I have been a church girl the majority of my life, and church has been instrumental in my development. I remember completing homework, while at church. If church was going on, we were in attendance. It didn’t matter what day of the week or what time church would be over, were were present and still had to attend school the next day.
We learned a lot of Bible facts and increased our biblical knowledge, but one area was missed in our education – sex education. Oh we had sex education at school, but at church we were told don’t do it and at home we were taught nothing about sex. Let me clarify – I wasn’t taught anything about sex.
I remember the one conversation that I had with my mother about sex. A few of my classmates were pregnant, and I asked my mom what would she do if I told her I was pregnant. She said, “I will kill you!” I believed her. That’s the only conversation we had that even remotely involved sex.
Fast forward to a night on a school bus returning from playing basketball, and the conversation was “who had had sex and with who.” I had not had sex, but I wanted to fit in for a change. I lied saying I had sex. I didn’t figure out until later that the older girls were asking the younger girls the questions, but never told about themselves…
I mention this moment because maybe, just maybe being able to talk to my mom about sex could have prepared me for moments like that. Maybe I would have been more confident in being a virgin, and not ashamed to admit I was still a virgin. Maybe I could have provided other virgins the courage to stand in their truth.
I stumbled through my teens not knowing the importance of my virginity. Only being told sex was bad, and church girls didn’t have sex until they were married. Parents and church leaders forgot some important information along the way. What happened to equipping me with knowledge other than sex is bad?! Sex isn’t bad. Sex feels good!
The church and my parents failed me in this area. I needed to be taught the value of my virginity. I needed to be taught that every choice has a consequence. I needed to be taught that with having sex comes responsibility. Was I ready to discuss sexual preferences with a sex partner? What about getting tested for STDs? What if I become pregnant? Would I want this person in my life for essentially the rest of my life? Am I willing to share what makes me feel good sexually?
Having these conversations in a youth group or in a safe environment, would have prepared me for my future sex life. Instead I stumbled along. I tripped and ultimately I fell until finally I learned with the help of my husband.
I vowed to have open and honest communication about sex with my children, and children I have taught along my journey. When we only say sex is bad, we do a disservice to our children. We need to tell the truth, educate our children so they make good decisions, and more importantly confide in us. We want them to value our opinion, and seek out our wisdom as they make life altering decisions.