[Note: This is part 2 in a 3 article series on discipling young adults, teens and children in God’s design for sexuality and marriage. You can find part 1 here.]
What to do? How do you disciple your children about human sexuality?
First, just humbly coming to grips with the reality I’ve shared with you and embracing it will change your reference point for how you disciple your kids. That alone is a HUGE step in the right direction. Don’t raise your children out of your childhood, raise them out of their childhood; they are growing up in a completely different culture than you.
Second, don’t panic and turn to self-reliance to shape and protect your children; trust the power of the gospel and the Holy Spirit in them. If your children receive the kind of exposure and discipleship the New Testament teaches regarding salvation, the Scriptures, and the local church, they have more than adequate resources in their life for Godliness.
Third, if you are not in the habit of praying and fasting for your children, you aren’t doing the serious work of parenting yet. Come on.
Fourth, reject legalism and behavior modification as effective for shaping your child’s heart. If your idea of shaping your child’s heart is to tell jokes about gays or to make comments like: “homosexual sex is gross,” “I don’t understand how people are gay,” “if my child was gay, I’d just die,” “homosexual love isn’t real,” “don’t be gay,” etc., understand, that is doing nothing helpful and is in fact very likely working against you. That approach will shape your child’s heart as effectively as carving stone with a feather.
Your most effective tool is to teach them God’s design for human sexuality and marriage, and then for you to live your life in sincere, earnest, joyful support of God’s design for sexuality and marriage. They must learn God’s design conceptually, and then they must see it working before their very eyes.
As a refresher, God’s design for marriage is one man and one woman, for life, practicing New Testament gender roles, first for the purpose of imaging Christ and His church to the world, and then for the purpose of the husband and wife’s sanctification in Christ (Ephesians 5:22-33.) When this is the design you embrace, some amazing things happen: Christ is glorified through you in an ongoing way, you personally grow up into Christ, lasting joy and happiness settles into the relationship, security and trust solidify around the relationship, absolutely incredible sex flourishes, and so much more. It’s these products of God’s design for marriage that win the day in your child’s life. No other design for sexuality and marriage can produce these products in an authentic and lasting way.
Dad and mom, you are by far the ones best positioned to prove to your child that there is nothing better in this world than being a means through which Christ is glorified; that great growth in Christ comes from biblical marriage; that true, lasting happiness comes from biblical marriage; that married sex is far better than any other kind of sex, etc. God put them in your home with court side seats to your marriage because your marriage is God’s means to work powerfully in their lives.
But what if it’s too late? What if you have departed from God’s design? I’ll discuss this in the next article. For now, consider if you are operating in reality, panicking or praying, rejecting legalism. What view are your children getting in those court side seats?