Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Purity: Where Do I Start?

Porn and Purity, Christian Education by Rebecca Ingram Powell
Click HERE to view all my Porn and Purity articles!

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."

In yesterday's comments, 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!



Proverbs 27:19 said...

It really does come up early as you stated. When our daughter was only three I had to find a way to explain modesty to her.

Then, just a few months ago,she is now six, I had to explain to her that sex is for mommies and daddies or a man and woman who are married.

I didn't have to go into explicit detail of the physical act of sex, but I think for now she gets it.

I like the ideas you have shared and would like to use them when the time comes again.

Thank you.


Rebecca Ingram Powell said...


I love that you are telling your 3 yo about modesty! When my daughter was little, my husband and I chose back then to avoid the little bikini bathing suits. Our thought was, "If we don't want her wearing a bikini when she is a teen, why let her do it now?" Again, we are setting standards and establishing mindsets for our children from the beginning. Thanks for your comment!

Mommy to Constance said...

Modesty is huge! Our daughter is only six months old but just looking ahead to the clothing (outer wear and under wear) that stores offer is ridiculous. Why can't they stay little girls for a little while longer? My husband and I want to raise Constance differently then the world's standards and it seems like we will be the minority.

As for talking to your children about sex, I whole heartily agree that it needs to be an ongoing conversation. Children need to know, especially as they grow older, that mom and dad are a great resource to go to when they have questions…not their friends.

Chatty Kelly said...

I'm enjoying this dialoge you are having Rebecca. My daughters are 5 and 9. When the oldest was 7 she said "someone told me you don't have to be married to have a baby. Is that true?" My husband simply asked back, "then who would be the baby's daddy?" She said "that's what I thought!" and it was enough for then.

More recently she asked how Sarah Palin's daughter could get pregnant if she wasn't married. (Thank you MEDIA!) I then had to explain to her how some people go outside of God's plan for marriage. She understood.

I think you only need to give them the amount of information they need at the time, which is why we said less when she was 7.

Rebecca Ingram Powell said...

Yes, exactly, Kelly! What a great answer your husband gave her!
And then, with the whole Palin thing, yes, as she's older you tell her more.

Telling the first one anything has the trickle down effect, you know, as she will pass it on to her little sister! I know she will pass on the right information!

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