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kids, sex and love. oh my!

March 8, 2009

we’ve been talkin a lot about sex at church.

i mean, a lot-a lot.

we’re knee deep in a month long series so far on songs of songs. its been enlightening, challenging, convicting, revealing and make me blush did my pastor reeeeeeally just say that shocking.

ive mostly blushed because my kids sit in for one service every weekend after they attend or are done serving in kids church.

kota, my son, has been hilarious with all this great new info. he’s learning. every once in awhile he’ll drop a statistic on me or well known fact about men and women or sex. he does it mostly for the shock factor.

kota: mom? you know what a mans main goal is, right?

me: um, yes, dear.

kota: k, mom. just checkin.

me: 😯

our personal friends know there isnt much we’re uncomfortable with or unwilling to talk about with our kiddos. they either hear it here in the safety of their home…or somewhere else. actually, they’re hearing it somewhere else already, so we might as well take charge and get it right for them.

we want our kids to have a healthy view of sex and relationships. we need to model that for them. well, no, not like, really.

anyhoo…i did not have a healthy view of relationships as a little girl. i was mistreated and violated physically and sexually and i witnessed, on too many occasions, my mother getting beat by the men that were supposed to be protecting her and loving her.

how i ended up where i am today is only by the grace of God. Hallelujah!!!

i will do whatever it takes to ensure kass and kota get the best possible example of safe love. of respectful love. of unselfish love. of committed love. of crazy love. not that we model these things perfectly. we are imperfect.

but, i never want them to be afraid of love.

and the worst thing i can imagine is that either of them would settle for less because they think, or have been told, they are not worthy or LOVE.

because that is a lie.

aaaaand, that is all. nothing profound.Β  just my thoughts. feel free to share yours and discuss.

i actually would like to know what your thoughts on modeling love in your home are. how do you do this? how was it modeled in your home? what would you do, or would have done, differently?

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27 Comments leave one →
  1. March 8, 2009 11:43 pm

    Like everybody’s, my folks were not perfect.

    But they stayed married to each other (each was having their second ‘go’ at sharing married life) for over 40 years before Dad passed on.

    That gave me some ideas about what ‘love’ should be about (not all perfect ones – but i’m figuring that out more as i go and hope one day to have a reasonably good idea of how it ‘should’ work) πŸ˜‰

    I can ‘say’ what i would have done, but since my marriage only lasted some 30 months or so i guess i had not learned much at all, that long ago.

    I have no doubt that i would do things ‘better’ now but also that some things i would still ‘slip’ into from time to time and not realise until it was almost too late to stop. (like being sure i’m right and know ‘best’ because that was how i grew up – Dad always knew ‘best’, i knew nothing (important) This was the only role model i had to follow (other than my Mum who seemed to have quite similar ‘tendencies’! This caused some friction as one may expect).

    i have no doubt there was love in my home growing up, but it was (naturally enough) shown on two ‘levels’ to me as a kid.There was ‘Mum and Dad’ love, which involved kissing and hugging that stopped whenever i entered a room and was not offered me on the same level after about age 2 and there was the love shown at Birthdays and Christmas time – lots of gifts and close family, tradition. (But no religion).

    I’d probably have more room for God as THE role model for LOVE – but it would have to involve long talks about the ‘love’ of God as displayed by the OLD Testament the fear, fire and brimstone and mass killing of people could be taken the wrong way by some children. πŸ˜‰

    Having gone through more than one heartbreak over ‘a’ love i would also feel the need to explain to my kids (should any be in my future?) that love can often cause us pain and give us cause to ‘fear’ it… but we shouldn’t ever do that! 😯

    <B

  2. March 9, 2009 12:35 am

    “sex at church” eh?! [time to bust out the bug-eyed guy!]

    i love “watching” you parent. thank you for giving me these glimpses.

  3. March 9, 2009 3:04 am

    Well. I’m due to have my first kid in October or so (OK. My wife is due to have the kid, but I’ll be there… ), and this has been really scaring the hell out of me. See… I didn’t grow up seeing love. I grew up manipulated by my folks, beaten, and all that good jazz… Now my fears of becoming like my parents are very very real.

