So there I was in our kitchen having just gotten home from work after a day riddled with email and issues to fix, when my loving wife communicated to me that our oldest son, whose 9, was starring at the cover of the latest Sports Illustrated Swimsuit edition. They’d stopped at a gas station to get some snacks after school when the head and shoulders of this magical being peaked out over the cardboard saying seductively to my son, “Come see.”
He asked a couple of years ago where babies come from and what sex was. This was, no doubt, the outcome of some youngster talking about something at school, of which he knew absolutely nothing. So I told him. Donna and I (mostly me) don’t really play the Santa – Easter Bunny – Stork games with the boys. Never have. Now that doesn’t mean by necessity that I condemn the parenting of those that do. So…no nasty emails. But I wanted there to be no question that Christmas is about Jesus, Easter is about Jesus, and yes even sex is about Jesus. “Now you’re just making it weird Rob,” my funny coworker would say.
A few minutes before their bedtime last night I pulled him aside in my home office and shut the door and as he began chowing down on an apple I asked him what happened at the gas station, “What was it you saw?” At first he said he just saw it and covered it up quick. I interrupted and just reassured him he wasn’t in trouble. I wasn’t mad. It’s not weird. And he can tell me. He then said it was a girl in a bathing suit. And that the suit was made out of “rope thingy’s” and that she was basically naked.
So, I did what any God-fearing dad would do (hopefully) and opened my Bible. I opened it up to Genesis chapter 2, the story of the creation of man and woman. I focused specifically on verse 24 which says, “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” I said to him, “That part that says they become one flesh, that’s partly talking about sex” He and I just sat and talked for a few minutes about the meaning of sex and marriage and how marriage is a husband and wife and a picture of Jesus and his Church (us).
For some of this conversation he was quiet and pondering and at times he engaged in the topic with me. It was really great as I look back and think about it.
I went on to bring it home and relate it to the Sports Illustrated situation from earlier in the day. I told him the story of King David and his lust for Bathsheba. I told him that David could’ve seen her as he did and turned away and prayed and asked God for strength and help in that moment. Things could’ve turned out differently. But instead David acted on this temptation, then freaked out when Bathsheba became pregnant. He first tried to cover it all up with lies and deception. Then, when that didn’t work, he commenced to what was essentially the murder of her husband in battle so he could have her and cover up his sin.
“Son, I want you to know that everybody sins. Everybody messes up. Everybody goes through times in life and moments in the day when they choose death and choose to forget about God. The thing that makes or breaks you is your willingness to open up about it, confess, repent, and move on being ever more thankful for the work of Jesus on the cross.” Okay, so I didn’t say it exactly like that. I was talking to a 9-year-old. But that’s what I said to him nonetheless.
We talked about the industry in this world that see people having sex on video then sell it as a product. I told him there is and will continue to be temptation in this world like this. As long as people turn from God and lack understanding of the true beauty and purpose of sex, there will be temptation and folks helping Satan ensnare others.
See, I’m not willing to kid myself into thinking that Dallas won’t struggle with lust at some point (or a variety of other sin). A picture that I’m not willing to paint is one where he is afraid to come talk to me about it for fear of judgement, scorn, and punishment. One of the greatest things we, and I’m talking to the dad’s here in particular, can do for our sons is TALK ABOUT IT. Many do not and it really comes from a fear or embarrassment because sex wasn’t talked about with them. Some don’t talk about it because they themselves are neck deep in sexual sin and don’t want to dwell on the subject or they think, “How could I talk to him about this when I’m just as weak.” Men…that’s the point!
No matter the reason, there isn’t a good one for neglecting this talk with your son. This world has some pretty messed up, unhealthy, and unbiblical views of sexuality, gender, marriage, and other things on the subject. Your job is this.
- Be a man yourself and model openness, confession, repentance, and humility before God. Be an example to them.
- Be open to talk about this with them, no matter how uncomfortable you may be with the subject.
- And during those talks, lead them back to the gospel of Jesus. It’s both the answer and the reason.
This world is absolutely filled with sexual temptation and in the midst of it we, Biblical and Discipled MEN must stand firm in the face of it. We must hold fast to the truths that Sex is a wonderful gift from God within the boundaries of marriage. We must hold without question that marriage is defined by God himself and has been for thousands of years and that no authority on this planet, much less the U.S. government has the power or authority to re-define it. And we must relentlessly chase and guard the hearts of our little boys, that they may become MEN, with an understanding of these things. Men who respect women and honor God.