How our kids are losing their greatest asset in purity and what can be done to keep it.

I was coach of the Little League Moose baseball club. It was the championship game. The winner would be the Centralia Little League champions. My son, Tavita, was an eleven year old behind the plate catching and my daughter, Krista, a twelve year old, was on the mound pitching. I remember well the final pitch, the final strike, the final out; clinching our victory and the league championship.

What I remember most is what happened next. Tavita immediately jumped up, threw off his mask and charged the mound. He jumped into Krista’s arms. She caught him as they celebrated. Simultaneously the rest of the team instinctively rushed the mound too. Only when they reached Krista they were instantly reminded their pitcher was a girl. Awkwardly they stopped, looked at Krista and Tavita hugging, gave a few tenuous pats, and then began hugging each other. I so wish I had caught the moment on video.

A more recent picture of Tavita and Krista!

A more recent picture of Tavita and Krista!

It reminds me of the natural modesty between boys and girls. Those boys liked Krista. She was our top player. But she was a girl and not just “one of the guys”. My point isn’t whether girls and boys are equal or whether they should have the same opportunities. Remember, I have six daughters and some of them played baseball with the boys.

My point is this; God has wired our kids with a natural modesty towards the opposite sex. Our culture is trying to sear what God has provided as a natural defense. I’m not suggesting we lock our kids in a cell until they are of marrying age. Of course if your kids are approaching puberty, chances are you’ve considered that option. Instead let me offer a few suggestions if you want to keep that modesty intact (as much as possible).

1)      Encourage their unique wiring. As our kids grew up we celebrated the fact they were a girl or a boy. At one point we even made our athletic girls wear a dress one day a week. They hated it. I’m not sure it was very effective. But at least it started a conversation. We backed off of the whole dress idea, but kept saying how thankful we were they were girls. We did the same for our boys. When they were rough we cheered and then began the process of teaching them to bring their aggressiveness under control. We wanted our kids to know God didn’t make any mistakes!

2)      Be intentional about the whole sex education conversation. I just had a dad of a nine year old, recently ask me if it was too early to start having “the talk”. The answer is, I don’t know. The key is to ask God for discernment. Then ask your child lots of questions so you know him. Then, release information as they need it. There will be times you will over share and there will be times you will under share. Don’t panic! You don’t want to share details your son/daughter isn’t ready for. On the other hand if they are hearing things in school and have questions, then you want to be the one to answer. That’s why you must create an environment that welcomes your children’s questions.

3)  We tried to be very conscious of what movies they watched or conversations they had when the opposite sex was around. It is possible to have material be appropriate for a group of boys to watch (especially if a dad is around for processing), but not appropriate in a mixed group of boys and girls. The first time they giggle, the next time they laugh, after they’re awkwardly quiet the next time, and finally it doesn’t bother them. That’s why we chose to pull our kids from the schools sex education curriculum. It isn’t as much about the material. The issue is we want to teach them and we don’t want it taught in mixed company. We add the spiritual conversation to the clinical information.

4)      Create a rite of passage. Pick a time around when your child turns twelve or thirteen. Have them read a book on puberty and/or purity. We used Preparing For Adolescence. Meet with them to answer questions they might have. Then our recommendation is to create a rite of passage to celebrate their completion of the book and their entrance into manhood or womanhood. They are still a young man/woman, but they take an important step towards independence. A helpful resource for this is http://www.amazon.com/Raising-Modern-Day-Knight-Fathers-Authentic/dp/1589973097/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1399364562&sr=8-1&keywords=raising+a+modern+day+knight.

Watching our kids grow into teenagers then young adults can be scary. Remember, God is not surprise with what our kids face; but we can be. So we must be intentional about how we teach our kids about relationships and sexuality. And remember, one of the key tools on this journey is the natural modesty God has put in them. Work hard to keep it intact. Six times in Song of Solomon we are instructed to not awaken love until its due season. That’s truth worth following!

There is so much more to this conversation and we will explore more in the future. In this area, what has been most helpful for you as a parent with your child? We’d love to hear from you.

11 thoughts on “How our kids are losing their greatest asset in purity and what can be done to keep it.

  1. I absolutely love this. I have one boy and two girls, still very young but we are open about the differences in boys and girls. While they are young enough now to share a bath, we do talk about how our different parts are for us only, and we don’t touch each other. I know the day is coming when shared bathing ceases, and I’m so grateful for the guidance you offered here to help with that conversation! 🙂

    • Thanks Camille. Every parent needs the shared bath pictures to embarrass them on their wedding day!

  2. We read Raising a Modern Day Knight and John used that to make a very special day for each of the boys when they turned 13. We HIGHLY recommend it as well!

  3. I am so grateful that I came across your blog while I was looking for a craft to do I found a link to your site from a mother’s blog. Well I’ve been having a hard time with coming up with the best way to have a conversation on purity with my 14 yr. old son who is struggling at the time. Thank you for your recommendation!

    • Esther, I’m glad we can be of help. We’ll continue to offer more resources for parents of teens as that has been identified as a real need. Thanks for visiting our blog.

  4. We did a good job with our four children, now time for Mary and I to start worrying about our grand children. The biggest change I see today is this blurring of the differences between men and women, and the encouragement of what I consider to be “less than healthy” relationships.

    • You guys did a great job with your children! Being a grandparent is so much fun, but so different to sit back and watch your kids to parent. Thanks for stopping by and sharing!

  5. Hi David and Kelly. Great article. I have to tell you when I taught freshman in Health, I always look forward to this unit. In my class it was never titled “sex education”- it was called Relationships and it started when they were very young. Relationships with their brothers and sisters, relationships with their parents, friends, acquaintances, as they got older with the opposite sex., appropriate dating, etc. I always believed that this unit (as you do) should be taught at home, but unfortunately the parents either choose not to tackle this topic or if they do many times their child is not listening to mom and dad. I will tell you that the emphasis on this unit was abstinence until marriage. God bless you and Praise The Lord for the ministry you both are doing.

    • Thanks for stopping by John. That means a lot to us, especially coming from you!

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