Something has been weighing on my mind lately. Between the stories that I hear on Facebook, from my wife’s social media adventures, and my own reading, this one topic keeps cropping up. For most parents, the thought of having to give “The Talk” is a source of anxiety and sometimes panic. To be honest, I would have to agree, but maybe not for the same reasons.
The talk I received began with a simple question on the way to school when I was in the 6th grade. It was a partly cloudy morning and the sun was making silver lines on the clouds as it rose. I asked a dictionary question, and got the encyclopedic answer. I also remember my eyes being stuck in a wide-open position and my friends wondering what was wrong with me. At that moment, I just needed some time to process. I don’t know if the talk I give later in life to my own child will be like that, but knowing myself, it probably will be similar.
“Hey, dad, what’s […]?”
“Come on over here and let’s talk about it…”
My thoughts have been about how the talk itself will have to change and evolve over the next few years. There are some things I’ll probably have to discuss with my future children that past generations may have never considered. Discussing sex itself has become less of an issue over the past few years, and the idea of having a discussion about biology and relationships doesn’t bother me much at all anymore. In fact, I think it would be an interesting experience.
No, what concerns me is the extra discussion I will have to have due to the changing lifestyles of the world around us. See, when most people, including myself, received the talk there was a simplicity to the discussion that made understanding easy. Now, in today’s world there are more “nuances” to the discussion in many houses.
Some parents are having to discuss gender expression to children who have chosen to dress and act like the other gender. Some parents are having to create a talk to discuss same-sex relationships and how to be safe and healthy. For many in the world, this is normal, even passe. But, within the Church, within the Christian bubble many of us live within, the thought may never have occurred.
Love is never a question, though, is it? All of the parents I know love their children unconditionally. They may not agree with them, and may have sharp clashes of opinion, but love is never in question.
So, parents, if you are not familiar with the definitions of sexuality in our current culture, I would recommend (carefully) researching some definitions. Words such as gender expression, transgender, sexual identity, and so on are quickly becoming common in our culture. Regardless of whether you believe these lifestyles are godly or not, you will more than likely have to answer questions about them, so be ready with an answer – in love, with gentleness, and the truth of Scripture.
(PS… There were some books I ran into for different ages about this subject when I went to a children’s ministry conference. I will add them up here as soon as I find the titles.)