Talking to your kids about sex.

by Jennifer Dyer

There is something interesting about the way people talk or don’t talk about sex. What is so easy to discuss with friends over coffee causes parents to stammer, blush, and say to their children, “Ask again when you’re 30.” 

But we do our children a disservice when we act as though we are ashamed of sex or that it is something dirty. Instead, we should help them to see sex as part of God’s beautiful design for a fulfilling marriage.

How soon is too soon to talk to your kids about sex? As soon as they ask. You can let their questions lead what you tell them.

Years ago, a mentor told me about seeing two bunnies procreating in her yard while sitting with her three-year-old. Her daughter asked what they were doing.

She replied, “They are making love to make babies.”

Her daughter screwed up her face. “Do you and Daddy do that?”

My friend did not let the question ruffle her. “It’s different, but, yes.”

And that was it for a long time, but it started the conversation and kept it open from that point on.

Eldest didn’t ask any major questions until she was 10. It wasn’t that I wanted to hide the topic. She just wasn’t ready to discuss it. But I wanted to be ready when she asked because there is a plethora of misinformation, lies even, about sex hitting our children in the face every day through popular media. Even in the malls, we are bombarded with sexual images and messages.

We, as parents, need to be the first source of truth for our children about God’s beautiful design for sex. And it’s not a once-and-you’re-done kind of topic. There needs to be an ongoing dialog about sex and all it encompasses as your kids mature.

Kids crave information on sex. In his book, The Bare Facts, 39 Questions Your Parents Hope You Never Ask About Sex, author Josh McDowell points out “the word ‘sex’ receives more than four billion Google searches every year.”


That’s billion with a “B.” How many of those searches do you think are from kids? friend recently found the word sex searched on her 9 year-old daughter’s iPod.


One mom, eyes wide with terror, asked me what she was supposed to say. Here are some things I’ve discussed with Eldest, who is 11 as I write this:

  • Sex is what you desire to do when you love a person so much you want to be as close to them as possible.
  • God made sex for marriage, to be kept inside of marriage.
  • Sex is a picture of how deeply God loves us. The Bible uses the term “know” (the Hebrew word yada. See here for more info.) in regards to sex. It is the same term used many other times in the Bible describing how deeply God knows us.
  • Sex is like glue that puts a marriage together.
  • If you have sex with someone you aren’t married to, sex still “glues” you to that person.
  • There are chemicals in the brain released in sex that actually bond you with a person. This is wonderful in marriage. It will hurt you deeply emotionally if you aren’t married to that person.
  • God says sex is only for marriage, not because he is mean, but to protect you emotionally, spiritually, and physically.
  • The world–TV, music, movies, video games, and people–will tell you sex is just for fun and it can’t hurt you to play around, but those are lies.
  • Some people say it’s too hard to deny yourself any sort of pleasure. That is also a lie.
  • Your friends are not experts or reliable places to get information about sex.
  • Sex is meant to be private, between a husband and a wife. It is beautiful.
  • Sex also can create babies. There are all types of birth control available, but they do not always work.
  • People will talk about safe sex, but the only kind of safe sex you can have is when you are married and both of you are faithful to each other.
  • When you have sex with different people, you can get viruses, sort of like colds, only much more serious. Some of those viruses even cause cancer. (See here for more info on HPV.)
  • People can have sex and get pregnant outside of marriage, but that is not God’s best plan for you.

The world is full of lies about sex we must refute with our kids:

  • Sex = love.
  • Everyone else is doing it, so I should too.
  • It’s unrealistic to save sex until marriage with people waiting until their late 20’s to get married.
  • Sex in marriage is boring.
  • Sex is dirty and bad, and God doesn’t like it.
  • I’ve already had sex, so what’s the point in waiting.
  • Oral sex isn’t really sex.
  • Sex is no big deal. It’s just an action. It doesn’t mean anything.

All wrong. All lies.

In the above mentioned The Bare Facts book, Josh addresses and dispels many of the questions I’ve posed above. I’d highly recommend the book for parents and for teens.

(For an in-depth description of the deep meaning behind sex in marriage and the word yada, see Dannah Gresh beautifully address it here.)

The world wants to sell our children a different, cheaper version of sex that will leave them broken mentally and often physically. We, as parents and mentors, have to be willing to talk openly and often about sex to our kids, telling our children of its beauty, blessing, and boundaries.

If we, as parents, aren’t willing to discuss sex with our kids, then who will? And what will they tell our kids?

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Sex: Talking with your kids.

By Jennifer Dyer

Sex. It’s everywhere, all the time. Yet, how come the same person who can talk and joke about IT turns blue in the face, breaks out into a sweat, and stutters when his or her kids ask a few questions?

Yes, talking to your kids, especially the ones you helped create with IT, can bring up a few matters you’d rather not share, but sex is one of God’s greatest gifts. And there are plenty of people around, so it does not look as though IT is going out of style anytime soon. So, what to do?

This week a friend shared the “sex” talk she’d had with her seven-year-old son. Their conversation went so well I asked if I could share it with the world.

The topic came up when she came home from the hospital after a hysterectomy. She and her husband explained to the kids that mommy had an operation and one of the results was that she would have no more babies.

Her eldest son asked, “What a minute? How did the babies get in there in the first place?”

She replied: “That happens through sex. When a man and woman love each other they get married. Once they’re married, sex is one of the ways God gave them to show how much they love each other.”

“And what is sex?”

She explained the mechanics. “Sex happens when a man puts his penis into a woman’s vagina. God gave the man special cells, called semen, which can make a baby when they get into a woman’s body and mix with the cells in the mom’s body called eggs. The baby grows in the uterus.”

Her son thought about this for quite a while then asked. “And how does all this happen? Do you do it in a doctor’s office?”

My friend, with her wonderful sense of humor, replied, “You could, I suppose, if you were into that sort of thing, but usually people have sex in their bedrooms. That’s why mommy and daddy lock their door sometimes. Sex is private time between a husband and wife.”

He left the room and went downstairs, where my friend’s husband took over. “So, son, do you have any questions?”

He shook his head. “I just don’t get it.”

Dad answered, “That’s fine. You’ll have more questions as you grow older, and you know you can always come to us.”

I admire my friend’s ability to share from her heart without embarrassment. I think her children will grow up with a healthy attitude about sex, and they certainly need someone to contrast the messages sent through other sources.

What I am wondering, though, is what they are going to say the next time their door is locked and their son yells, “Hey, Mom and Dad. Are you having some of your private time?”

For another mom’s story, read:

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