Teaching Children a Biblical View of Sex

Janet Aucoin June 14, 2024

Parents often feel overwhelmed, unsure, and nervous about speaking with their kids about sex, but what principles about “the talk” can we find in scripture?

This week, Janet and Jocelyn explore how Christians can approach conversations about sex with their children. They share personal examples of discussing the beauty of biblical sex, highlighting how their approaches varied based on each child's unique needs. Additionally, they address common obstacles to having these important conversations and offer strategies for overcoming them by emphasizing a biblical perspective of sex within marriage.

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Episode Transcript



⁠When Two Become One - Chris McCluskey⁠

⁠Biblical Principles of Sex - Dr. Robert Smith⁠

⁠How to Talk to Your Kids about Sex booklet - William Smith⁠

⁠God's Design for Sex series by Carolyn Nystrom⁠

⁠The Story of Me – ages 3-5⁠

⁠Before I Was Born – ages 5-8⁠

⁠What’s the Big Deal – ages 8-11⁠

⁠What’s the Difference booklet - John Piper⁠


⁠Biblical Principles of Sex⁠


⁠Faith Resource Store⁠

⁠Vision of Hope⁠


⁠Brent’s handout on Intimacy⁠

⁠Read Through the Scripture Challenge 2024


Jocelyn: I don't just need to feel better. I need the truth. And ultimately that will make me better.

Janet: I just want to make it as totally simple as possible for ladies to see that the Bible is really applicable to their everyday life.

Jocelyn: When they understand theology, the application flows out of it quickly with joy.

Janet: It is a journey, but even the journey itself is joyful when I'm doing it, holding the hand of my savior and trusting him all along the way. This is the joyful journey podcast, a podcast to inspire and equip women to passionately pursue beautiful biblical truth on their journey as women of God. When you choose truth, you're choosing joy.

Janet: Okay, welcome back. This is Janet once again with my lovely co host Jocelyn.

Jocelyn: Hey friends.

Janet: And before we get into today's topic, let me ask you, Jocelyn, how is your reading plan going?

Jocelyn: Well, here's an observation I've made of tendencies that I have. I do very good. for five days. And then three days I'm like, Oh wait, am I reading the Bible? And then I catch up. So it's a pattern. I've seen it for years now. I'm really good for several days in a row. And then I'm like, Oh, I got so busy and I didn't do it at my normal time. So because it doesn't have my normal time, it doesn't happen. As a family, we were talking about This and Shelby, my daughter was saying, Oh man, I missed a day and I messed my streak up and I was like, wait, what? There's streaks on our Bible app. And she was like, yeah, totally. I had like 40 days in a row and I was like, wow, that's great. Like at the time I was 10 days behind. It was during the time when we were on break and I was really behind. And my husband said, yeah, I was so bummed out this one time when we were camping three years ago. It was flooding like torrential once in a century flooding. It was terrible. It was the worst camping experience of our life. He was like one day because of the flooding, I lost my signal and I couldn't read the Bible and I messed up my streak and he had had three years of streaks of reading the Bible every day.

Janet: There's pressure.

Jocelyn: I know. And I was like, what? You read the Bible every day for three years? He's like, Oh, if I hadn't missed that one day, it would be at six years. And I was just blown away. And it was really cool because as a family, we were like, Six years ago. So that was like, I was already home with the kids full time. And for a period of time, Brian worked so much over time. He regularly was not able to come to church with us on Sundays. And it was a very difficult time of our life. I was learning so much from God's word at church and he wasn't hearing the same stuff. So we were just growing incongruently. It was just really hard. And he was like, do you realize how much I've grown in the last six years just because I've read the Bible every day? And so it was just so cool. Like God gave him a different job without so much over time. So he's been able to come regularly on Sunday mornings and Wednesday nights and also dedicating himself to reading the Bible. And I was like, it is amazing to see the difference in you as a person, just because the Bible is regularly flooding into your life. And then I was like, okay, I'm currently 10 days behind, so while you guys rejoice at your great streaks, I'm gonna go catch up. How about you?

Janet: Well, I love what you said because number one, see the power of just regularly being in the word. Even if you don't have a streak of six years, regularly being in the word, you see over time, results because your mind is being more oriented to think the way the Bible does. So I love that. I also love that everybody's different. And you're growing, but you don't have that kind of streak and that you get behind. And I tend to do that, too. I stay there for a while. But then when I have some mornings where I'm counseling really early in the morning. So I get up, have coffee with Brent and I'm counseling. And if I miss that time in the morning to read, Then it's like, Oh my word, I never did it. Now it's now I'm two days behind now. So I'm the same way. Like I'm caught up right at this moment, but that's not always the case.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: But either way, we're both ingesting the word regularly.

Jocelyn: Right. And the streaks are not the goal, but the streaks are cool.

Janet: No. But it was sweet.

Jocelyn: It's really neat.

Janet: Yeah. And to go, okay, well I may never have a six year streak, but

Jocelyn: I can guarantee you that I will never have a six year streak.

Janet: But to see the impact of just being in the word.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: You know, so wherever you are, listener, being faithfully in the word over time, that would be wonderful.

Jocelyn: And we're encouraging you to do something with us that we are not doing perfectly.

Janet: No, but we're not giving up.

Jocelyn: By any stretch of the imagination. No, but we're not giving up.

Janet: Because God is worth it.

Jocelyn: Yep.

Janet: Love it. Well, today we're going to talk about a subject that we don't typically like to discuss with our children. We're going to talk about how do we teach our children about sex and biblical intimacy.

Jocelyn: I'm excited about this topic. Because as a counselor for a couple decades now, you can see some pretty terrible things that happen when one isn't taught about sex.

Janet: Yes.

Jocelyn: I'm really excited for our listeners to have this content because I think it's something that some people just don't think about.

Janet: Right.

Jocelyn: And it's not helpful.

Janet: Now we did a previous episode on what biblical sexual intimacy is. So I'm going to do my very best to not repeat that because everything in me wants to say, but we got to know what it is. So we're going to talk about it, but I'm not going to go into all that we did before. So I really recommend that before you look at this one, you can't teach what you don't know.

Jocelyn: Right.

Janet: That you go back to do that one. But why do you think that this is a subject we don't like to talk about with our children?

Jocelyn: Well, you know, it gives people the heebie jeebies sometimes to talk about intimacy,

Janet: heebie jeebies. The technical term.

Jocelyn: The technical term. People get weird about it. I think that sometimes if the parent wasn't taught about it

Janet: Yes.

Jocelyn: And they've never seen anyone else teach on it, then like, How do they know how to talk about something they don't know anything about? Like, it's like talking about how good it is to speak Chinese when you don't speak Chinese. It's just, it's a language that you don't have. Maybe it wasn't talked about openly in your own home. And so you feel a little bit weird about talking about something so intimate, so openly because you've, you know, it just feels weird to do that. Personally, I think that a lot of people struggle to talk about this openly because they personally, the parent has shame and guilt about sex because something bad happened in their past to them that they didn't ask for, or they participated in sex in a way that was unbiblical. And I think that maybe they're not willing to talk about it because they don't want that to be known. They don't want to have to answer questions.

Janet: And you feel hypocritical if you don't tell them.

Jocelyn: Yeah. Right.

Janet: But you don't really want to tell them. Yep.

