I recently discovered a gem in the world of parenting in a new work called Time for the Talk – Leading Your Son Into True Manhood. I cannot recommend this resource enough for fathers seeking to raise godly sons in a world that distorts true biblical sexuality. Time for the Talk is authored by Steve Zollos who is a medical doctor and a Christian dad with four sons. He does an excellent job of walking parents through “The Talk.” I highly recommend you pick up a copy.
Gleaning from Zollos work, I wanted to share with you some biblical and practical wisdom for parents when it comes to thinking through having the sex talk with a teen or pre-teen.
- When? Is your teen emotionally, spiritually, physically ready for the sex talk. Begin before hormones kick into gear. Continue after hormones are in gear and their bodies are undergoing changes. For some it will begin as early at 10 or 11 and for other it may be that they’re not mature enough till 15 or 16. Notice changes in their body and changes in their behavior/interest of opposite sex.
- Location. Plan an individual time with your teen. Location is key! The place should be relaxing, non-threatening, and not a chance of interruption. It needs to be a significant time and your teen/pre-teen needs to pick up on this. It should be natural (don’t have the sex talk your first time camping).
- Talk, not lecture. Make sure it is a conversation, not a lecture. Remember that you are in authority over them – parent them through the conversation (don’t act like a peer).
- Assure them that this is normal and that they are normal. It is a scary thing for a teen/child to hit puberty and have no idea what is happening to them.
- Ask me anything. Let them ask questions. No questions should be off limits.
- Maintain confidence. Assure them of your confidence. The conversation will remain private between the two of you.
- Use the Bible. Go to Genesis 1-3 to explain a biblical view of sex. Use the creation/fall/redemption paradigm when explaining God’s creation of sex.
- Discuss Male and Female Anatomy. Discuss the basics: body hair, body odor, muscles, voice, etc… Then discuss more personal anatomy like: new body hair, male/female reproductive parts, and other pertinent information about male and female anatomy (make sure to give appropriate warnings here!).
- Focus on the beauty of sex & sexuality. Always try to draw the conversation back in a biblically positive direction.
- Preach Self-control. Talk about the importance of self-control with regards to our sexual nature. Natural does not necessarily mean neutral when it comes to our sex nature. Uses passage like 1 Corinthians 6 and 1 Thessalonians 4 to help.
- Discuss the dangers of sexual sin. Hebrews 13:4 is very clear about this.
- Discuss safe sex. Give appropriate warnings about temptations, STD’s, birth control & abortion. Balance with joy, and God’s plan for sex and marriage.
I hope this helps!