by Branden Descarpentrie
I admit I have some fear when I look at a mountain in front of me. I have three boys ages 9, 7, and 3 ½. My wife has reminded me that it is time to have the “talk” with our oldest son. You know- the one specifically about sex. Why is something I love doing with my wife, something God has given as a gift in marriage, so hard to talk about with him? It’s not the anatomy, biology, and explanation of “how this works” that scares me. It’s teaching him the much bigger principle of purity.
Teaching my son about purity will take more than a one-time conversation where I slap his back and send him on his merry way. This will require honest conversations about my successes and failures, time, and intentional planning on my part—seeking opportunities to build truth into him. For his part, it will require a heart bent toward God rather than self, not just right now, but when the searing heat of temptation is in front of him; and all of it alongside a culture that worships self-gratification and sexual freedom.
As a father, though, this is not a time to shrink back in fear from the mountain. It is time for courageous steps to be taken. My failure to act decisively in my son’s youth will have a negative impact on his future, and not just his, but also for the women he courts, his future marriage, my grandchildren, and yes, even his witness for Jesus Christ.
Below is an initial list of principles and topics around sexual purity that I plan to talk about from a biblical perspective with my son before he leaves my home. To be able to speak to him about difficult subjects like these will require me to foster an atmosphere of grace, openness, and honesty with him during his pre-teen and teenage years. If he doesn’t trust me, it will be difficult to pour God’s wisdom on these matters into his life:
- Sex as part of God’s creation to be practiced according to His design.
- Being truly sexually pure, not just avoiding intercourse before you get married.
- Pornography and sexual implications around new technology.
- How to handle peer pressure from other guys and aggressive girls.
- The importance of accountability.
Will you join me in courageously resolving to prepare your sons’ hearts, armed and ready for battle in the war on their purity? A great way to prepare for conversations like these is to visit the Sexual Purity Mentor Guide. In it you’ll find conversation starters, Bible passages, and a number of resources to help you.