3 Truths Your Kids Need to Know on Valentine’s Day
Romance is in the air… and so is a WiFi signal. Both carry the “expectations” of how young people are supposed to behave in intimate settings.
Are you aware of said “expectations”?
In a world where young people average 9 hours a day being molded by entertainment media and screen time, it’s no wonder some are having a hard time keeping their hands to themselves. Misinformation is abundant. How can parents be sure their kids have heard the truth in a world so potent with lies?
This is where I always hear parents say, “Not my little Megan. We already had that talk… two summers ago.”
The question I have for you is, how many sex talks have they heard since then… from Netflix, YouTube and Google? Which ‘sex talk’ do you think Kevin Hart, Amy Schumer, Adam Levine and Beyonce were giving?
In a world overflowing with the message, “Just do what feels right in the moment,” here are 3 truths your kids need to know:
1. SEX MATTERS
The screen in our kid’s pocket offers plenty of sources contending, “sex is no big deal.” We need to be a voice advocating the truth that “sex matters.” No, sex isn’t dirty or naughty; it’s actually a very special gift from God cherished for two people who commit to each other for life. And it’s no surprise that young people are so drawn to it. God made it amazing! We just need to help our kids understand the context it was designed for.
Parents need to answer the questions about sexual intimacy our kids are too afraid to ask. This isn’t just one talk, it’s an ongoing conversation.
Last year I developed two helpful tools to assist you with these conversations: my book to parents,More Than Just the Talk, and my book to teenagers, Sex Matters. (which are discounted here in a nice package together for just $15). Resources like Sex Matters answer the tough questions teenagers are too afraid to ask, questions like:
- Is hooking up really wrong?
- What about living together if you fall in love?
- If the Bible bans sex before marriage… is everything else fair game?
- How do I know if porn or masturbation is wrong?
- What about same-sex relationships? Since when does God deny any kind of true love?
Where would you rather your kids go for these answers? You… or Google?
The word “flee” is not in young people’s vocabulary today. Our kids have been raised hearing, “What is in it for me?” “Go with what feels right in the moment.” “Let it go—no right, no wrong, no rules for me…”
Fleeing is counterintuitive in today’s culture. But when Paul wrote to Christians struggling with sexual temptation, his advice over and over again was, “Run away!”
22 Run from anything that stimulates youthful lusts. Instead, pursue righteous living, faithfulness, love, and peace. Enjoy the companionship of those who call on the Lord with pure hearts. (II Timothy 2:22, NLT)
18 Run from sexual sin! No other sin so clearly affects the body as this one does. For sexual immorality is a sin against your own body. (I Corinthians 6:18, NLT)
In a word that conveys, “Fleeing is for weaklings,” young people keep setting themselves up for failure. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve counseled a young man who confessed, “I was just alone with my girlfriend in her bedroom when her parents weren’t home… I don’t know how it happened!”
Help your kids understand when to run. (I devoted an entire chapter to fleeing in Sex Matters.)
Whenever I talk to a crowd of young people about this subject, I walk onto the stage realizing that many people in the crowd are already sexually active. Some carry guilt and pain over past decisions or abuse. Some conclude, “It’s too late.”
That’s what’s so amazing about Jesus. Jesus doesn’t hold our past against us. Jesus offers a fresh start for everyone.
Have you ever veered off the path while on a road trip? Ever take a wrong turn? In the modern days of GPS there is one word we all know too well.
I might be driving to Los Angeles, but when I turn off the freeway to grab a Wendy’s Frosty, a soft voice calmly says, “Recalculating.” If road construction sends you miles off course and you have no idea where you are, the word “recalculating” actually brings hope. It’s a voice that says, “I haven’t given up. Sure, we’ve veered from our intended course, but I’m still going to get you there. Let’s start again from this new destination.”
In other words, “Don’t give up. We’ll get there.”
Help your kids understand:
“Maybe you’ve made some mistakes in your past. You’re not alone. Me too. I’m still paying for some of them, but I’m not letting those mistakes define me. Jesus doesn’t care about our past, he cares about our future. Past imperfections don’t impede fresh futures.”
Are you engaging in these conversations? Someone is… why not you?
Jonathan McKee is the author of over twenty books including the brand new The Bullying Breakthrough; The Teen’s Guide to Social Media & Mobile Devices; If I Had a Parenting Do Over; and the Amazon Best Seller - The Guy's Guide to God, Girls and the Phone in Your Pocket. He speaks to parents and leaders worldwide, all while providing free resources for parents on his website TheSource4Parents.com. Jonathan, his wife Lori, and their three kids live in California.