Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Sex Talk

I had the rather remarkable experience Monday of sitting down with my 8-year old son Benjamin at Baskin Robbins and having The Talk.

Not that I wanted to.

I grew up in the 70's, with The Waltons and Good Times and Little House on the Prairie on TV. John Denver and Stevie Wonder were on the radio. Families went camping for vacation. The raciest programming before Dallas debuted in the late 70's was Happy Days!

So I had no clue about sex whatsoever. It was actually a bike injury (don't ask) that prompted my stepdad to have The Talk with me. At age 11.

I love my little boy very much. It was a very short time ago that he held my hand crossing streets... that he still watched "Bob the Builder". I realize that he is in fact growing up very quickly, and that part of my job is to equip him for the real, fallen, world. But I resented having to have the talk now. I resented having to remove a layer of my oldest son's innocence.

And that's exactly what it was: I had to have the talk.

Everything around him screams of sex. And I can't even blame the TV, since my kids are limited to about two hours on Saturday and no more.

Every billboard, radio program, song, advertisement... everything seems to be screaming sex or showing nearly naked women. In fact, I found him once recently staring at a woman in the Chicago Tribune who was posed provocatively in her underwear for some bra company.

But get this: My kid got most curious by looking through the Bible he was required to have for school. Not the text of the Bible, but rather the notes the publisher puts all over the thing to help kids get what the text is saying. So this KIDS Bible was my son's most compelling introduction to the word.

And why did the publishers feel compelled to talk about sex in the notes of their kids Bible? Because they pretty much have to. Same reason I had to have The Talk with an 8 year old. If they don't, the reasoning goes, peers will. And they're probably right.

So I'm glad it was me talking to my son and not some teacher or peer. But I grieved a little nonetheless. I wished we could have had The Talk a couple years down the road. I wished that innocence could have been held onto a little longer, but my son's pressing questions could not be deflected any more.

So it's done. At least this installment of the conversation. It went well, as far as I can tell. And I'm sure that there will be many, many more installments to the Conversation.

But I have three more coming behind him.

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Blogger Christopher B. Brooks said...

Dang Steve. For real? My daughter is 8, and I am not ready to have the talk...maybe you need to tell me more. How did you do it? What did you say?

October 15, 2008 at 5:46 PM  
Blogger Steve said...

I'll have to call you... lol

October 15, 2008 at 6:01 PM  
Blogger Aaron said...

Yeah man! My oldest is about to be 5 so hopefully it is down the road but I am interested (like Chris) how you did it.

Maybe you could write a little on your blog about it or shoot me an email.

You know what brings me great joy in reading this post? That your son has a Godly Dad to talk with. That is awesome man!

Continue to fight and protect your family from the things of this world homie!

October 17, 2008 at 12:16 PM  
Blogger Steve said...

I'll try to either comment in detail or post about it soon. Some of it I really might have to e-mail, in case my kid ever reads my blog.

I still have not done my promised post about courtship and marriage!

Man, a pastor's work is never done!

October 19, 2008 at 12:24 PM  
Anonymous Shane Vander Hart said...

Yeah we've had "the talk" with all of our kids, and have age-appropriate Christian-based books to help us as well.

They also know no question is off limits, but sometimes I wish they were :).

October 23, 2008 at 10:58 PM  

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