How Moms Teach Sexual Integrity

Tomorrow is Mother’s Day, observed in the United States and over 40 other countries. Many of us will sit in church tomorrow and hear a sermon honoring mothers, followed by a celebratory meal, and likely some gifts that your family’s mom would enjoy.

As all holidays go, it will be a joyous experience for many. And it will be sorrowful for others — such as those who’ve struggled with infertility, those whose mothers died in the last year or so, those who grew up with less-than-ideal mothers, those whose children have wandered away from their family.

And yet, we honor mothers — biological, emotional, and spiritual. I’ll be celebrating my mom tomorrow, expecting some show of hey-we-love-you from my own sons, and thinking about women who loved, comforted, and advised me through the years.

Mothers of all kinds have great influence, great power, great responsibility. Considering what I write about here, sex in marriage by God’s design, I got to thinking about the “moms” in my life and how they influenced my thinking.

I wish I could paint a cheery picture of me growing from girl to woman surrounded by a community of women wise about sexuality and willing to advise me about handling my feelings, my desires, my failures, and my heartbreak. Frankly, I grew up at a time when asking for a pie recipe would get me twelve church women ready to share their family’s cooking secrets while asking for sex advice would get me shocked faces and silence.

Looking back, I don’t blame these women. They didn’t have good sexual wisdom given to them either, and many believed that speaking about sex in public was just vulgar. They tried to pass on principles about being a good woman and a good wife, but when it came to sex, they got flustered and didn’t have much to say.

In my case, I strayed pretty far from God’s design for sex, got my share of wounds as a consequence, somehow found my way back, invested in learning about godly sexuality, and discovered something so much better and more beautiful that I was motivated to speak with other women about their sex lives and to write this blog. But my journey was not pleasant and I brought baggage into my marriage that I had to address. I’d rather us not raise a generation of women who don’t know about God’s plan for their sexuality or don’t know how to live it out.

Maybe that’s why I’ve written several times about how we talk to our kids about sex:

As a community of mothers, we can make a real difference in teaching our sons and daughters how God wants to bless them with the very best of sexuality in a healthy, godly marriage. We can equip them with the right perspective and strategies they can use to pursue purity, through abstinence before marriage and intimacy in marriage. We can be there to comfort them if and when they fail and let them know that there is forgiveness and hope.

Perhaps most importantly, we can model what it means to be a woman of sexual integrity. We can show with our actions that marriage is the place where sexual intimacy thrives.

We can show with our actions that marriage is the place where sexual intimacy thrives. Click To Tweet

When my sons see and hear my husband and I touch, flirt, embrace, kiss, and — quite frankly — lock the bedroom door, they are not party to our private sexual lives…but they know that sex in marriage is healthy, God-honoring, and quite the perk if they will wait for the right time and invest in that relationship.

I’ve “mothered” young ladies in this way as well, by talking to youth group girls about dating. I’ve answered a question on this blog from a teenager concerned about her sexuality. I’ve mentored a teen girl about her relationships (with the knowledge and blessing of her parents), speaking honestly about the challenges of sexual integrity.

We women have opportunities to set an example, speak truth to children in our midst, and mother a generation dedicated to swinging the pendulum the other way. Society wants our kids to give up on sexual integrity, but moms can be a positive and powerful influence for bringing about a revolution of God-honoring sexual intimacy in marriage.

Honestly, all of this spilled out of me after I looked up Bible verses with “mother” in them and saw this one I hadn’t paid attention to before:

“Truly I am your servant, LordI serve you just as my mother did” (Psalm 116:16).

Marriage Memory Verse 5-7-16

If I want my children to serve God as I do, then I’d better serve God well. In all areas, including sexual intimacy. Every day, I’m setting an example. That’s a lot of influence I have, and a lot of responsibility. But I want them to be God’s servant in their lives, in their marriages, and — one day — as parents themselves.

Let’s get our own heads right, ladies, and live into God’s plan for our sexual intimacy. Then let’s teach the next generation so that they can grow up in victory with marriages and marriage beds that honor our Father.

Happy (You Make a Difference) Mom Day

11 thoughts on “How Moms Teach Sexual Integrity

  1. Eric

    Abraham Lincoln wrote, “All that I am and ever hope to be I owe to my angel mother.” Historians still wrangle over whether Lincoln meant his birth mother, or his stepmother, who raised him.

    Let me say that I strongly agree with J that mothers need to talk to their daughters about sex. But I ran across a book recently, STRONG FATHERS, STRONG DAUGHTERS, by Meg Meeker, MD. The title of chapter one pretty much sums up my position on this: “You are the Most Important Man in Her Life.” I’ll add to that, that possibly re sexual identity, morality, the ability to remain a virgin until married, and the ability to enjoy sex in marriage, that a strong relationship with her father is the key.

