Amber is our Parent Content Specialist. Through her hard work, Equip recently released Christian Parenting in Sex-Obsessed Culture, a 6-week course that equips parents to lead kids ages 2-12 in conversation about God-honoring sexual stewardship.
“Mom, can two boys get married?”
That query left the lips of my five-year-old son one Wednesday night as we drove home from church.
Whoa, I thought, where did that question come from?
Here’s the answer I gave:
“In our country, the United States, two boys can get married. But as Christians, we believe that Christian marriage is only between one man and one woman. Not everyone believes like we do, but because we belong to God’s family we think it’s best to follow God’s wisdom. And God, through the Bible and through the Church, tells us that the differences and love between a man and a woman in a Christian marriage are meant to remind us that we’re different from God and that He loves us completely. Married couples who keep their vows to one another are supposed to remind us that God always keeps His promises, and Christian marriage is meant to be a safe place for kids to grow up and learn about Jesus.”
His next question had something to do with Power Rangers, so we moved on from the conversation about marriage, but it’s small moments like these that remind me of my God-given job to guide my children toward following God’s wisdom for our sexual stewardship and embracing the joy found in His good designs.
The response I gave pointed out that Christian marriage is different from what others often call marriage; focused on God’s expectations for all of His followers, regardless of their gender or sexual orientation; extended compassion to those who don’t believe like I do; and directed my son to think about God’s wisdom rather than culture’s.
But many, maybe most, Christian parents aren’t sure how to navigate this kind of question or give a nuanced and age-appropriate response. They’re tempted to pretend they don’t hear the question or give a non-answer to questions that have the potential to get into awkward territory.
That’s why I decided to write Equip’s resource for parents. Two years ago, I did the deep work of shoring up my own theological foundation of God’s design for sexual stewardship. I wanted to not only be able to answer questions as my kids had them, I also wanted to be able to initiate conversations about family, intimacy, marriage, singleness, sex, and sexuality with my kids in age-appropriate ways throughout their childhoods. While doing all this research I noticed that there weren’t any resources to help parents talk to their kids about a comprehensive historic sexual ethic. Most resources focused only on sex and marriage. So I started writing.
After a year and a half of writing, revising, and focus-grouping, “Christian Parenting in Sex-Obsessed Culture” is now available for all Christian parents, grandparents, kids’ ministers, and any other person who interacts with young kids. It offers a robust theological foundation of sexual stewardship for all people, examples of age-appropriate conversations you can start with young kids, and suggested responses to the cultural questions children will have as they engage with their peers, the media, and the Bible.
By the time our kids are in late middle school, they’ve already formed their own sexual ethic (one that is heavily influenced by our sex-obsessed secular culture) and we’ve lost several years that we could have spent teaching them about God’s good designs for intimacy, family, marriage, singleness, sex, and sexuality. Plus we’ve lost many years we could have spent speaking into the brokenness our kids see in their own lives and in the lives of their friends every day.