Discussing Sex and Relationships as a Christian Parent

Emmanuel Abimbola

Emmanuel Abimbola

Contributing Writer
Updated May 01, 2024
Discussing Sex and Relationships as a Christian Parent

It empowers children to make wise choices, encourages them to seek guidance from trusted sources, and reinforces the importance of aligning their actions with their faith.

Open communication about sex and relationships within the family is crucial for several reasons. First, it establishes a foundation of trust and openness between parents and children, fostering a safe space where sensitive topics can be discussed without fear of judgment or shame. 

This transparency allows children to feel comfortable seeking guidance and support from their parents when navigating the complexities of relationships and sexuality.

From a Christian standpoint, the ideas and ideals found in the Bible serve as a guide for these conversations. God's Word provides a framework for understanding the sanctity of sex within the context of marriage, the importance of purity, and the significance of love and respect in relationships. 

By integrating Christian values into these conversations, parents can offer guidance that is rooted in faith and aligned with God's plan for human intimacy.

However, talking about sex and relationships can often be daunting for parents due to various challenges and fears. Some may feel uncertain about how to broach the subject or worry about saying the wrong thing. 

Others may struggle with their discomfort or embarrassment surrounding the topic. Additionally, concerns about cultural influences, peer pressure, and the prevalence of explicit content in media can further complicate these discussions.

Despite these challenges, parents need to overcome their fears and embrace these conversations as opportunities for growth and connection with their children. By engaging in open dialogue, parents can equip their children with the knowledge, values, and skills they need to make informed decisions and navigate relationships in a healthy and God-honoring way. 

These discussions also provide an opportunity for parents to impart wisdom, share personal experiences, and reinforce their family's values, strengthening the bond between parent and child.

Ultimately, open communication about sex and relationships within the family fosters an environment of understanding, respect, and love. It empowers children to make wise choices, encourages them to seek guidance from trusted sources, and reinforces the importance of aligning their actions with their faith. 

By embracing these conversations with courage and compassion, parents can nurture strong, resilient, and spiritually grounded young adults who are equipped to face the challenges of the world with confidence and integrity.

Understanding God's Design for Sex and Relationships

Setting a strong foundation based on understanding God's design for sex and relationships is paramount to guiding our children toward healthy and fulfilling lives. As Christian parents, it's our responsibility to impart biblical perspectives on these matters, emphasizing the sanctity of marriage and the profound gift of sexuality that God has given us.

We can start by exploring Scripture together with our children, pointing out passages that illustrate God's intention for sex and relationships. For instance, in Genesis 2:24, we learn that "a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh." This emphasizes how marriage is a holy union, a bond that God Himself established between one man and one woman for life.

Also, through discussions centered around biblical teachings, we can instill in our children a deep respect for the institution of marriage. We can explain that marriage is not merely a social contract but a divine covenant ordained by God. Ephesians 5:25-28 teaches us about the sacrificial love husbands should have for their wives, mirroring the love of Christ for His church.

It's essential to convey to our children that sexuality is a beautiful gift from God. Rather than viewing it as something shameful or taboo, we can help them understand that our sexuality reflects the image of God and is meant to be celebrated within the context of marriage. 

The Song of Solomon is a poetic depiction of marital love and intimacy, showcasing the joy and beauty of God's design for human sexuality.

However, in today's culture, there are countless misconceptions and distorted views surrounding sex and relationships, which we must address. From the media to peer pressure, our children are bombarded with messages that often contradict biblical truths. 

So, by engaging in open and honest conversations, we can help our children discern these influences and understand how they align (or don't align) with God's Word.

Tailoring Discussions to Your Child's Developmental Stage

As parents, it's essential to provide our children with basic concepts early on and gradually expand upon them as they mature, always adjusting the language and depth of the discussion based on their readiness and comfort level.

Early Childhood (Ages 3–7): During these formative years, the focus should be on laying a foundation of understanding rooted in love, respect, and God's design for relationships. Simple concepts such as love, family, and God's creation can be introduced through age-appropriate books, stories, and discussions. 

It's important to use language that is clear and concrete, avoiding technical terms or explicit details. For example, we might talk about how God created families to love and care for each other, emphasizing the importance of kindness and respect in our relationships with others.

Middle Childhood (Ages 8–12): As children enter their pre-adolescent years, they may begin to have more questions about their bodies and how they fit into God's plan for relationships. At this stage, we can introduce more specific information about anatomy, puberty, and the changes that occur during adolescence. 

However, we should still approach these topics with sensitivity and discretion, focusing on providing accurate information in a manner that respects their growing maturity. 

Using age-appropriate books and conversations, we can help our children understand the physical and emotional aspects of sexuality within the context of God's design for marriage and family.

