Parents as Sex Educators
Though the impact of communication with our children regarding sex is evidenced to be great, many parents hesitate to engage in these conversations. Some research indicates that parents’ hesitate to engage in sexuality conversations with their children due to the belief that the children are too young or immature, overall parental discomfort with the topic, perceived lack of knowledge regarding sexuality, and other parental inhibitions. Interestingly, additional studies suggest that parents who describe themselves as religious engage in even less communication regarding sexuality than those who do not indicate any religiosity. This is not meant to discourage us as Christian parents, yet to make us aware that we may naturally assume that our children will make more “Godly choices” regarding sexual decisions.
Our role as Christian parents is to equip our children to be Godly men and women as He designed them, including sexually pure, healthy, informed, and fulfilled men and women. As we are following God’s call on our lives as parents to “Train a child in the way he should go…” (Proverbs 22:6), let us not overlook this crucial part of their training and development. God reminds parents in Deuteronomy 6:7 regarding His commands that we are to “Repeat them again and again to your children.” This means that we are to repeat our messages/teachings to our children over and over throughout their lives. How many times have you told your child something just once and they did exactly what you said precisely the way that you said it forevermore?! It doesn’t likely happen. “Training” our children is an ongoing effort. As parents, we have daily opportunities to teach our children about sex and sexual relationships. This training will look very different with a 3 year old as we explain “Good touch/bad touch” and demonstrate good touch with them and model it with our other relationships versus training with our 15 year old as we perhaps guide them through clothing shopping and include modesty talks or discuss appropriate text messaging with friends, etc. The most important characteristic of these discussions is parental openness and seizing opportunity as it presents itself (and also creating opportunity on numerous occasions).
Our take-away for today is this: We have a God-given responsibility to educate our children regarding sexuality throughout their childhood. This begins even when they are a baby and we are providing healthy nurturance and affection, it continues as they grow older into toddlers and we teach them about their private areas and good touch/bad touch, and continues into childhood, adolescence, and the teen years as we provide age appropriate, informative truths regarding sex.
Eva S. Lefkowitz and Tara M. Stoppa, ‘Positive Sexual Communication and Socialization in the Parent-adolescent Context’, New Directions for Child & Adolescent Development, 2006 (2006), 39–55 <doi:10.1002/cd.161>; Alan McKee and others, ‘Healthy Sexual Development: A Multidisciplinary Framework for Research’, International Journal of Sexual Health, 22 (2010), 14–19 <doi:10.1080/19317610903393043>; Cheryl J. Somers and Amy Surmann, ‘Adolescents’ Perceptions of Reasons for Postponing Sexual Intercourse’, American Secondary Education, 33 (2004), 26–42.
 E. Sandra Byers, Heather A. Sears and Angela D. Weaver, ‘Parents’ Reports of Sexual Communication with Children in Kindergarten to Grade 8’, Journal of Marriage and Family, 70 (2008), 86–96 <doi:10.1111/j.1741-3737.2007.00463.x>; Petra Jerman and Norman A. Constantine, ‘Demographic and Psychological Predictors of Parent–adolescent Communication About Sex: A Representative Statewide Analysis’, Journal of Youth & Adolescence, 39 (2010), 1164–1174 ; W. Kyman, ‘The First Step: Sexuality Education for Parents.’, Journal of Sex Education & Therapy, 21 (1995), 153–157; Ellen K. Wilson and others, ‘Parents’ Perspectives on Talking to Preteenage Children About Sex’, Perspectives on Sexual & Reproductive Health, 42 (2010), 56–63 <doi:10.1363/4205610>
 Byers, Sears and Weaver; Jo Frankham, ‘Sexual Antimonies and Parent/child Sex Education: Learning from Foreclosure’, Sexualities, 9 (2006), 236–254; Jerman and Constantine; Yen-Chin Lin, Yuan-Hsiang Chu and Helene H. Lin, ‘A Study of the Effectiveness on Parental Sexuality Education’, Education, 127 (2006), 16–30; Wilson and others.
 Mark D. Regnerus, ‘Talking About Sex: Religion and Patterns of Parent-child Communication About Sex and Contraception’, Sociological Quarterly, 46 (2005), 79–105.
 Stanton L Jones, Brenna B Jones and Joel Spector, The story of me : Designed for parents to read with children ages 3 to 5 (Colorado Springs, CO: NavPress, 2007); Stanton L Jones and Brenna B Jones, What’s the big deal? : Why God cares about sex (Colorado Springs, Colo.: NavPress, 2007); Stanton L Jones and Brenna B Jones, Facing the facts : The truth about sex and you (Colorado Springs, Colo.: NavPress, 2007); Carolyn Nystrom and Sandra Speidel, Before I was born : Designed for parents to read with children ages 5 to 8 (Colorado Springs, Colo.: NavPress, 2007).