When I found out I was pregnant with my first child, sex education was not in my repertoire of anticipated parental highlights. No really … I promise. It wasn’t.
But I’m here to tell you, whether we as parents like it or not, the moment our sexual act of conceiving a child begins, so does the child’s sexual education.
So how do we teach children about sexuality?
How do we nurture into them the truth of who they are? How do we begin noticing how their sexuality is a part of them and name this sexuality with intention while nurturing without shame this wild and wonderful part of their being?
I have only one suggestion.
We must return to the beginning. Their beginning. Our beginning.
She was such a wee thing, ten fingers and toes her sweet body scrunched up into the small hollow of my arm, nestled in total abandon and trust. Her gentle breath coming in and out like a whisper that was suddenly causing me to listen for what she had to share with me.
I was in love.
This pure innocent life stole my heart and has never returned it to me. Do you know the feeling?
In amongst the feeding…burping…changing…sleep deprivation…it somehow never dawned on me, a profound and simple truth…
My sweet precious baby in my arms was a sexual being.
Scripture tells us, we are made in the image of God. A child reveals a glimpse of wonder for who God IS and at birth I was invited to hold this new, never before created image of the wonder of God…
….my child bears my own DNA but also my child bears the image of God.
I can return in my mind to those moments of birth and see clearly this something, this image that was real in each of my children, a pure and sacred part of life.
Do we see and value those images of God that are etched into our children? And yes, even into our teenagers?
Did God intend them to be sexual beings?
Often we are frightened by how life, culture and hormones transform a seemingly simple child into a raging hormonal whirlwind waiting to blow at any moment. We think the worst. After all, we remember our own struggles and can fail to see that the place holding the origins of our children’s sexuality is the hand of OUR Creator.
Thank God. Literally.
There is a lot to learn about sexuality when we return to the beginning, our Source of life.
Will we dare to invite our children to enter both the joys and struggles of how sexuality can teaches us about who we are and how we were created?
It will be a journey. But this journey is so needed. And so good.