How to Talk To Your Children about Sex? A Christian Perspective

by Jack Wellman on July 14, 2011 · Print Print · Email Email

When do you bring up the topic of sex to your children?  How do you talk to your children about sex?  What should you tell them is the purpose of sex?  What things should be spoken of from the Bible?  What happens if you don’t bring up sex to children?

When Do You Bring up the Topic of Sex to Your Children? 

You really bring up sex when you treat your wife or husband in a loving way.  When a relation between the father and mother is a loving, caring, and affectionate one, then you have already brought up sex in one way.  Children will learn to treat the opposite sex the way that they see their father or mother treated.  They will see this as normal and their expectations of the opposite sex will be primarily based upon the relationship that they see between their father and mother.  It has been said that children can not hear what you say to them because what you are doing is drowning it out.  Actions do speak louder than words, so this important reminder for all parents should be; they are watching, they are learning and more is caught than taught.

When parents first bring up the topic of sex they might bring up an example of the birds and the bees.  The fact is that using the animal kingdom is a great way to bring up the subject.  You could note that the young birds are best taken care of by parent birds.  They provide food, shelter, and protection for the young nestlings.  Now if there were not two to care for the young, then the young birds might starve, or have no shelter, or not be protected.  Birds generally mate for life and they do not have young by themselves.  It takes two to raise the nestlings.  It is not a job for a lone, single bird to do.

The topic of sex is therefore brought up as soon as possible so that the embarrassment is taken out of the topic.  Your children should have a safe-zone feeling where they can bring up anything or ask any question of their parents.  Parents should not look or act uncomfortable when sex is brought up and it will definitely come up with all the media emphasis on it today.  No question should be rejected or treated as unimportant.  Parents would much rather have their children come to them about such things than to learn it from other children or from the street.

Here should be the time to discuss the proper touching and where certain areas of their body are private even from mommy and daddy.  Children should have a clear understanding of what is permissible and what is not and to always have no fear to come to them if they feel uncomfortable about an occurrence where they were touched in a “private” area.

How Do you Talk To Your Children About Sex?

How to talk to children about sex is that it is only for adults that are married.  It is bad for them to expose themselves or to have anyone or touch anyone in a private area.  Sex is a good thing that is a gift from God and it is only for daddies and mommies.  Tell them that God does not want them to have any relations where they feel it is not right.  If it doesn’t feel right to them, then it very well may be wrong.  They should feel free to talk to their parents at anytime about anything or if they have any questions.

Sex should be something that is only for those who are married and it is always between adults.  No children, young adults, or even older adults are supposed to be touching or be touched or to see or be seen by anyone else unless they are married; and only then by the person that they are married to.  When my children were young, I always accompanied them to visits to the pediatrician.  If any pediatrician forbids me or my wife from being present for any procedure or examination, we would find another pediatrician.

So talking about sex being a good thing and how children are born is a necessary part of growing up.  But it is always, and there are no exceptions, between a married man and woman.  You can tell them that without sex, they would not have been born.  Sex is for married couples only and God made sex.  But He did not make it for anyone that was not married and He made it only for men and women who were married.  Even sex between men and sex between women is something you can tell them that God does not approve of and it hurts the body.

What Should You Tell Them is the Purpose of Sex?

Some of this was discussed in the previous section.  Sex is for the purpose of having children borne and that sex is purposely intended for mommies and daddies that are married to each other.  Sex is a special thing and it should never, ever be shared outside of marriage.  Tell them that someday, when they get married, they will have children of your own.  This is the only time that God allows sex.  It is a special thing that God made for married people.  It was never meant for anyone that is not married and it can harm people in a way that their lives may never be the same.

What Things Should Be Spoken of from the Bible?

I once heard a young boy and girl were being married by a little girl who was performing the ceremony.  The little girl’s ceremony went like this:

The little girl:  “Do you take this man for better or for worse?”

The young girl: “For better!”

The little girl:  “Do you take him in sickness or health?”

The young girl: “In health!”

