Talking to our kids about certain issues such as our bodies, what is appropriate and what is not and what God has designed for his children, can be difficult. We have increased conversations in our home about growing, changing bodies, appropriate touch and intimacy because of my oldest who is almost as tall as me now. I actually measured her yesterday and she is two inches from five feet, at 8 years old. Not very recently, I was rather alarmed by people asking me if she was twelve years old or just older and more mature than she really is. I went into a mini-panic mode and with much Godly Wisdom from others quickly took those concerns to God. Now, don’t get me wrong I am happy to see her growing into a lovely young lady that loves Jesus but I also want to make sure that she hears about beauty, truth and goodness in regards to her body from her Parents. I will begin, and have, discussing all of this by pointing her to the Word while the World will try to point her to relativism and ultimately sin.
Honestly, I did not know where to start with all of this. It’s some scary stuff on my part. I wondered, in past, why parents avoided these topics sometimes until it was too late and I realized in my own anxiety that it must be because as Adults we carry our own personal baggage with us into Parenthood and are afraid our kids will be scared and alarmed just as we are ashamed or dismayed about our pasts.
I can tell you that children, at least my child, view these discussions with much less trepidation than we do. Yes, of course, some awkwardness may be evident but at least with my 8 year old it was pretty much matter-of-fact discussions and digging into heart stuff and some why’s and how’s from her. You see, I forgot that this discussion was not new for us we hadn’t had “the talk” about intimacy and our bodies yet but I realized that we had been studying the Old Testament in home school for the last three years with Long Story Short and reading the Bible together the whole of her life and she was quick to remind me that she knows more than I realized about what the Word says. Long Story Short and it has been an excellent source for Bible Teaching in our home and great way to discuss the Gospel in a totally accessible way. Not to say that is where we stop because I have read her the Bible and I think “Phew, one and done”. The goal is to continue on in her Heart’s Education. As we are drawing to a close of the Old Testament and are discussing Ruth I realize that we have been discussing longer than I realized about the how God designed us. She has learned many times over about Christ being the Bride Groom and the Church, His Bride, likewise how God in his Sovereign Grace created us, loved us despite sin and and then ultimately saved us from that sin through Jesus Christ and He has been our Redeemer. This frames our conversations about our bodies and intimacy, sexuality and more. The Gospel, period, is the starting place…and the ending place. As we move in to the New Testament later this year, I can draw these truths out with her as we learn from the Life of Christ.
Additionally, I wanted to share two Gospel-Centric resources for talking to your children about our bodies and God’s design for intimacy when you aren’t sure where to start. The first was recommended to me in a Charlotte Mason forum when I panic-stricken realized I couldn’t put the conversation off anymore. The book is Before I Was Born. It is part of a larger series call God’s Design for Sex, I haven’t reviewed any other books in the series but I will tell you this book was very beneficial because I didn’t have the right words to say.
The second book is a new picture book from the Holcomb’s called God Made All of Me. This book is an excellent resource to fill in the gaps, Us, Parents may have missed in prior discussions or avoided altogether. God Made all of Me is beautifully illustrated and written very clearly. It specifically deals with the subject matter of appropriate intimacy vs. inappropriate intimacy. Children, need to know what is inappropriate so not only can we properly protect their bodies but they learn to protect themselves as well as they grow older.
Of course, We are taking the Gospel Road when talking to our children about all of these things and it is a huge contrast to the opinions of the World. I don’t want this education in the things of God and how he views his creation to end there because the World will never cease to try to teach their ways to my daughter. I encourage diligence and trusting God to not be fearful. Eventually, I intend to start a devotional called Beautiful Girlhood when my daughter is ready for it and I hope to delve into deeper conversation and questions about how she was made for his Glory using the Gospel always as a guide.
I’m Ellie Benson. I am a Wife, Mom, Artist and Sometimes Writer that lives in Augusta, Ga with her Illustrator Husband and her two loving girls. I am the farthest thing from perfect but I have a Redeemer, I am ever thankful for that fact.
I write for this blog and am the creator/contributor of Charlotte Mason Living (a Charlotte Mason Styled Homeschooling Community) amongst other things and I work on art in the little time I have left after. So, not much time. This blog is a space to mull over thoughts on Family, Faith and Art and to preach to myself.
You can find me on Instagram: @ellieeugenia.