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?
31 thoughts on “Sex is Yours”
I think the biggest lie I was told was sex will be easy and wonderful if you wait until marriage. Yes, it can definitely be wonderful, but it takes work to be wonderful.
Yes! The conversation around sex needs to include the fact that waiting is worth it, but it dosen’t guarantee an “easy” sex life. Sex, like many things worth having, requires some work and commitment to enjoy the fullness of it.
Thanks for sharing!
I was molested as a child. Sex has never been easy or wonderful for me. Sex takes so much work for me just not to be traumatic. I am so hopeful my children will only know sex as easy and wonderful.
I’m so sorry to hear that you were abused as a child and that the trauma of that abuse has affected your sex life as an adult. Please know that you are not alone and that Jesus has the power and love you need to bring full healing.
I’ll be praying for you, Jane. Thank you for being honest and open here.
many have been “abused” in many forms…
do you have suggestions for healing?
in this discussion , how do you take what was sacred and then move on? [Josh Duggard for example…. what does his wife do now? is that intimacy? ]
it is a challenging world at best
all of the natural aspects of life are shadows of Truth Life. this intimate, loving, and mysterious gift of sex is yet another ‘window’ into the union of Christ and His, Bride, Body, House.
the John 17 prayer is our reality ‘in’ Christ
I think the biggest lie I was told was that ‘sex makes babies’ – it doesn’t, not with a diagnosis of primary infertility and a husband largely too tired from his condition to engage in it. After two miscarriages it can become fraught. It’s a reminder of what you won’t have and can be (emotionally) quite painful to engage in as a result.
Yes! You know, we can complain all we want about how “the culture” is educating – or miseducating our kids on sex. But WE control the conversation! We are in charge of what we tell, or don’t tell our kids. We can let anyone steal sex from our kids and turn it into something it’s not supposed to be! Or we can take control and tell them the truth of things.
The biggest lie we are told in church growing up is that sex is shameful. And then the day you get married it no longer is… That needs to be changed.
Sex is covenant.
My daughters do not understand sex at this point, but they know that mama and papa kiss a lot and hug a lot and casually touch one another on the arms, shoulders, or hips. Nothing heavy, of course. Just playful flirting in their full view so they begin to see how married people interact.
When the time comes, (and I’ve no idea when that will be), my bride and I will explain to them that sex is part of covenant, (only Jesus can cement this covenant), between husbands and wives, and is not acceptable otherwise. To engage in sex outside of covenant is simply not worth the baggage later on. (Can I get an Amen or what?)
;) Sorry, I couldn’t help myself.
I really appreciate this post! Since I’m engaged, I have been thinking about how to address these kinds of things, because one day (God willing) I will be a mother. My mom told me “Here’s what puberty is and here’s how babies are made” and that was it. I learned everything morally about sexuality from media. And I think that model hurt me a lot, especially in college. I don’t think media is bad totally but it needs to be balanced with something else, a more positive tone. Thanks for this piece!
Bookmarking! This is an excellent post and such encouragement. I never got the sex talk from my parents but I did attend a purity retreat at my church…and I don’t really remember any of it. But luckily I didn’t go wild sexually or freak out every time it was mentioned. I think I adjusted normally although who can tell? :)
I am single and I made the decision to wait until I am married to have sex. But my sister got pregnant at age 14. Since then my parents have realized that not talking about sex does not guarantee that your children aren’t thinking about sex. I am the children’s minister at my church and am looking forward to partnering with parents to make sure that our children have a godly perspective on sex.
a.men. thank you for saying so. i am very direct, open and age appropriate with my kids (9,12,15) and understand that kids are hearing about it elsewhere starting as early as 1st grade. they ask questions and often i am teaching in anticipation and awareness of what they are seeing and hearing everywhere around them. i want the same. the uncomfortable, let me take a breath questions. because it is beautiful and amazing and best in god’s context for it, and if i can save them from the baggage that comes along with the world’s version by stepping out of my comfort zone or passivity, then i’m all in.
i also don’t hide or diminish the physical attraction and affection between my husband and me, i even celebrate it. because somewhere deep inside (especially tween/teen years) they are comparing what love and physical affection looks like in your marriage to what they see around them. I want them to secretly want what their parents have! ;) xo
I understand this might be deleted for being viewed as unnecessarily snarky even though that’s not my intention, it’s just my honest feeling. And if it does then at least the one person I intended to reach with my comment will have gotten the message. I also want to preface it’s 3 am here so I’ll try to be as coherent and articulate as possible so as to not give you or anyone the wrong idea.