The little girl:  “Do you take him for richer or poorer?”

The young girl:  “For richer!”

This was quite funny but you can always read them the account of the story from Genesis chapter one where God joined together the man and woman, Adam and Eve.  You may emphasize that God is the one that joins them together and that they are made to stay married for the rest of their lives.

You may also tell them that God doesn’t like it when daddies and mommies leave each other because this hurts the family.  It also hurts the children.  Of course, if you had to divorce a spouse because they left the marriage, or they were unfaithful, or they were abusive, then you can tell them that God allows daddies and mommies to live in different houses if it is the best thing for the family.  The parent’s job is to protect the children and this is what God wants the parents to do.

What Happens If You Don’t Bring Up Sex to Children?

I never knew my father and I lived with my aunt for a long time and no one ever talked about sex, so we learned about sex from our friends and from the playground (or the street).  It seemed that it was always wrong too.  I remember being told in the 1st grade that if I kissed a girl they would have a baby…needless to say I was terrified for a long time to even touch a girl, not to mention kiss one.  When my aunt would kiss me, it horrified me because I didn’t understand.  So talk to your children about sex when they are old enough to understand.  Even when they are young they should understand about being touched in private areas and that no one, not even their relatives which include mommy and daddy, has the right to touch them in their private areas.  But if you don’t talk to them about sex, without embarrassment and without putting them off, they will learn about it one way or another.  It  will usually be wrong.  There is never a question that your children should be afraid or embarrassed to ask you.  Tell them that.  That safe-zone builds trust and provides an environment where they can come to you about anything.  And that is the best of situations; especially when they come to you about sex.

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Can A Christian Lose Their Salvation?

What Do Christians Believe About Dinosaurs?

Does The Bible say What the Devil Looks Like?



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{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

charlie August 20, 2011 at 12:59 pm

The article was helpful but i need to know what to say when my 10 year old boy asks me ‘what does the word sex mean?’
Thank you.

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Jack August 20, 2011 at 1:14 pm

Thank you for your comment Charlie. Great question. I think it is great when our children ask us about the meaning of sex. God created sex and not just for procreation (having children) but for married adults to bond together and grow closer in relationship. Sex outside of marriage is forbidden by God, no exceptions at all. Sex outside of marriage brings life threatening diseases, ruins relationships, and some sexually transmitted diseases can bring death. If a person has sex before they get married they can bring a disease into the marriage and spread it to their partner and both could fall into life-threatening illnesses and diseases. A premarital affair (before marriage) or one who has sex outside of their marriage could also bring deadly diseases, destroy both marriages and any children’s home could be threatened. There is also the present danger that premarital sex could make partners sterile and prevent them from having children. I would not hide anything, including the risks, from any child at all. To do so will only allow them to take risks with their own lives and some mistakes can be forgiven but the consequences can last for a lifetime.

Thank you for such an important question. This shows me that you, as a parent, really love and care for the welfare of your children and their future as well. God bless and thank you.

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Degh, Inime Oreshio November 3, 2011 at 2:59 pm

good topic

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Jack Wellman November 3, 2011 at 3:04 pm

Thank you so much for your comment. I think it is best when these talks come from their parents. Thanks for visiting the website.

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Romanus May 14, 2012 at 2:48 am

Thanks for giving us parents that all important clue. I have a year old baby girl. At what age should I start giving her sex education? Great article!

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Jack May 14, 2012 at 2:39 pm

I believe as soon as a child can understand what the implications are in sex. That is only Mommy’s and Daddy’s are allowed to live together, and discuss with them their private parts are just that…private and no one even their parents, have any right to touch them. They must be told that it is always safe to tell their parents about this at anytime. I believe that you can give examples in the animal kingdom and that only those animals, i.e. birds that are adult and living together (which for humans is called marriage) can anyone see their body’s without clothes on. There are no exceptions, of course with parents giving them baths, but as soon as they are able to wash and dress themselves, tell them to start closing the bathroom door to dress and same for their bedrooms. There are a variety of Christian books for young children that introduce this topic and do it so as to say it delicately and not being to explicit too early. Telling them nothing of course sets up the opportunity to hear the wrong things from others (like classmates). I hope I gave you enough information. Thank you for your comment and question Romanus and please come back again soon.

