Lifespan Christian Sex Education
“Okay, look—I’m not pushing you to go all the way, but at least let me touch you! You say you like me, and I really care about you. It’s natural for guys and girls to express their caring with their bodies, not just with words! People who care, share! And I’m not just being selfish—I want you to touch me too! That way, we can enjoy each other. Come on!”
Lindy is returning from a poorly chaperoned eighth grade field trip. She looks around with a sense of desperation. The cold bus is dark, and the exhausted teacher is sitting, head down, apparently asleep, in the far front of the bus. A lot of the guys and girls are paired up and are “making out.” They are in their seats with coats piled up all over them so that it’s not at all clear what is going on between their necks and their knees.
Lindy and Derek have been a couple for three weeks, and she really does like him. He hasn’t been aggressive up until now; they have exchanged only a few brief kisses. She has a sick feeling that she should never have paired off with Derek for the trip home. She is feeling scared, excited, guilty, curious, and confused all at the same time. What will she do? She feels the pressure from Derek; he seems to really care, and shouldn’t love be expressed? And what might he say about her if she says, “Hands off!” And her parents! She remembers what her mom said about petting. But then, her mom had been very unclear as to why it wasn’t right. And what about God—would Jesus want her to do what Derek wants her to do? But does Jesus care about just touching? What will she do?
Is what Lindy does in that seat on the bus determined by the biology facts stuffed into her head in sex ed classes? No. Lindy’s behavior will be a function of her character. What she does will be the product of who she is as a person at that moment in her life.
Sex education is the shaping of character. Sex education is not primarily a matter of providing information. That’s certainly part of the process, but only part. And shaping our children’s sexual character is just one dimension of our broad task as parents of shaping the overall character of our children. Sadly, it is an often-neglected part of our task as parents.
These links present our reflections on how to understand your child’s sexual character and how to influence its proper development. This material is in large part taken from How and When to Tell Your Kids about Sex: A Lifelong Approach to Shaping Your Child’s Sexual Character by Stan and Brenna Jones. Copyright © 1993, 2007 by Stan and Brenna Jones. Used by permission of NavPress, Colorado Springs, CO. www.navpress.com.