My daughter is six-years old and full of questions. Why, how, huh? All day long. In her questioning, she has inevitably asked me about sex. When I was hugely round and very pregnant with her youngest brother, she asked how he came to be in my belly and how he would make his way out.
After giving the most scientific and precise answer I could, I ended with “Does that make sense?” To which she paused and replied, “Not really.”
I fret not because I know that this initial conversation about sex will be one of hopefully many. Yes, I said hopefully many.
Because I want my children to ask me lots and lots of questions about sex. I want them to feel free to bring up the topic at bedtime, at the dinner table, when we are baking cookies (let’s be honest…this isn’t happening. I’m not Martha Stewart), whenever.
And I want the nitty gritty questions asked like:
What’s oral sex?
How about masturbation?
Is heavy petting okay? (is it still called that or is it just “dry humping” these days?)
I want every question about sex that pops into their minds to be asked outloud. I want to squirm a little, sweat a little, feel like I might barf a little. I want to feel uncomfortable for those brief precious moments because if I am wiling to do that, then my children will know the one and only thing they should really know about sex:
It is theirs.
Sex belongs to them. It was given to them by a mighty, loving, generous and I mean generous God.
It’s not just frosting on a birthday cake. It’s the whole freakin’ cake. It’s delicious and cravable,
So knowing this…knowing that I want to create an environment where my kids ask means my words matter. More than I realize. But here’s what else I know–all of our words matter. Each of us.
They way we collectively and individually talk about sex matters. Like, a lot. Like a whole heck of a lot.
Every word we attach and don’t attach to sex matters. Every adjective. Every inflection. Every description. Without sounding overly religious or legalistic, when it comes to sex, everything is spiritual.
What we say and how we say it, in regards to sex, matters. The tone we use, the language we create, the spaces we leave blank and allow others to fill in, matters.
Because our words hold power. Sound a bit cliche? Yes, but then…Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits (Proverbs 18:21). Bam. Bible verse in your face. Because our words can help lead our fellow saints into a place of freedom or a place of death–a place of abundance or of regret.
And it is in our words that we paint the portrait of sex and of the sexless. It is in either the ugly, messy, heartbreaking, but glorious truth that we can dispel the lies about sex, or out of the same mouth continue to let lies have their way.
Sex is either an immeasurable gift we are allowed to unwrap and enjoy at the right time, or it is not.
So I ask: Who do we allow to speak about sex on our behalf? Who steals the language and sets the agenda?
Is it the Bachelor , or US Weekly, or Oprah, or the latest teeny-pop-star, or the church, or our parents, or our friends, or our past? Please say it ain’t so. They cannot be the ones to form our vocabulary around sex (unless of course your parents are uber-cool free-wielding, sex-is-a-gift-from-God types).
I don’t want sex to be hijacked any longer. Sex does not belong the purity movement or the libertine movement. It is not the property of the prude or the promiscuous. We cannot continue to let Hollywood and its flock weave a story about intimacy that is all together false–where lust is acceptable, casual sex equals love, clothes fall off on first dates, and orgasms are just as common. Nor can we continue to allow the church to tell us the opposite.
Why? Because sex is ours. Yours. Mine. Whether you have held your breath under the weight of one you love and experienced the depth, and fear, joy and beauty of this gift yet or not…it is yours. This mystery, this mirror of God’s love, is yours.
Given to us by a loving God–not to be used as a threat or a weapon. Not to be issued to only the worthy or the chosen. Not to be withheld until righteousness is proven. Not to be distorted by the worldly or abused by the irresponsible.
And this is what I want my children to know in their bones. That they aren’t waiting for nothing, but that they are waiting for something amazing that already belongs to them. God gifted them with sex.
And so, sex belongs to you too because it is a gift from your God. Take it back. Call it what it is–love, worship, and yours.
What is the biggest lie you were told about sex, by either the church of the world? How do we return sex to its rightful place? How do you plan to talk to your kids (if you have them) about sex?