All Articles Parenting Kids Ages 11-18

Christian Parenting: Talking to Kids about Premarital Sex

Christian Parenting: Talking to Kids about Premarital Sex
Laura Kuehn, LCSW

Talking to kids about premarital sex can be difficult.  Having an analogy or activity as your conversation springboard can make it easier.  Here we share an analogy that you can use to talk to your children about purity and abstinence and how one man for one woman is God’s perfect design.

Knowing when to introduce this topic can be tricky. What is the right age to have this discussion? Do you wait until they ask about it? Do you bring it up yourself? If you prayerfully approach God about this issue, He will reveal the appropriate time and setting. A key ingredient is being ready and watchful. Look for signs of readiness. Look for opportunities.  Maybe you have a family member who has had child out of wedlock and some pointed questions have arisen.  Maybe your child has seen some questionable behavior on T.V.  Maybe your children are immersed in a world where “hooking up” is no more significant than buying a pair of shoes.  God will direct you to the right time to address this with your child. God will tell you what words to use.  The ones in this post are only suggestions.

[Note: This article assumes that you have already had prior discussions about the mechanics and relational aspects of sex. For good roadmap based on age, the first part of this article can help you get started. Please remember that there should be no such thing as the sex talk. You should proactively engage in open-ended, developmentally appropriate dialogue with your children right from the start.]

Set the Stage

You can set the stage by inviting your child to work on a puzzle with you. Not a computerized one, a real, cardboard paper puzzle.  As you work on it together, you can talk about the properties of puzzles:

  1. Each piece has one spot and one spot only.
  2. You can force a piece into a wrong spot, but you run the risk of damaging the piece and making it impossible to complete the puzzle correctly.
  3. The more you “mess” with a puzzle, the less stable it becomes.  In fact, most brand new puzzles can be picked up by one end as a whole sheet when completed.  But once they are taken apart, they will never fit together tightly again.

Draw the Anaology

Sex is a lot like a puzzle.  God created one man for one woman.  Just like puzzle pieces fit together perfectly, there is one other person with whom we will have a perfect “fit.” When we engage in premarital sex, it is like trying to force a piece where it doesn’t belong – the pieces will get damaged.  Every time you engage in sex with someone who is not your partner in marriage, you change.  You wear down your edges, making that tight fit with your forever-mate harder to achieve.

Furthermore, engaging in premarital sex – even if it is with the person to whom you will be married – is like a puzzle that has been put together too many times – the bond between those perfect pieces gets weakened.   The pieces may fit together correctly, but the connection has been damaged.  It is not quite so tightly linked as it would have been if the pieces came right out of the box.

Sex is a beautiful thing – just like a finished puzzle.  When you finish your puzzle with your child, test out its strength – pick it up by one side.  Tell them that this is what they need to aim for:  a solid, well-connected masterpiece where the pieces have found their perfect match.  The waiting can be hard when our society bombards us with it constantly, but the finished product is worth the wait.

[Photo credit: hotblack from morguefile.com]

About the author

Laura Kuehn, LCSW

Laura Kuehn, LCSW

Laura Kuehn, LCSW is a licensed clinical social worker specializing in children and families. CfP is the place she combines some of her very favorite things: writing, parenting and God's word. She loves encouraging parents to build their families upon Jesus, the one true Cornerstone. She is happily married to a wonderfully supportive husband and is the mother of two delightfully inspiring children.

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