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When it comes to handing down a perspective of purity to your children, it is much easier to start at the beginning--the beginning of their young lives! So teach them early. Talking about sexuality with your child is not a one-time conversation. It is a series of conversations leading up to that “big talk,” and a series of conversations coming after it. Purity has always been God’s plan, and as a parent, your home is the place to lay the groundwork. Start with the Old Testament stories that easily demonstrate purity, honor, and integrity:
Adam and Eve—God created one man for one woman. This is the only equation that works. They were the very first family, and they continue to provide the model for us to go by.
Noah’s Ark—Of all the people on earth, only Noah had a pure heart before God. Also, this story again illustrates that God has monogamous couples in mind when it comes to building families.
The Exodus—God’s chosen people were to be set apart, or pure. They went through many rituals to become clean on the outside. Use these stories to talk with your child about how purity of the heart is a clean that must happen on the inside.
The Ten Commandments—When I was teaching these to my then preschool age children, they wanted to know what adultery meant. I chose to explain it this way: God made a special kind of married love for moms and dads to share with each other. It is a wonderful gift! Adultery happens when a person shares that special married love with someone he/she is not married to. That goes against God’s plan for families, and that is a sin. (This definition includes fornication.)
When it comes to defining sex for a young child, how about this: Sex is a special love that a mommy and daddy share with one another in their bedroom behind the privacy of a closed door. This will provide a standard for even a very young child. It shatters that culture's notion that fornication is okay ("mommy and daddy" imply married in a Christian home); it establishes the fact that pornography and exhibitionism are wrong ("behind a closed door"). It retains the mystery and modesty for their young age by defining it as "a special love."
Mommy to Constance mentioned the book, The Princess and the Kiss. This is one of my favorites! Jennie Bishop did a marvelous job in crafting a story book/fairy tale that embraces the beauty and power of purity. It is a must-have in your family's "Princess Protection Program." It is a great resource for planting in your daughter's heart the significance of her first kiss and how it is meant to be saved for her wedding day. Its corresponding book for boys is entitled, The Squire and the Scroll. My friend Susan Henson (keynote speaker at the Pure in Heart Conferences) was so enthralled with these stories that she wrote beautiful devotional guides to go along with them: Life Lessons from the Princess and the Kiss and Life Lessons from the Squire and the Scroll. Beautifully written, these guides are perfect for 8 to 11 year olds. You'll want to check them out!