Jocelyn: And maybe they haven't worked through it. Like maybe they haven't come to terms with it. So there's probably lots of reasons. I think sometimes, especially in the world right now, this topic seems very confusing if you don't know what the Bible says.

Janet: Yes.

Jocelyn: And I think maybe it might be scary to talk about because what the Bible says and what the world says are so opposite. And the world has made it this like statement of either accept your children as they are in all terms sexually, or they're going to kill themselves. So the stakes are high.

Janet: Yes. It's scary.

Jocelyn: Like when you, when you have experts saying, promote sexuality the way your kid wants it, or they're going to kill themselves. Like, it's not like a small error.

Janet: Right.

Jocelyn: It's like someone's life is on the line. And then other people, anytime we talk about sex, they just laugh the whole time because they're embarrassed and it's all awkward. And the kids are, the kids already know a lot about sex from their culture and from school and from their life. So they're looking at their parents laughing and being embarrassed and being like, you're making this so awkward. Like it's being awkwardized for no reason. And then I just think people put off talking about it until the very last minute and then it's too late. And the conversation with the kids just gets very, very difficult because you're talking about maybe elementary level things with children that know a lot more. And so it just feels like out of balance and I just think there's a lot of reasons why this topic doesn't get talked about and that's not necessarily great.

Janet: Yeah, I agree. Just recently, we were asked to do two weeks on this topic in our mom to mom group. And my husband was teaching on what is sexual intimacy? Like, basically, if you don't understand it,

Jocelyn: right. How can I talk about it?

Janet: How can you talk about it? And I think that's one of the main, there are many, you've given a lot of reasons. I think one of them is we don't even know what it is biblically. We actually only know what the world says. And so it is kind of crude. And it is just now a non-sinful way to get pleasure. So if that's what it is, it's kind of embarrassing, you know, to talk about. And I noticed it was very quiet in the room.

Jocelyn: I bet.

Janet: That always cracks me up. And then he would say a joke and I had somebody text me later, a friend of mine, she's like, he was so funny. And I was the only one laughing. Like you look around and my husband and I are going, and everybody else is very nervous. So

Jocelyn: it's also weird for you to talk to your kids about sex sometimes because then they're going to know that you and your husband have sex.

Janet: Oh yes.

Jocelyn: And it's just like, how do you talk about something that is a precious part of your relationship without them having then difficult thoughts about it. And so there's,

Janet: and why do we think that we wouldn't want them to know we're having sex?

Jocelyn: I don't know. But no, I don't.

Janet: We do.

Jocelyn: You don't want to announce it. Like, Hey,

Janet: this is where we're heading right now. But they should know. I mean, I still remember Brent took Josh away and I'll talk about this later, but when he was really young to kind of explain everything, like it was an open conversation anyway, but it was like, you know what? While he's still really young, we just made it a special time. And when they were all done and then they answering all the questions, it was a really sweet time. Josh looked at Brent and said, well, the next time you guys go back in the bedroom, I'm just going to say, well, have fun. In a very sweet way. He was like, that's really cool.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: And Brent said, I told him, you know, maybe don't say that to your mom. Cause I'm like, how am I supposed to relax when you say what?

Jocelyn: But it's like

Janet: But it is.

Jocelyn: But it's like our kids, when our kids lived at home, our kids knew that we really cherish times that we could go away for the weekend. And it wasn't cause we were like really looking forward to shopping or something like we're looking forward to being together and we could articulate that without it being really weird and awkward for them. Cause you don't want to be inappropriate or cross a line.

Janet: So I think you've mentioned a lot of reasons, sexual sin or pain in our own past. I do believe many, many, many of us are not living out biblical intimacy in our own marriages. And if we're not, how in the world

Jocelyn: how can you talk about it? Yeah.

Janet: Yeah. Can we talk about it? So

Jocelyn: especially holding it up as a beautiful thing and as a more precious thing than what the world is offering them.

Janet: So how do I view it? Do I view it as there's just an urge that's got to get filled because if I do

Jocelyn: like a bunch of animals.

Janet: Yeah. If I do here, one of the things Brent said in the mom to mom is, if you live on a farm and your kids watch animals, are they learning about sexual intimacy?

Jocelyn: That's so funny because that's part of the story that I'm going to share today.

Janet: Cause it's not the same. He's like, cause then could we just do that? Yeah. What's different.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: It's not just that. But if we think it's just the mechanics,

Jocelyn: right.

Janet: then.

Jocelyn: you're missing the point of it.

Janet: And we don't even get it.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: So, and if you're uncomfortable, so will your children be.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: And think about it. That means they're not going to talk to you about it, but it doesn't mean they're not learning. It means they're just not learning from you.

Jocelyn: And that would be a shame because we are responsible for their souls to the Lord.

Janet: Yes. And what they're hearing is probably not beautiful.

Jocelyn: Right.

Janet: So I will just say this. I was like, I was going to say this on the podcast, but I will. Cause I think it's okay to say, if not, you'll never know.

Jocelyn: We can always cut it.

Janet: You'll never know. It'll be gone. I remember , no one talked to me. When I got like 16, my mom gave me a book and, so no one had talked to me, but I heard a lot of stuff. So I knew the word sex. I knew there's things, but I don't really know what it is. Here's how my friend explained sex to me. He puts his mmm in her mmm.

Jocelyn: That was it?

Janet: Yes.

Jocelyn: Oh my word.

Janet: And I'm like, his what? In her what?

Jocelyn: In where?

Janet: And I'm like, here's what I knew. Women had chests. That was different. So is that the hmm? But what do you put? You can't put something in. Like I had no idea. This is what your kids are learning.

Jocelyn: Yes.

Janet: If you don't talk to them.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: You know, or,

Jocelyn: or they're making assumptions.

Janet: I learned from soap operas because yes, my family watched a lot of those. Here's what I heard on TV. They're not married and she's pregnant. And they say to her, how did that happen? And you know what she said? We fell in love. I was terrified to fall in love without being married.

Jocelyn: You might end up with a baby.

Janet: You just get pregnant. You have to hurry up and get married before you fall in love or right when you fall in love or what's going to happen.

Jocelyn: Oh my goodness.

Janet: So.

Jocelyn: Wow.

Janet: And it didn't even occur to me to ask my parents.

Jocelyn: Wow.

Janet: Didn't even occur to me. So I didn't grow up understanding the biblical beauty of sexual intimacy, but I learned about it. My parents didn't talk to me. And I really think that was pretty common in that generation.

Jocelyn: I think so too. Yeah.

Janet: That's just what happened. So when I got married, though, at that point I'd been taught right theology, I knew the sexual relationship was supposed to be good and pure and holy. That is really not how I viewed it. And after we would be together. I would just feel guilty.

Jocelyn: Oh, that's a shame.

Janet: And we had to talk a lot about that. I also had sexual sin in my past. That impacted our marriage early on. I'm thankful for my husband's willingness to work through those issues with me, but I totally understand not coming into marriage with a strong, functional, applicational theology in sexual intimacy. And God loves to redeem.

Jocelyn: And don't you think even when you have good theology, the understanding of biblical intimacy grows year by year that you're married as the intimacy of your relationship gets deeper. Like you understand sex at a different level every year.

Janet: Yes.

