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Christian Living

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Family Matters 09/07/16

Talking to Your Grown-up Kids about Sex

Dad talking with grown-up son about sex

Your children are out of the house now. As young adults, they have to make their own decisions about relationships. So, does that mean you stop talking about sexual pressures?

Most families I know do not talk to their young adults about sex after high school. Yet, young adulthood is where sexually vulnerability persists. Hormones are raging. The culture is steeped with messages of "do what feels good".

All you have to do is turn on the television or watch a movie. Sex outside of marriage is the norm and no longer questioned. The saturation of sex in media along with a wildly successful and enticing pornography industry are potent cocktails continuously bombarding the brain.

Add to this the chemical high and bonding of having sex outside of marriage, delaying age of marriage, divorce rates, and the acceptance of cohabitation... Well, there is much to fight in terms of disciplining the flesh.

The church rarely addresses the real issues these young adults face daily. Yet, they need support to stand against the cultural norms. It isn't easy!

So here a few suggestions if you are a parent, teacher, or friend of a young adult:

  1. Have ongoing discussions about the pressures to conform, availability of pornography, and how they are coping with living in a culture saturated with sex. Do they have strategies? What do they do in the moment of temptation?
  2. If you watch media together or discuss a movie or show, ask them to comment on how the attitudes in media conflict with a biblical worldview. Discuss how a biblical view is becoming a minority view. It will take courage to stand for their faith. Do they think about the contrast and how it might be influencing their thinking? Are they being desensitized?
  3. Reinforce the benefits of church. Attending church one day a week (which is what most people do) hardly competes with the daily onslaught of sexual messages. But it does provide a weekly centering and reminder of how we are to live counter culturally is this area. Prayer and reading the Bible are weapons of our warfare.
  4. Use the news and stories from friends to remind them about the physical, emotional, and spiritual fall out of sex outside of marriage. The culture is all about the physical and paints a picture of no consequences. However, people live with the physical, emotional, and spiritual impacts of acting out sexually. Someone's story is helpful (e.g., how did they feel after a hook up, do they have images of sex with that person in their head influencing their current relationship, are they paralyzed with guilt, etc.?).
  5. Discuss the cohabitation data. Cohabitation leads to an increased chance of divorce and a number of negative fall outs. It isn't the positive picture portrayed in media.
  6. Encourage them to find like-minded friends who want to be accountable and want to live what they believe. We all need others to help keep the faith. This is why a small group at church is helpful.
  7. If they are caught up in sexual activity, offer help-resources and counseling. But, offer help without shaming or condemning. Rather, encourage, empathize, and offer support. With help, they can overcome.
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