This post is Part 4 of the blog series: How to Talk to Your Kids About Sex. Learn more about the series.
Part 4: How to Talk to Your Kids Before High School
There are several issues to address with your child before they begin to make sexual choices independently of their parents. The average age a person starts having sex is 17 years old, although when they start, sex is often infrequent. Four in five unmarried evangelicals have had sex between the ages of 18 and 29, and 32% of those who get pregnant choose abortion. While belief in God may remain instilled throughout adolescence, sex is often a compromised area under the myth that sex using contraception is safe or consequence free.
Issues to Address
- Reinforcement of principles from the previous stage of development
- Purity extends to masturbation, oral sex and anal sex, not just intercourse
- Rewards of sexual intimacy in marriage
- Abortion and its connection to infertility and post-abortion trauma
- Your child’s convictions regarding sex, marriage, and the risks of compromise
- Birth control, the abortive potential, and additional issues related to hormonal contraceptives such as the pill and IUDs
- Sexually transmitted diseases and the risks of sex outside of marriage
Critical Information to Know
Most children are receiving the message from home not to get pregnant while the world encourages them to practice safe sex when they’re ready. The logical interpretation many children hear is “Have sex, but don’t get pregnant!” This tends to be the beginning of conversations and compromises related to birth control.
While hormonal birth control may be prescribed to a young woman experiencing endometriosis or severe/ prolonged periods, contraception is often thought of as consequence-free sex. Educate your son or daughter about the abortifacient properties of hormonal birth control and the myths of consequence-free sex. The hormone thins the lining of the uterus increasing the chances of an intentional miscarriage, in the event ovulation and fertilization are not prevented. Additionally, by age 15, children are experimenting with sexual-identity, not just observing it.
Scripts for Conversations
If your teenager has pursued or pursues dating, be thoughtful about how you enable that relationship to grow, so you do not promote love to be aroused before it is ready. In the event you are in favor of dating, help your son or daughter establish boundaries related to time and physical contact. Typically, a teenager who has been dating the same person more than a few months will not be mature enough to recognize they are playing “married” with the person they’re dating, and all that is left is to begin having sex. Ask good questions like these:
“Does this person reflect what you are looking for in a spouse? What do you hope this relationship will lead to? How does your relationship draw you closer to God and honor Him?”
2. Premarital Sex
When addressing issues like premarital sex, teach a son about his responsibility in relationships to honor the young women he meets, which will have implications on his convictions about premarital sex, contraception, pornography, and abortion. Ask:
“What have you heard or learned about sex outside of our home and how will you apply what we have taught you? How has this been difficult or conflicted with what others say?”
Teach a daughter about valuing herself and the double-standards that exist in society between men’s sexuality and women’s. Remind her God’s gift of sex and the rewards of intimacy in marriage. Ask:
“Have you noticed how women are often portrayed and seen as objects? How do you think that impacts a woman’s sense of value?”
In a straight forward manner, describe how masturbation, oral sex, and anal sex all compromise God’s design for sex within marriage. Avoid demonizing these choices while asking questions such as:
“Why do you think someone would choose to look at pornography or masturbate? Why would a young man or woman participate in oral or anal sex? What does that communicate about their view of sex or God? As we’ve talked about marriage and sex, how does the unity and intimacy involved differ from masturbation?”
To refine a teenager’s convictions related to abortion, ask them to share what they know and what they have heard. Most teenagers believe it is wrong but could not explain why or what an abortion is. Some may justify abortion at a certain stage with misinformation that it’s just a “clump of cells.” Ask:
“Do you know what abortion is and how an abortion is done at different stages of development?”
Thoughtfully respond utilizing the S.L.E.D. argument, showing the Size, Level of development, Environment, and Degree of dependency of a human makes someone no less human.
- Exposed! Naked Truth about Sex Series by Harrison Ross
- Responding to Same-Sex Issues by Nathan Wagnon
- Prep: How the Bible Preps Us for Pornography and Lust by Jonathan Pokluda
- 16 Things to Convince your Children of Before They’re 16 by Todd Wagner
- Same-Sex Bonding by Ricky Chelette
- Abortion Procedures.com - depicts abortion procedures for each trimester
- The Case for Life by Scott Klusendorf
Read the rest of the series:
Principles | Preschool | Before Puberty | Before Age 15 | Situational Issues
 Deuteronomy 5:29 – Oh that they had such a heart as this always, to fear me and to keep all my commandments, that it might go well with them and with their descendants forever!
 Matthew 5:28 – “But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”
Proverbs 30:20 – This is the way of an adulteress: she eats and wipes her mouth and says, “I have done no wrong.”
 1 Corinthians 7:2-5 – But because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband. The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to her husband. For the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. Likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. Do not deprive one another, except perhaps by agreement for a limited time, that you may devote yourselves to prayer; but then come together again, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.
 Exodus 20:13 – “You shall not murder.”
Exodus 21:22-25 – “When men strive together and hit a pregnant woman, so that her children come out, but there is no harm, the one who hit her shall surely be fined, as the woman's husband shall impose on him, and he shall pay as the judges determine. But if there is harm, then you shall pay life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, stripe for stripe.”
Numbers 5:27-28 – “And when he has made her drink the water, then, if she has defiled herself and has broken faith with her husband, the water that brings the curse shall enter into her and cause bitter pain, and her womb shall swell, and her thigh shall fall away, and the woman shall become a curse among her people. But if the woman has not defiled herself and is clean, then she shall be free and shall conceive children.”
Jeremiah 7:30-31 – “For the sons of Judah have done evil in my sight, declares the LORD. They have set their detestable things in the house that is called by my name, to defile it. And they have built the high places of Topheth, which is in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire, which I did not command, nor did it come into my mind.”
 1 Corinthians 13:11 – When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways.