It’s not easy to grow up. As much as we may idealize childhood, in many ways childhood is something you just have to get through. Even the best families turn out adults broken and bruised by the world. God allows our trials, pain, and struggles to call us into a deeper relationship with Him. But throughout the childhood years, kids face a variety of foes, especially in a sexualized culture. They need an ally.
Because our sexuality is sacred, reflecting aspects of God’s relational and loving nature, it is a prime target for the enemy. Satan delights in casting doubt over what God has proclaimed good. As children grow their sexuality will be shaped by various encounters. Some may be very harmful and wrong, such as sexual abuse or viewing hardcore pornography. Others may seem less severe but can still be damaging.
It’s natural to feel very alone, afraid, ashamed, or confused by early sexual encounters. It’s also natural to be curious about sexual things. I think we can all relate to those feelings. As children become more aware of their sexuality, they need an ally. They need someone to listen, to cry with, or to answer their questions. They need someone who understands and who will help them as they grow. In some cases, being your child’s ally may mean seeking professional help.
Today’s children are growing up in a toxic culture filled with false and harmful messages about sex and sexuality. They will see, hear, read, and experience things that were not even on the radar when we were younger.
Why become an ally for your kids? Because you needed an ally, and because they need an ally.
Will it be hard? It will probably be a little easier than you think, but it may mean seeking God’s healing or perspective for some things from your own past. Most good things don’t come easily, but you have God to lead you. Don’t let your past keep you from becoming the ally your children need. Instead, let God use your past wounds or mistakes to lead you closer to Him. Let Him redeem them for a greater purpose.
What can you do right now? Pray and remember. Ask God to prepare you and your loved ones for this journey together. Wherever there is spiritual darkness, there will be spiritual opposition. The enemy works hard to cast shame and confusion over our good and sacred sexuality. Pray God will bring truth and healing where needed. Pray you’ll be someone your kids can trust with such a sensitive topic. Pray for God to give you the right words in the right moment. Then trust that He will use you and equip you. Also, remember. Think back to your early sexual awakening, experiences along the way, even mistakes you made. Think about what you needed during that season and determine that to the best of your ability, you will be there for your kids.
Here’s what we covered last week and a preview of what’s to come in this series:
Becoming Your Child’s Ally in a Sexualized Culture | Part 1
Last week we shared that your child’s sexuality is being shaped just as yours is being shaped still, and you have an opportunity to help guide him or her into a God-honoring view of sex and sexuality beginning early. Various encounters along the way made you aware of sexuality (long before puberty), and most likely something imprinted on your brain in that moment. It was a natural chemical response that you had no control over. Your children will have similar experiences, which only emphasize the need for an ally, a trusted adult they can turn to along the way. (Read the full post here.)
Is Culture That Bad? | Ally Series Part 3
It’s pretty clear that we live in a hyper-sexualized culture. Truth be told, we’re all a little desensitized to it. We will give you some practical ways to pull back the curtain just enough to be informed and help you see why that’s important.
If you’d like to learn more about becoming an ally for your child, join us. We will share practical information, insights on brain science, truths from scripture, and advice from therapists. We will review some of our favorite resources for better conversations with your children. Don’t wait any longer. Whether your child is one, ten, or eighteen, these messages are for you.
God blesses what He purposes, and He has purposed for all of us to understand the sacredness of our sexuality. As this understanding grows, we will become more equipped to handle temptations and challenges as well as become the ally our loved ones need.
Founder and CEO of TrueNorth Freedom Project in Atlanta, Georgia
Photo by Bruno Nascimento