Mom, Dad... What's Sex? An excellent new book from Jessica Thompson and Joel Fitzpatrick

My generation of American church youth participated in True Love Waits rallies and purity Bible studies. Even though it wasn’t explicitly taught, we got the impression that if we kept our pants on, saved ourselves for marriage, and never kissed until the pronouncement then we’d experience marital bliss. But the trouble is sex can’t carry that much weight.

In the book of Ecclesiastes, the Teacher writes about his own grand search for meaning in life. He searched for significance in work, in material treasure, in aesthetic beauty, and in sexual relationships. He says, “I acquired… a harem as well – the delights of a man’s heart” (2:8). If the writer of this text was King Solomon (and I believe it was), then he’s employing quite the understatement. According to 1 Kings 11:3, he amassed seven hundred wives and three hundred concubines. “I denied myself nothing my eyes desired; I refused my heart no pleasure,” the Teacher writes (2:10a). But was this enough to satisfy his deepest longings? No, he concludes, “Everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind” (2:11).

God didn’t design sex as a way of meeting our deepest spiritual needs.

God did not design sex as a way of meeting our deepest spiritual needs. He designed sex to be an expression of a loving marital relationship (Gen. 2:24-25). And he designed the marriage relationship as a signpost that points to something more – the deep love and mystical union between Christ and his bride, the church (Eph. 5: 31-32). When a married couple experiences the joy of sexual intimacy, God intends for them to be reminded of the greater joy they’ll one day experience when they’re united to their bridegroom Christ in glory. “Even the single person who is celibate,” writes Joel Fitzpatrick and Jessica Thompson, “is declaring with their life that they are waiting the union they will experience in the consummation of all things.”[i]

So, rather than holding out a great sex life in the future as the great hope and moral motivation for our kids, we must instead hold out Christ for them. Teach your teens that while sin gives temporary satisfaction, our great hope is found in God, whose love is better than life (Ps. 63:3). An orgasm gives pleasure for the moment, but God’s love and presence brings eternal joy. Teach your kids to look up and cling to the Savior who loved them even in the midst of their weakness and sin (Rom. 5:8).

As Thompson has written beautifully elsewhere:

Tell them that believers in him have his record of being the only sexually pure one to ever walk this earth. Teach them about the free grace of forgiveness that he extends to everyone. Teach them how much his love is better than any sexual experience they will ever have. Open their eyes to the beauty of the Lover of their soul.

One tool that may help you is the excellent new book by Jessica Thompson and Joel Fitzpatrick entitled, Mom, Dad... What's Sex? A Gospel-Centered View of Sex and Our CultureThis new book provides families with a clear vision, a winsome apologetic for the Bible's sexual ethic, and practical guidance--everything from social media to porn to same-sex attraction. But to just say that would miss the point. Joel and Jessica's goal is to celebrate Christ, who enters the hot mess of our sexual brokenness and brings redemption. Get this book and let it guide your family conversations. 

And as you remind your kids about the good news of God’s love, believe it for yourself. Show them a life lived in his love with confidence that Jesus is the only solution to our brokenness and the only pathway toward purity.

 

Family Friday Links 3.30.18

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Here's what we've been reading online lately:

All Pro Dad had a post on family leadership. It reads in part, "Effective leaders aren’t in it for themselves; they’re in it for the people and the mission." The post goes on to list leadership principles to keep in mind. Dads, this post will help you to dad better.

Children's Ministry Leader had a post on digital tools that will help your ministry. This post reminds us, "If you’re not using digital tools, you’re not keeping up with the people you serve." The post lists both paid and free tools that have to the potential to increase your productivity and communication ... which we could all use.

Club 31 Woman had a post about talking to daughters about sex and what not to do. This is an important topic for parents to consider. The list would work for both daughters as well as sons. It's a helpful post for parents.

What have you been reading online lately? Leave us a link in the comment section and we will check it out.

Family Friday Links 3.23.18

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Here's what we've found helpful online this week:

JD Thorne had a post on ERLC on helping our kids establish sexual norms. With our culture becoming increasing sexual overall, we parents have to start even earlier. It reads, "The sexual revolution has lowered the age at which children are exposed to sexual activity." Parents, this post will help prepare you for this important conversation.

The Association of Certified Biblical Counselors (ACBC) had a link to their podcast on the topic of bullying. What is bullying? How should a parent respond? Who should be held accountable? If you're a parent and even think your child is being bullied, this is a good resource to have.

Barnabas Piper had a post about kids and curiosity. It reads, "The loss of curiosity is the loss of vibrancy and opportunity and potential and life." He goes on to list 7 ways to help them hold on to curiosity. Parents, this is a help post for our kid's development.

What have you been reading online lately? Leave us a link in the comment section to check out.

Family Friday Links 5.5.17

Here's what we've been reading and resinating with online this week:

Russell Moore had a response / warning post about the Netflix show 13 Reasons Why. He wrote, "13 Reasons Why, I fear, just might fuel the pull to suicide in some because the storyline itself furthers the illusion that suicide is “fixing” something—even if only bringing a kind of closure to the character arcs of the supporting figures in the drama." Parents, this post will help you talk to your kids about a show the've either seen or at least heard about.

Gospel Taboo had a post on talking to kids about sex. It reads, "...  the goal of the sex talk isn’t to maintain purity because they never had it to begin with ... We want to teach them how God says sex will be most enjoyed." Parents, this is a helpful post for a hard subject.

Gospel-Centered Discipleship had a post on marriage, and the idea of oneness. It reads in part, "... [the] marriage covenant is a commitment to cultivating oneness between us. One of the main aims of our love and marriage is oneness." While it's not always easy, this is something that that takes selfless, grace-filled work.