I’m get tired of hearing about sex. Even the Christian view of it. Nothing personal about you Nicole, you’re a fantastic writer and I eagerly await each new submission you make, but frankly, as a single man, I’m tired of hearing how sex is the end-all, be all; how it’s so gosh-darn incredible and how world-changing, intimate, whatever superlative you want to use to describe the exclusive club married couples have.
I don’t mean to sound bitter because I don’t think living a celibate life would be the worst thing in the world but interacting with other Christians and hearing how they view us as some pitiful ungodly sub-human for failing to attract a mate or patronizingly proclaiming us as some kind faith-warrior that is expected to be dedicating our lives to Missionary work since we aren’t bounded by marriage, it makes me want to disengage from the Christian community and church even more. Especially since the people who call themselves Christ-followers have the potential to do the most damage even if their motives are genuine.
I think every human desires intimacy with other humans, not even sexual intimacy. And while it’s true we should seek that closeness from God foremost before anything else, we can’t simply turn off that desire to be connected with other people. But not everyone will get that privilege either with a spouse or even a friend. And because of that, posts like these sometimes feel like unnecessary salt in the wound, even though I know that wasn’t your intent.
Speaking openly and honestly, if ANY believer condescends upon you for being single, unmarried, and (hopefully) celibate, then tell them to go pound sand. I have the luxury of being married and participating in covenantal sex with my bride, but it is surely not a badge of honor or a bragging right, and surely I cold no more look down on someone like you who is unmarried than I could look down on someone for not flowing in the prophetic as I do. Did that make sense?
In simpler terms, if folks who claim Christianity are rubbing salt into the wounds of your unmarriedness (is that even a word?), then walk away from them and let our Father line you up with better encouragers and brethren in Him. Life this side of Heaven is too damn short to suffer the ignorance and condescension of those who claim Body membership.
Sex is awesome, to be sure. But it is not the be all end all goal of marriage. As a matter of fact, sex is 5% of any covenantal marriage, but the enemy can use it to create 95% of the problems within. Fact.
I want to say…. don’t get me started but then this is old news any way
thanks for leaving this here to be read whenever
I love how real you are. I was not a Christian during my teenage years. My question always was: Why does God give us these amazing bodies; young, firm, beautiful, and SO FULL of desire and then tell us to wait for marriage? I didn’t wait, and I was too young. I had a wonderful first experience, though. At 48, the thought of it makes me shiver still. Did I stop after that? No. But I think the answer is that sex IS an intimate experience. You can’t just experience it and forget about it. Now that I am a Christian and married to my soul mate, I struggle with images of “the others,” and it has nothing to do with how I feel about my husband. It definitely clouds all the special moments he and I can have. I think this is what we HAVE to explain to our kids. As hard as it is to abstain, as free and beautiful as we feel, our minds and soul need to be pure for that “one” that God has chosen for us; otherwise, the enemy brings the others to mind to try to destroy what we NEED to nourish.
By the way, your blog, your insight is SO awesome. I thank the Holy Spirit for imparting His message through you.(and I never use so many CAPITAL letters :o) )
I think the biggest lie I was “taught” about sex was that it was equal to emotional love. That someone who would have sex with you also wanted to have an emotional attachment. And that the “sexier” you were, the better sex you would have. Ok – technically that is two lies. But I have learned that sex isn’t about being sexy. It’s about depth of connection. After 13 years of marriage I’m not the sexiest person on the planet but my husband and I don’t care about those things anymore because we connect so deeply on a sexual level.
