Male and female do have a “sexual” side that includes more than sexual organs but also desires and feelings. With that in mind, shouldn’t we help our children become acquainted with that part of themselves?
We have sexual organs, feelings, and desires for a special purpose, but little boys and girls are not interested in or ready for that special purpose. Children cannot be lovers and marry but they can be friends. They can work and play together. Not until they are mature should they think about relating to one another as lovers. A Christian parent or teacher should not stir up ideas of sexual love because, in God’s world, sexual love leads to the establishment of the home into which new life comes. No child is ready for this privilege and responsibility.
Children need the discerning wisdom of parents who trust God’s Word more than voices of the world. Christian parents are well acquainted with sin. We are born in sin. We battle sin daily; therefore, in a highly sexualized culture, it is not helpful to give detailed sexual information to adolescents who are just beginning to experience new emotions and thoughts about themselves but who do not have the ability to discern the proper use of that information.
Imagine if we described to a child the most delicious candy he could ever want. We walk with that child by the candy store to look in the window, but tell him he must not go in. We promise him that the day will come when he can enter the store and enjoy some of the candy he sees on display. We talk with him about the candy all the way home. During the week, we ask him if he has any questions about candy. What desire have we stirred in him? What will he think of candy? Will he be curious about candy and desire a taste right now?
Our sinful human flesh too easily desires what it should not have. Our flesh, like human instinct, cannot be trusted. Obeying human instinct is like obeying people. But people, with all kinds of opinions, tell us different things. So do our instincts. In The Abolition of Man, C.S. Lewis reminds us that our instincts are at war; each instinct, if we listen to it, will claim to be gratified at the expense of the rest. So it is with our flesh. Our flesh carries the sin inherited from our first parents. Our sinful human flesh is fickle, selfish and easily deceived. Better than helping young people be at ease with their flesh is helping them to stand guard.
In Gethsemane, Jesus knew His disciples would intend to be faithful. Nevertheless, He said, “Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak” (Matt. 26:41). For this reason, the faithful parent or instructive adult begins early to teach a child their identity and purpose in Christ, explain the order of God’s creation, and set boundaries for behavior. God’s Word teaches self-control. Parents need to help children practice self-control even as they model it themselves. We are like athletes in training, but our prize is not perishable (1 Co. 9:25-26; 1 Tim. 4:7-12).
From The Failure of Sex Education in the Church:
Mistaken Identity, Compromised Purity (pp. 9-98)
by Linda Bartlett (Amazon)