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!