First Comes Love, Then Comes Marriage, Then Comes a Baby in a Baby Carriage…

1159777-Cartoon-Of-A-Mother-Walking-With-A-Baby-Stroller-Royalty-Free-Vector-ClipartThis post is for those of you with teens.  We live in a culture where the sexual message is all of the following:  Sex is Everything, Sex is Nothing, and Love = Sex.  All of these messages are deception and unless you have captured the heart of your child, the education they receive concerning sex is from their immature friends whose minds are full of mush ( I was a high school teacher for more than a decade), or their education is from the world via the media.  Both are toxic in my book.  The cultural pressure is that sex is everything meaning that your relationship is pretty much a friendship unless you are having sex; that sex is the defining piece of your relationship.  Girls are told that if you get involved sexually, you are sure to snag your man.  On the other hand, sex is nothing meaning that everyone is doing it so what’s the big deal? I had a conversation with a millennial age friend recently and she was telling me about a guy  that  she had just met that evening who wanted to hook up with her just for the night and he was gutsy enough to ask! In college, my roomies and I called it NCMO (non committed make out)…now it’s non committed sex.  She even said there is a new trend called polyamory where people  essentially have multiple sexual relationships…(including making babies together, but with no commitment) no more exclusive dating.   No need to marry and have a mistress anymore….

I have been married 20 years.  I love it and I would marry my hubbs again, and if I die, I hope my man re-marries.  Marriage is hard, but it’s the best adventure I have been on.  I think sex is awesome too, but it isn’t love.  God is love.  Sex is an expression of love or lust.  Lust is desire gone bad.  Really bad.  It’s important that you tell your kids about sex from more than just a physical side.  Especially for girls, sex involves their body, mind, will, emotions. When the world sends the message that sex is nothing, down plays it to just our bodies, the intimacy of sex  is lost and it’s just about body parts and satisfaction.  When you have multiple partners, your identity becomes rooted in your relationships or how men feel about you.  In a culture of sexual addiction, people jump from partner to partner because the fear of being alone is absolutely terrifying and unbearable.  Because, everyone imprints on their first sexual experience, and if “it’s nothing”, then sex becomes nothing.  I don’t know about you but standing alone in a bathroom waiting nervously and hoping the pregnancy test is negative or sitting alone in a doctor’s office waiting for the STD diagnosis isn’t my idea of great sex. ( By the way, the average woman/girl gets an STD after only two partners.)   The old addage still rings true…“First Comes Love...Trust with our hearts and then allow feelings of attraction to follow. When you love your spouse through the love that you receive out of your relationship with God, you love without strings attached and you learn to love selflessly.   Then Comes marriage….a committed relationship where the good, the bad and the ugly is nurtured through grace, mercy, forgiveness, loyalty, trust, honor and respect. Then Comes the Baby in the Baby Carriage…a marriage with sex as the foundation doesn’t stand under the pressure that comes when you raise kids; anyone with kids knows that. But a marriage with a Biblical Foundation can stand.

So…capture the heart of your kids so that you are the influence on their sexual decisions, not the warped world or their immature friends.  Explain to them the three deceptions of sex that I listed.  Use your own story even if you have a sexual past. (The age of your kids does matter in that conversation so use discretion and prayer before you begin, but know that your past does not dictate the future of your children.)  Muscician Matthew West has a great song called Mended.  It may be your story….”When you see broken beyond repair, I see healing beyond belief.  When you see too far gone, I see one step away from home. When you see nothing but damaged goods, I see something good in the making.  I’m not finished yet. When you see wounded, I see mended.” Use your story to talk to your teen, you can leave out graphic details and still get the picture across.  Let’s revolutionize sex and put it back in marriage.

TIP: Need help capturing the heart of your kids? My church, Faith Bible Chapel is starting some free parenting classes on Wednesday nights facilitated by Dr. Bob and Gayle Bucknam called Reaching the Heart of Your Child.  Topics include changing the tone of your home/first-time obedience/teaching personal responsibility and avoiding entitlement attitudes/instilling values and respect/how to handle screen time and technology/whining, temper tantrums, sibling rivalry, and more. Sign up at http://www.fbci.org/parenting    I will be there too!

Posted by Amy in Abstinence, Sex Education

Everything is Awesome When You’re Watching a Screen…

ringsHave you seen that commercial during the Olympics? Xfinity is trying to convince us that our lives will be awesome when we are watching a screen.  It’s a catchy little jingle too.  As I type this, I am grateful for a husband who is out in the backyard playing catch with my kids so they are not in front of a screen. I am grateful that I live in a neighborhood where moms text each other when they are headed to the pool so that any one’s kids can join.  Do know what is truly awesome??  Community and Family.  Not a screen.  Yes there is time for a movie here and there and video games, but when 80% of kids are exposed to porn in their own home from a screen, that is NOT awesome.  Have a conversation about screens and bad pictures with your kids.  Give them some ammunition for what to do when they see it.  There are lots of resources out there, but my favs are the book Good Pictures Bad Pictures and the web resource EducateEmpowerKids.  They have a website and books which you can check out off my resource page.  The bottom line is what are your kids going to do when they see porn?  By the way, it’s a “when” not “if”.  In our home, we tell our kids to name it if they see it and to say it out loud even if it sounds silly.  Just yesterday, my daughter was on her kindle and I asked her to show me where she had been.  I asked her if she had seen any bad pictures (if you have a filtering system like Covenant Eyes, they shouldn’t see any, but I always ask anyway). Then I asked her what she should do if she does see inappropriate  pictures.  She responded, “I say, this is pornography.  It is not ok.  Then I shut my device and I come and tell you right away.  I will not be in trouble.”  You develop a plan in your home that works for you.  The books I listed above have catchy pneumonic devices that you can steal or you can make up your own, but Have A PLAN.  Proper planning prevents poor performance.  And…… turn off the screen and spend time with your kids playing a game! Here is great video about a great resource!