    Seeing this now, I realize that the love I need to mimic is not my mom’s… (Praise God) and not my ‘step-dad’s.’… It’s my Father.

    His love IS perfect, so if I strive to be like that, I will probably screw up a lot less… I honestly do not have the first clue on how to raise a kid, so this should all be a new experience for me.. So.. pray. πŸ™‚

  4. March 9, 2009 3:54 am

    Listen, I have 2 kids and one on the way. The hatched two are 7 and 3 and I’m not having that discussion with them just yet and I have NO CLUE how I will have that discussion. I will, however, enjoy reading here how others have handled it and, hopefully, learn something.

  5. March 9, 2009 4:50 am

    Oh girl.
    See? This is why I’m taking all the notes I can. Thank you for another amazing parenting tip… Again and again, thank you.
    I hope to be able to use your wisdom and advice some day.

  6. Heidi permalink
    March 9, 2009 6:19 am

    I love the way you guys parent!!

    I had a past, I still struggle in the “love” department, but I am finding with my 15 and 17 year olds to teach them is to show them.

    By no means, do I live in a cinderella castle, but I think what I try to show them is what love is and I love them UNCONDITIONALLY.

    They are going to make bad decisions. I am going to make bad decisions in my parenting, but together we can work it out together.

    Most Importantly I tell them to love themselves FIRST inside out.

  7. March 9, 2009 7:01 am

    I’ve seen the trait of “quality time” modeled by my parents. They go for walks, go on mini-vacations for the weekend, just ‘cus, etc…Almost everyday when my dad came home, or when he’d get home from a fire (he used to be a part time firefighter), he’d give my mom a kiss. There was consistency in their relationship that looking back, gave me comfort.

  8. March 9, 2009 9:02 am

    We talked about everything. We answered all questions and raised some they hadn’t thought about. We taught scripture…you know…not much is left unsaid in scripture.

    And although we gave strict instruction, kids make their own choices.

    Add in the internet, the world’s values available at a keystroke, I don’t think it’s possible to be too protective.

    We thought we were and others said we were overly protective. But computer savvy kids can bust through controls…if they so desire.

    Don’t really know what to say about it all…this side of very poor decisions by our eldest…

    I don’t know what we would differently. We followed God’s advice coupled with Dobson, Leman, Nelson, Warren…

    Kids make their own choices.

  9. littlemissmary permalink
    March 9, 2009 9:11 am

    Wow, this is great stuff…stuff I need based on my post the other day: (see it at http://www.justlori.wordpress.com/blindsided) πŸ˜‰

    As you well know, we started parenting as foster parents, and because of that, and the unknown possibility of sexual abuse, we had to tread lightly on the subject of PDAs in our house. We would hug, hold hands, and communicate love, but we really did have to be careful, at least we felt we did. Since adoption is now final, we are on more secure ground regarding modeling a loving, healthy, affectionate relationship. As a matter of fact, one of our favorite things here is making a “Mary Sandwich” where hubby and hug while Mary is hugging one or the other of us at the same time squished in the middle! She loves it, and for a 7 yr old, it’s a wonderful way to not only let her feel love but see love between a husband and wife.

    Becca I love the image you have of your parents and how that quality time coupled with the consistency of their love brought you comfort. That’s exactly the comfort I want to give my daughter, and now having time to see another picture of it, I’m not sure we are hitting the mark.

    …thanks for giving me something to work towards!

  10. March 9, 2009 9:13 am

    K…somehow i was still logged in as Mary!! Oh! I hate that!!

    Anyway…that last comment was me, NOT Mary!!