Adolescence (Ages 13+): During the teenage years, our children are grappling with complex issues related to identity, peer pressure, and romantic relationships. It's essential to maintain open lines of communication and be available to answer their questions and address their concerns. 

At this stage, discussions can become more detailed and nuanced, covering topics such as consent, healthy boundaries, and the consequences of sexual activity outside of marriage. 

We can also explore biblical teachings on purity, self-control, and the importance of honoring God with our bodies. While these conversations may be challenging, they provide an opportunity for us to guide and support our children as they navigate the transition to adulthood.

By tailoring our discussions to our children's developmental stage, we can ensure that they receive the information and guidance they need to make informed decisions about sex and relationships. 

Addressing Christian Values and Boundaries

Integrating godly principles into our discussions about values and boundaries is essential for guiding our children in their relationships and understanding of sexuality. 

Here's how we can approach this:

Biblical Perspectives on Purity, Love, and Respect: We can start by exploring Scripture with our children, highlighting passages that speak to the importance of purity, love, and respect in relationships. For example, 1 Corinthians 6:18 teaches us to "Flee from sexual immorality" and to honor God with our bodies. 

We can also reflect on verses like 1 Corinthians 13:4-7, which describes love as patient, kind, and not self-seeking, showing our children what healthy love looks like through God's lens.

Setting Boundaries and Honoring Others' Boundaries: It's crucial to teach our children the importance of setting boundaries and respecting the boundaries of others. We can explain that boundaries are not about restricting freedom but about protecting ourselves and others from harm and sin. 

Galatians 5:22-23 reminds us that self-control is a fruit of the Spirit, and by setting boundaries, we demonstrate self-respect and obedience to God's principles. Additionally, we can reference passages like Matthew 22:39, where Jesus instructs, Love your neighbor as yourself." This emphasizes the importance of treating others with kindness and respect.

Empowering Wise Choices Rooted in Faith: We can empower our children to make wise choices by helping them understand how their faith informs their decisions about relationships and sex (Proverbs 3:5-6). 

By grounding our children's choices in prayer and Scripture and seeking counsel from trusted mentors or pastors, we equip them to navigate the complexities of relationships with confidence and discernment.

We also provide our children with a solid foundation for understanding sexuality in a way that honors God and respects themselves and others, and as they grow and mature, these principles will guide them in making choices that align with their faith and lead to flourishing, fulfilling relationships built on love, purity, and mutual respect.

Modeling Healthy Relationships in Family Life

Modeling healthy relationships within our own marriages and family lives is one of the most powerful ways to impart values and principles to our children. 

In our marriages or relationships, we can demonstrate respect by honoring each other's opinions, feelings, and boundaries. Ephesians 5:33 instructs husbands to love their wives and wives to respect their husbands, emphasizing mutual respect and love. By treating our spouses with kindness, dignity, and appreciation, we show our children what it means to value and cherish another person.

Healthy communication is essential for fostering strong relationships. We can model this by actively listening to each other, expressing our thoughts and feelings openly and honestly, and resolving conflicts peacefully and constructively. 

Ephesians 4:26-7 advises us not to let the sun go down on our anger, urging us to address conflicts promptly and with humility. 

In demonstrating forgiveness, empathy, and a willingness to compromise, we teach our children the importance of resolving differences with grace and understanding.

Remember, consistency is important in demonstrating the values we espouse in our family life. Our actions should align with the principles of love, kindness, integrity, and faithfulness we teach our children. 

James 1:22 reminds us to be doers of the word, not just hearers. By prioritizing time for prayer, worship, and fellowship as a family, we reinforce the significance of our Christian values and beliefs.

Also, none of us are perfect, and it's important to model humility and accountability by admitting our mistakes and seeking forgiveness when we fall short. By acknowledging our imperfections and seeking reconciliation with each other, we teach our children the importance of humility, repentance, and reconciliation in maintaining healthy relationships.

In living out our faith in our marriages and family life, we not only strengthen our relationships but also provide a powerful example for our children to emulate. 

I encourage you to embrace the journey of discussing sex and relationships with your children as a vital aspect of parenting. These conversations, though sometimes challenging, offer valuable opportunities for growth, understanding, and connection within the family.

As Christian parents, it's essential to recognize the significance of imparting Christian values and principles in these conversations. By integrating biblical perspectives on purity, love, respect, and commitment into our discussions, we provide our children with a solid foundation for navigating the complexities of relationships and sexuality in a way that honors God and respects themselves and others.

Photo Credit: ©Getty Images/Ghislain & Marie Davidde Lossy

Emmanuel Abimbola headshotEmmanuel Abimbola is a creative freelance writer, blogger, and web designer. He is a devout Christian with an uncompromising faith who hails from Ondo State in Nigeria, West Africa. As a lover of kids, Emmanuel runs a small elementary school in Arigidi, Nigeria.