In our previous post, we discussed four lies the current cultural narrative constantly feeds us about sex— and how God’s way is the only way to true life.

In this post, we want to offer five principles that have helped us as we’ve navigated this tricky terrain. We hope they bless you as you faithfully steward the children God has entrusted to your care!

Start early

The world is actively evangelizing your child with a secular sexual ethic through popular children’s media.

If your children have watched Bubble Guppies, Blues Clues, Pixar Shorts, or Nickelodeon, they have been introduced to everything from drag queens, transgenderism, same-sex relationships, and more.

We don’t mean to scare you but we do mean to make you aware of the battlefield. It isn’t just you on the front lines anymore— your kiddos are tiny moving targets. So start early, laying the groundwork for future conversations.

Don’t insulate

As tempting as it is to sell the TV and turn your home into a monastery, if your kiddos have friends then the worldly agenda will still reach them. We don’t need to hide from the world— we need to become proficient in putting on our spiritual armor (Ephesians 6:10-17).

When something questionable comes across the TV, their music (yes, look up the lyrics), or in school, use the opportunity to help them flex their worldview-recognition muscles. 

Some helpful questions: 

  • What is presented as true or good in the movie, show, commercial, or song? 
  • What is said to be false/bad? 
  • How did the creators come to this conclusion? 
  • What is their source for morality? 
  • How do they tell what is right or wrong? 
  • What do these claims say about God, ourselves, our bodies, etc? 
  • What are the logical implications of the lifestyle they encourage (both the good and the bad)? 
  • How do their standards of morality fail to do what they promise? 

For example: Sex positivity claims consent and pleasure are the source for what is good. But you can consent to and get pleasure from all sorts of awful things!

Other questions to consider:

  • What does God’s word say? 
  • How can we put truth into practice? 
  • What are some practical ways we can encourage others to recognize God’s truth? 
  • What are some practical ways we can use God’s word to protect ourselves and others from harm? 

We don’t need to hide from the world— we need to become proficient in putting on our spiritual armor

Be honest about your own mistakes

Tailor your honesty to the maturity level of your child. This might feel hard to do, but it’s important that they don’t see you as some sort of sexual saint they can never be like. It’s also important for them to see how God has lovingly redeemed you so they don’t feel like they’re out of reach if they fall short.

Instill healthy, balanced boundaries

Chat with your teens about what boundaries they feel are reasonable and helpful. Discuss what will happen if good boundaries are broken. Everyone should be aware of what is expected and what will happen in the case of mistakes. 

Remind them that we all— adults included— are to submit to authority and to God. This means that no one is above reproach and no one has total “I can do what I want and no one is allowed to see my phone” privacy. 

Always return to the Gospel

Every conversation should include a redemptive arch.

Point to God’s original design. Recognize and praise it for its beauty.

Explain how sin corrupted even the best designs and how we are seeing that corruption today. You can use things you’ve seen on TV, but be careful with how you reference the people involved. They’re just as in need as a Savior as we are, so we should treat them as such.

Explain how it is only through Christ that we can be forgiven and redeemed. Only through Christ can we find true love, connection, and purpose. 

Communicate to your children that they are fiercely loved— and that the conversational door is always open. Tell them again and again, through words and deeds, that you want to help them flourish in Christ. Encourage them to see you as a refuge, but also make sure they have a few trusted adults and youth leaders that they can also turn to for guidance. We are a church after all! 

Parents, the battlefield has changed so much since we were kids. But one thing hasn’t changed— the God who is ultimately in control. Lean on Him as you shepherd your children’s sexuality. 

There are wonderful resources out there to help you through this process. Our Mama Bear Apologetics Guide to Sexuality is one such source. Dr. Juli Slattery, Nancy Pearcey, and the folks at the Center for Faith, Sexuality, and Gender are just a few of our favorites. Dig in, start reading, and like we said before: start talking!

To learn more about how to talk to your kids about Biblical sexuality, order your copy of Mama Bear Apologetics Guide to Sexuality or visit mamabearapologetics.com.