  11. March 9, 2009 11:28 am

    My family was very messed up, but despite everything my parents stayed together. They do love each other. When I was young this was a sick, I will stick by your side even if it means my death, kind of love. But they both were always giving to one another although not always at the same time. My parents didn’t get it right, but somehow I knew they loved each other and me even though their actions weren’t correct. I don’t really know how this happened, but it did.
    Now that I think of it my parents were very good at tender love, but terrible at tough love. You have to love someone with both kinds. Although I plan to have plenty of conversations about relationships with my kids, how I love my husband will be the largest factor. So I will do that to the best of my ability.

  12. March 9, 2009 12:25 pm

    andy – i have no doubt, whatsoever, that you will be a great and godly dad for your little one! remember, it takes a village to raise a child. a truly believe that. dont be afraid to ask for help or advice. take what you deem beneficial and effective for you and your family – but dont hesitate to get others involved. parenting does not come with a manual. but Godly behavior and principles do…and its the best foundation you can get πŸ™‚

    becca – how fortunate you were to have that modeled for you! that is so awesome! we can learn a lot from you, im sure πŸ˜‰

    one thing i DO know is that LOVE is better caught than taught….

  13. March 9, 2009 12:30 pm

    I am actually relearning what healthy love is now…at 30 by my husband. Dang. Good thing we don’t have kids (yet). I have no idea what I would do if I had to model anything for them.

  14. March 9, 2009 12:39 pm

    I grew up in a household where love wasn’t shown much. I can count on one hand how many times I was told “I love you” by my mom. She showed love by buying us stuff. We couldn’t talk to her about anything or joke around with her. She was super strict all the time. She never had “the talk” with me.

    The only affection I saw from my parents was their ballroom dancing, but it always looked forced & contrived, almost like acting.

    Ross & I are pretty good about hugging & kissing the kids & each other. We want them to hear us say I love you to those we love, whether it be to them, each other or our friends.

    Cyra at 9 knows what sex is & that it’s a gift from God for married grown ups.

    One thing I think we aren’t great at? Arguing in front of the kids. I don’t mean the yelling, screaming, swearing kind of fights…because WE don’t have those. =/ But I think it’s important to go ahead & have those small “discussions” in front or your kids & let them see you work through & resolve it. A lot of marriages are in disrepair because of lack of communication. People don’t know how to fight fair or resolve conflicts. That’s a big part of relationships & love that isn’t taught well. We’re trying though. It tough for a kid to see an arguement & never see the resolution.

  15. March 9, 2009 12:57 pm

    Tam,
    Funny you should mention this – I was told this weekend by a Christian counselor in our church (actually, she told my wife, and my wife came home and told me) that we should have the “sex” talk with our boys as soon as they are around 9-10 years old. That’s like … THIS SUMMER for Jon Michael.

    I can tell you this – we show a LOT of physical affection in our home. Joy and I both have “physical touch” as a top language. (I think it’s dropped down the list for Joy now, haha, since having 4 kids!) … but not only do our kids see mom and dad hugging, kissing, and holding each other … we do this with our kids. We’re constantly holding, hugging, cuddling, etc. I dread the day when my kids are too old to want to do that!

    My Rebekah, especially – I make it a point to tell her MANY times a day how beautiful she is, how wonderful she is. I can only hope that she’ll always know her Dad’s love, and she’ll never be searching for male “love” or “approval” as a teenager or young adult out of neglect.

  16. March 9, 2009 1:02 pm

    fred – im in tears. the picture you painted as a daddy…is every little girls dream.

    God Bless you friend. i mean that sincerely, Fred!

    wow….

  17. Heidi permalink
    March 9, 2009 1:23 pm

    @Fred… Rebekah is the luckiest girl on this planet today!!!

  18. March 9, 2009 2:26 pm

    I love this post because sex is my favorite thing to talk about….it was openly talked about in my home growing up and I married a man that was raised with a healthy outlook toward sex, as well. We have done the same with our kids. I have the same thought, I would much rather the “talk” come from us, than from “messed up” thoughts of others…..It is such an amazing gift from GOD, if handled the way HE designed it to be…… : ) We have done Great Sex, by Youth Specialties, with our youth group the last couple of years…great curriculum for high schoolers (and middle schoolers) They love the title!

