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“The Talk” Is Inadequate: Parents Should Have The Talk Part I & Part II (Miniblog #320)

by Carson T. Clark on February 24, 2014

I’m not a parent and, in all likelihood, never will be. So take this blog post with a grain of salt, I suppose. But I tend to think “The Talk” is inadequate. In my opinion, parents should have “The Talk” Part I and Part II. Part I is the basic birds and the bees that should happen when the child is younger. You know, “When a man and a woman love each other very much…” It’s about anatomy, a basic outline of the biblical understanding of marriage, that it’s natural to have certain feelings, and that sort of thing. It prepares the child for the inevitable coming of age. It’s about the transition from childhood into adolescence. More than anything, it opens the lines of communication and says to the child, “This topic is safe. Please ask me your questions.” Part II, however, should happen a few years later. It prepares the son or daughter for adulthood. It’s about all the stuff I mentioned in the blog post a few days ago: lingerie, masturbation, pornography, bodily fluids, sexual positions, newlywed expectations, reasonable expectations for sexual frequency, what role orgasm should and shouldn’t play, the necessity of being serving and self-sacrificial, quickies vs. slow love-making, the importance of spouses having really open and honest communication, the comprehensive biblical vision for the marriage covenant, the importance of honoring and respecting members of the opposite sex, and so forth. You’re getting into some deep biological, cultural, and Song of Songs type stuff. The purpose of Part II is to lay a healthy foundation for adult sexuality, preparing the son or daughter for future marriage. A lot of evangelical parents today seem to think that their children have already been sexually oversaturated by the culture, so the last thing they should do is talk more about sex and in explicit terms. I disagree. Strongly. The plain truth is that we’re living in the Information Age. They cannot be sheltered long-term. They’re going to acquire that knowledge somewhere. The only question is what the source will be and whether its influence will be healthy or harmful. In my opinion, it’s usually better for them to get a comprehensively biblical perspective from their parents than a purely hedonistic perspective from Cosmopolitan, Hollywood, gym locker rooms, and/or online porn… Of course, I experienced neither Part I nor Part II, so what do I know?

  • Lindsay HFM

    The husband and I had neither Part I nor Part II as well and man, the things you learn on your own. The absolute hell our marriage had been through because of it is something I wouldn’t wish on anyone. It is exactly why we started “the talk” with our kids from the time it dawned on them that boys and girls literally have different parts. And we’ve continued the conversation so far, as often as possible. They feel very natural talking to us about sex and it makes me glad they are so comfortable. Our oldest was inappropriately touched at a park, by a child we didn’t know, about a year ago and she felt comfortable enough to tell us. I know a lot of children don’t know what to do in that situation and, thankfully, we’ve already discussed it. And after hearing our pastor say that the counseling center runs was dealing with an 8yr old addicted to pornography. . .yeah, I’m glad we’ve had those talks. I wish more parents would.

  • Evelyn

    As a parent I couldn’t agree with you more. I also totally agree with Lindsay HFM – it’s not 2 talks, it’s an ongoing conversation. My husband was uncomfortable with the idea at first, wanting to protect / preserve their ‘childhood’ and ‘innocence’. He’s come round. First, as you say, they’re going to get the information somehow – better it be accurate, and from us, than the typical misinformation that goes round the playground. Second, where do we get the idea that knowledge somehow means lack of innocence, or even that innocence is bound up with making sexuality taboo? That can only be a medieval misconstrual of the Garden of Eden story. By making sex dirty (which is the effect of making it taboo, or The Great Secret) we in fact LOSE our child-like enjoyment of this gift.

    • Lila Wagner

      I keep thinking about the Jesus’ saying, “wise as serpents, innocent as doves.” Yeah, I know the context is totally skewed, but…I think the truth and wisdom still relates to the topic of sexual knowledge.

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