Talking to Your Kids About Sexual Sin (Part 1)

(From Voice magazine, Nov/Dec 2015. Used by permission.)

How do you talk to your children about sexual sin? That question has become all the more pressing since June 26, 2015 when the U.S. Supreme Court enshrined same-sex marriage as the law of the land. This ruling—the latest in a string of victories garnered by homosexual activists—came a little more than a week before Independence Day, summer’s unofficial halftime break. So while scores of gay rights celebrations ignited across the country, many families washed down campers and cleaned out coolers in anticipation of midsummer getaways.

But as many families got away the following weekend, they quickly realized there was nowhere to go—at least nowhere they could go to get away from the Supreme Court’s ruling. As the homosexual agenda continues to gather speed, the American family can expect to find fewer and fewer safe havens. What was only whispered about in past generations is today broadcast in the mainstream media.

Consequently, our children are hearing more about immorality and homosexuality than ever before. And they are hearing it at an increasingly younger age. Many parents are asking, “How can I talk about these vile subjects with my children?” While these topics may make us uncomfortable, I believe it’s essential we talk about them. Our society has spoken, and our children are listening. We as parents must respond, addressing these issues in a wise, godly, and biblical way.

The Bible as Textbook

But there’s a much more profound issue at stake. The decision of the Supreme Court is but one stop on a continuum of degeneration begun decades ago. The legalization of same-sex marriage is not the end; it is simply the latest installment in an agenda bent on eliminating anything that smacks of Christianity.

While we must address these sins, we must also address the underlying cause. Immorality and homosexuality are the rotten fruit of a total abandonment of God and His Word. They are the symptoms of a society that has totally rejected God. They are also signs of God’s total abandonment of a society. In Paul’s letter to the church in Rome, he identifies immorality and homosexuality as twin expressions of God’s wrath unleashed on brazen sinners (Romans 1:24-32).

What our children most need is a solid biblical grounding, a Christian worldview that will help them navigate life long after they’ve left the home. Because of this, any discussion of sexual sin—or any other sin—must begin with what God has said. God has not left us in confusion concerning issues of human sexuality. The first two chapters of the Bible’s first book reveal the foundation of God’s provision of and parameters for sexual intimacy. God’s perfect design, estab­lished in the beginning, provides an enduring pattern for marriage, no matter the times.

The ABCs of Human Sexuality

Genesis 1 and 2 have established God’s pat­tern for marriage.1

(1) Marriage is between one man and one woman: “A man [masculine, singular] shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife [feminine, singular]” (Genesis 2:24). Polygamy in all its forms is excluded: polygyny (man with multiple wives), polyandry (woman with multiple husbands), and group marriage (multiple husbands and wives together in one family), as is homosexuality (Leviticus 18:22). The confusion of gender distinctions—transsex­uality, transvestism, and transgenderism—is also forbidden by God (1 Corinthians 6:9), as gender blending runs contrary to God’s origi­nal creation of man as male and female (Genesis 1:27).

Marriage is permanent: “A man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh” (Genesis 2:24). God hates divorce (Malachi 2:16).

Marriage is exclusive: “A man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh” (Genesis 2:24). Adultery is forbidden (Exodus 20:14).

At the heart of any conversation concerning sexual deviancy is the under­standing that it is a departure from God’s divine design. This is the instruc­tion our children desperately need: an understanding of God’s original design and purpose for marriage. Any deviation from God’s design (polygamy, homosex­uality, gender confusion, fornication and adultery) is sin because it falls outside of God’s parameters.

It’s interesting to note Adam’s reac­tion to God’s creation of the woman: pure exhilaration (Genesis 2:23). He didn’t feel constrained or hemmed in or slighted by God’s design. On the contrary, the first words ever recorded by man are a love song expressing his delight in God’s creation of an intimate helpmate: “This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man” (Genesis 2:23).

God saw Adam’s need for compan­ionship, as well as a helper and an equal, and designed the perfect companion to allow man to carry out His commands to “multiply,” “fill” and “subdue” the earth, exercising “dominion” over every liv­ing thing (Genesis 1:28). Not long after the beginning, God saw everything He had created, including sex, and reported that “it was very good” (Genesis 1:31). However, it would not be long before man corrupted God’s gift into confor­mity with his own wicked desires.

Rampant immorality and homosex­uality have plagued mankind since its earliest days. By the sixth generation, not long after Adam’s death, Genesis 4:19 records that Lamech took two wives. Two chapters later we read that the “sons of God” took wives among the daugh­ters of man (Genesis 6:1-4). While the identity of these individuals is uncertain,2 God’s condemnation of this unholy union is unmistakable (Genesis 6:5-7).

In the generations following the flood, sexual perversion continued to abound: Abram married multiple wives (Genesis 16:3); the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah were filled with homo­sexuality (Genesis 19:1-29); the daughters of Lot committed incest with their father (Genesis 19:30-38); Shechem raped Dinah, the daughter of Leah (Genesis 34:1-2); Reuben vio­lated his father’s concubine (Genesis 35:22, 49:3-4); Judah solicited a pros­titute, who turned out to be his own daughter-in-law (Genesis 38:13-19); and Potiphar, the wife of Joseph’s Egyptian master, repeatedly tried to seduce her husband’s slave (Genesis 39:6-12). All these shameful acts are but a sampling of mankind’s sordid past.


1 Andreas J. Köstenberger with David W. Jones, God, Marriage, and Family (Crossway, 2010), 31-39.

2 Some have argued that they were the sons of Seth. Others, that they were human kings looking to build their harems. Still others identify them as fallen angels who indwelt human bodies.

Tim Ross bio

Tim Ross is Associate Pastor at Nevins lake church in stanon, MI and a recent graduate of the Master’s Seminary.

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There are 3 Comments

Bert Perry's picture

One thing that I'm trying to emphasize more is the confluence of sexuality with the nature of God.  To wit, God is male and the church is female; Christ dies for and marries the church.  There is no male-male erotic love in the Godhead, let alone female-female.  There is one Church, and Christ is devoted to Her for ever--there go polygamy and divorce, no?  He tolerates no rivals for His affection--there goes fornication and adultery.

See the pattern?  A robust doctrine of sexuality has its roots in a robust doctrine of the Godhead.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Greg Long's picture

I would highly recommend the series God's Design for Sex, a set of 4 age-graded books (for ages 3 on up) that do an excellent job helping parents broach this topic and teach their kids God's creation and purpose of gender and sex.

Greg Long, Ed.D. (SBTS)

Pastor of Adult Ministries
Grace Church, Des Moines, IA

Adjunct Instructor
School of Divinity
Liberty University

josh p's picture

I found the books "Growing Up God's Way", which have a male and female version, helpful with my kids. 

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