  19. March 9, 2009 2:34 pm

    πŸ˜€ This post makes me smile. You and inworship are Uh.Mazing parents, in my completely unprofessional opinion. I can see how comfortable your kids are with you, and that is not to be taken lightly. Many parents manage to alienate their kids – and then where is the support when the support is really needed? Love you guys. (PS: love the truths displayed by sex. Rather powerful, and in some ways, unable to be depicted by any other thing.)

  20. March 9, 2009 4:21 pm

    I too did not receive a good example of “good safe relationship” love as I was growing up

    But I recall my mother having very blunt conversations about sex with me. To which I thought, thanks but no thanks this stuff is pretty disgusting!

    Anyhow, today generally my husband and I express our love in front of our daughter without being vulgar.

    I like her to see that is good to be touched (in the right places), kissed, hugged, and loved.

    I don’t want her to grow up knowing that expressing love is a good thing. And should never be hurtful!

  21. March 9, 2009 5:02 pm

    another reason you’re a rockstar momma!!!

    jett had a female anatomy questions yesterday… we should have just skyped you for the answer! πŸ˜‰

  22. March 9, 2009 7:49 pm

    Thanks, ya’ll.

    Keep in mind, she’s turning 5 this month. Tonight, I came home and found her outside playing … in her red and black dress .. oh my, I swept her up and laid one on her.

    Still, I have to say I push the credit up the generational tree – my parents were that way, too. They still are.

  23. March 9, 2009 7:52 pm

    fred – i love that you noted what she was wearing. that is special. so special.

    God bless your parents!

  24. March 9, 2009 11:07 pm

    Don’t have kids yet, but this is a great place to take some notes πŸ™‚

    My parents modelled love very well for us; very similar to Fred’s parents with him that helped model his & Joy’s parenting. Mine displayed great love for me and my sisters, and none of us felt unloved as children. Quite the opposite…the picture of Fred and his daughter reminds me very much of Dad with us.

    But…after 38 years, they separated. In discussing this with my sisters, we all knew to varying degrees that not everything was quite as it appeared by the time we were in our early teens. We then needed to reconcile the gap. Hard, but if we just went along our merry way, we’d all have been bound to repeat the same mistakes. We learned to see all love through the eyes of God who is Love…a new lens makes such a difference.

    Diane and I often talk about the differing ways love was expressed in our families, and while far from perfect, we are certainly better off than most. For that we are grateful, and have some great friends (near and far) that we can draw on for support when the time comes.

  25. March 11, 2009 11:13 am

    i would say that Love wasn’t really modelled to me as a child. not the way it should have been, probably. my family is wonderful, though…they just didn’t know the God of love in order to show me.

    sometimes, i feel like i’m not ready to have children, because i’m not yet sure that i have what it takes to show them “safe” love, as you called it. pure love.

    and i think talking about sex in church is really, really good. hubby and i aren’t allowed to really address it with our youth. the pastor is terrified of the topic. in my opinion, they need to know about sex GOD’S way, cuz like you said…all they’re hearing elsewhere is sex the world’s way…

    anyhooo…. them’s my thoughts.

  26. kels66 permalink
    March 11, 2009 7:47 pm

    my parents aren’t actually married, but have been together for 20 years. they both got married right out of high school, and my mom again before hitting 22. so when they got together many years later and had me, they didn’t want to get married. legally anyway. they consider each other husband and wife. they wear wedding rings. my mom always tells her mother when she asks why she doesn’t get married to my dad, “If its not broken, don’t fix it.” they’ve been together longer than a lot of my friends parents. they’re awesome parents, strict sometimes, but mostly let me do my own thing as long as i communicate with them. as i’m getting older and am about to leave home i realise how awesome of parents they actually are…sorry but your blog made me start thinking :] honesty and pure sense of fun & love is what make them so awesome. the reason i have a smile on my face every day is mostly because my parents always made sure to make me laugh everyday..they still do. πŸ˜€

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