When I put my trust in Christ as a young man, I began addressing my sexual sin and dysfunction for the first time. I brought a lot of baggage into my marriage because of my sexual sin— baggage I hope my kids never have to deal with in their own lives.

I’ve also served as a marriage pastor for over fifteen years. I’ve walked alongside countless couples with their own U-Haul trucks packed to the brim with sexual baggage. Again— my earnest hope is that my children won’t bring this kind of baggage into adulthood and marriage.

I’ve learned many valuable lessons from my own life and mistakes— and from working with other couples. In this post, I share three critical truths your kids need to learn from you.

1. Porn is destructive

I found porn for the first time at a young age. This was well before the development of the internet and the constant availability of pornography on phones, computers, and television. Porn is now easily accessible (it’s everywhere), it’s affordable (often free), and anonymous (no one knows you’re looking).

The chances that our kids will be exposed to pornography at a young age is much greater than it used to be. For this reason, my wife and I realized we needed to address it with our kids earlier than we hoped.

We told them we wanted them to be honest with us if they saw anything inappropriate and reminded them we were a safe place to confess. We shared with them Proverbs 28:13:

“Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper, but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy.”

Note: This does involve you being honest with yourself, your spouse, and with trusted friends about your own struggles with pornography and lust. We can’t expect our kids to be honest if we’re not honest ourselves.

2. God’s design for sex is good and right

I’ve seen so many young couples go into marriage afraid of sex. They’ve been told their whole lives that sex is dirty, rotten, and sinful. Therefore, many couples can’t gain a right view of it once married.

While sex outside of marriage is sin, our kids need to be taught that sex within marriage is good and right! Helping them see sex in the right light while growing in your home could pay huge dividends down the road when they’re married.

Our kids need to be taught that sex within marriage is good and right!

We want our kids to come into adulthood with a proper view of sex and to see it as a gift within the context of marriage. Sexual intimacy is a crucial aspect of the one flesh relationship. Genesis 2:24 says,

“That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.” 

God designed the man and woman for sexual intimacy in marriage and it’s a gift to be celebrated.

Along those lines, we want our kids to know that even though culture and media celebrate same-sex relationships, co-habitation, pre-marital sex, and much more, God’s Word is the final and ultimate authority. They may be left out, mocked, or shamed, but we’ve encouraged our kids to have a biblical view of sex.

3. Sex is a big deal, but it’s not everything

As an adolescent, my life seemed to revolve around sex. I couldn’t wait to see it in porn, fantasize about it, or live it out with girls. To say I was obsessed with sex would be an understatement. As a teenager, I couldn’t wait until I got married so that I could have all the guilt-free sex with my wife whenever we wanted.

As a married man and as a marriage pastor, I now know that sex is important in marriage— but it’s not everything. There are more important things in life and in marriage than sex. 

We want our kids to know this— to be excited about sex within marriage, but to also realize there’s much more to marriage than sex. We want them to know that you must work hard to have a strong marriage, that you should make your relationship with Jesus and your spouse a priority, and that great sex in marriage requires you to communicate well, serve your spouse, and sacrifice on an ongoing basis.

Faithfully sharing the truth

I walked through a lot of guilt, shame, and pain because of my sexual sin. I don’t fault my parents— I believe they did the best they could to raise me. But I grew up with a warped and distorted view of sex, women, and marriage.

Kristen and I are committed to helping our children grow up with a Biblical, Christ-centered view of sex. We can’t control the outcome, but we know we’re responsible for faithfully sharing the truth. I’m grateful the Lord equips and empowers us to raise children with a healthy view of sex and marriage.