How can we help our children think biblically about sex?
It’s challenging because there is so much pressure to think unbiblically. It’s awkward because we are talking to our children about a subject that is supposed to be intimate. But it’s vital.For one thing, if we don’t, who will? God’s given parents and especially fathers the responsibility to teach their children what God’s Word says.
Now, we are going to fail for sure. And, we are desperately dependent on the Holy Spirit. But, we need to try. Where do we start?
We have been looking to Paul and have identified a number of principles so far.
Here’s one more:
We need to make sure our children understand temptation is going to be tempting.
As we talk about the nature of salvation, and as we try to give our children an example of being serious about sexual holiness, we need to be careful we don’t give them the wrong idea, which would be that, Christians don’t struggle in serious ways with sexual temptation.
If we give our children the impression that Christians never struggle with temptation, we’re totally missing the point. Because obviously, if temptation wasn’t tempting to Christians, Paul wouldn’t have to do all the pleading and warning he does throughout his letters.
And I am stressing this, because I just don’t want my children to be surprised about the depth of corruption in their hearts, even if they’ve become believers. As fathers I think it’s vital we sit down with our children and explain that it’s very likely they at some point are going to struggle with perverted thoughts. They shouldn’t think somehow that just because they are Christians their sinful desires are going to be less sinful and gross than that of unbelievers.
It’s easy for children who’ve grown up in Christian homes to be somewhat naïve and as a result really surprised as they grow up and discover how broken they really are. It’s actually probably easy for us as fathers to be a little naïve about our children as well. (It definitely is for me!) We don’t like to think of them as struggling with sin, especially some of these kinds of sins.
But the reality is, it would be shocking if they didn’t. It would be shocking because as Jonathan Edwards once said, “There is the same corruption in the heart of a godly man as there is in the heart of an ungodly man and all the same corruption.”
It’s not like you have this one group of people over here who somehow are less broken than these other people over here by nature, and they are the Christians.
What’s in the heart of an unconverted is also in the heart of converted.
“The difference is that in the heart of the saints there is also a contrary principle that is a bitter enemy to this corruption and resists and struggles against it and makes warfare in their hearts and makes them hate it and loathe it and choose against it and reject it and renounce it and lament it and long to be rid of it and strive against it.”
Do you see what he’s saying?
I want my children to know that even some of the most godly people that have ever lived were discouraged by the stuff they saw going on in their hearts. Because you know, sometimes people think, if a person grew up in a Christian home and became a Christian at an early age, they are not going to struggle and when they do struggle, they get so discouraged, and I am like man, that’s part of being a Christian, the struggle, this is a fight, and it’s a fight, not just with nice, sweet stuff, but with real, actual, gross temptation and sin. As fathers you want to create an atmosphere in your home that takes sin really seriously, while at the same time, and this is what is difficult, is real about how challenging it can be to say no to sin, and where your children can share, the actual struggles they are having.
That’s difficult, because, in the world they only do two things with sexual sin basically.
They either treat sexual sins like they are no big deal or they crucify a person for struggling with it. They either laugh at it, and treat it like it’s no big deal or, they attack, “Oh, we found out you what you did. You deserve to be scorned and despised and mistreated.” Those are basically the two options in the world.
But not in our families, as Christians.
Because we’ve been saved by grace and because we know what Jesus Christ has done and because we know about hell, we take sexual sin very seriously. Yeah, we hate this. This is something that destroys and we don’t want tohave anything to do with it but at the same time, because we’ve been saved by grace, because we’ve been saved by grace, we’re very loving and gracious and kind to those whostruggle with sexual sin because we realize that the only way any of us can change is by the great work of Christ in and through our hearts.