Your experience with a given subject -- in this case, sex -- directly affects how you view and thus instruct on the same subject. This is profound in simplicity.
Extrapulated to your parenting and specifically your efforts to shape (through the early teen years) and inflluence (beyond that) your children's sexuality, that means you must come to terms with your sexual past. 'Sexual past' does not merely mean any pre-marriage sexual activity, but also the ways you were taught about sex before you were married.
How does this affect your parenting? Scenarios:
* Perhaps your parents were scared speechless -- literally -- of discussing sex with you as a pre-teen and teen. You may have went through puberty and beyond wondering things like, "Is this normal?" on a variety of physical and emotional experiences. You likely wondered, "Is it normal to think about X, wonder about Y, and imagine Z?' No one told you anything -- except other kids, who were sensationalizing and practically making up their information. Now you are scared to death to talk to your children. But you have to. They're dying to hear from you. You have credibility. You can overcome this.
* Perhaps you had some relatively mild, or major, sexual experience before marriage, either as a child when something took advantage of you, or by choice as a child, teen or young adult. A variety of emotional pain, confusion and images could still be having an effect on you. These need to be dealt with Biblically before you can be as effective as you should be in talking with your child. Trust me, I know countless adults in their 30s, 40s and 50s who are still negatively shaped by these unresolved issues!
I believe the best way to help you help your child is to Biblically address how to cope with any past issues you have. So let's review John 7:53-8:12, The Woman at the Well, and make some application.
The Scene: The religious people (the self-righteous legalists) are trying to trap Jesus, so they bring him the most publicly unacceptable, egregious, situation of the day: a woman caught in adultery. They did it publicly. In ‘church.’ With smirks on their face they said, ‘OK, GOD, what you do about this?!’ He delayed. Twice. To let them think about it. (Pretty good parenting technique, by the way)
1→ “No one, Lord.” LORD!
She called Him ‘Lord’! She’s standing there just after having had sex, with somebody’s table cloth wrapped around her so she won’t be stark naked, and she calls Him LORD! She goes in there literally expecting to DIE, and comes face-to-face with a man who turns the tables on her accusers. This man is different, why, He’s is the only God-Man!
2→ “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.”
Listen, when you take a sinner to God, what do YOU expect GOD to do with him?! Be careful here! If you want them ‘condemned’ for being so bad, you better get in the execution line with them!
God isn’t waiting for a person to get cleaned up! He saved you as you were! What He says to her is amplified in Romans 8:1, “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus . . . “ He says, paraphrased, “You’ve met me now. Everything changes. Go on, quit that nasty stuff, and live in the light.”
3→ ”I am the light of the world. Anyone who follows Me will never walk in the darkness, but will have the light of life.”
Once you are exposed to The Light, you crave TheLight! Remember the woman at the well. She had a pretty sordid sexual past and present, too. But once she’d seen The Light, she didn’t mind what everybody knew so much . . . that was secondary. She ran back to the village telling the people to “come see a man who told me everything I ever did!” In her case, that’s the same as saying, “Come see a man who told me everybody I ever slept with!”
The point isn’t what she did – the point isn’t what you did – the point is Who He Is, and how He changes who you are! Our God is a God of redemption, and that includes in YOUR sex life; whether of the body or of the mind. Read the redemptive passages of Scripture!
Romans 8:28-30 applies. A few thoughts and steps spinning off of “all things work together . . .” as it relates to a sexual sin history.
A He knew you were going to do that (He did not ordain it, permit it, or endorse it, but He knew it)
B He knows who you are with now (He knows who you married and the baggage you brought)
C His mind can overtake your mind (If you don’t believe and live this, you are living in defeat; the battle is for the mind, and the saved have ‘the mind of Christ’)
D His nature can overtake your nature (”be transformed by the renewing of your mind”)
E Practice makes perfect (overcome ‘wrong sex’ with ‘right sex’; he ordained your sexuality with your spouse!). In other words, get on and stay on the right path.
Parents, what ever is a hard subject for you when you were 13-years-old (or 8, or 28) is going to be a hard subject for you to address your child on if you haven't come to terms with the Lord on it.
If you are born again and have put all your junk before God for cleansing, and have thus been renewed in your mind by His Word and Spirit, You are clean. You are redeemed from your sin, including your sexual sin. Now go and sin no more.
Being free from it -- and knowing you are free, and accepting your freedom, -- you are now free to shape the sexuality of your children without guilt, shame, remorse or embarrassment.
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