A large part of being a Christian man, who is sexually successful, is leaving a positive and healthy legacy for your sons.
Sons look to their fathers for modelling in every area of their life, yet we rarely take a moment and think what kind of sexual role model we’ve become for our children. You have the responsibility of having the sex talk with your sons. What do you say? When?
Every man should feel confident in passing sexual health down to his family. This may be challenging for some, but stay persistent as it can change the life of your son, his son and in doing so create a legacy of healthy sexuality.
How we role model male sexuality is imperative to our sons’ interpretation of what comprises acceptable and unacceptable behaviour. I have spent countless hours counselling men whose father’s sexual role modelling was absent or, even worse, destructive.
The absent role model is one who never discusses sexuality. It’s as if he’s not having sex at all. He doesn’t know what to say about it so he says nothing and hopes for the best.
The positive role model is one who is intentional about communicating healthy sexuality to his son. He gets informed and looks for opportunities to talk about girls with his son in a positive way. He is behaviourally pure himself from pornography and adultery. He is able to be honest with other adult men about any lust issues in his life. He responsibly blocks the Internet, and monitors television and media intake for himself and his family. He is emotionally connected to his son, enough so that they can talk about sex.
The latter type of father is a good, general role model for male sexuality. Regardless of how our fathers were with us, we can become good role models for our sons. They will catch more of our sexuality from our lives than from any book or DVD. The areas of importance are:
- Your personal purity — If you struggle sexually, your shame can cripple you from effective, positive sexual role modelling.
- Your behaviour and attitudes toward women in general — You can only teach respect for women if you have respect for women.
- Your media intake — If you are silent about sexual innuendos, sexual immorality, adultery and inappropriate dress while with your son, in his eyes you are condoning this behaviour.
- Have intentional sexual conversations with your sons.
If you are doing well as a role model, then this is a great start. If you’re not, then begin now. Your personal sexuality is a large player in raising sexually healthy sons.
WHAT DO I SAY AND WHEN?
I want to alleviate some pressure here for you as a dad. Many men think in terms of having “the talk” with their sons. Such thinking is very limited and puts a lot of pressure on you to get it all right because you only have one shot at it. I think this paradigm is archaic. As a modern man, talking to your son is much different than a generation or two ago when kids married right out of high school.
Let’s face it: Our sons will be single until probably their mid-to-late twenties. Our grandfathers hit puberty at 18 and were married shortly thereafter. Our sons, because of health advantages, now hit puberty at 14. They are by far the longest sexually single generation in the history of mankind. This is a major reason some new thinking is necessary to raise them sexually healthy.
Our sons have also inherited a much more sexually stimulating culture than we or our fathers have. Because of the sexual idolatry in North America, our sons will see and hear more about it in much more varied forms of media than we did, including the Internet, a demon like no other that can trash a young boy’s sexuality in seconds.
First, we need to change the paradigm of “the talk” to “shepherding your sons sexually.” You will be guiding him along the path of sexuality from 12 years old until marriage. You will be having hundreds of sexual conversations between his youth and marriage.
I want to clearly communicate that you are not 100% responsible for your son’s sexual choices, or your daughter’s, for that matter. We all have a will, and humans are capable of making bad choices despite having the best information. Adam and Eve had God as a father, and they still erred. You are, however, 100% responsible for your role modelling and for discipling your son regarding sex.
I want to give you a list of things to cover over time with your sons. You will have to decide “when” based on his maturity, current exposure to sexual information and age. Most of this information should be covered by age 14. Here are some topics for conversation:
- The Mechanics of Sex — Most sex education books cover all these issues.
- Sex and the Brain — How the brain is conditioned and connects to what the eyes look at. (The DVD Born for War covers this.)
- Internal and External Sexuality — Go over Exodus 20 with your son and the tenth commandment. Do a word study on lust in the Bible.
- Sex only in the context of marriage – Refer to the Bible for this one.
- Bad Women — Explain the dangers of women who want to steal his purity. Refer to the story of Samson, Proverbs 5, Revelation 2 and many others. Some teenage girls, as the ones in these Scriptures, can scar your son.
- Sexually transmitted diseases.
- Guidelines for courting or dating — Paul’s admonition to treat all women as sisters and what that means.
- Dangers of pornography and the Internet — Block home open access and know the service providers of your son’s friends if he frequents their homes.
- Condoms — The lie of safe sex.
Talk to your son every month about how he’s doing on the last three guidelines. This is by far the most important guideline. The 100% responsibility falls squarely on you, Dad. Each month have a conversation about frequency, fantasy and staying connected. This routine will feel normal to your son — maybe uncomfortable the first couple of times, but normal.
Your consistency about the regular check-ins will open the door to conversations about sexual issues. This should be a normal part of the father/son relationship, which should continue even if he goes away to college.
Why? He needs to learn that male sexuality can be discussed openly and honestly with another man. He will know that he is normal sexually, and when he has sexual challenges, that sexual honesty and accountability are the solutions. This guideline alone will save your son so much potential harm. He won’t feel alone in his sexuality. If he makes mistakes, you can pray together and minister to him during his sexual development. The bonding you develop can make your relationship with your son so much stronger and he will feel that he can trust you with anything in his life.
You can do this! You’re a mighty man of God who wants to bless his lineage. I figure if every Christian man would do these check-ins with his sons, we could break the curse of silence and raise the sexually healthiest sons the church and the world has seen to date.
I am excited for you as you leave a healthy sexual legacy for your family. You are the man of the house, and you will determine much of your son’s sexual inheritance.