The previous article gave you as a parent the biblical framework for having conversations on sexuality with your teen. This article deals with making it practical. Here are some practical steps that you can take to talk about sexuality with the wisdom of God:
- Use God’s word as you counsel – Your primary function as a parent is to mold your child with godly wisdom. Therefore, your conversation should be informed by godly wisdom on sexuality.
- Build a relationship – Difficult conversations are made much easier once a relationship of trust is built. It is through informal trips or games or conversations, that issues of sexuality can be explored in a safe environment.
- Normalize healthy sexuality as a part of life – This will help to demystify many things and create an open platform for conversation with your teenager.
- Move beyond the fear – some parents have reservations about talking about sexuality because of past experiences, personality types or other reasons. Do not let these hinder you from talking with your teen. You cannot afford to remain silent, when the world is shouting at your teen. If you are dealing with past experiences, there is hope in the gospel of Jesus Christ and there is help to be found from Christian leaders, pastors and health care providers.
- The tone of your voice and body language – the tone of your voice should communicate genuine care and compassion as you answer the difficult questions your teen is asking. Adolescents have a keen sense of body language. These can speak care and compassion louder than words.
- The principle of truth and grace – this principle can be applied to how you talk about hot-button topics like LGBTIQAA+ with your teenager. We are called to be truthful in our response based on what the Bible says. But we are also called to be gracious. Young people have a difficult time understanding the LBTIQAA+ response because it seems to be a partial response. To them it seems that we are opposed to LBTIQAA+ lifestyles yet permissive of, say, adultery within the church. This calls parents to be honest, truthful and gracious in how they respond. Rather than portraying the issue as an LGBTIQAA+ issue, portray it as a sin issue. That way, it is clear that since all are sinners in the eyes of God, all are in need of the grace of God for a new life in Christ through faith – not just LGBTIQAA+ persons but all persons who are still enslaved to sinful patterns and lifestyles (Rom 3:23-27).
- Asking open-ended questions – this can help your teenager to go deeper and consider the reasons why they have certain ideas or preferences in the area of sexual education. This is an effective method rather than lecturing. When they answer, you can then know, through the help of the Holy Spirit, how to respond with wisdom.
- Teaching and putting up sexual boundaries – In a permissive culture, it is easier to cower in fear. However, because you have the primary responsibility of shepherding your child’s soul, you should utilize your God-given authority. It is important to define boundaries in the use of social media and technological devices, as well as physical boundaries through home curfews for under 18s, monitoring the friends they are hanging out with and preventing private interactions with the opposite sex.
- Healthy spaces to interact with the opposite sex – Christian youth groups and church activities can help the teenager to understand the opposite sex in a healthy and adult-supervised environment. Your role is not to repress your teenager’s sexuality, but to help them to explore their sexuality in a healthy and godly way.
This article is part of a series in Parenting and Youth Sexuality. See below:
Parenting Teens in a Sexual Age (Part 2): Definitions of Key Terms
Parenting Teens in a Sexual Age (Pt 3): Biblical View
AIPD. Africa Institute of Policy Development. 2020.
Bible. ESV. Crossway. 2001.
Guttmacher. “Demystifying Data Toolkit” Sexual Rights. Guttmacher Institute. 2016.
KDHS. Kenya Demography and Health Survey. 2014.
MOH. Adolescent’s Package of Care in Kenya: A Health Care Provider Guide to Adolescent Care. Ministry of Health. 2014.
NCPD. “The State of Kenya Population”. National Council for Population