It was one of those normal late weekday afternoons. I was running around to bake something for snack. My daughter, who was at the time seven years old, was trying to help out her mama. She brought a step stool to stand next to me. My little one, who was five, was sitting down at the kitchen tea-table. He was a brand new kindergartner and I thought he didn’t have much to say about his new school.
Then from nowhere, he said, “Mom, what is this sex thing?”
Just imagine me. I looked as though someone splashed cold water on my face. I immediately turned around to him and opened my mouth but all those vocabularies which used to hang out in my mouth and everything I read from Dr. James Dobson’s books disappeared from my brain and heart in an instant. So, I opened my mouth and got frozen as if someone pressed a “pause button” of my life.
Then, without wasting her time, my daughter took the matter into her own hands as if my son directed the question at her. So, she put the fork she was holding on down, stepped down from the step stool and walked up to him with a beautiful smile and said, “Biruk, sex is a very beautiful gift God created; and as mom told me, it is a very precious and enjoyable gift, but only when it happens between a wife and a husband. Am I right, Mom?”
I was like, Who? What? Where? And I managed to say, “Yeeeah, you are absolutely right. I couldn’t agree more!”
My son, who is a very good listener just like his dad, looked at his sister until she finished and turned to me to see if I validated her answer. Then he moved on to the next question as if the first one was an irrelevant one. He seemed very satisfied with the answer probably because his sister, the one he used to look up to (he still does), addressed his question well in a way that quenched his curiosity.
I mean, can you just imagine me starting from Genesis and working my way up to Revelation to show him what sex is! Phew! I was rescued!
While I was still in shock, my mind began spinning with hundreds of questions such as, “Why did he ask? Did somebody ask him? Where did he get the word sex? I wanted to be the first one to tell him about sex but somebody took that privilege from me but who is that somebody?”
So, after he ate his snack, I sat down next to him and said, “That question about sex is a very good question; but how did you come up with it?”
“Well, one girl shouted “six” in class and one of the boys asked, “Did you say sex?” and all of my friends laughed. The girl covered her mouth with her hand and laughed too. But I didn’t know what they were laughing about.”
You see! His question might have sounded like one of those well-thought-out questions which demand a detailed answer but in actuality his question was a very simple one. His classmates laughed about something he didn’t have any clue about. That is all!
So, if you have kids, let me share with you what I learned that day.
When your kids ask you questions that knock the air out of your lungs, calm yourself down and ask them an open-ended question (Why? When? Where? Who? What?). I mean if you have older children who you have given some exposure to the topic at hand, they can rescue you from those awkward moments. Otherwise the best thing to do is to ask them different questions to help you formulate and tailor the best answer that is appropriate to their age and mental and emotional growth. While you ask them different questions, you will have ample time to calm yourself down.
And always remember, it is not a one-time but an ongoing conversation with your kids about sex according to the Word of God that “demolish (-es) arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God”. (2 Cor. 10)
But please, don’t lie to your kids. Don’t say to them, “Sex is when mom and dad kiss.”
Remember, they can now Google about anything and when they find out that you’ve been lying to them all along, they wouldn’t come to you again.
Before they Google about it, impress upon their hearts and intellect that sex is something God created for His own pleasure and glory and that anyone who believes and agrees with the Word of God will live in joy and peace. Make sure you also tell them that God’s grace and mercies are new every morning; because your kids, just like most of us, may make poor choices in life and they need to know that God will take them back again if they come to Him.
Lastly, be wise not to overwhelm them with lots of information that they may not know how to process. ///