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Rachel June 17, 2012 at 5:46 pm

Another nice article, Jack, and a very important topic.

My (soon to be) husband and I agree that sex should be saved for marriage. However, he has a daughter from a previous relationship (not marriage). How can we teach her that waiting is best, without making her feel like she isn’t supposed to be here?

God bless,
Rachel

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Jack Wellman June 17, 2012 at 5:57 pm

Rachel, I am overjoyed that you are going to wait and preserve the sanctity of marriage. I was actually born out of wedlock too but when she is old enough, tell her the truth. God says that children are the gift of God and she is no accident. God is sovereign and He purposed her to come into this world, not in a perfect way, but God’s grace allows us to be forgiven and learn from our mistakes. I never knew my real father but truly I am honest with my children and I believe the five most important words you can tell your children and in fact your spouse to are: “I’m Sorry” and “I love you.”

Tell your daughter that if she wants to please you and to please God and for God to bless her someday with a good and godly husband, she must wait and save herself for him for this is God’s design. When she is older, frankly tell her of the risks…premature pregnancy, premarital sex brings the risks of sexually transmitted diseases (STD’s) and these can cause sterility and may prohibit her from having children some day. Many have died before their time and to stay a virgin she will keep the risk of her own children and her future husband from getting AIDS, herpes, STD’s and etc…and her own children which are born to her can have these passed on to them. Transparency is best.

Your fiance’s daughter, you can tell her, is no accident but people do make mistakes and have sex outside of marriage but her birth is no accident since God says that children are a gift from God. Hope this helps. Congratulations to you Rachel and to your fiance.

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Jackie June 24, 2012 at 12:07 pm

Though I agreed with the comments you wrote back to people with questions, your article is quite concerning and institutionally ignorant. With that said, research shows the more kids know from parents about sex and the consequences of sexual activity, the later in life they wait to first start having sex and they make better decisions about sexual behavior. Start early and have an ongoing conversation as children grow older; educate children about physiological changes before they happen. Your children need to see you as the credible source, not their friends, which is all too often the case.
As a Christian and a mental health counselor, I do understand how uncomfortable it can be when a child asks you what a blow-job or f*** means (I can see parents squirming in their seats already). However, do not look uncomfortable and simply ask the child what he/she already knows about the question they just asked. You will often be surprised and can take it from there. Be open, be honest, and do not explain any more than what the child wants to know or can comprehend.
My last comment, sexuality is present from birth and there are appropriate sexual development stages that children grow through and parents are often appalled by. Educate yourself. The worst thing you can do is make your child feel bad and ashamed of something completely natural. Christians often struggle with sexual orientation. It is not a choice, and research proves it. Did you choose to be straight? I didn’t think so. It is biological and there are hundreds of other animals that show homosexual behavior (dolphins, primates, fruit flies, rats, dogs, cats, need I say more?) A continuum exists for sexual orientation; absolute heterosexual, homosexual, or equally bisexual labels are inappropriate and most people would find themselves falling along this continuum. Also, all of the laws and decrees by God, spoken through Moses to the Israelites, were superceded by Jesus Christ. The God in Leviticus sounds like the religious tramplings of the priests who assembled the book.

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Brent Childers August 22, 2012 at 9:22 am

Great comment Jackie. I serve with an organization that educates the public about the harm to LGBT youth and families when religious teaching is misused to justify stigma and hostility. I would enjoy speaking with you. Could you drop me an email?

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Anna April 11, 2013 at 1:33 am

I have a daughter who is 5. She has a couple of boys as friends. They have been exploring each others body’s. I never wanted to tell her her body or privets were bad. Now that she is older 5& has a little brother,3, she could go potty& shut th door. She needs to close her door when she gets dressed. I need help I don’t know what to do. She is exploring her body& her friends (boy). I don’t want her to get the idea this is bad& never do it again. I don’t want her to get a bad reaction about sex. But how do I tell her about how God would want her to treat her body.

