kingdom in which our children never have to look at the ugliness of paganism.

  2. I totally think that first off people mis-read and twist what the scripture even says about sexual relations. Jesus himself said that when it is out of love it is not a sin, not marriage (though they said to wait until marriage as they did not know about STD’s and the underlying mechanisms in which made sex bad for the body, including multiple people) thus to error on the side of caution it was better to sustain…Sexual sin is rape and pedophiles (forcing someone or a manipulating a human or a child for self gaining purpose, or porn because it fuels the temptation and all the hurt and pain that is suffered because people want to make it excusable) If all your ever telling your children is that sex is a sin period, they will never learn health sexual behavior nor understand that when someone is hurting them sexual, it is okay for them to talk and for that person to have to take responsibility for their own lack of self control regarding their own impulses. This is why so many women get raped and people claim its an act or will by god, the bible also warns you about false preachers and prophesier in which are for selfish reasons and self gain purpose… this is not an act or will of God, though first and fore most it is what God sees in our hearts, as God does not always judge us by our actions, but of our heart… and how we are thinking about our actions and how they effect others.

    • Are you kidding me? The Bible is very clear that sex outside of the context of marriage, be it pre- or during, is sin. We don’t need to know reasons, just trust that God made His rules for our good. No, sex, inside a marriage, is not wrong, and should be enjoyed, but before or with anyone other than your spouse, is definitely, sin. Here’s a list of passages to help you out: http://www.openbible.info/topics/sexual_sin

    • I am baffled that you can say having sexual relations out of marriage is not a sin. Then what is fornication and adultery? I am baffled at Christians who try to contextualise absolute scriptures. I wrote a blog post just yesterday about how we Christians feel we have more knowledge in the 21st century and therefore should not listen to the fathers of the faith who had revelation of the faith we profess. (The blog post is here: http://herstheword.blogspot.com/2013/08/i-believe.html. The prohibition on sex outside of marriage has nothing whatsoever to do with STD’s. The Bible makes it clear that our bodies are God’s temple. Paul also say that every sin we commit is outside the body but sexual sin is within our bodies. Are we now saying that it is okay for Christians to sleep around as long as we say we are going to marry the person? I really don’t get it

  3. Good points all around, but I think we need to be careful with your last point about “telling a better story.”

    Yes, McManus is right. We need to tell a better story, but it had best be a story firmly grounded in reality. To suggest as some have in the past that “saving sex until marriage” would create the most amazing experiences, just isn’t true. Our bodies don’t know the difference between marriage and singleness. Sexual activity is designed by God to be completely pleasurable. Saving ourselves until marriage will not make it more so–having sex before marriage won’t make it less so.

    Don’t misunderstand, we should encourage our children to wait until marriage for sexual intimacy. But we must never paint a picture that just doesn’t fit with reality.

    Also, a nod to those who have pointed out one of the biggest problems is the objectifying women and the horrible abuse of women that continues to go on in the US and throughout the world. As a father of daughters I am appalled at how the problem of rape and abuse is ignored or soft-pedaled or even blamed on women.

    One aside, since we’re talking about Miley Cyrus. What makes the entire situation so ludicrous to me is the sheer ennui of it all. Really, Miley? Madonna shocked because she was the first. Miley is just in a long line of “bad girls” that have predictably followed since then. It has become so common one just cynically waits until the latest young singer takes the mantle of bad girl.

    Someone once said that sin becomes very boring. I see why.

    What these entertainers need is a dose of creativity!

  4. One other thing: everyone is condemning Miley Cyrus but what about the married 30-something Robin Thicke who was her partner in the act? Again, we have no problem condemning the lewd behavior of Miley–but what about the guy?