Sex Education Curriculum for Families and Parent Conversation Guide

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In 2017, we had a couple in a local church make a brilliant recommendation on how we can use technology to facilitate conversations about biblical sexuality among families. They acknowledged that families need to be talking about sex, but it is so awkward to initiate the conversation. In a world where we no longer give kids “the book” and send them to their rooms, this couple recommended that we make an audio sex education curriculum that a kid could listen to on a mobile device or a tablet. This way the child could receive instruction about God’s design for sexuality in a private manner through a technological medium through which they are comfortable. Furthermore, the parents could listen to the same content and in the end they could come together to discuss.

So we took their advice.

Today we are releasing Rooted’s Sex Education Curriculum for Families recorded by Liz Edrington and Cameron Cole. Liz Edrington is a veteran youth minister and mental health counselor. Cameron Cole is the Director of Children, Youth and Family at the Church of the Advent and serves as the chairman and founder of Rooted. This audio curriculum contains four talks that cover pivotal issues teenagers face in understanding Biblical sexuality. You will also find a series of questions designed to help parents get this difficult and important conversation started.

Sex Education Parent Conversation Guide

Rooted has produced a set of sex education podcasts for teenagers and parents. The idea is that kids can listen to the audio in privacy through a phone or iPod. Then, after listening to the episodes, parents and kids can discuss the content together without the awkwardness of sitting through the content together.

This conversation guide is meant to be a starting point for fruitful conversation between parents and children about sexuality. As such, below you will find a few guiding questions which might help kick-start the conversation in addition to just a few things to keep in mind as you listen to and discuss these podcasts.

Episode 1: Sex is a gift from God and is to be used in a certain way.

Where did sex come from?

What does the fact that sex came from God tell us about sex?

Is sex just a physical act? What kind of spiritual/emotional component is present?

When we desire sex, what are we actually desiring? Is there a way to get what we desire outside of physical sex?

Things to keep in mind as you talk with your child about this:
This conversation is just as, if not more, awkward for them as it is for you. With that said, it’s also one of the most important conversations you’ll have with your child. Remember that in this conversation, you’re not just trying to keep your child from the negatives of sex outside of marriage, you’re also trying to paint for them a biblical picture of the greatness of sex within the context of marriage.

Episode 2: Sex is not inherently bad; it is sin that makes sex messy.

Is sex always sinful? Why or why not?

Who sins sexually?

Why do we sin sexually? Or, in other words, what is it that we’re looking for when we commit sexual sin?

Why does God forbid sex outside the context of marriage? What sort of thoughts/feelings does God’s teaching on sex bring to your mind?

Things to keep in mind as you talk with your child about this:
Sex, in itself, is not sinful! In fact, it is a good gift from God! However, sex outside the parameters of God’s law is sinful. But even still, when (not if) we sin sexually, it’s important for your child to know that even that sin was paid for on Christ’s Cross. Prepare your child that they will sin sexually – everyone does. We want to avoid it but we are all sinners who make mistakes, whether that’s viewing pornography, masturbating, or going too far with a boyfriend or girlfriend. Encourage your child in the wake of sexual sin not to feel ashamed or like damaged goods. Instead, encourage them to run to Christ and ask for, and rest, in His forgiveness and mercy.

Another thing to keep in mind is that if your child confesses sexual sin to you, they likely already feel the shame of that sin on their shoulders. Of course, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t discipline them, but what it does mean is that in that moment, your child needs to see the love and grace of Christ through you.

Episode 3: Sex is for intimacy in the glorifying of God within the marriage relationship. Misuse of sex creates alienation from God, self, and others.

Sex brings with it inherent vulnerability for both persons. What is the positive nature of this vulnerability within marriage, and what is the negative nature of this vulnerability outside of marriage?

What are the boundaries of physical relationships outside of marriage? How do these boundaries help us avoid the pitfalls of vulnerability outside the context of marriage?

Is oral sex actually sex?

What is the problem with porn?

What is the right course of action if you are struggling with any of these things?

Things to keep in mind as you talk to your child about this: 
Similar to the note on Episode 2, keep in mind that if your child has fallen in this regard, they likely already feel a certain amount of shame and remorse. The key to healing is not merely negative (i.e., the “Don’t do that anymore” rebuke), but also positive (i.e., “the biblical picture of sex is so much better than society’s.”).

Episode 4: Be aware of what our culture at large tells us about sex, for in making sex everything, modern pop culture essentially makes sex nothing.

What are some of the lies you feel like the culture has told you about sex?

What kind of emphasis does our culture place on sex?

Culture tells us that it is healthy to have sex whenever, wherever, and with whomever. How is this different from the biblical picture?

If you have believed and acted upon one of these cultural lies Cameron and Liz mentioned, is there still hope for healing?

Things to keep in mind as you talk with your child about this:
This is the water your child swims in: the accessibility to society’s messaging about sex is not just greater than it once was, it is unavoidable. This makes discipleship that much more important. Also, if your child struggles with some of these cultural lies about sex, it doesn’t mean that they’re a deviant or that you’re an inattentive parent. Folks don’t have to look far to find cultural-sexual messaging.

For a PDF version of this conversation guide, please click here.

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