Jocelyn: And when you're living biblically with each other, your understanding of sex just expounds and expands, and it becomes more beautiful and more precious, even as you're getting older, which the world would say is not even possible. Like you're not handsome, you're not beautiful. You're

Janet: And not everything feels the same because I'm in pain.

Jocelyn: Cause you're older.

Janet: Things aren't working. And it's like, and it's more beautiful

Jocelyn: It's still percious.

Janet: And it's more precious because of what it really is.

Jocelyn: Yes.

Janet: Yes. I agree. So I'm thankful for the many conversations my husband and I had about all of that early on. And learning how to revel in God's design. And I say that because we cannot give our children what we do not possess. And I just really wonder if the biggest hindrance to our ability to talk about sex and intimacy with our children is our own confused thinking on the subject.

Jocelyn: Most likely. I think you're right.

Janet: So, I think first things have to come first. And I mentioned my background. Everybody's is different, but here's what I'm telling you. It's not like, well, it was easy for her.

Jocelyn: No.

Janet: No. And God loves to redeem.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: And like you said, I mean, the fireworks get better and better because the actual intimacy is more. Because we're learning how to be exposed in front of each other, as my husband puts it, the ugly in and the ugly out. Like nobody gets married in their bikini because nobody looks good in one. Like point one percent of the population would look good. So, but the ugly in, the yuck in me, and the, and the ugly out all the blemishes when they're seen by somebody and I'm loved, there's an intimacy that develops there.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: that you only have with that person and that grows. It doesn't matter. Here's how Brent puts it. It doesn't matter if he sees she's a few pounds overweight, it doesn't matter if she sees that he has a two liter, not a six pack. He's like, that's not what it's about.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: It's about the intimacy, you know.

Jocelyn: And seeing someone that is flawed and saying, you are mine and I love you

Janet: all. Every part of you, which means that's how it is all throughout the day. So that's back to our intimacy episode. But if we're living that out, it only gets better. And then we have things to talk about. So first, ensure if you're thinking about your children, ensure that you have a growing biblical view of intimacy. Read about it. Talk about it. Study this area. I know that's not what we're doing today, but I'm telling you, it's important. I'm going to link a document my husband drafted just for teaching our mom to mom group recently and it's not his teaching notes, but it is the notes that they got. And he wrote his own attempt at defining physical sexual intimacy. And I'm just going to read the little paragraph and it will be in the, Linked handout as well, and the handout really is just going to give you things to think about. I know it won't give you all the answers, but, physical one flesh sexual intercourse. And he says it includes the word intercourse, which is the intertwining of complimentary physical bodies of husband and wife, made for and from one another. This physical intercourse pictures the weaving and cleaving of all concerns of life together to be in essence one now and not two. The only way this is possible is for these complimentary souls to be naked with one another, a naked soul. We're not hiding. Furthermore, in this naked, exposed, vulnerable position, God intends that each spouse must be radically given over to the good of the other. Hence, the foundation of marriage is the commitment of lived out wedding exclusive vows, not your wishes, wants or desires. And then he says this, the radical lived out commitment to the benefit of the other in life and sex is then nurturing, securing, and edifying to each soul. And then that's God's plan for what would result in life, which is where babies come from and blessing and delight.

Jocelyn: That's cool.

Janet: Isn't that cool?

Jocelyn: Yeah, it's very cool.

Janet: And then there's a whole lot more. But again, are we realizing one of the beauties of marriage is a place to be exposed and accepted? Who sees your sin the most?

Jocelyn: Yeah. Your spouse.

Janet: Your spouse. So you're exposed. What are we going to do with that? So at our marriage conferences, that's what we're talking about. And then it's not till the end of the conference that we talk about intimacy because it's a result of everything else. It's not its own thing.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: It's the result of everything else. So. Think about that phrase though, biblical sexual intimacy is a radical lived out commitment to the benefit of the other. I hope you can at least see that's the opposite of what the world describes. It's not about performance. It's not about how I look. It's just not about that. It's about me seeing you, in and out, and because we've been working in our marriage at loving each other toward Christ and seeing each other and helping each other grow, and now physically we see each other and it's not perfect. And my eyes are, I love you.

Jocelyn: And it's crazy.

Janet: That's beautiful.

Jocelyn: It's crazy because a radical lived out commitment to the benefit of the other will affect sexuality. But it will also affect the way you drive your car, how you balance your checkbook, where you spend your money.

Janet: Yes!

Jocelyn: Like sex is just one of the areas where a radical lived out commitment to the benefit of the other is going to be seen and understood. Like I care about my husband's job being good. So I'm living out a commitment to him. So he has an enjoyable work experience. Like I care that he enjoys what he's eating. So I care about. His benefit in lots of areas. It's not like sex is the one and only area where we're talking about this

Janet: or it won't happen.

Jocelyn: It's just one of the many applications of where that commitment that's radical and lived out is going to be seen in benefit of the other person.

Janet: And I think because it's the most vulnerable thing we do, if that isn't where your marriage is, it will show up there.

Jocelyn: It will be exposed. Yeah. Yeah.

Janet: Because you may think we're doing okay. We're doing okay. But I'm just not comfortable. I mean, there's something else going on.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: And, or you just got to work on your own thinking. We'll talk about that at the end, but, when we deal with couples and they have areas of sexual intimacy that are problems, 90 percent of the time it has nothing to do with sex.

Jocelyn: I was actually just thinking that most sex problems are not actually sex problems.

Janet: That's right.

Jocelyn: There are other problems.

Janet: They bring them into the room.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: And of course they will.

Jocelyn: Of course.

Janet: If I don't quite trust you, that's a vulnerable place to be.

Jocelyn: Right.

Janet: So, absolutely. And I love, in the Bible, it's called knowing someone. I like that too. Yeah. I don't think it's because they were looking for euphemisms. I don't think they were uncomfortable. I think the intimate knowing of someone is then equated with sex.

Jocelyn: Yes.

Janet: It's intimacy. It's a bigger deal than the world says.

Jocelyn: You can't know someone more than being one with them.

Janet: Yes. So some people think that the world makes too big a deal of sex. I would say

Jocelyn: Oh, we don't make a big enough deal

Janet: Right. But they're making the wrong deal. It's about performance and it's about something so much better.

Jocelyn: And with that view, just as a PS, like with that view, if something happens inside of your marriage and you cannot participate in sexual activity, you can still have intimacy and your marriage won't fall apart

Janet: That's right.

Jocelyn: Because it wasn't about performance.

Janet: That's right. It was about the intimacy that you can have in other ways.

Jocelyn: In many other ways. Yes.

Janet: And boy, do our kids need to learn this. So it's not, do they just know the mechanics? Do they understand what it is? Because I believe that's a protection for their soul.

Jocelyn: Oh, yeah.

Janet: If they know what it is and the amazing beauty of that oneness and the exposure and the vulnerability, that's only possible in a commitment and a covenant. It's not quite so tempting to have a one night stand. You can't get any of the good stuff.

Jocelyn: I was going to say anything less than that is going to be seen as very much not as good.

Janet: Inferior.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: And so that is a protection. One of the questions we get is, are you afraid if you talk about it too early, you'll tempt them to sin? I'm like, no, you're protecting their soul

Jocelyn: because you're explaining how good it can be.