    Mothers should deal with the intimate details, of course–menstruation, choices of underwear–that sort of thing. But a girl chooses a husband based on her relationship with her father. She also chooses how to present her body to the eyes of young men largely by what Daddy thinks. It’s a male-female world, like the two poles of a magnet. God made it that way.

    Two positives repel; two negatives reject. But a positive attracts a negative. That’s only the illustration, of course. In dealing with several thousand young women in many years as a pastor and teacher, I’ve seen many, many girls who rejected their mothers’ values and morals primarily because these girls had a poor (or no) relationship with their fathers.

    So get Daddy involved. Let him decide if sweet Susie should wear that teeny bikini on the beach–and why. And let him tell Mom to back off and let Susie learn the hard way if she wants to be silly and wear spike heels to an occasion where the other girls will wear sneakers.

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  2. FutureMother

    Combining this post and the previous one, do you have strategies for helping sons understand (and manage) erections? Maybe separate posts on how to talk to boys and girls about sex would hit the spot, or some book recommendations. My husband and I don’t have kids yet, so obviously I’m a long way from needing this information, but I’d like us to be as prepared as I can for when the time comes!

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    1. J Post author

      Once again, I feel a little out of my element with that question. 🙂 However, when boys are very young, they’ll get random erections and react to them. “Hey, my penis is sticking up!” “Ow, my penis is bothering me.” Etc. The way I’ve seen this handled well is to (1) Explain that’s normal. “Yeah, sometimes it does that.” (2) Tell him that we don’t need to talk about that area quite so loudly and publicly. Which might be a conversation to have away from that moment, with an explanation that the parts covered by a swimsuit are privates and what that means. (3) Ask him to leave it alone, because continuing to handle that area might make it take longer to go down. “Just leave it alone, and it will go away.”

      When boys hit puberty, they become naturally motivated to at least hide their erections in public. And how to manage them generally? I suspect that’s all wrapped in how to manage their sexual desire, which parents should be having many conversations with their kids about.

      Thanks for the question!

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      1. Eric

        Boys, up to about age 12, do respond well to mothers’ comments about their penises, if the words are loving and matter-of-fact. I remember that I learned from my own mother more than 70 years ago. I’m not sure how she could calmly discuss things with me, since she was from a family of two girls and an older father. But I do know that Mother had an excellent relationship with her “Papa” (my grandfather), and I believe that’s the reason.

        I’m sure there are moms reading this, though, who may have grown up in an abusive relationship, with no father at home and a mother with some deep negative feelings about men. To you, I gently remind you that a penis is a pubescent boy’s most precious possession. Be gentle and kind and never, ever let your tongue or demeanor even hint that you find his erection repulsive. To a boy just discovering his manhood, it’s exciting that he’s learned that his “hardon” is normal, even beautiful, and you need to reinforce this. Also boys usually have an erection in the morning that pajamas won’t hide. Ignore it.

        Another thing: Why did God make boys and young men to get erections for years before they can use it for married sex? The answer is simple, if you think about it. In the sexual experience, a man is responsible to protect the woman from his own desire (I do not say “lust,” since that has a negative connotation). I Thessalonians 4:4 was written, I believe, basically to men and boys, and one literal rendering is, “Every one of you should know how to control his penis in sanctification/holiness and honor.”

        Many virgin girls don’t know what sexual arousal feels like; conversely, all boys over age 13 do know, even if they’ve been reared in the woods, 100 miles from the nearest female! It’s a young man’s responsibility, since he knows this, to take the initiative to stop doing things that may lead a girl into violating her conscience and dishonoring her Lord. So tell your daughters this, mothers: “If you’re sitting on his lap with your pretty, warm backside pressing against his groin area with only a few layers of cloth between, he WILL have an erection, no matter how godly he is. Don’t put yourself in such a vulnerable position.”

        And tell your boys to consider a hard penis to be God’s warning signal to you to lay off the kissing. He’ll take this from you, Mom, quicker than from his father–if you’re nice about it.
        Eric (who’s raised three boys and a girl)
        Eric

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  3. William

    I’m thankful for the for the work you are doing to teach the younger women to love there husband’s and children that was beautiful

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  4. Lynn

    Thank you so much for the beautiful memory verse on a day when I am thinking about my own mother, whose example led me on the right path.

    Reply
  5. Bill S

    What a great read on Mothers Day! I couldn’t imagine my mom (or mother in law) having such an open conversation when parenting, and it makes me all the more appreciative of my sweet wife and the great job she has done over the years. And thank you for helping us to recognize the joyful gift God has provided – your efforts have certainly paid benefits in our lives!

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