3: The Birds and the Bees
Kathleen and I had our first birds-and-the-bees talk a little while back with Blaise. We came up with a quick collection of Scripture to cover with him and we wanted to pass that on to anyone who could use it. I'll expand on my thoughts here so that hopefully you can make sense of it.
Blaise had been asking some questions about sex for a number of years, and we usually just told him that we'd explain things to him when he was a little older. Even in a pretty protected environment it is bound to come up sooner or later. He learned the word "sex" from a Sunday school friend and heard a very rough slang term for it in Sunday school from another boy. In his Bible reading he had bumped up against the word rape on several occasions. He had heard conversations about someone that had committed adultery, and in science class he was learning about animals mating. On Christian radio they were talking about homosexual marriage, and in our home we had addressed the dangers of sexual predators, without mentioning the sexual part of it. Anyway, all that just to say that we felt he might be starting to piece some things together, and we wanted to make sure he had a godly view of it presented to him as his first view.
He was a little over 10 1/2 at the time. That's not a magical age, it just seemed like it was right for him at that age. I would have probably waited longer if not for the exposure he was getting.
We talked to him as a couple and I led the time. We hoped that would help make it a subject that was not taboo, or secretive, and that he would feel comfortable talking to either of us about it as needed.
The main thing we wanted him to understand was that sex was normal, healthy, God-given, and beautiful. (The word 'awesome' got vetoed although I thought it was a good idea.) I started by telling him about Adam and Eve and explained that God created them differently. I read the passages below and explained what it meant when Adam "laid with his wife". I used real simple terms. He already knew about boy and girl parts, and I basically explained that they were made that way to fit together in marriage...and I tried really hard to keep a straight face. Again, it was very simple. No detailed explanations. No diagrams. Just the simple facts. At this age we didn't want to stir up anything that wasn't already stirring. We basically just wanted to address some of the same things the Bible does.
Genesis 2:20-25 But for Adam no suitable helper was found. So the LORD God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man's ribs and closed up the place with flesh. Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.
The man said, "This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called 'woman,' for she was taken out of man." For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.
The man and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame. NIV
Genesis 4:1-2 Adam lay with his wife Eve, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Cain. She said, "With the help of the LORD I have brought forth a man." Later she gave birth to his brother Abel. NIV
Of course by this time he was mildly stunned. The whole idea is pretty weird, even to me if I think about it long enough. So I tried to address that as well:
If it seems weird...
- It's natural (Romans 1:26,27)
- It is very hard to understand and explain. Proverbs 30:18-19 "There are three things that are too amazing for me, four that I do not understand: the way of an eagle in the sky, the way of a snake on a rock, the way of a ship on the high seas, and the way of a man with a maiden. NIV
- It's beautiful (Song of Solomon)
Then we addressed the purpose of it:
- To multiply and have children
- Genesis 9:7 As for you, be fruitful and increase in number; multiply on the earth and increase upon it." NIV
- Closeness of relationship (they will become one flesh)
Then we addressed some upcoming changes:
- How the body works...
- Body is being prepared for adulthood
- Hair, breasts, growing pains
Then we addressed some of the words we knew he had already bumped into:
Other words to explain:
Making love, having sex, sleep with, mating, lust, adultery, birds and the bees, virgin
Then, without going into sordid detail, we briefly explained misuses of sex:
- Satan takes what is good and makes it bad. (That's what perversion is.)
- Adultery, premarital sex, incest, rape, homosexuality, bestiality, child molesters
- 1 Corinthians 6:18 Flee from sexual immorality. NIV
After that we answered questions and tried to clarify everything. We've followed up a couple of times since then and have asked if he has more questions.
I'd guess that within the next couple of years I'll address some of the upcoming temptations a little more in depth, specifically: premarital sex, ma@*#n, and pornography. If we're going to equip our kids for real life temptations, these are certainly some of the biggies to cover.