Sunday, November 14, 2010

Let's talk about sex, baby

I got this message from a friend today on Facebook. She has three small children and has evidently freaked herself out a little after having done some statistical research.
Can you do me a favor and write a big long book (or blog post, I am not that picky) about how you managed to wait until marriage to have sex. please include anything your parents did or didn't do and specifically how you made it through high school. Meanwhile, I will quit reading horror stories and listening to my friends. notallsixteenyearoldsarehavingsexright???? AND COLLEGE!!! you went to a big state school and did not have sex! how is this possible?
This made me laugh. Mostly because I don't have any children and am therefore not responsible for worrying about anybody else's moral upbringing. That's got to suck. Good luck with that, by the way.

This is an odd subject for me because: 1) I do not generally blog about sex, for obvious reasons (HI MOM AND DAD!) and

2) I walk a weird line between wanting to encourage my single friends who have chosen to wait for marriage by sharing our story, and really, really trying not to be all "holier than thou" and judgemental with those who have not chosen to wait. Yes, we waited. This earns me no brownie points with God, as Alece so brilliantly blogged recently. I guarantee you that for every time I won that battle I made up for it with about a thousand other sins. So, that's my disclaimer. I don't judge others for not choosing this. I really don't.

Anyway, obviously I am no expert on sex or child-rearing (or anything else for that matter). I can only speak from my experience here. And basically, my experience was... wait for it...

Sex before marriage was never an option for me.

It's not that I wasn't educated about it. I grew up in an incredibly open home where we all felt comfortable talking about anything and everything. But what I learned about sex from my parents was always in the context of marriage. God made sex for marriage. God made sex for marriage. God made sex for marriage. And that's it.

Sounds so simple, doesn't it?

I know of a lot of parents who teach their kids about safe sex over abstinence and reason that they're going to do it anyway and so they might as well be educated to be safe while doing it. I don't think these are bad parents, and I know of a lot of people who go that route, but that's simply not what my parents did.

Because I knew from an early age what the Bible said about marriage (1 Corinthians 7:2), I had made the choice before I ever started dating where that line would be for me. The guys I dated knew this before they ever dated me, and I pretty much only dated guys who either had made that choice themselves or were incredibly respectful of that choice and never pushed it.

Like I said, it just wasn't an option.

My parents obviously supported this decision and did their best to be there for me during my dating relationships. My mom bought me the ring I picked out to wear on my left hand until I replaced it with my wedding ring. Every so often, they asked me the terrible awkward questions that you never want to hear your parents ask you just to keep you in check as you go through high school.

They gave me enough instruction to make good choices, enough support to come to them if I needed it, enough accountability to keep me on the track I wanted to be on despite what I may have been feeling at the time, and enough freedom to let me make my choices on my own. It was a good balance.

But I think what it really comes down to is this:

Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.  (Proverbs 22:6)

Train them to care about what the Bible says early, and then what the Bible says about sex when it's time for that.

Train them to choose the people they date wisely (being "equally yolked" helps, let me tell you)

Train them to be able to confidently talk to the people they date about what they are and are not willing to do physically during that dating relationship.

Let them make their choices, but keep them accountable to their faith.

And then you just have to let go and hope and pray that you get lucky and that, well... they don't.

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What do you think? Did you wait? Did you not? Do you wish you did? Do you wish you didn't? What are you teaching your kids about sex? Can you answer my friend's question too?
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