The cold and blustery conditions outside this morning as I write this post remind me of one of the most memorable and precious times I’ve had as a father. It was 14 years ago when my now 21-year-old son was 7. We were living in Springfield, Missouri in a house that sat perched on a hill with a long driveway leading up to it. 12 inches of snow had fallen the night before preceded by rain, leaving a thick layer of ice underneath the snow.

Our job that day, and for the two days after that, was to clear our driveway. Schools and businesses were closed so we had a rare and unique opportunity to hang out together for hours. I felt this was the perfect time to introduce my son to the wonderful and mysterious subject of sex. My own father had neglected to have these types of conversations with me and I was determined to take this initiative with my kids; not a one-time talk, but rather, an on-going dialogue for the rest of their lives. So, as we embarked on the long and tiring task of clearing that driveway, I began to unfold the story, the wonder, and the biology of sex to my son.

I explained to him that God speaks about sex positively and frequently from Genesis to Revelation beginning with our creation as sexual beings (Genesis 1:27), and that God blessed the sexual union between a husband and wife from the outset (Genesis 1:28; 2:24). At pureHOPE, we sum up the meaning of sex as “The Four P’s” which may help guide your conversations. I would also encourage you to study these and other verses related to sexuality.

Pleasure – Yes, we need to inform our kids that God intended sex to be pleasurable (Song of Solomon 7:6-10).

Procreation – God blessed the sexual union of a husband and wife and instructed them to be fruitful and increase in number (Genesis 1:28).

Protection – Ongoing sexual intimacy between a husband and wife strengthens their relationship and guards against temptations outside of the marriage (1 Corinthians 7:3-5).

Proclamation – Fidelity in marriage proclaims the faithfulness and steadfast love of Jesus for his Church (Ephesians 5:25-32). The story of sex is ultimately the story of God’s love for his people.

It is always fascinating to me as I tell that story of my conversation with my 7 year old the reactions that I get. Some are appalled that I would start so young. Others, as if to acknowledge their identification with my story of not having had these conversations with their Dad, affirm that they wish someone had talked to them that early.

I do not claim to know the best age for you to begin having these conversations with your kids, I just know that too many of us either wait too long to start or never start at all. So, I would like to suggest some helpful tips to inspire you to jump into this topic:

1. Be Proactive. Ask yourself this question: “When does our culture begin talking to our kids about sex?” Sex education is happening today with my kids and with your kids. We can either make the choice to join in on the conversation or let the culture do all the talking.

2. Be Intentional. These conversations rarely just happen. These conversations are rarely comfortable. We must make a plan and be willing to engage with our kids purposefully when it comes to their sexuality and God’s “better story” of sex.