Hot, Holy & Humorous

Having “The Talk” with Our Kid

The article below is an Oldie but Goodie. It’s my story of when my husband and I told our older son about “the birds and the bees.” First published on January 10, 2011, it’s been edited for formatting, grammar, and clarity.

When our oldest child grew into the age we thought appropriate to have “the talk,” my husband and I steered him into our bedroom. We summoned him to sit between us on the bed and, with an illustrated medical book in hand, began to explain the wonders of reproduction.

The Parents’ Explanation

It was going pretty well, we thought. We were clinical in our explanation and biblical in our perspective. Until our child squished up his face into contorted disgust and asked, “So, y’all have done this three times?!!!”

Hubby and I glanced at each other, and while I attempted to gather my composure and fish around my brain for an appropriate response, my husband calmly replied, “Yes.”  After all, we had done it three times…multiplied by a larger number.

We described the beauty of God’s design for marital intimacy and making babies, but the general kid reaction was akin being handed a plate of spinach for dinner: “GROSS!”

Which is exactly the reaction one expects a young child to have. Sex isn’t intended for kids. It’s supposed to sound nauseating. Hey, the idea of someone sticking his tongue in my mouth creeped me out for years. And I was still heebie-jeebied after my first French kiss (okay, he wasn’t that great a kisser).

But we got through the basics, pointed to the tasteful drawings in the book, answered questions, and praised the Maker of families.

Whew! I thought. That’s over.

The Husband’s Revelation

My husband and kid started putting on their shoes to go outside and play while I exited the bedroom to use the bathroom next door. Minutes later, I emerged from the bathroom in time to overhear my husband saying to my child, “Four or five times a week.” OMG! OMG! OMG! Really, I am at this point internally crying out to God to figure out what could have possibly happened in the two minutes they were tying shoelaces and I was sitting on the porcelain throne. 

Now, in my husband’s defense, we had agreed that we would answer any questions our child asked as truthfully as possible, without divulging more than our child was ready to hear. But we figured if our kid asked, a frank response was warranted.

But weren’t we finished with this talk?!!

The Friend’s Perspective

Later, when describing the situation to my best friend, she commented, “First of all, five times a week? That is some wishful thinking on your husband’s part, isn’t it?” Well, yes. With young children in the house, I would have had to have been the Energizer bunny to have sex 260 times a year. So, you couples with little ones who are not getting that much mattress gymnastics, don’t sweat it. And those of you who are, stop gloating…and sleep now and then, for heaven’s sake. ~wink~ (See How Often Should You Have Sex?)

“Secondly,” my friend said, “your husband is setting your kid up for some disappointment if that doesn’t happen in his marriage.” Given the Grinch-like grimace my child had displayed when the details of sex were described, I doubted this would be a problem for many years to come.

The Child’s Questions

Back to my OMG moment, my kid now had a BUNCH more questions than we had covered before. The biggest one being “WHY?!!!” As in, WHY would the parents I look up to and love ever put those two body parts together in that way for any reason outside of childbearing.

My response was simply that God was a good, gracious God, and He made sex not simply for reproduction but to produce physical enjoyment and intimacy between a husband and wife. It is a sacred thing. And one day, my kid would understand—when ready, when married.

A few more inquiries were posed, but my husband and I cut them off at some point. We clarified that we would not discuss the details of our sexual life because it is a private thing between married couples.

The Couple’s Intimacy

Our world talks about sexual details constantly, like it’s everybody’s business. But it’s not. Most everything I do with my husband in the bedroom is like the diary I kept as a young girl. I wrote special, secret thoughts on its blank pages, secured the journal with a clasp and tiny key, and hid it somewhere that only I knew its location. The fact that it was secretly mine, and mine alone, made it that much more special.

I pray that my children experience every blessing God has in store for them in their marriages. That they choose their spouses wisely, treat them as Scripture instructs, and give themselves fully in the daily drudgeries of life and the sacred intimacies of the bedroom.

And I also hope that my grandkids ask a veritable plethora of interesting questions when my kids have to give their parental sex talk. I can’t wait for payback time!

6 thoughts on “Having “The Talk” with Our Kid”

  1. I am so glad you were able to provide a solid, biblical sex education to your boys. When I was growing up, my Christian parents gave me a book about “where babies came from”. Then my Mom said “if you have any questions, you can ask me”. I told my Mom that I had sex education in school so I did not have any questions. The truth, I was too scared and embarrass to ask questions. And what I learned at church was the familiar message, “don’t do it until you are married”. Most of my Christian friends had similar experiences.

    I think my sex life with my Christian wife could have been much, much better if we had better sex education when we were teenagers and young adults.

    1. That is exactly how my parents handled my sex education: a book and invitation to ask questions if I had them. But given their obvious discomfort with the topic, I didn’t feel like follow-up questions were a good idea.

      We actually had many discussions over the years with our sons, but this story was the first one.

  2. “The talk” doesn’t end when the kids are grown. My adult daughter and I had a surprisingly frank discussion about how special true intimacy can be when in a secure, married, relationship, after she got out of an abusive relationship. I felt it was important for her to realize that there is still a bright future ahead of her, despite some bad decisions and circumstances from the recent past.

    As to 260 times a year, that isn’t possible anymore. There is too much attention to social media to bother showing that much interest in physical intimacy. I mean, my wife might miss someone’s post and we can’t have that. OK, yes, I am being sarcastic, but I do think couples, including myself, need to watch their priorities.

    1. I’m glad your daughter got out, and how nice that you could be there to reassure her. And yes, if you show yourself to be open to this topic when they’re young, you can remain a touchpoint later on in life. Well done, Dad.

  3. When I was little, I used to look at this book called A Child Is Born, by late photographer, Lennart Nilsson. He had taken amazing pictures of the wonders of human reproduction, from conception to birth. The photos of childbirth did have female and baby nudity and breastfeeding, but as a child, this book was a good one to look at the beauty of God’s creation of precious human life!

  4. My “talk” never happened verbally, as my revelation came when my older brother and I observed at perhaps eight or nine years old that two neighborhood dogs were “stuck” together in the street. I was trying to comprehend what the problem was when my brother looked at me and made a gesture that made it click instantly. My first thought was, “Surely not…that’s not what those are for!” After all those were where people went to the bathroom, and the fact that they were complementary was mere coincidence….I did mention what I’d seen to my parents at dinner, who grinned but did not comment further; but I’d already made the connection to human reproduction. My mom did have the “talk” with me about menstruation some years later so I would know what to expect, and I did think this was yucky to think about.

    We also had sex education in high school even though by then we all knew how it worked, more or less; but there were two different one-time, special sessions for which we had to get permission slips signed by our parents to attend. In one we were shown a tasteful PBS video and there was a brief Q&A, during which teachers stressed that they would not answer personal questions. A year or two later a traveling drama troop performed a skit about “choices”, the take-away being (presumably) that choices had consequences, emotional and physical – although this being a public school there was no moralizing. From what I gathered in later years the programs at other schools were much more graphic, and I wonder now if schools even ask the parents’ permission. And with the gender dysphoria and homosexual experimentation under the guise of “inclusiveness” that is happening even in middle school (if not elementary?), in addition to the baseline assumption that all teenagers are sexually active, I can’t imagine what these programs are like now.

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