Janet: And, and the world, you can't get that outside of marriage. You can't get it.

Jocelyn: Absolutely.

Janet: So then I would say, recognize that intimacy, sexual intimacy is just one of the many areas you disciple your children.

Jocelyn: Absolutely.

Janet: And that has implications. In what other area of discipleship do we expect to only talk about it once, maybe twice?

Jocelyn: Nothing.

Janet: Right.

Jocelyn: No other area.

Janet: Well, I talked to them about being selfish. So we're done now.

Jocelyn: Talked about hitting your sister.

Janet: Yeah. So we'll never have to do that again. So discipling in any area takes many conversations, but because we're uncomfortable, we want to have the talk.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: And never do it again.

Jocelyn: That's so unwise.

Janet: Yes.

Jocelyn: Yeah. We made it the goal before we had kids that talking about our bodies and sexuality as it was appropriate for the age would just be something that happened all the time as it was appropriate for their understanding level. But it was like, It's an ongoing conversation that started at birth with the topics that are appropriate and will go on, in my opinion, probably forever because it's just part of being human. Sexuality, you cannot be human and not be a gender. It's

Janet: right.

Jocelyn: It's how God made us and our genders fit together with an appropriate understanding of sexuality.

Janet: So, if we didn't do that, and they're older, it's never too late to even go back and say, I wish I had done this, but you know what, I'm learning that I didn't even have a biblical view of intimacy. Can I share with you what I'm learning? It's not so much the mechanics at that point, they probably know.

Jocelyn: Right.

Janet: And you can go into that if you want, but that's not the main thing. The main thing is the purpose.

Jocelyn: Right.

Janet: So you can always go back and do that.

Jocelyn: Yep.

Janet: But ideally, it's going to be an open topic of conversation for our children.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: Anytime they have questions, they'll know they can ask either of us.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: And in that moment, your behavior will determine if they know that it's okay and if they'll ever ask you again.

Jocelyn: Oh yeah. Definitely.

Janet: Whenever I teach on it, really parenting, but especially this kind of topic, I tell parents they really have to work on their game face.

Jocelyn: Oh yeah. Fix your face.

Janet: Yeah.

Jocelyn: You can't look like you're freaked out.

Janet: You cannot look like, What? My child had that thought?

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: So it's practice the, huh, that's interesting.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: Yeah. Hmm. No matter what they say later, go back and freak out if you need to, but that's okay. And was we were teaching it mom to mom, Dr. Wickert was sharing on how to teach children. And then he said, never laugh at their question.

Jocelyn: Right.

Janet: Even if it's a ridiculous question.

Jocelyn: Because they don't know that.

Janet: No. And he's like, now you may go later to your bedroom with your husband and go, you are not going to believe what they just asked me and laugh to your heart's content because it's probably funny, but in front of your child, you don't,

Jocelyn: Oh, yeah. Never.

Janet: You don't laugh. Don't look shocked and uncomfortable. Just answer the question. whatever it is. We need to be modeling that in the way we care for and love their fathers. And I don't mean having sex. I just mean all the intimacy things

Jocelyn: Care for. Right.

Janet: That we talked about, like that, that I am radically sold out to the good of his soul. And by the grace of God, if he's radically sold out to the good of mine, can I tell you though, even if your spouse is not, you can be.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: And that's beautiful for your kids to see.

Jocelyn: Yes.

Janet: We can talk about it at a young age appropriately. before they know they're supposed to be embarrassed.

Jocelyn: Yeah. Totally.

Janet: I thought that was really important because quite frankly, it was difficult for me because it was a new habit. I'd gotten used to, to some degree, talking to Brent, but nobody had ever talked to me. And I was like,

Jocelyn: you didn't know what it was supposed to look like

Janet: this is weird.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: And I know it's okay. I know it's okay. So I'll just tell you what happened for us because Brent was totally good with it. The kids are kindergarten and first grade. And I'm teaching through Genesis in homeschool. Because we lived in Chicago and I homeschooled that year. And, Brent's like, I'll do it. So I have curriculum of course, Brent doesn't want curriculum. So he's We never used it again.

Jocelyn: He writes the curriculum.

Janet: We never used it again. He's just like, let's just start reading. And we're reading Genesis and I had this whole visual that I was going to do where you take a tree and you cut off a branch and so it looks like it's alive, but it's already started to die. That's what happened when they sinned. They look alive, but they've already started to die. I have this whole thing going on. And we get to Genesis three and it says the seed of the woman and Brent stops and he goes, you know, that's miraculous. And they're like, what do you mean? And he goes, well, you know why that's miraculous. The woman doesn't have a seed. The dad has a seed and he plants it in the mom. So for God to start out by saying the seed of the woman, he's already telling us that this will not be the normal way. And something's miraculous here. And I'm thinking. You did not just do that. Why are we talking about a man planting a seed in a woman? And I'm expecting.

Jocelyn: Because it was in Genesis three.

Janet: Yes. And I'm expecting the kids to go, well, how does that happen? Well, how does he do that? And I'm ready. They just went, cool.

Jocelyn: Moving on.

Janet: And he mentioned it. The two will become one flesh. You know what happens? God made our bodies to go together. So he would just, whatever we're reading, he would just talk about it. And if they didn't ask more about it, we didn't say more about it.

Jocelyn: You didn't have to talk more about it. Yeah.

Janet: But I am dying. And he's going, isn't that cool? And the kids go, cool. And that was it. But I think that was so good for me to see because it wasn't like we needed to have the talk. But that was there.

Jocelyn: Right.

Janet: And let's talk about it.

Jocelyn: And you set the stage for continual talks.

Janet: Yes. So whenever they have a question, we can talk about it. For us, when they were around eight , we had reasons to believe that, things might happen in their bodies puberty wise, one of them very early. And that can be terrifying.

Jocelyn: Oh yeah. If you don't know what's going on.

Janet: Right. So we were like, before that can even happen. So I don't even know if we would have done it this young, but I'm so glad we did. Each of them, when they were about eight, we took the same sex child away for a weekend and just said, hey, we're just gonna, we're gonna tell you everything. You're not even asking yet. And we're just gonna tell you everything. What was great is for each of them, they didn't even know that you're supposed to be embarrassed. They didn't know to go, Oh my word. They were just asking questions, man. They're like, really? Well, then how does that really? And so it was great because even though I was a little uncomfortable, my daughter never knew that I was uncomfortable. And so she was asking like she always does.

Jocelyn: Yeah. 'Cause it's like any other topic.

Janet: Yes. And so I was able to do that because I wasn't also dealing with her discomfort.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: And she had no idea and it was great. It was a great start. And then later we can talk more.

Jocelyn: When I talked to one of my kids about sex the first time it was very similar. She was very young and she was just asking questions and I was the one getting embarrassed and she had no idea that it should be embarrassing.

Janet: Yes.

Jocelyn: She was just like following up.

Janet: Right. And I love that because then it helped me to get used to it and it didn't affect her because what I was, it was like, please Lord, let me break the cycle.

Jocelyn: Yes. Yes.

Janet: Like, I don't want this, but it is uncomfortable for me. I can't tell you it wasn't, but that it is beautiful. I'm like, I do believe the things that I'm saying, and we, you know, we did this book on the princess and the kiss and it was about purity. And so we read that, which wasn't sex itself, but it was, referring to sex at that young age. And I remember her saying, it just makes me want to save that. And I was like, I know it is beautiful. Isn't it? Let's talk about what it is. And then-- it was great.

