Help Your Daughter Develop a Healthy Sexual Identity
- Monday, October 23, 2006
Explore the media’s messages together. Watch TV, surf the Internet, read magazines, and listen to music with your daughter. Then discuss the messages presented about sex. Talk about what you each agree or disagree with – and why.
Teach her that sex is much more than just "hooking up." Help your daughter understand that, contrary to what our culture tells her, sex is a big deal. Contrast God’s view of sex as a sacred act that deeply bonds two people with the culture’s view that sex should be a casual act engaged in by people in uncommitted, loveless relationships.
Point out that not everyone is "doing it." Confront messages from your daughter’s peers that she’s a "freak" for choosing to remain sexually pure. Let her know that she’s not alone in her choice, and give her the support she needs to encourage her.
Help her count the cost of sex. Explain the heavy price she’ll pay if she has sex outside of marriage – physically, spiritually, and emotionally.
Let her know that there are rewards for waiting. Give your daughter some real reasons for waiting by explaining the joys of sex in a healthy marriage.
Remember that there is grace for sexual sin and foolishness. As much as you wish your daughter will never make a mistake, know that God’s grace will redeem any mistakes she makes. Don’t communicate that sexual sin is the end of the world for her. Be willing to rely on God’s strength to forgive and help her learn from it.
Be a haven for her. Make sure your daughter knows that she can ask you anything, tell you anything, and count on your support no matter what. Do all you can to be there for her.
Learn about how the world has changed since you were a teen. Understand that types of sexual pressures your daughter currently faces. Know that today’s teens are engaging in more sex and different types of sex at earlier ages than previous generations. Realize that sexually explicit material is more readily available than ever before, thanks to the Internet. Keep all this information in mind as you work to support your daughter.
Teach her that what she does with her body matters. Let your daughter know that she should respect her body because God made it and wants her to use it for good. Help her recognize her body’s cues of arousal and know how to respond to them to avoid going too far with her boyfriend.
Teach her that what she does with others matters. Help her realize that her choices about sex don’t affect only her, but also other people – her boyfriend, family, friends, and even the larger society in which she lives. Emphasize that she needs to keep her responsibility to others in mind when making decisions about sex.
Teach her that what she does with God matters. Tell your daughter that God desires a close relationship with her and wants the best for her. Encourage her to let her love for God motivate her to follow His design for sex. Help her see how her sexual longings can lead her to intimacy with God, who invites her to be one with Him.
Show her that waiting is actually a gift. Guide your daughter to wisely use the time she must spend waiting to find the right person to marry. Help her understand that waiting doesn’t have to be a frustrating experience; it can be a joyful time of discovering more about who she is as a person and how God wants her to grow. Be sure to notice positive qualities about her and affirm them as she waits. Encourage her to pursue a love affair with Jesus.
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