We need to talk to our children about sexual purity.
What can we learn from Paul?
You need to talk with your children about sexual purity.
While you obviously want to be wise and not give them too much information too young, you also don’t want to be foolish and not talk with them about this aspect of their life, because it matters.
For those conversations about sexual purity to make sense, though, you are going to need to talk about more than just sexual purity. We need to help them understand first what it means to be a Christian. And we need to show them what it looks like to live as a Christian, by being especially serious about sexual purity ourselves.
The only way they’ll understand, why we are so serious, is if we are giving them an eternal perspective. Heaven and hell need to be words that impact our lives, if our children are going to understand why sexual sins are serious.
In all our talk about the seriousness of sin and heaven and hell and being a Christian, we need to make sure we are helping our children understand the nature of their own heart. And we should try to make the future fight against sexual temptation easier for them by helping them developing habits of self-sacrifice, and thanksgiving.
And while, there’s more, I am sure that can help us as we work with our children in regards to sexual purity, maybe one of the most important principles is for us to just be reminding them of how much God’s done for them in salvation.
This is eight.
As I talk with my children about sexual purity, I want to set their fight for purity, in the middle of the bigger picture, of the great privilege of being a Christian.
Which seems simple, I know.
But I remember, I taught at a Christian school for a while and most of the kids there thought they were Christians and I would ask them why they should be serious about sexual purity, and they were like, because sexual immorality is bad, and I am like, ok, anything else, and that was it, and I was like, wow, that’s all you got?
Because look at what Paul does.
There’s more to this than just saying no.
If you actually look at chapter 5, he says in verse 3, “But sexual immorality and all impurity and covetousness must not be named among you as is proper among saints.”
And it’s that word saints.
That stands out.
It’s not just like ok, here’s this list of stuff you shouldn’t do.
It’s like here’s who you are.
Here’s who God has made you.
God has separated you from the world. He has called you to himself. I mean, that’s what it means to be a saint. God has cleansed you. God has sanctified you. God has accepted you in Jesus and set you apart by the Spirit and that is huge and it has implications for your life now, like, in terms of sexual purity.
A couple of years ago we had some Germans stay with us, and help us with some building projects, and there were a few older Germans, who didn’t know really any English, and I think, couldn’t believe I didn’t know any German, and that was so hard for them to process, that, there would be times when, I would be near one of them, and they would just try to speak to me in German, they just couldn’t believe I didn’t understand, and so they would say something in German and I would look back, and I would be like, I don’t know what you are saying, and so, they would just speak slower and louder, maybe thinking, if I just say it more loudly, he’ll understand, and I was like, you know, I still don’t know German.
As we talk to our children about sexual purity, a lot of what we are saying, is going to be a completely different language than the world. It’s not necessarily complicated what we are saying. But it’s a completely different language than the world, and if we haven’t taught them that language, that worldview, our conversations with them about sexual purity are going to be like, the conversation I was having with that German. We are going to be looking at them and saying this and that, and they are going to be like, I don’t get it, and then we’ll just think, maybe if I say it slower and louder, when the reality is, it’s still not going to make sense, until we teach them the language, because I mean, if we are speaking the same language, the conversations, not going to be that difficult.
“Of course we think differently than the world, we are Christians. You’ve seen how seriously mom and I take this, because for one thing, we know there’s a heaven and a hell. And the pleasures of heaven are way better the pleasures of sin, and the suffering in hell is way worse than any suffering from saying no to sin. We’re talking about this, because we know, and you know, that you and me both are sinners who struggle with real sin. As you talk to your dad, it’s not like you are talking with someone who doesn’t know what it means to battle with sin, I mean, like the gross stuff, and that’s why we have to talk, because we all need help. That’s normal. It’s normal to face temptation.
But, we have to face it for what it is, temptation.
Because, no matter how much we might want to worship ourselves or believe we need more than what God’s given, if we look seriously at what God’s actually done for us, we know, we can see quite clearly that He’s good, and that He’s worthy of our trust.
It’s not just God coming to us saying, don’t do this.
This is the God who has so obviously proved how much He loves us through all He’s done for us, coming in His grace to help us, know how to live a life that is good for us, and that honors Him.”
And I just think this is so important, this bigger picture, because if you lose sight of the change that’s taken place in becoming a Christian and the privilege of being a Christian, it’s tempting to sort of wonder when it comes to sexual purity, if God’s just messing with you.
I think there are a lot of kids out there who wonder if God’s messing with them.
It’s like they imagine God up in heaven thinking, God far away thinking, “How can I really make it difficult for young boys? Here’s what I’ll do, I’ll say don’t commit sexual immorality. That will mess with their minds. That will really be a challenge for them.”
When, if my children understand what it means to be a Christian, they’ll know when they think about these commands not to commit sexual immorality, that it can’t God messing with them. Because, this is their Father who has demonstrated that he loves them by crucifying his Son for them, coming to them and pleading with them “I know best. This is my design. This is for your good. So as a result, don’t look out at the world with envy. Enjoy the privilege you have as a result of a relationship with me and trust me. Trust me enough to believe that what I want for you is actually for your good.”