Jocelyn: That's cool.

Janet: but then it was not the last time we talked about it.

Jocelyn: Oh yeah, definitely.

Janet: Then I'd be doing laundry and one of them would walk in and go, Hey, can I ask you something? And then I'd be thinking, what in the world, where did that come from? And then we would talk about it.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: You know, so what did that look like in your home?

Jocelyn: Well, first of all, I will say there are some things that I would do differently if I could relive my life. And so this is not like perfection, but here's what we did. When they were little, we started talking about bodies from the time they were infants.

Janet: Yes.

Jocelyn: So when we would change diapers,

Janet: Right names of body parts.

Jocelyn: Right names of body parts. Yeah. Like, during diaper changes, we would talk about what we were doing during bath time. Like, they were learning words. So we named body parts like that's your elbow, that's your wrist, that's your vagina or that's your private area. So we started talking about proper body names from the time they were little and then it morphed into, especially during bath time, it morphed into talking about safe touch because that was really important that our children knew that there were parts of their body that were special. And we could build off of that foundation later on, but special and off limits to anybody else. And that those were private areas that no one should ever touch or look at or ask to take pictures of. And we even like set boundaries, like, At that point when the children went for annual physicals, the doctor would look at their private parts. So we would get them ready for that before the visit. Like the doctor is going to look at your private area and it's only okay because there's another grown up in the room. And we also explained like, if anyone, And like a doctor ever asked to look at your private parts, you are supposed to ask for someone else to be in the room too. Like it should never ever just be one person asking to do that. And they should be in a position where that's appropriate for them.

Janet: Right.

Jocelyn: So we talked about safe touch. We also talked about, like, if somebody tries to touch you, what your response should be. We had this little finger play that we did. You should scream, no, you should run away. And then you should tell a grownup right away. So we gave them like, what to do in the event that they would need to, or if somebody asked to take a picture of them or someone wanted to touch them, like we taught them to say, you are not allowed to touch me or that's my private space. For one daughter, we just felt like I mentioned before, we're like, we just followed the questions wherever the questions led. And the questions led to the whole explanation when she was like seven years old. So we had an anatomy coloring book that we used and I just showed like, okay. This is your uterus. These are your fallopian tubes. These are where your eggs come from. And it's just, it's anatomy.

Janet: She's fascinated. Yeah.

Jocelyn: It's part of how our bodies work. So, that explanation was because of being exposed to a girl who was pregnant and she wanted to know how that baby got put inside of there. And so we just followed the questions and the questions led to the whole explanation. And I was a little squirmy and she was just like, Oh, okay. And I kept on saying, she was like, but how, like, how did that part get put in there? And I was like, through the special way that God designed. Cause I thought that was like the seven year old explanation. And so she was like, right. But what's the special way? And so I'd say a little bit more. She was like, right. But what's how, like, what's that special way? And so finally I just drew pictures and explained like, here's the special way. And she was like, okay, cool. Like, that's how it works.

Janet: That's all I wanted to know.

Jocelyn: Yeah. So for another daughter, it was a little later cause she was a little bit more uncomfortable about it. But in her situation, we had farm animals at that time. And so she would just be like talking about how, boy, the, Rooster is really going after the hens. Like, what is that rooster doing?

Janet: Oh, let me tell you.

Jocelyn: And so we had to talk about it and we had goats and we were breeding goats cause we wanted to get baby goats. So it was like a natural part of like the mechanics of it built into the ongoing understanding of the intimacy of it. But as both got older, We just followed the questions and explained to the level of questions that they had expanding as they got older. But our goal was just like you said, like we wanted to start the conversation when they were babies and we just never wanted to end the conversation. We wanted to have those laundry room conversations in the middle of doing something else, they're like, Oh, I understand this more fully. And so I want to ask questions in a different level. And so one of the other things that we talked about too, as they got older was just the mechanics of God, how of the cool way that God made your body to progress in getting revved up for intimacy and why if sex is such an important part of marriage, such a blessing in marriage, why it's important to not allow you physiologically to get revved up to a certain level where you then have to put the brakes on and say, okay, that's my limit. I can go no further because of the habit that that develops where if you kiss and feel warm and fuzzy and then you hug or if you touch and then you get to this level where we're like, okay, if we go further,

Janet: Oh, gotta stop.

Jocelyn: We got to stop. We're going to have sex. What you've taught your body to do is get revved up, revved up, revved up, brakes. And then when you're married, You're still going to live in that same habit. And it just, that's just not with foresight. It's not where you want to be in marriage. You want to rev up and then go

Janet: And enjoy it.

Jocelyn: And enjoy it and not feel guilty and not have a body that is trained to function in a non natural way. So we just, as they got older, explained more and more of like What is physical touch supposed to do in your physical body and why is that a great thing? And why do you not

Janet: Why do you protect it for that great thing?

Jocelyn: Right. Why do you not want to do that in a way other than what God has said?

Janet: Love it.

Jocelyn: But from a theological point of view, I understand that sex is supposed to be a picture of the oneness of a husband and a wife and that oneness of a husband and wife is supposed to be a picture of the oneness of Christ in the church. So in my mind all the time I'm thinking, I know that Satan is going to attack sex.

Janet: Yes.

Jocelyn: So if that's true. I want to help my children to be wary of the wiles of the devil and to understand this is such an important topic because theologically it's pointing to the oneness of Christ in the church. And so I just want them to be aware. I want them to understand how this beautiful thing can be turned and used against them. So for me, it was like, this is an act of worship. I'm worshiping God by teaching them in a way that's appropriate. Just like I also taught them how to set the table, how to make a good budget, how to show up to work on time, how to not crash their car. Like,

Janet: yeah,

Jocelyn: I was teaching him lots of stuff.

Janet: And that was one of them.

Jocelyn: This is one of the many things.

Janet: So in that discipling, we're discussing the superiority of God's way over the world's. And I think it's not gonna be that long depending on their age and what they're exposed to, they're gonna see the pain and the confusion and the chaos that results from sex outside of marriage.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: You know, I remember when we were over the college ministry, it was a span of probably, I don't remember how many weeks, where 11 different people came and sat at our kitchen table crying, saying, I never thought it'd be me. And 11, not all the couples stayed together, but my kids saw that.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: Now, they didn't always know what all the conversations were, but it was like.

Jocelyn: Now, they didn't always know what all the conversations were, but it was like.

Janet: This is not good. And this is, and then God's way is better within the safety of a covenant. You can be vulnerable. And then. That's awesome. So that's part of the ongoing discipling. Both parents should be available for communication with either child. I think that's really helpful. It's not like talk to your mom about that.

Jocelyn: Yeah. Oh, yeah.

Janet: Talk to your dad about that.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: But there are some things that are gonna be more comfortable for the same sex parent To know how to relate to. I remember when my son was little he would talk to me frequently on Mondays when Brent's counseling, but there was one

Jocelyn: It's the day.

