Christians need to talk about sex too

Christians need to talk about sex too

I recently led a short theology class on singleness, love sex and marriage. The second session explained the Biblical teaching on sex. There were 27 people in the room, most of whom had grown up in Christian households. As part of this, I asked the group how many of them had their parents make some attempt to explain sex to them when they were children or teenagers. I didn’t ask whether it was taught well or thoroughly explained, just if some attempt had been made. Only 3 people out of 27 had their parents explain anything about sex to them.

Think about that for a minute. The vast majority of parents of people in that room had managed to have their children reach adulthood without speaking to them about sex at all.

Well, maybe it was just that room, but I don’t think so. In my experience of pre-marriage counselling, the vast majority of Christian people heading to marriage have not been taught directly on the subject.

So when I gave the opportunity to ask anonymous questions, there were many. And we dealt with them directly and honestly. Many had never had the forum to ask these very personal questions and took up the opportunity.

Why do you think this is? Why do so many Christian parents simply not talk to their kids about sex? I know it is an embarrassing topic and many people have never talked about it to anyone at all. In my personal experience, when we speak to our kids about this, they are not embarrassed about the topic. They are curious. They need honest, true and Biblical information. And many don’t get it at home.

If our children don’t hear about the Christian worldview on sex, they will learn a view of sex that the world is only too keen to teach them. They will learn from the boasting of their friends (who often will lie or tell them false things anyway). They will learn from movies and television. They will stumble across, or perhaps seek out, pornography. They will be taught by the health teachers in their school. And the worldview this will develop in them is strongly opposed to Christian teaching and is a key reason why our children have issues with the church.

We can have confidence in the Christian worldview on sex. It is consistent throughout the Bible. Sex is a good gift from God, created before sin was in the world. Christians have a high view of sex, limiting it to marriage rather than seeing it as a mere physical act. Sex within marriage builds relationships, it can lead to godly children, and it helps with sexual temptation. A single and celibate life doesn’t mean you are inferior in any way, but it has real advantages, and many live a content and godly life in this manner. Your sexual activity does not define you. A life spent following the Christian sexual ethic is good, and satisfying, and possible. And our children need to know this.

Churches should teach this. Parents should discuss it openly and clearly with their children. The world has an active discipleship programme working on your children; make sure they know and understand the Biblical perspective. Go beyond ‘sex is bad, don’t do it’ and explain that this is a good gift from God, intended for the right boundaries of marriage.