Anon I totally get where you are coming from. I was there for years but I did wait and now I am married and have a great sex life with my wife. My mother was always open to talking about sex growing up and that helped me but not my sisters. Parents can only do so much because kids are not robots. Good post Nicole.
I have two amazing teenage daughters that feel so strongly about purity. We have great discussions and I am so thankful that their attitudes about sex are so healthy. We ( my husband and I ) have encouraged them to learn from our mistakes. They take a lot of flack for their beliefs and they are ok with that. Being a high school teacher I am encouraged that there are teens out there that take ownership of the gift that God has given them- whether or not social media, television, popular music, or their peers think and act otherwise. Can I get an AMEN????
I appreciate the link. I read the article and very much agree with the author. My post here, Sex is Yours, does not conflict with this article either. I have never stated, nor do I believe, that “waiting” promises us or guarantees us a good sex life. I do believe, however, that sex is a gift from the Lord, albeit one that sometimes we need His grace and hope to cover.
If you’re interested, here’s a post I wrote for Prodigal Magazine called “Shame, Sex, and Jesus in the Bedroom” http://www.prodigalmagazine.com/shame-sex-jesus-bedroom/
The BIGGEST lie ever told me about sex was I will get pregnant if I ever kiss a guy!
I’m married for 2 years now and I’m really looking forward to explain to my kids (together with hubby’s help) about this amazing gift from the Lord! I want them to know from us before they can ask us cuz they heard it from friends, etc!
This post is a great fit for our Marriage Mondays link up party. We’d love for you to stop by http://www.HappyWivesClub.com and link up! :)
I love this post. Growing up, for some reason, sex in my mind was something you don’t talk about or bring up. I felt awkward and scared to talk about it with my parents. When I was 13, I was taken advantage of by an older boy and from then on my world and my view of sex was very miscued. I jumped from relationship to relationship from the age of 14 to 23. To this day, I am still struggling with those things that happened to me and the decisions I made in those many relationships. My view on sex has been damaged and skewed; I don’t see sex as enjoyable. I have reached a point where I am not excited about sex; I instead get this sickening feeling and anxiety when I think about having sex with my future husband. I have been praying for healing and for God to reshape my mind, and to a certain extent I have had some healing. But I have a lot more to go. Thank you for sharing this post Nicole. It is so important, as parents, to be open with our children (my future children) with this topic and to let them fully understand that they can come to us and talk freely about it.
Loved this Blog! My mother gave my sisters and I the rudiments of what sex was but you made it so clear, it is a God given gift to be experienced with the one He gave us to be our life partner in the pattern that He laid out! Thank you! I am a 67 year old woman and you opened my eyes to the depth of this subject!
Thank you for this post. Actually, I was just looking for an article that would tell me how to enjoy having sex with my husband though I cannot tell if I chose to marry him because of love but only, because we have a child. I just got married few months ago. Our daughter is now 10 years old. We were not in a relationship for many years. Only last year, he again tried to win me back and fix our broken relationship. I decided to accept him again for the sake of the family. Of course, with the hope that I can love him again. Well, I’ve been honest to my husband about the main reason why I accept to marry him. It may sound not good nor right,but I keep trying to make our relationship well. I know my responsibility as a wife and as far as I know, we are having a good relationship right now and I’m praying that it will be much better even in the future. I cannot say I love him like what should be expected from a wife, but the friendship between us is enough for us to be happy together. Sorry for my English. I’m not a native English speaker.
Hey Nicole i love your name it makes me feel like am speaking to my spiritual mother..anyway despite the fact that i have never practiced sex and still believes in sex after marriage…why it is a matter that goes beyond body attachment but rather spiritual…Research has it clear and the bible that every time you have sex with a person you carry some of their characters…hehehehe i mean your spirit comes to attachment….
But i would tell my kids it costs nothing to stay a virgin but pays back highly and that sex is just a moment but can cost you your entire life nursing its results if done at a wrong time with a wrong person …of course someone not your husband.
Regards SHAMIM NAMUGERWA @PHANEROO MINISTRIES UGANDA.