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Parent Convo Starters

Parent Conversation Starter: Intimacy & Family

We’ve provided these free Parent Conversation Starters to help parents begin intentional dialogue about sexuality with children and teens. Each Starter includes step-by-step instructions for parents to (1) prepare for conversation and (2) initiate conversation, broken down by age-group.

These starters are just that—starters. These are not meant to be one-and-done conversations, but rather a place to begin ongoing conversation. We know these are difficult conversations, which is why we’ve created a 12-hour Parent Course titled “Christian Parenting in a Sex-Obsessed Culture” and designed to give parents all the tools they need to have compassionate and theologically accurate conversations about sexuality with their kids throughout childhood.

 

(1) Prepare for Conversation: Get familiar with the topic

Topic Summary: God enjoys intimacy in the context of family, and because we have been created in the image of God, we too are made for intimacy in the context of family.

Watch or read Equip’s teaching about intimacy and family. Throughout the teaching, pause and reflect on the following questions:

  • How is the love found in the Trinity reflected in your biological/chosen family (within your marriage, between you and your kids, among your kids, between you and those you’ve committed to as family)?

  • How is the love found in the Trinity reflected in your church family?

  • How much value do you place on intimacy found in committed relationships with Christians you aren’t biologically related to?

  • What are some ways culture has believed the lie that we all need romance, sex, and marriage? How has the Church bought into this lie? How have you bought into this lie?

  • Besides Jesus and your spouse, who else helps fill your “intimacy buckets”?

  • How have you modeled for your child that marriage isn’t the only place to find intimacy and family?

  • How have you modeled for your child that following God’s wisdom is best, even when it’s inconvenient or lonely?

 

(2) Initiate Conversation: Ask good questions

With your deepened understanding of the topic, initiate conversation with children and teens with age-specific questions.

 

Conversation Starter for Ages 2-5

If you have children ages 2-5, use this discussion guide to start a conversation with them about the ways God made us for intimacy and family.

Ask, “Who made you?” (“God made me!) “What else did God make?” (God made all things.) “Did God make families?”  (Yes) “Who is in your family?” (Answers will vary; if children only list biological relatives, point out others who are in your church family or chosen family.)

Say, “Did you know that God has a family, too? He is part of a family called the Trinity: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. And God created a family for us to be part of.  He’s our father and He adopts us into His Christian family, so everyone who is a Christian is part of our family, too!”

Ask, “How do we love the people in our family?” (Answers will vary; talk with your child about the love you share with your family.)

Say, “God shares love in His family, too! And God made us to find love in families, too. In fact, Jesus told us to treat other Christians like they’re our brothers and sisters.”

Ask, “Why do you think Jesus told us to treat other Christians like they’re our brothers and sisters?” (Answers will vary) “Because God created all of us to need family. He created mommies and daddies to need family. He created your cousins to need family.  He created people who aren’t married to need family. He created your Sunday School teachers to need family. So our family, our Christian family, is made up of lots of people!”

Say, “Sometimes we’re sad and we need family to give us hugs or cheer us up.  Sometimes we’re really excited and we need family to celebrate with us. Sometimes we’re lonely and we need family to play with us.  Sometimes we have a new idea and we need family to share our ideas with. Sometimes we’re hurt or sick and we need family to take care of us. Can you think of a time when someone in our Christian family loved you in any of those ways?” (Answers will vary; list some ways your Christian family has cared for you recently.)

Say, “Isn’t it wonderful that God created families? Let’s pray and thank God that He created family for us. (Mention several of your Christian brothers and sisters by name and thank God for the specific ways they provide family to you and your kids.)”

 

Conversation Starter for Ages 6-10

If you have children ages 6-10, use this discussion guide to start a conversation with them about the ways God made us for intimacy and family.

Ask, “Who made you?” (God made me!) “What else did God make?” (God made all things.) “Did God make families?”  (Yes) “Who is in your family?” (Answers will vary; if children only list biological relatives, point out others who are in your church family or chosen family.)

Say, “Did you know that God has a family, too? He is part of a family called the Trinity: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. And God created a family for us to be part of.  He’s our father and He adopts us into His Christian family, so everyone who is a Christian is part of our family, too!”

Ask, “What’s it like being in a family?” (Answers will vary; talk with your child about the love you share with your family.)

Say, “God shares love in His family, too! And since we are created in God’s likeness, since we’re designed to copy Him, we know we’re made to find love in families, too. In fact, Jesus told us that we’re to treat other Christians like they’re our brothers and sisters.” 

Read Matthew 12:46-50.

Ask, “Why do you think Jesus called those who do the will of His Father ‘my brother and sister and mother’?” (Answers will vary) “Because God created all of us to imitate, or copy, the love God shares within the Trinity and between Christ and His people, Christians.”

Ask, “How does God love us, His people?” (Answers will vary) “The Bible tells us that God’s love is intimate; He loves us like a mother hen loves her chicks (Matthew 23:37). God’s love is life-giving; God created you and gave you life (Psalm 139:13-14). God’s love is faithful; He promises to never leave us (Lamentations 3:22-23, Deuteronomy 31:6). God’s love is sacrificial; He gave His own Son to die so we could, through Jesus, be adopted into God’s family (John 3:16, Romans 5:6-8). What are some ways our Christian family has shown us love in these ways: intimacy, giving life, faithfulness, or sacrifice? (Answers will vary; parents, add examples of your own.)

Ask, “Why do we need family?” (Answers will vary) “Sometimes we’re sad and we need family to give us hugs or cheer us up.  Sometimes we’re really excited and we need family to celebrate with us. Sometimes we’re lonely and we need family to play with us.  Sometimes we have a new idea and we need family to share our ideas with. Sometimes we’re hurt or sick and we need family to take care of us. Can you think of a time when someone in our Christian family loved you in any of those ways?” (Answers will vary; list some ways your Christian family has cared for you recently.)

Say, “Isn’t it wonderful that God created families? Let’s pray and thank God that He created family for us. (Mention several of your Christian brothers and sisters by name and thank God for the specific ways they provide family to you and your kids.)”

Conversation Starter for Ages 11+

If you have children ages 11+, watch the video teaching with them and then discuss the following questions with them.

  • What does it mean for you that God enjoys intimacy in the context of family, God created you in His image and created you to enjoy the same things He enjoys?

  • How does Jesus describe who our family is?

  • The love found in God’s family is described as being diverse, intimate, life-giving, faithful, sacrificial, and hospitable.  What are some ways you’ve seen that kind of love in your Christian family? What are some ways you’ve shown that kind of love to your Christian family? (Parents, share your own examples.)

  • How did you feel/what were your thoughts when you read, “We don’t actually need romance or marriage or sex to meet our needs for intimacy. The Bible never promises marriage or sex to people who follow God, and nowhere does God say we need marriage or sex to be whole, happy people.”?

  • How is it possible to be fully human and whole and yet never experience romance or sex?

  • You aren’t married.  What are some ways your “intimacy buckets” are being filled by those in your Christian family? (Parents, share the ways your own “intimacy buckets” are filled by people other than your spouse. Share how important it is to you that you have that intimacy and how you aren’t able to meet all of your intimacy needs through Jesus and your spouse alone.)

  • What do you think about God’s wisdom regarding intimacy and family? How are you currently following that wisdom? Do you really believe that God’s wisdom is good and will lead to joy and pleasure in your life?

 

Equip’s Parent Course includes over 30 example scripts you can use with kids ages 2-12 to talk about marriage and singleness, intimacy and family, sex and sexuality, and gender. Check out a free preview and register for an upcoming Course here.

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