Becoming an ally to your children in our sexualized culture is one of the most important endeavors you’ll undertake. In fact, I would rank it right up there with ensuring they have the best education possible, teaching them respect for every person, and introducing them to Jesus. No pressure!
An ally is like a coach in your child’s corner. You can’t protect your kids from everything they’ll face in the ring. There will be some hard knocks, and they’ll land face down on the mat at times, but what will they do next? Retreat in shame or fear, or turn to you for the truth, confidence, and assurance that they need?
Being in their corner means you have faced some battles of your own, done some soul searching, and met with Jesus to find exactly what YOUR soul needs. An ally is someone who not only understands what it’s like in the ring but also has experienced the sweet smell of victory and freedom through a relationship with Christ. An ally helps kids to keep standing and persevere until they are confidently and securely walking with Jesus as adults, ready to become allies to their own children.
Becoming an ally is so important, but as with all good things, there will be obstacles.
As we grow in intimacy with Christ, we can trust Him to guide us in a little soul searching. We’ve all faced sexual struggles. They are so personal and go to the core of our being. They wrap around our hearts and emotions in a powerful way. The enemy understands the power that sexual encounters have. He capitalizes on them, keeping us from true intimacy with others. But Jesus is stronger, His ways are higher, and He has as much for YOU in this quest to become an ally as He does for your children. Your “obstacles” could be God’s means of grace to lead you even closer to Him. God doesn’t want you to remain in the stands alone, ashamed, and afraid. He is with you in the soul search.
Here are some common obstacles to becoming an ally:
- I’ve made too many mistakes…
Who am I to teach healthy sexuality? I’ll leave that to his teachers.
I STILL struggle with porn (or erotica, or other forms of counterfeit sex), and I feel like a hypocrite.
- I have no idea what to say or do…
It’s just way too awkward now that she’s older.
It’s clear he really doesn’t want to talk about these things with me.
- It’s too painful…
It would be like opening a floodgate, and I’d rather leave well enough alone.
This wound is such a part of me now. I just don’t want to talk about sexuality.
What are some of your obstacles?
God knew you would be the parent of your child. He saw every mistake, every wound, every insecurity, and He still picked you. Because God loves your children more than you do, He will lead you. As you meet God with some of your own soul issues, you will find He leads you to surrender a little more into His loving and capable hands. That’s God’s way. He’s gentle. He’s patient. He’s the great healer. He wastes nothing. While Satan will use our pain and mistakes to keep us in shame and bondage, God can use them for our sanctification and His glory.
Do you need forgiveness? God is the restorer of relationships, so confess your sins to Him. Have you repented of current or past sexual sin? God will guide you. In the Greek, “repent” means turning away from, or a change of mind that results in a change of direction. God’s desire is for you to live the abundant life found in Christ, free from guilt, shame, or bondage to sin. He makes a way for this through a relationship with Christ. (Check out some blog posts by my husband Greg here.)
Are you afraid you won’t have the right words or maybe you’ve tried and it was just too awkward? Kids value authenticity. Admit the awkwardness for both of you. Prayerfully try again, and again, and again. Ask God to give you a window into the soul of your child, then pray about what He shows you. Perhaps she’s been wounded too, or he feels shame over his sexuality. You understand fear, shame, or the uncomfortableness. Find some common ground and start there. (In future posts we will share more about teaching biblical sexuality to your kids, so subscribe or stay tuned.)
Do you still struggle with wounds from another’s sin against you? God may use this season to deepen your walk with Him as He brings clarity and healing to your heart. (Check out Healing the Wounded Heart by Dan Allender or Free Yourself to Love by Jackie Kendall.)
God made each of us for relationship with Him and with others. Ask Him to lead you to a friend you can open up to or meet with a Christian counselor. Consider James 5:16, which says to confess your sins to one another, that a time of healing may come. Often as we bring what’s been stewing in the darkness into the light, the enemy’s power over it begins to diminish, and we find grace to take the next step more securely with God. (We have many other resources on our website under “Tools.”)
God blesses what He purposes, and He has purposed for you to live free of old, destructive lies about your identity, your worth, and your sexuality. Next week we will share a very practical exercise for identifying and uprooting lies associated with deep wounds or struggles so that you can live truly free. In your endeavor to be the best ally for your child, trust God to bring exactly what is needed. Spend time with Him this week and find truth for your soul.
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Founder and CEO of TrueNorth Freedom Project in Atlanta, Georgia