Janet: I know he wanted to talk about something and I don't remember the specifics, but it had to do with sex and intimacy. And he said to me, I know I can talk to you about anything, but I'd rather wait and talk to dad about these questions because I feel like he's going to understand me.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: And I'm like, well, that totally makes sense, son. That's fine. He said, I know dad's going to tell you. So I know you're going to know anyway.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: But I just would really rather just talk to dad. And I'm like, absolutely.

Jocelyn: Totally.

Janet: Absolutely.

Jocelyn: And I just want to say a word of caution too, when you're talking about the superiority of God's way over the world's is that just be really careful not to turn people into object lessons. I think that's one thing that can happen in a negative way. Like if someone ends up pregnant in your church and they're not married, you don't want to use that as a negative object lesson. Like, don't turn out like her. Look at her.

Janet: Right.

Jocelyn: She slept with someone and she's pregnant now. Like you can talk about the superiority of God's way without vilifying people

Janet: Excellent.

Jocelyn: And without making it an object lesson of how you should never be, because that's not hopeful or correct. And people do make mistakes.

Janet: Oh, absolutely.

Jocelyn: And so just like,

Janet: What I think would be great because someone asked me about that is, you know, if your child is noticing, but they're not married, they're pregnant

Jocelyn: Yeah. Right.

Janet: And that's not right. And I think what an awesome opportunity to say, and that wasn't the way God designed it. And now things are going to be a little harder for her. How can we love her?

Jocelyn: Yes.

Janet: How do we help her?

Jocelyn: How can you serve her?

Janet: Because she's now on a path that's going to be harder.

Jocelyn: Right.

Janet: And we've all made choices. Now we get to love her and she's going to need more help because she doesn't have the help of a husband. And sometimes it's for sinful reasons. Sometimes it's for suffering reasons.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: It could be for a variety of reasons, but it's not the ideal. Right. And now we're going to need to do more to help.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: Yeah. Excellent point though. We don't want to vilify people for sure.

Jocelyn: The confusion and the pain and the chaos is all around us though, like right now in the world that we live in, like there's so much transgender discussion and it's like allowing someone to have transgender surgery does not solve their problems and our kids are seeing that.

Janet: And having compassion for that.

Jocelyn: And our kids, like, especially if your kids are in public school, this is going to be something that they're thinking about and dealing with all the time. So you can talk about the chaos and the confusion. without vilifying the children that are stuck in the middle of that.

Janet: Yes.

Jocelyn: Like it is a terrible time that that child is in and the beauty of God's plan is so beautiful because it does not lead to chaos. It doesn't.

Janet: We would love for that child to have that.

Jocelyn: Right. And it leads to life and blessing and prosperity.

Janet: Good. And I would also say, make sure, we can just discuss things in age appropriate ways.

Jocelyn: Yes.

Janet: And typically it's exactly what you described, Jocelyn, just answering their questions.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: When they're little, we don't need to go farther than that. Now, then you decide that's informal teaching. We also did formal teaching where we just chose, we're going to do it because we want it all out there so that then as they have more questions, it's an ongoing subject. But, when they ask you, how are boys and girls different? Just answer the question.

Jocelyn: Yeah. There's different body parts.

Janet: Why do we have different parts? Why? This was helpful. At least one thing that we did explaining that those sexual parts are designed to bring pleasure to their spouse and especially for little boys to know that part is not for you to get pleasure, it's for you to give it.

Jocelyn: I think it's for little girls

Janet: saying that early on

Jocelyn: for little girls too. Like either child

Janet: it can

Jocelyn: can get in trouble with masturbation if they're not told not to.

Janet: It's just typically, a girl doesn't always notice it as much like a boy's going to have wet dreams.

Jocelyn: Right.

Janet: It's going to be more of a temptation for him unless she's figured that out in some way. But the desire can be there.

Jocelyn: Yeah. Things happen to his physical body that a little girl does not experience.

Janet: So but you're right. It can happen to either, but making sure they know this is something that you protect and it's designed for the other person. It's not designed for you. You know, so doing that early on learning to revel in their design by God. And we're going to list some resources that we actually didn't use because I don't think they were around when our kids were little.

Jocelyn: Yeah. I don't think they were. Yeah, they weren't.

Janet: We've got some great resources for conversations for books you can read about a lot of that now.

Jocelyn: I think parents are in a great time right now because there's a lot of great children's books that talk about why it's cool to be a girl. Why it's cool to be a boy and how that design is really a really wonderful thing.

Janet: And we'll link some, but I would say going to our church's resource page, and we'll just link to our store as well. There are a lot more, that can be really helpful. So then practically consider time like we did. Consider it. It's not in the Bible that you have to do it that way to get away and discuss not just sex but biblical manhood and womanhood individually. And that's what we did. We talked about the beauty of my little girl going to be a woman and that part of that is intimacy if she's married and what that looks like. But we did that and it was a sweet time. We each took our same sex child to a hotel that had an indoor water park so it could just be fun.

Jocelyn: It's so funny that you went to a place that had a water park to talk about sex because when you think about water park, you think about little kid, you know, and you were going to someplace that was special for a little kid because you were going to be talking about something that was very big kid.

Janet: That's funny. Yes.

Jocelyn: Isn't that funny? It's ironic.

Janet: And we did. And we did. What I remember about that is that I don't think it was me. I think it was my daughter was we got for dessert these popsicles and her tongue literally got stuck to it. It's really funny, but I remember that because it was very painful for her. It's like, okay, well, that wasn't really about anything, but I remember that and we laugh about it. We remember. So every family is different, but thinking We wanted to do that young enough that we knew they were hearing about it from us first and then they're going to hear it other places. But when they heard it other places, I wanted them to go, that's not right.

Jocelyn: That's not the way it,

Janet: That's not it.

Jocelyn: That's not correct.

Janet: It's something so much better than that. So that's what we wanted. We just used, my husband went to the library and got books that were drawings of body parts from like a health science perspective to show them as a drawing. We didn't want pictures.

Jocelyn: Right. Thats not necessary.

Janet: But we wanted drawings to explain things. So we did that. And that was just the beginning of questions that trickled out ever since.

Jocelyn: Yeah. We used an anatomy and physiology coloring book that

Janet: which what a great idea.

Jocelyn: So it's, it was a college level.

Janet: So it's like kids

Jocelyn: No, it was a college level coloring book. It's how

Janet: interesting

Jocelyn: anatomy and physiology classes in college often you get extra credit points for completing the coloring sheet because it's how you learn where the body parts are.

Janet: Love it.

Jocelyn: So we just use that because it was very visual black and white. You could see there's a uterus. This is what testes look.

Janet: I love that.

Jocelyn: It was really cool.

Janet: We didn't think... we didn't know about that. I like that better because then they're even part of it and it's just a normal thing. I love it. But as a result, each of my Children has at different points asked questions that surprised me that I didn't know they were thinking. You know, they've trusted me with questions they might have been tempted to ask peers. But they didn't need to because it wasn't weird to ask us. And just it was such a privilege. So in general, I know we've been very vague on purpose, but it's the purpose, it's the goals, it's the ongoing discipleship. But why don't we spend a little bit of time saying, what are typical questions that we've been asked, that we would want to answer? And I'll tell you one that I hear a lot, like, how early do you start? And you started early. You mentioned this.

Jocelyn: Oh, we started as babies.

