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Exactly what influence does today’s culture have on our children in regards to virtue?

Can we hope to raise sexually pure sons and daughters in an impure world?

In a culture where “sex sells,” we have become the target audience for messages of impure love. Sexually explicit advertisements in the media bombard us daily, making it impossible to shield our children from their onslaught. Is it any wonder children today are more curious at younger ages? What’s a parent to do?

Okay, let’s be honest. Talking to our children about sex frightens many of us!

However, God has an incredible plan for the way our children should learn about sexuality, and He intended for us to be key players as we seek His wisdom and direction.

I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t be stumbling through the darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life. ~ John 8:12

As the most influential person in your child’s life, it’s your job to lead, guard, and protect them as they navigate this path. Parental involvement that provides the ABCs (Accurate, Biblical, and Complete information) goes a long way toward helping your children make wise decisions. Times have changed. We now live in a sexually saturated society. If we don’t tell our children about sex first, they will hear distorted, ungodly versions of it elsewhere, and it will become more difficult for them to hear and believe the truth when you present it.

As parents, our hope for bringing up pure children in an impure world can be experienced by being deeply connected and committed to our children. Teaching a healthy perspective about sexual integrity begins with shaping our children’s character and convictions early on. Man’s chief end is to glorify God and to enjoy him forever.

Teaching character will actually be 90% of the information your children need in order to handle their own sexuality. Good character is the inward values that determine one’s outward actions. Character development must start early as it sets a necessary foundation. Begin early on to incorporate “character” words in your daily conversations.

Remember: We teach through our example more than our words so it’s important to be a good role model.

If you hope to raise pure children in an impure world you must be INTENTIONAL. The key is to be PROACTIVE vs. REACTIVE. Begin with an end in mind, knowing what you desire for your children to know about sex versus focusing on what you do not want them to know. Talk to your children early and often.

Our greatest barrier for not sharing information on sexuality to our children is because of our own insecurities. These sex talks are the responsibility of both parents and should occur several times as your child moves through the various life stages.

Listen my son, to your father’s instruction and do not forsake your mother’s teaching. ~ Proverbs 1:8

When we talk to our kids about sexual integrity, we want our words and our nonverbal communication to express the beauty of God’s plan. Be unified as a couple, decide as early as possible when, how, and what you plan to share about sex to your children. Always present information in an honest and complete way that works for your family.

Daughters need their father to tell them how beautiful they are, explain how boys think, show them what a real gentleman is, and show them affection.

Sons need their mother to tell them how strong they are, explain how girls think, teach them to honor and respect women, and listen to them.

The intentional relationships we have with our children will prove beneficial in many ways, especially as we share our views on sexual integrity. Therefore, it helps to be an attached, approachable, available, and attentive parent.

Other thoughts to consider:

  • Cultivate and maintain a strong family connection.
  • Let your child know he or she should come to you for information.
  • Make time for your children even when they are grown.
  • Ask if they understand and/or have any other questions.
  • Check out what your child already knows by asking what he or she thinks.
  • KISS – Keep It Simple Silly. Think about what your child can and can’t understand.
  • It’s okay to say, “I don’t know. I will get back to you.”
  • Relax and review reproduction if needed.
  • Have a sense of humor and make this learning experience fun for you and your child.

KEY POINTS for parents: Be intentional. Be proactive vs. reactive. Teaching is not merely giving information about abstinence; rather, it is stressing the issue of character, purity, and biblical convictions. We must talk to our children early and often.

Visit me at Missional Living, where I have been recently writing a series called “Let’s Talk Sex.”

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Cherie Werner

Cherie married her best friend in 1985; together they do premarital counseling and encourage families to live intentionally while enjoying their journey of life together. They have three wonderful daughters: Caryn (1988), Courtney (1991), and Cayley (2001) who keeps them young and hip. Cherie is passionate about encouraging and equipping women in their roles as women, wives, and mothers. Blogging and speaking provide the perfect opportunity for her to share what she’s learned along her own journey, with her deepest hope being to love others well. She enjoys meeting and connecting people, traveling, learning, reading, walking, and good coffee. But she is happiest when chilling with her family.

Cherie shares at Missional Living — — and is a contributing writer for I Take Joy. Connect with her on Facebook and Twitter. Coming in 2014: Wisdom of Older Women and WOW Facebook.