Almost a year ago, I wrote a blog post called “The Birds and the Bees Never Did THAT!” about the need to educate our children regarding sex. We, as godly parents, have a responsibility to explain both the mechanics of sexual intercourse and childbearing, and God’s Scriptural plan for sex. After all, God created us as sexual beings. He designed us to reproduce. Those are wonderful things. However, some of the most egregious sins and appalling assaults involve sex. We have a responsibility to protect our children and to teach them to protect themselves. Our children need to know God’s plan for sex so that they do not unwittingly bring upon themselves life-long consequences.
Ok, enough about the reasons to conduct your own sex ed classes. The question I receive most often, once a parent is convinced of the need to sexually educate their child, is ‘How do I do that? What do I say? How do I start?’
Fear not, faithful parent. There are resources available just for you! Navpress has an excellent series of books called ‘God’s Design for Sex’. In our family, we have used the first two, preferring to move on to Scripture after that. Perhaps we will seek other sources for our efforts as our younger children mature, but for now we find the stories and warnings in the Bible to be sufficient. However, we began our teaching with these two books.
The Story of Me by Stan and Brenna Jones is written for 3 to 5 year olds. Written as a story told lovingly to a young boy, this book introduces physical anatomy: the penis, vagina and breasts are discussed along with their purposes. God’s design for marriage and sex is discussed in a positive manner, focusing on our desire to live like Jesus. The focus of this book is God’s design for reproduction. The mechanics of sex aren’t introduced, just the facts that are really relevant to the preschool set: how they developed in-utero, how they got out, the love within marriage, the design for the family and the physiology of boys and girls. There is one pastel painting of a little girl having her diaper changed, and one of a mother breast-feeding (nothing graphic showing).
Before I Was Born by Carolyn Nystrom is written for 5 to 8 year olds. This book begins by focusing on the differences between boys and girls. It discusses puberty and the changes that allow young men and women to reproduce. Biblical marriage is explained, followed by an brief explanation of sex. This is followed by a description of conception, fetal development and birth. Finally, God’s plan for families and human life is addressed. The pictures are, again, pastel; there is nothing graphic, however there are full-fledged pictures of small, naked children in family (bathing) settings. The pictures of adults include a shirtless man, a shirtless woman covering her breasts, a woman giving birth (the head of the baby obscures her more vulnerable features), and a woman nursing (not graphic).
Discussing sex with your children won’t be easy. However, these wonderful books help the process enormously.
~ Danika Cooley
Danika Cooley is the author of When Lightning Struck! The Story of Martin Luther (Fortress Press, 2015), Wonderfully Made (CF4K, 2016), and Bible Road Trip. Her work has been featured in internationally-recognized children's magazines over 150 times.