GodsDesign Sampler FULLSAMPLER-compressed - Page 27



T he T welve P rinciples of  C hristian  S ex  E ducation
instead that you, the parents, are trustworthy resources for learning the
truth about this most private and potent aspect of life. The children’s
books in the God’s Design for Sex series are meant to provide “starter
conversations” between you and your child. Reading them with your child
opens up the topic, gets the words and ideas out on the table, and gives
you a base from which to start.
PRINCIPLE 4: We should seize those “teachable moments” and
become “askable” parents.
Many of the most precious opportunities to shape your children’s character
happen unexpectedly. The pregnant mom at church, the foul word or leer
in a movie preview, the news item about sexual abuse or the sexual affair
of a celebrity, the mating animals in the ­zoo—­these and hundreds of other
events provide rich opportunities to discuss sexuality with your kids and
thus to shape their character.
PRINCIPLE 5: Accurate and explicit messages are best.
There is an old joke about the child who is looking around his parents’
bedroom with a curious but doubtful look on his face. The puzzled father
asks, “What are you looking for?”
“The shovel,” replies the son.
“What shovel?” asks the father.
“The shovel you use when you have sex.”
“Come again?” asks the father.
“You told me that having sex is when you plant the sperm inside
Mother’s body, and you plant things with a shovel, so where’s the shovel?”
replied the boy.
Accurate messages are always best. Being straightforward tells children
that you care about them, that you respect their questions, and that you are
a trustworthy source of truth. Being explicit does not mean being graphic or
crude. It means that you give direct, truthful answers in an ­age-­appropriate
way. As we move through the ages in this book, we will give numerous
examples of how to give such appropriate messages.
PRINCIPLE 6: Positive messages are powerful.
We rob Christian faith of its power when we shrink the Christian teaching
about sexuality to a list of “don’ts.” The first messages about sexuality in the
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