Your children might be very young, so you might not think this is an important topic. Or if could be that your children are old enough, it’s “too late.” Hopefully you will still find something useful from this blog. Because today I’m going to talk about what can sometimes be a difficult topic, virginity.
You don’t hear the word used too often. In fact, it’s not always taught in sex education classes. Abstinence has mostly replaced that word. It also tends to be a word used as a way of making fun—ever hear of the movie, “The 40-Year-Old Virgin.” I remember when that first came out and there was a commercial for it. Clearly it’s a “bad” thing to be 40 years old and a…gulp…virgin.
There was a time when sex talks could wait until kids were in high school. But through the years the necessity of having “the talk” has filtered down into younger and younger ages.
I remember when my youngest son was in 5th grade and they were making all these changes to their sex ed curriculum. I had already been familiar with it, having two other children pass through that grade. But things had been ramped up, so to speak. I was shocked at what was being taught. And when I raised concerns, I was told the reason for teaching so much more information is that sex was starting in middle school.
Recently I learned of an 11-year-old girl who had gotten pregnant by a 13-year-old boy. Shocking? You bet! But surprising? Not anymore. We live in a pretty promiscuous society where anything goes.
So what does a parent do to combat this? It can feel like an overwhelming task. And of course if you’re a believer, it’s important to incorporate biblical teaching. But I also believe it’s just as important to address the practical benefits of remaining a virgin.
One of the things I’ve done (and granted, not everyone will agree with this) was to show my children what sexually transmitted diseases looks like. I printed off an informational sheet that describes how you get them, what they look like and how they can affect someone. Grossing them out was just a bonus. The real lesson was they learned the physical benefits of waiting for marriage.
But it’s also important to discuss the emotional benefits of virginity. One illustration a friend taught me is to cut out a large heart. Take a pair of scissors and tell your child, “Every time you give your body to someone, you are also giving a part of your heart.” Then you snip off a portion of your heart. You can continue this for as long as you like. Eventually whatever is left, well, that’s all you will have to give to your future husband or wife. It’s a great visual.
Telling our children that sex is wrong until you’re married shouldn’t be the only part of our discussion. There is so much more to it than that. And sadly, it’s a subject that many of us will have to have much earlier than we anticipated. But remember, it’s better that it comes from you.
© 2013, Stephanie Romero