The follow article was written by Kris Vallotton, author of Fashioned to Reign and Moral Revolution.
The Sexual Revolution that emerged as a counterculture movement in the 60s has become the mainstream mindset of the new millennium. What was once whispered in the dark corners of topless bars is taught in mandated public school curricula all across America! That’s right, folks, if your children are in the public school system, they are likely to end up in a “Health” class teaching them that bisexual, homosexual, and transgender lifestyles are all normal expressions of their sexuality. They are also likely to be encouraged to experiment with their sexuality. Although the school can’t give them an aspirin without your permission, they can send them to a Planned Parenthood clinic without your permission to get birth control pills! In fact, your children can have a legal abortion without your consent or even your knowledge!
“How did we get here?” you ask. That’s a great question. Although there are many complex issues that have effected the erosion of morality, the single most destructive factor at the root of the entire demise of morality is the absence of healthy sexual instruction at home.
That’s the bad news! The good news is that parents have the power to transform the nations in one generation without passing a single new law, or even closing one more abortion clinic. The strategy is simple, yet profound. If parents develop a healthy sexual culture at home where children grow up hearing the truth about their sexuality, it will alter the landscape of morality in the nations in a single generation.
There is something inherent in the way we learn that is referred to as “the principle of first mention.” The first time we hear information on any given subject, that knowledge becomes the foundation upon which we weigh everything else we are exposed to on the same topic. For example, if you begin teaching little Johnny about healthy sexuality when he is eight years old, and at thirteen his friends try to influence him with a perverted sexual message, he will weigh their opinions against what you taught him, which he deems to be the truth, and most often reject their message as a lie. Of course, this principle works against you if his friends teach him about sex before you do! In this case, Johnny will be prone to embrace his friends’ perversion as the truth, and discard your wisdom as a lie.
God designed us with this principle because He wants parents to be the ones who lay the foundation for truth in their children. King Solomon put it best: “Train up a child in the way he should go, even when he is old he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6). When parents train their children in the ways of morality, that training attracts virtuous living in them for the rest of their lives. (Of course, we all have a free will, so nothing we do guarantees perfection). It’s paramount that parents push past their fears of inadequacy and be the first to instruct their children on the important subjects of life.
Shame On You
The world perverts sex, but Christians tend to shame it, which ultimately leads to a different, but equally destructive, kind of perversion. We must come to terms with the fact that when God said, “Be fruitful and multiply,” He gave us our sex drive. Therefore, sex is good and our sex drive is normal! But what does it mean to have a sex drive? It means that you want to have sex with someone! Our children shouldn’t be shamed for being sexual beings. However, they do need to learn how to manage their sex drive nobly.
Shame is a killer. Conviction says, “I did something wrong,” but shame says, “I am something wrong.” Leading social researcher Brené Brown says that shame is the most destructive force of all time. It’s the enemy of connection and belonging, and it leads to the most devastating outcomes in our lives. I have watched so many parents discipline their children with shame and wonder later why their kids struggle with low self esteem and self-destructive behavior. Shame is a tool of the enemy. We should never, under any circumstances, embrace his ruthless instruments in raising our children.
Shame is often unknowingly seeded into the hearts of our children by the way we relate to sex. For example, when our children are little they are very curious about their bodies. We often play silly games with them to help them through the discovery process. They touch their nose and we say, “Nose. Say, ‘N-o-s-e.’” Of course, the game continues with ears, mouth, and eyes and so on. At some point they finally get around to touching their penis or vagina, which often invokes a completely different dynamic. We often we say something like, “Don’t touch that!” and follow it up by renaming their penis or vagina something silly. “Johnny! Don’t play with your dinky!” This shift in attitude sends a loud message to our children that there is something shamefully wrong with parts of their body. This begins the lifelong process of forcing sex into hiding, like a wanted criminal or a terrible habit.
The Art Of Developing A Healthy Sexual Culture
God has a completely different approach to sex, which is demonstrated in Jewish weddings throughout the Bible. Jewish weddings lasted a week, and the process of the marriage ceremony was quite revealing. The wedding began in much the same way as our celebrations do today. The bride and groom exchanged vows while the families looked on. But then something powerful happened. There was a bridal chamber (most often a tent) erected in the midst of the festival, and after the ceremonial vows, the couple entered the chamber to consummate their covenant. The newlyweds had sex for the first time while the families waited outside. Then the groom took the sheets from the bed and hung them over the chamber wall for all the guests to see, thus displaying the blood from his bride’s broken hymen. It was only after this that the celebration began.
Jewish weddings were a family affair attended by every age group. You can imagine what the conversation was like when three-year-old Johnny saw the bloody sheet for the first time. The sheet actually became a talking point for Johnny’s parents to teach him (age appropriately) about sexuality. They didn’t need the sweaty palm “sex talks” at fifteen, because the Jews had a healthy sexual culture, where sex was integrated naturally and organically into their daily lives.
If you are a parent, I want to encourage you to develop a healthy sexual culture in your home where sex is celebrated as a beautiful gift from God to be shared with the man or woman of your dreams in marriage. Your children need to know the reason they have a sex drive long before God wants them to have sex, and understand that the value of their virginity is in the blood, sweat, and tears it takes to get their virginity from the battlefield all the way to the honeymoon suite, so that on the night they lay with their lover, they have something to give that they had to fight to keep. Anyone can give away something expensive, but only those who understand sacrifice can give away something valuable!
There are a lot of great resources available to help you prepare to teach your kids about sex. Our organization Moral Revolution has several books and workbooks that will make it easy for you to approach this subject—check out www.moralrevolution.com.
We tend to fear what we don’t understand, so study this subject until you feel comfortable and confident that you can teach your children about sexuality without feeling embarrassed or ashamed. May God richly bless your efforts and may we together incite a moral revolution!
P.S. This is an excerpt from our ebook, Parenting with Purpose, if you haven’t downloaded it yet, you can do so here: Parenting with Purpose