Talking to Your Kids About the Sexual Revolution

For those of us who were hoping that the sexual revolution would come to a quiet halt after the Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriage in 2015 and that we could all continue to go on in a live-and-let-live sort of manner, the past year has shown just how futile that hope is. Rather than taking their victory and leaving it alone, the LGBT lobby has instead picked up speed. It seems like every day I come across a new article about a presidential executive order, a professor comparing traditional marriage views to Nazism, or a new public (and now private) school in the center of a controversy over who can use which bathroom. My wife and I came to the uncomfortable realization that one of these days—probably sooner rather than later—we are going to need to sit down with our eight-year-old girl and have a conversation that neither of us ever had with our own parents. We are going to need to explain what “transgender” means or why there’s a man in the women’s bathroom. Eight years old may seem like an extremely early point to sit down and discuss the birds and the bees (or the bees and the bees for that matter), but the fact is that this issue is coming to our doorsteps and elementary schools. If we don’t have that conversation with them, the world will. And I can guarantee that the world will not point them to 1 Corinthians 6:18.

Unfortunately, this is not a topic that can be dealt with comprehensively in a single post, so while I would love to give a play-by-play strategy for guiding your kids through the most sex-obsessed culture since Ancient Rome, that’s just not realistic. Rather, I wish to give some tips and encouragement as you address this in your own home.

Pray
Too often we resort to prayer as a sort of “emergency button” when things are going horribly wrong when it should be our bread and butter, the basis of everything we do. This is no less important when discussing sensitive issues that have lifelong consequences, such as God’s plan for human sexuality. We should be regularly praying for our children, that God would protect their hearts and minds, and praying that He would give us wisdom and courage to speak the truth in love and in the right time.

Check Your Heart
If I’m honest, the direction our culture is going, the momentum it’s carrying, and the growing hostility toward biblical Christianity all scare me. Very often the news I see and the articles I read leave me frustrated, angry, and worried for my children, who will be growing up in a culture that hates them. It is easy—and wrong—to take those emotional reactions and attach them to people I’ve never met and know nothing about. We must always remember that, even though He does not approve of the gay lifestyle, God still loves the people caught in it and wants them to come to repentance just as we have. Ideas (such as the socio-political philosophies driving the LGBT agenda) have consequences, and bad ideas have victims. Each of us needs to do some soul searching when dealing with these issues and make sure that we are not harboring any ill feelings toward people we may wrongfully perceive as enemies, rather than as victims captive to the lies of the world. We are commanded to tear down false doctrines and philosophies, not people.

Be Proactive
Teaching and instilling biblical truth, whether it be about the deity of Christ, the reality of Christian persecution, or the biblical stance on sex and marriage, is not something that can be done effectively in a single conversation over dinner on a Tuesday night. It’s for this reason that Deuteronomy tells us to be teaching the truths of God and His Word constantly (Deuteronomy 6:7). The opposing message from the world is one our children will be receiving daily through Facebook, television, music, and movies and we need to be just as active before the big questions about faith and what it means to be human start to surface in their minds. We cannot wait until after the crisis to come up with a game plan any more than we can wait until after a car accident to find an insurance policy. If the foundation is there, however, if our children already know that there is good reason to believe the Bible and take it seriously, then questions about why Christians can eat shellfish or wear mixed fabrics but not have sex before marriage become much easier to deal with.

Do Your Homework
I believe that the greatest challenge coming to the church in the coming decades will be on the basis of our view of human sexuality and, by extension, the authority of Scripture. If we hope to guide our children toward holiness in a world that is obsessed with pornography and unrestricted sexual expression, we have to be able to articulate not only what we believe, but also why we believe it. We need to be able to give reasons why we believe that the Bible is God’s Word and should be heeded. We need to be able to explain from Scripture what the biblical stance on sexual behavior is and why it’s still relevant today. The world that we are sending our children into has largely disregarded the Bible as little more than a book of fables or fairytales. If that becomes our children’s view as well, then pointing to Romans 1 or Leviticus 18 to support our position will be about as effective as telling them that we should not wear shoes because that’s how Hobbits do it.

“False ideas are the greatest obstacles to the reception of the gospel. We may preach with all the fervor of a reformer and yet succeed only in winning a straggler here and there if we permit the whole collective thought of the nation to be controlled by ideas which prevent Christianity from being regarded as anything more than a harmless delusion.” —J. Gresham Machen, Christianity and Culture

Don’t Lose Heart
Shortly after the June 2015 Supreme Court ruling, Dr. Russell Moore commented, “On the wrong side of history? We started on the wrong side of history—a Roman Empire and a cross. Rome’s dead and Jesus is fine.”

The culture that Christianity was birthed in was not all that different from the world we see today. The challenges we are facing now may be new to us or even unknown by the last several centuries of Christendom, but they are not truly new. Through faithful preaching of the gospel and reliance upon God and His Word, the first-century church managed to not only survive, but thrive and turn the world around them upside down. Whether we are witnessing the chaos that will seed a new revival or the start of a downward spiral from which our country will never recover is something we cannot yet know. In either case, we can rest on the promises of God. Jesus said that the church will never be destroyed (Matthew 16:18) and we know that He will one day return to right all wrongs and judge the world in righteousness (Revelation 19:11–15). We know how the story ends. God is in control. He always has been and He always will be, even when things look their worst.

One last thing: perhaps you have been secretly struggling with same-sex attraction. Perhaps someone you know, even one of your children or another family member, has come out as a homosexual or transgender or admitted that they are dealing with these issues. I want you to know that there is hope and I encourage you to reach out. Here at Harvest we have a ministry specifically geared toward those who are struggling or who have family members who are in the homosexual lifestyle. Don’t be too embarrassed to reach out and don’t go it alone when you don’t have to.

Resources:
Harvest’s New Creation Ministry
Recommended: Critical Conversations: A Christian Parents’ Guide to Discussing Homosexuality with Your Teens – Tom Gilson
Is God Anti-Gay? – Sam Allberry
Love into Light: The Gospel, The Homosexual and The Church – Peter Hubbard
Same-Sex Marriage: A Thoughtful Approach to God’s Design for Marriage – Sean McDowell and John Stonestreet
What Does the Bible Really Teach about Homosexuality? Kevin DeYoung