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I want you to be wise in what is good and innocent in what is evil. ROMANS 16:19
Have you ever had that wave of paralyzing dread—the one where you fear you’ll come off looking and feeling like a hypocrite if you challenge your child to uphold standards you didn’t keep too well yourself when you were younger?
For many, this feeling is especially acute when talking to children about sexual behavior. I believe this is one of the ways the enemy attempts to silence parents. But don’t allow past failures to prevent you from calling your child to the standard of God’s Word.
After all, every one of us has lied, haven’t we? Yet we still teach our children to tell the truth. When it comes to talking frankly with your preteens and teenagers about what God expects of them sexually, you dare not let the fear of an embarrassing question force you into silence.
Most children won’t ask whether or not you were a virgin prior to marriage. But even if they do—and even if you weren’t—you could answer, “That’s a good question, and someday when you’re an adult, I want to answer you more fully. But for now, that information is off-limits.”
If your child isn’t satisfied and persists in digging further, you may want to admit, “Yes, I made some mistakes I really regret,” but not go into details.
Children need role models, especially in their parents. And it’s better if they don’t know certain things about you when they’re too young to understand.
When your child is grown, in the context of an adult relationship, you can decide how much you want to reveal. But for now, don’t let vivid descriptions become stumbling blocks in their lives and in your discussions.
Keep the subject on God’s standards and on His desire for their welfare and purity. They need to hear from you what God expects of them.
Talk about how you can challenge your children to embrace biblical standards. Also discuss how you will discuss past mistakes with them.
Pray for the courage to instruct with God’s standards, even when it’s uncomfortable and potentially embarrassing.