Talk to my child about sex?

Sex is one topic that most parents struggle to broach, or skip over entirely. As parents, we can all see the day coming when we would need to initiate the talk with our kids — but many, like myself, often feel lost about how to begin.

The Whole Life Research Brief 2016, which summarises findings from research among Singapore churches, reported that as many as 79 per cent of youths and young adults believe that parents have the primary responsibility of teaching their children about sex and sexuality (graphic 1). Unfortunately, only 20 per cent of youths and 13 per cent of young adults said that parents were their main source of information about sex and sexuality. This translates to over 80 per cent learning about sex in a way that does not necessarily honour God (graphic 2).

Our children need to learn about sex from us. More than just a talk about ‘the birds and the bees’, it should be through open and honest conversations which have a long-lasting spiritual and moral impact on their lives. It’s especially powerful when we help them see that sex is designed to be holy, guilt-free, and pleasurable, but only in the context of marriage.

Young people today are growing up in an age of hyper-reality, where sexual messages are constantly shoved in their faces through music, movies, commercials, and social media. Blatant innuendos and negative messages about self-image are increasingly common, even on prime-time television.

There is no bubble big enough to protect our children from what the world is shouting. Our children will learn about sex, and according to the Whole Life research figures, too many of them are learning about it from anyone but their own parents.

Equipping our children with a healthy, biblical understanding of human sexuality based on God’s standards might seem daunting, especially when it goes against the grain of today’s culture. However, let us not underestimate the amount of influence we have in their lives. They know better than anyone else that we are the real deal — better than any digital image, made-up character, or out-of-reach celebrity. We are in the best position to give them frank, honest information about how sex fits into the bigger picture of life.

Talking about sex should not be regarded as a big, one-off talk to ‘get over and done with’. Instead, let’s be their safe space to ask honest questions and have open discussions as they grow up and become more curious.

Reprinted with permission from Whole Life. (2017, April 7). Whole life research brief 2016: Essential findings on the state of family in Singapore churches. © 2018 Whole Life. All rights reserved.

Sue-Ann Lee –
is happily married and the mother of three spirited children. She is a stay-at-home mum who enjoys cooking, writing, and travelling.

Picture by PiedmontPhoto/