Janet: How early do you start even talking to them about, for lack of a better word, the stranger danger like somebody doing something they shouldn't. And the question was said, not necessarily because we don't want them to know about sex, because we don't want to scare them. We don't want them to see everybody as a predator. And I said, you know, we did it early and I don't think my kids were scared. It was like lunchtime case study. Okay, here's our case study for the day. What would you do if, and we were aware of a family that really bad things that happened to their child at church. And they had written about it later. And so I was like, okay, just because my kids are in a safe environment,

Jocelyn: Oh yeah.

Janet: You know, we know we have to do this. But I don't want to scare them. So we just did it as case studies. So what would you do if. And so in general, what would you do if somebody opened their car door and said, my dog is missing, would you help me find him? No, mom. So we talk about that.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: What would you do if they said, your mom told me to pick you up at the park. Well, they had to know the code word, which my son is still embarrassed by what our code word was. But I was like, I think it was a good one because nobody would ever,

Jocelyn: Yeah. We had a code word too. No one would ever have used that code word.

Janet: Exactly. Josh was like, I don't even want anyone to ever say the code word. But you know, it was poopy, dumb, dumb. And you know what? If somebody ever said that to them, they would know that I had told them to go get them. I'm like, unless they know the code word, you don't go near them. So we did that in general. And then I said, what if they would touch you in places that we've already said that's for yours? Are you married? No. Are you married to that person? No. Then those parts are for that person. What would you do if anyone you were not married to touch those parts? Oh, I have to run away? What would you do if they said, if you tell your mom, I'll kill her. And you would think that would terrify them, but it didn't. It was all in my what ifs. Like, what would you do? And it was a great time to talk theologically.

Jocelyn: That's a great idea.

Janet: Because I said, what would you do? Because that's terrifying. Like, I can't tell them, because they would, we said, well, let's think about that. Who decides when mommy dies? Does this man? No. Who decides when mommy dies? God does. Is he bigger than God? No. So, can he really control when mommy dies? No. Who controls when mommy dies? God. What has mommy said you must do in order to obey mommy and to allow mommy to do her job? You have to tell me. So, if you're going to not sin. You have to tell me. And you don't need to be afraid of what some other person said because they're not as big as God.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: So what's the very first thing you do? So one of our rules was if anybody ever says to you in any circumstance, don't tell your parents

Jocelyn: then tell your parents.

Janet: You have to. It's not even a judgment call.

Jocelyn: No.

Janet: You have to.

Jocelyn: We had the same.

Janet: We did all of that as case studies at lunch.

Jocelyn: That's quick. We did that same policy of there are no secrets in our house. Like the Wallace's do not keep secrets. We said the one difference from that policy is if the secret was about a secret birthday party, then you are allowed to keep that secret. But then we're like, P. S. If you ever throw us a secret birthday party, we will be so mad. So please don't ever do it. We don't like secret birthday parties. So like the Wallace's don't keep secrets.

Janet: Right.

Jocelyn: We don't keep secrets from each other or from our parents. It's just kind of like a family mantra, like there's nothing worth keeping secrets from your parents.

Janet: Yes. And you know, as you get older, my kids are adults. And If a friend goes to my daughter and says, can you help me in this area? She doesn't have to come tell me, but she's old enough now to understand what she should tell me and what she doesn't need to tell me. But we told them growing up, I've made the decision for you that if, if you're going to obey me as your parent. You cannot know something and not tell me.

Jocelyn: That's a, that's a great policy.

Janet: You just can't.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: Like if your friend would say, don't tell anyone, but I skipped school and they're like, well, it's not really about me. Should I tell, should I not? I'm like the minute they say, don't tell anyone you have to tell me. I don't care what it's about. We'll talk about it together.

Jocelyn: Because how can you do your job?

Janet: Right. And I would tell them my job before God is to guide you. I cannot guide you if I don't know things.

Jocelyn: That's a great policy.

Janet: So you're keeping me from doing my job. And you're disobeying a direct command from me. Because I had kids who were like, what is the rule? I'm like, here's the rule. Now you don't have a judgment call to make. That's a lot to ask of a kid. Should I tell? Should I not? You don't have a choice. You have to tell me. And even if you tell me that your friend said, I got your mom a gift. Ruin the surprise. You have to obey. You have to tell me. And then we'll go, Oh, that's sweet of them. You don't. That'll be great. I'll enjoy it. But you did not sin in telling me because I've told you you're not old enough to be able to make judgment calls on that. I'm making them for you. You must tell me everything.

Jocelyn: That's cool.

Janet: And I think. That did not scare them. So when we did the what ifs, what would you do if, what would you do if, that was just kind of something we did. So we did it early.

Jocelyn: So I can speak to the other side of that and say, what if what you talk about does scare your child?

Janet: Yes.

Jocelyn: Because it does happen sometimes. And I will say , a good thing about that is that knowing if your child has fear to deal with is a good thing. And so if talking about stuff is scary, or if they say this feels too big, then you know

Janet: This is an area we need to help them with.

Jocelyn: not to go any further, but also that topic might just be connecting with a fear in their heart. And it just came out in that topic.

Janet: And you want to know.

Jocelyn: And I want to know about fear because one of my kids is very fearful. And things have connected differently with her than they did with the other child. And so

Janet: that's right.

Jocelyn: We've talked about this topic differently for that reason, but the fear still needed to be dealt with.

Janet: Right. And it's not like, Oh, I shouldn't have said anything. No. You just surfaced that there is a fear. Now we know how to better help.

Jocelyn: Yeah. And in those situations I was able to say more specifically, like if this thing happens, here are specific ways that you should handle it. And also now let's talk about why that made you so afraid.

Janet: Right.

Jocelyn: So there's multiple things that we were discipling about.

Janet: An issue that was not the case when my kids were little, cause everybody didn't have a phone. But one of the questions I got asked in this same venue was, when do you talk to your kids about like sexting? Because you don't want to scare them again. Like you don't want them to think, Oh my word, is somebody going to send me a wha da da da da? It's like, well, I don't think it's scary to do the what ifs. What would you do if, and did you know that people do this? That's, I know, it's so opposite of what we said intimacy is for. You don't know that person, so there's no knowing there, like it's so inferior, so we can talk about all that, but then say it happens. But one question is, I would at least say this, and you can add to this if you want. When you believe your kids are at a place where they need a phone, You better be able to talk to them about all that stuff.

Jocelyn: Oh, absolutely.

Janet: So if you're not ready to talk about sexting, don't hand them a phone.

Jocelyn: I agree. And we talked to our kids at length about the purpose of their phone, what was supposed to be used for

Janet: and whose phone it was.

Jocelyn: And whose phone it was. Yeah. And our family, and this is just our family. This is not God's word, but our family, until our kids were 18, those phones belonged to us. We paid for them and we could take them away at any point they were not being used appropriately. So we actually had a phone contract that was just a list of the guidelines that we would allow with the use of our phone. So until they were 18, we owned their phone and we paid for their service. But as soon as they turned 18, they paid for their own monthly service and for any future phone they bought it. But we had really specific rules. Like here's an example. Phones never belong in the bedroom

Janet: or bathroom

Jocelyn: where, yeah, but ours was never allowed in the bedroom. And so it just wasn't ever even a question. You can't take your phone into the bedroom. And then we explained why. There's never a reason to take a video of someone doing something private. There's never ever reason to take a picture of someone's areas of their body that should be covered. And we even went so far as to say like, there's never any reason to take a picture of anyone without their permission or to share it without their permission. And then it led into talking about bullying and all sorts of different things.

