Tag Archives: sex and parenting

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

Q&A with J: Avoiding Sex Because the Kids Can Hear

Today’s question is about lovemaking sounds and the children who might hear them.

My husband and I are both believers but we are struggling in our intimate life. Night after night I sit in avoidance of having sex with my husband. We live in a very small and modest home, think old cottage style, the walls are paper thin and the wood floors do nothing to mask sound. I am avoiding sex with my husband for fear of the kids hearing us make love, i.e. bed squeaking, moaning, etc. My husband has no problem or worry if the kids overhear our love making but it bothers me greatly . . .

I enjoy sex with my husband very much but it has become a huge road block in our marriage since our children have gotten older. When they were small I did not worry as much because I knew if they heard us they would not understand what we were doing. Now that I have a teen and a preteen in the home along with a 6 year old it makes things awkward. I have tried fans in the room to create some white noise and the tv for me is a distraction from achieving orgasm, I just cant do it with the news or a sitcom in the background. I suppose maybe some music but even this has to be kept low as to not keep anyone awake since sound travels so easy in our home. Any advice is so much appreciated.

First, a word to the residential construction industry: Just how hard would it be for master bedrooms to be sound-proofed? If you could get on that right away, your married home buyers would thank you.

Q&A with J: Avoiding Sex Because the Kids Can Hear

For those of us without studio-level soundproofing for our bedrooms (99.999% of us), here are a few things to consider.

Be creative about when you make love. At night when everyone else is trying to go to sleep may not be the best time for you and your husband to have sex. With older kids in my house, we’ve become far more likely to make love during the day than at night — taking advantage of those times when both kids are gone to youth group events, when they’re plugged into their headphones or watching a movie, when they’re sleeping in on a Saturday morning.

If you’re sharing thin walls with your children, look for times when they’re not in the bedroom. Even plan for it! Good parenting could involve ordering up pizza for the kids, plopping them in front of a Disney movie, and then retiring to your bedroom for marital intimacy. Sometimes we worry so much about covering the noise in our bedroom when the best answer is to put some noise in our kids’ ears so they can’t hear what we’re doing!

You might even consider introducing sound makers into their bedrooms. Many children sleep better with white noise machines or a fan running. We bought one of my kids a bluetooth speaker, and while his phone recharges in another room overnight, it also plays sleep-timed music on the speaker for him to fall asleep.

One last thought here: Consider bartering with other couples for child care. My church hosted a babysitting co-op that was marvelous! We would have anywhere from 4 to 12 couples participate, and we’d trade turns taking care of the kids while the other couples had date night. Which sometimes might be going back home, eating dinner, and making love. If it was four couples, we’d babysit once and have three date nights. When it was up to 12, two couples could take the duty and you’d get even more date nights. Couples can also simply barter back and forth to get this alone time.

Teach your kids to respect your privacy. Your older kids will likely get this more than the youngest, because tweens and teens will want their own privacy, like in the bathroom or when they’re changing in the bedroom. (And no, I’m not saying they get the privacy of locking you out of their bedroom whenever they want — you paid for that bedroom and they’re a minor! But I digress.)

Let your children know that your bedroom is a private space, and when the door is closed, that could mean that someone is changing clothes or doing intimate things husbands and wives do. If you don’t want to reference sex, you can simply say “hugging and kissing.” I guarantee you those teens do not want to see their parents “making out.”

Also, let them know when you’re retiring to the bedroom for alone time, and you are not to be disturbed. You might ask them to stay in the living areas of your home for a while, so they aren’t privy to the sounds of your bedroom antics. I’ve actually said to my kids before, “Interrupt us only if someone is vomiting, bleeding, or unconscious. And the vomit and blood better be a lot.”

Some might cringe at that. Yet I’ve come to believe that many of us married folks need to take back our homes. Our children are not the center of the universe and can learn to wait their turn. Besides, you bought the house, you pay the mortgage, you own the space they’re in. So they don’t get to determine what happens in every room and when — especially your bedroom. When I personally made this mental shift, it freed me up to protect my own space in my home and to put my kids first when I needed to, but not every time. In the long run, I think it’s a good lesson for children to know that others have needs they need to respect.

What’s the worst that could happen? I relaxed quite a bit when I imagined what would happen if our children heard us making love — with all the noises that might go along with that. Could I handle that experience? Was I prepared to have that conversation with my kids?

Let me assure you: You got this. If your children did hear your intimate noises and worried what was happening / felt enormous embarrassment / questioned you about your bedroom activities . . . you can explain it in terms they’ll understand that respects your marital privacy. The 6 year old would likely need assurance that everyone’s okay, while the 14 year old may need to understand that lovemaking is a verbal activity.

Having just ridden another roller coaster this weekend (love them!), I might explain it like this: “You know how people make noises on amusement park rides that might sound frightening if you didn’t know what they were doing. But once you know they’re expressing excitement and emotion, it makes sense. Lovemaking as God intended, pleasurable and in a covenant marriage, involves expressing excitement and emotion, and sometimes that means noise. We’re just having a good time.”

At the point that your children are teenagers, they should know that good marriages include sexual intimacy. So if younger children are asleep, but the older chooses to stay awake long after you told them to go bed . . . then it’s too bad if they hear something they didn’t want to. I didn’t start out feeling this way, but over time I decided that’s the way it had to be. If we told a teen four times to go to bed by 11:30, and they were awake and heard us getting busy at midnight? Well, kid, I TOLD you to go to bed for a reason. Now do you believe me?

Here are a couple of other posts that might help: Yes, Kid, Your Mommy and Daddy Have Sex and Making Love When You Have Teens in the Home.