Beau Brezina is a counselor with Christian Families Today. He and his wife, Patti, are teaching their children foundational truths to guide them in a sexualized culture. In honor of Father’s Day, we’ve asked Beau to share some of what they’re teaching in these important years.

In the early 1990’s, Atlanta, Georgia was in a frenzy. The city was hosting the 1996 Summer Olympics, and a good host city had to be prepared. Stadiums were built. Roads were paved. Housing was constructed. Unfortunately, some dorms were built with faulty foundations. I can only imagine how difficult it must have been to fix those problems.

Many parents find themselves in similar predicaments with their children. They are in a frenzy to raise them to be responsible adults, but they have not adequately taught them some important foundational truths. These truths include the concepts of how God designed them to function in relation to Him, themselves, and others. This faulty foundation allows cracks to form in the character walls of their children’s lives. These cracks, in turn, invite seepage into their lives which can result in inappropriate sexual behaviors, pornography use, and sexual sin, along with many other harmful behaviors.

Fortunately, by God’s grace, it is never too late for our children to learn that though temptations will come, God provides for us. Our new identity in Christ[1] and the promise of a way of escape when we are tempted[2] are two of His wonderful provisions. That said, wouldn’t it be great if we as parents could lay a solid foundation before our children face some of the more daunting challenges of this culture?[3]

My wife and I have five little ones all under age 13. We have been spending these early years preparing them for the inevitable temptations they will face in the future. The road ahead will definitely be challenging.

Here are some of the foundational elements God is leading us to teach our children so they can face these challenges with confidence: 

Who are you calling needy?

You, me, and our children… we are all needy! God created us needy. The American ethos says, “We aren’t needy. We are self-made, strong, and independent people!” God, however, disagrees.

Our job as parents is to teach our children that it is good to be needy. Respect, love, worth, acceptance, adequacy, and security are all God-given needs that only He can meet. He knew that it would be impossible for us to get these needs met on our own.

The only problem that comes with neediness is when we do not have a source to meet our needs. Paul says God will supply ALL our needs according to HIS riches in glory in Christ Jesus.[4] There is no room for other need-meeters in the word “ALL.” Fortunately, God is quite rich and overwhelmingly ready, willing, and able to meet ALL our needs.

Sex, both God-honoring sex and sexual counterfeits such as porn, is one of the world’s most tantalizing “need-meeters.” It promises much more than it can deliver. If our children do not understand how God supplies all their needs, they will not be prepared to resist the allure of our sex-saturated culture.  

Who are you?

Many kids do not know God’s answer to the question “Who are you?” Sure, they know all the typical answers: “I’m a good girl, a kind person, a funny guy” or “an athlete, a good student, or the class clown.” The problem with these common identity statements is that they are based entirely on behavior. If one’s behavior changes, then one’s identity is suddenly in jeopardy.

Our children need a much more secure identity, and Jesus offers such security. He taught that there are only two identities—one being a child of God[5] and the other a child of Satan.[6]

Once our children are saved, they are born again into God’s family. They are new creations.[7] They are complete,[8] loved,[9] and lovable.[10] They are blameless, righteous, and holy.[11] They are secure,[12] adequate,[13] and strong.[14] Their new identity is not based on their behavior but rather on Christ’s perfect behavior.[15] Praise the Lord!

Our behavior flows out of what we believe, including beliefs about our identity. If our children believe their identity is based on their feelings or behaviors, they are not going to experience freedom in their lives and relationships. If they are grounded in their identity in Christ, they will be much better prepared to withstand a tsunami of sexual temptation.

How did God form you?

Kids need to know their good and God-given biological parts. Parents should have ongoing and age-appropriate conversations with their children about human anatomy, God’s design for sex, and healthy ways of relating to the opposite sex.

That being said, I believe it is much more important for children to be taught that God has made them with other parts too. God did not just create their physical body; He also created them with a soul and a spirit.[16] They need to know specifically how a body, soul, and spirit were designed to work together in harmony.

Children must also be taught how the mind, will, and emotions were made to function totally dependent on the Holy Spirit who lives within each child of God. They need to understand their fleshly coping patterns[17] and how the law of sin[18] tries to influence them in times of temptation.

Of course, a parent cannot begin to train their children in these concepts if they do not understand the concepts themselves. With that in mind, I would highly recommend downloading Christian Families Today’s free workbook study entitled Living IN Jesus.

A battle? What battle? 

Many kids do not know that they are in a battle. A parent’s job is to teach them that their struggle is not with people or life circumstances but with an unseen enemy.[19] Years before they encounter their first sexual temptation, they need to know that they are in a real spiritual battle and how to practically experience victory in Christ.

Where did that thought come from?

Have you ever thought about where your thoughts come from? Many adults have not considered the answer to this question. If we as adults don’t know the answer, it’s safe to say our kids don’t either. Jesus taught His disciples that thoughts come from either God Himself[20] or the enemy.[21] This fact is why the Scriptures exhort us to take every thought captive to see if it aligns with what Christ says is true.[22] Children who understand and practice this will grow to rely on Christ in the face of sexual temptation.

Wash, rinse, and repeat!

These foundational truths require repetition and modeling for our children to internalize them. Children need lots of reminders,[23] and God planned it that way. The good news is that the Holy Spirit offers Christian parents an endless supply of energy, insight, and patience.[24] If you have Him, you have all you need for the task at hand!

Christian Families Today counsels and trains individuals in God’s principles for living out of the freedom we have in Christ. They offer counseling for men, women, teens, and children, discipleship workshops, an addiction recovery program, articles, and more. The ministry was co-founded by Beau’s parents, Greg Brezina (formerly of the Atlanta Falcons) and Connie Brezina. For more information or to order Living In Jesus, click here.

Anne Kerr, Founder and CEO of TrueNorth Freedom Project

TrueNorth is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization committed to promoting sexual honesty and purity. Your financial partnership will mean true freedom for many. To give a tax-deductible donation, click here. Thank you.

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Photo credit: Myles Tan

[1] Philippians 2:13

[2]1 Corinthians 10:13

[3] Ephesians 6:4b

[4] Philippians 4:19

[5] John 3:3, Galatians 3:26

[6] John 8:44 and 1 John 3:10

[7] 2 Corinthians 5:17

[8] Colossians 2:10

[9] Isaiah 54:10

[10] John 17:26 and Romans 5:5

[11] Romans 3:22, Romans 5:17b, Ephesians 1:3-4, and Colossians 3:12a).

[12] Matthew 28:20, Hebrews 6:17-19, and Hebrews 13:5b

[13] 2 Corinthians 3:4-6

[14] 2 Corinthians 12:9-10

[15] Ephesians 2:8-9

[16] 1 Thessalonians 5:23 and Hebrews 4:12a

[17] Philippians 3:3-8

[18] Romans 7:23 and James 1:13-15

[19] Luke 4:13, Luke 22:31, and Ephesians 6:12

[20] Matthew 16:13-17

[21] Matthew16:21-23

[22] 2 Corinthians 10:3-5

[23] Deuteronomy 6:7 and Ephesians 6:4

[24] Galatians 5:22-23