Tip: Make a game plan for what to do when your kids are exposed to porn.

Visit http://educateempowerkids.org  to order the book!

Posted by Amy in Sex Education and Pornography

 

The Abstinence Olympics

ringsMy family is LOVING watching the Olympics!  In fact, we are staying up way to too late to watch it which is not great  back to school sleep prep.  We noticed that no matter what sport we are watching, all athletes have three characteristics in common: training, perseverance, goal setting. Whether it be a  maniac table tennis  (should be called ping pong!) player or the British golf star who got a hole in one, or the most decorated Olympian of all times, they all have worked endless hours training for their sport.  In an interview with Simone Biles, she talked about having to abstain from proms, home-coming, parties, activities in order to train.   But her perseverance paid off and she attained her goal of being the all-around gymnastic champion.  She has no regrets of her social abstinence.

In a recent conversation with a young mom, we discussed whether abstinence is a realistic goal for our kids in a world with such sexual promiscuity. We both agreed that as parents, we absolutely promote and teach abstinence and purity, but teaching it is a lot like training for an Olympic sport…it requires training…endless conversations with your kids at teachable moments even if those teachable moments are at 11 pm at night.  It requires perseverance on your part and your child’s….teaching discipline,self control, and limiting media  from the high chair and beyond.  Most importantly, it requires goal setting…..I want kids with a heart for the Lord and a Biblical world view; therefore my standard by which we measure everything is the Bible.  One of the best ways, you can train yourself as a parent is to find a mentor, some one who is ahead of you in the parenting Olympics and use them as a resource and counselor.  Find a like-minded mom who can remind you of the training your kids need to have for stages in life.  Some one who can encourage you to keep persevering even when you want to give up and let your kids play video games till their heads fall off.  Even though I am an educated sex education teacher, my mentor has helped me prepare how to talk to my daughter about periods, swim suits, modesty, and dating.  While I have the knowledge, she has the experience of raising a daughter to adulthood so together we can dialogue.

So do we set a goal of sexual abstinence for our kids based on the Scriptures?  Absolutely.  Could we train them toward that? Sure…but what if they fail?? And they just might.  Your kids and mine may have a moment of weakness and loose their purity, but that doesn’t mean we don’t train, persevere, or set a goal.  The Olympics is a great example of both:  those who succeed and those to fail.  But those who fail and still rise up are champions in my book too.  There is something so satisfying with winning, but loosing has some huge benefits too….you learn grace, mercy, and compassion.  So here is my conclusion:  Train your kids to win the abstinence Olympics, but if they fail, look at the failure as opportunity because after all….”Grace wins every time.”

TIP: Find a mentor.  Meet consistently.  Remember training, perseverance, goal setting.

Posted by Amy in Sex Education, Abstinence

Teaching Kids Their ABC’s-Abstinence, Boundaries, Courage/Confidence

dad and daughterWe teach our kids their ABC’s when we teach them to read, but are you teaching them some ABC’s of life?  Let’s start with Abstinence.  Abstinence doesn’t just include sexual abstinence.  You won’t cover that topic with your two year old, but what you can teach your kids (at any age)  is Abstinence from other things like video games, TV, computer time, media in the car, sugar, dessert, complaining, eating fast food, soda,  whining..just to name a few.  There is nothing wrong with withholding things from your kids—abstaining or refraining from certain things teaches patience and self-control—two important character traits that kids need to develop in order to be able to achieve sexual abstinence later in their teen years.  We have no screen days or weeks even.  My kids can’t play on anything with a screen for 48 hours now and then because I  want to teach them that the y won’t die from abstaining from a screen for a few days!  The process teaches discipline and self control and requires Mom is be creative in suggesting positive activities.

Boundaries.  Everyone needs them.  The pack and play is a great place to teach your toddler boundaries.  In fact, you can actually train them to play in their pack and play!  I used to gate my son in his room when he was 3.  He hated it at first, but then he got used to it and learned to play in it.  I gated him in so I could still see him in his room but he couldn’t climb the gate and get out.  When your kids learn to write, they have the boundary of the lines on the paper. When they go to school, they have the boundary of their classroom, their desk, their playground.  Give them boundaries in your home.  For example, when your bathroom door is shut, they are not aloud inside.  For heavens sake, you should be able to pee in private. Teach boundaries every chance you get.  They can learn to stay in their beds until 7am.   Boundaries are a part of life and eventually, you will have conversations about body boundaries.  You will find yourself saying things like, “No one touches you on the parts your swimsuit covers up.” We don’t touch people in personal places and spaces.” “We play with our clothes on at all times.”  You get the idea.

Courage and Confidence.  Every boy need courage in order to stand up for himself in this world…even if it means standing alone.  Every girl needs confidence so that she doesn’t fall into the trap that a boy or that a relationship is her confidence.  In addition, the more confidence and courage your kiddos have, the more likely they are to follow boundaries and have personal boundaries. Courageous and Confident people can withstand sexual pressure and can walk away when need be.  This week, teach your kids some life ABC’s.

TIP: Teach your kids the ABC’s of Life…Abstinence, Boundaries, Courage/Confidence

Posted by Amy in Sex Education, Abstinence