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Jack Wellman April 11, 2013 at 10:24 am

Hello Anna. It is fine to tell her that this is wrong since “private areas” are just that…private. In the first place, these things are perfectly normal but we wouldn’t want her to think that its okay. You must correct her and say that people have a right to privacy and that is the reason that there are “Keep Out” and “No Tresspassing” signs. I know you don’t want her to get a bad reaction about her sex or boys but its the same thing that if someone is using the restroom, they need privacy and that we need to respect the rules of privacy for all people. I would tell her its rude to not respect other people’s privacy…and this include their private parts. If you do nothing for fear of giving her a “bad reaction about sex” then she will think it is normal to explore other’s private parts and that its okay, which it is not. It would be like we can’t just go into someone’s house without first knocking on the door. Those are the laws…and the rules and we must keep the rules…like when school starts, we must not run in the hallway, talk in class, etc. Tell her rules are normal.

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Jayson July 7, 2013 at 6:41 pm

Mr. Wellman,

I’m conducting research for a paper that I have to complete as a portion of my PSY-225 class in Human Sexuality. I wanted to take a minute to thank you for speaking on this topic in a biblical sense and for not allowing your personal emotions or opinions to alter your presentation of the word of God. As a Christian father and student of psychology I have great interest in this subject and hope to someday be able to help young adults make this transition acoording to God’s plan for them and also in line with societal acceptance. This balance is intricate and I appreciate you making this information available to me.

Thank You,
Jayson

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Jack Wellman July 7, 2013 at 7:02 pm

Thank You, Jayson, I really appreciate your kind words. Sex within the confines of marriage is such a beautiful thing that God has created for us. To hear about sex from the best source possible, God, is to get the subject right, therefore all glory goes rightly to God. Even so sir, I thank you.

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Amy August 5, 2013 at 2:12 am

I have 4 boys and my oldest is seven. He remembers my pregnancies with his brothers and at the time I always told him that children were gifts from God. Recently as we were reading the bible story of King David and how he “fell in love” with Bathsheba and ultimately had her husband killed, we also discussed the punishment God gave by allowing their son to die. This brought further discussion and led to his confusion about how babies are made because in his mind they just come from God. Later that evening I began the topic again and we used the animal kingdom and I explained that mother animals had eggs and the fathers fertilize them so babies can begin growing. He is fine with this. Then he asked me if I had eggs. I said yes I have ovaries, as all women do, and they have eggs. Then he said , “yeah, but daddy doesn’t fertilize them”. At this point another son began crying due to an injury and my 7 year old moved on and we didn’t return to the subject. I’ve told the boys that their privates are only for them until someday they get married and then they will share their body with their wife. I am fine discussing this with them but want to show them the biblical view so they don’t suddenly start looking at mom and dad funny. We are a very affectionate family. I feel he wants to know explicitly how a baby is conceived. I’ve done the vague sharing of bodies but he wants to know more. At this age should I be explicit? He is a great lover of Jesus and the bible and so respectful of his family. I never want to give him more than he is ready for but need to provide him with satisfying answers.

Anymore suggestions are greatly appreciated. Thank you!

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Jack Wellman August 5, 2013 at 9:31 am

Amy, I think you have done perfectly. I would not move onto anything more explicit until they begin asking more specific questions. You can tell them that if they want to know more then you can tell them more. The specific details are not as important as the fact, as you wisely stated, that babies are supposed to come only from married men and women who become moms and dads.

Any injury to a boy’s private area will never stop God from sending children to whom He wills. Children are a gift from God and you could say that the Bible says that children are actually a gift or blessing from God and no matter what happens to a person, God can and still does give children to moms and dads when He pleases. He always knows best and nothing is too hard for him.

To go into finite details about the sexual act may satisfy their curiosity but it may create more questions too and they may be too young right now for them to handle and some things will have to just wait.

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