Janet: Oh, sure.

Jocelyn: But sexting was one of the things that we talked about, just in general, like what's an appropriate way to use technology. But in order to do that, we did have to share like, this is what sexting is.

Janet: Yes.

Jocelyn: I feel like it's appropriate for you to understand this. They were horrified, but like, I would rather them be horrified in the safety of our own home than to find out about it when someone shares something with them.

Janet: And then if someone did and you've already talked about it, it might be horrifying, but they know to tell you they're not like, Oh my word, what will my parents do? They'll think I did. No, you've already talked about it.

Jocelyn: And we also discussed the legal ramifications of sexting too, because we understand from lots of different things that happened in other situations, like the legal consequences that go along with sexting. Like every single time, actually, I'll just say it here because people may not know that. Every single time someone receives a photograph of an underage child that is unclothed, it's actually a felony. It's a felony to receive a photo. It's an additional felony to pass that photo along. So in situations, and some high schools have gotten into trouble with this, where someone has a picture of an unclothed minor, every single kid who forwarded that picture is charged with a felony. That a felony that you may not ever be able to get off of your record if you're charged as an adult,

Janet: If it's a sex crime. Yeah.

Jocelyn: If you're tried as an adult. So we talked about it from that level of the seriousness of the legal consequences that you may incur that you'll never be able to erase from your record. And just to be very, very wise. So it also, then it morphed into like, don't open any attachment that comes to your phone because you don't know what kind of things have a virus in them or an email. So just, you know, it's one of many conversations that we had about appropriate ways to use technology. Just like we also have the rule of you don't bring your phone to the table because that's rude and inappropriate.

Janet: Right.

Jocelyn: Like the table is for when you eat and talk to each other, not when you're on your phone. So you know, it's just one of the many policies.

Janet: And deciding when they need a phone. I know for us-- and every family's different. Think through again, what is the purpose and is it hindering or helping their godliness and righteousness? We decided when they were driving we wanted them to be able to get to us. So when they were 16, they were able to have a phone. They were not allowed to delete any texts or messages. We had to look at them and then at that point they only had a limited amount so my son would come to me and he's like,

Jocelyn: Look at them.

Janet: Can we delete something? Because I can't. And then I could look through them and ask questions and so

Jocelyn: we had the same policy. Only ours was as soon as our children got a job, they had to have a phone because we wanted them to always have access to us

Janet: Yes. That's right.

Jocelyn: If there was an unsafe situation or also they needed picked up because they got jobs before they could drive.

Janet: There you go. So you had a reason.

Jocelyn: We had, we had to have phones, but it was the same thing. Well, but open access anytime we know all the passwords, no one's allowed to delete or add anything without permission. So

Janet: Yeah.

Jocelyn: Phone contracts. I love phone contracts. It's good to know what's expected of you. One of the questions that I got asked a lot was, how to handle sleepover request. And I'll just ask a couple of questions, like high level questions about purpose. I would say if anyone is wondering about sleepovers, I would say, what is the purpose of the sleepover?

Janet: Yeah.

Jocelyn: And it's called a sleep over. And my question always was how much sleep is actually happening when you're at a sleep over? And are your children old enough to understand how to get out of a situation that they may not have the power to escape from? And do they know, and are they, strong enough to escape a situation that they may be vulnerable to. And so because of all of our concerns, we had a no sleepover policy with our family. Obviously you can choose for your own family how you handle that. But our family, our kids were very sleep sensitive. And so I also said like, what good things happen after 9 p. M.

Janet: Right.

Jocelyn: For a child who is under the age of majority, like children require huge levels of sleep. And a sleep deficit takes days to catch up. And so for our family, it just wasn't feasible. Our kids needed to sleep. And I also thought too, like there's a lot of intimate moments that happen at sleepovers that are artificial. So. , we really cautioned our girls from developing friendships that could be considered best friendships.

Janet: Yeah.

Jocelyn: Because I didn't believe that it was biblical. It felt very exclusionary. It held other people away and it gave this kind of sense of ownership over each other. So I'm your best friend, you are my best friend, and there's no other best friends involved. We own each other. And the dangerous progression in a world where sexuality has no limits is that intimacy of friendship leads to intimacy that's physical in nature.

Janet: Yeah.

Jocelyn: And so if you're intimate as friends, it very easily lends itself to become physically intimate and without any mores in our society saying that's not appropriate. It can turn into something that is unfortunate by accident. And so because of that same concern, we also didn't, we encouraged our kids to not sleep in the same bed as other children, even if they were girls,

Janet: Yep. That's very wise.

Jocelyn: Because there's no reason to. Like, if you're at a sleepover and then you can be in your sleeping bag and they can be in their sleeping bag, but we didn't do sleepovers. So it wasn't really

Janet: Right.

Jocelyn: Even, well, we did do sleepovers with cousins. And even in that case, I said, you may sleep in that cousin's bedroom as long as you stay in your sleeping bag the whole time. There's no sleeping in the same bed and there's no touching each other. Like. Never. We have safe areas on our body and no one ever touches them. So the progression of physical intimacy is something that your children just need to understand about. Like your body is your own private space and no one should be touching it. And we just personally didn't see any good reason for sleepovers except for the few times that we had sleepovers at cousin's house because there was a good reason because we were all in the same house and we were all sharing three bedrooms.

Janet: Right. Right. And we did more of them, but I will tell you. That is, you know, you mentioned earlier, there are things you would do differently. That's one I would do differently. I think in my ignorance, and because I did them growing up, It's just, you kind of do things because that's what we did

Jocelyn: Because that's what happened.

Janet: And nothing terrible happened. So praise the Lord. But that's not true for a lot of people.

Jocelyn: And terrible things do happen all the time.

Janet: That's what I mean. It's not true for a lot of people. But It happens all the time. But because it didn't,

Jocelyn: Right.

Janet: I didn't think of it. And I do believe that I put my children Specifically, probably more my daughter, because it didn't happen as much with my son, in a position that was more vulnerable. And I would not do that now. I'm grateful that we're okay.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: And we would be okay either way.

Jocelyn: Right.

Janet: Because God loves to redeem.

Jocelyn: Right.

Janet: But I probably wouldn't do that again.

Jocelyn: But you don't want to needlessly expose them to danger.

Janet: Exactly.

Jocelyn: Right.

Janet: And I believe I did. So I, I would do that differently now, but I totally agree with what you said. So they need to think about that. The why.

Jocelyn: What's the purpose? Yeah.

Janet: Yeah. And why would we do that?

Jocelyn: And is it advancing your parenting goals?

Janet: Yes. Yes. So, hopefully this gives you some things to think about when it comes to your kids. We will link a lot of resources that some are for you to learn more about intimacy biblically personally. And some are for how to talk to your kid, but hopefully this will be an ongoing conversation in your home as well.

Jocelyn: And it's really precious when you can present this as a beautiful, precious, good thing to protect.

Janet: Yes.

To keep from missing any future episodes, please sign up for our newsletter on our webpage joyfuljourneypod.com. From there you can also subscribe to this podcast on Apple, Google, or Spotify. You can also visit us on our Facebook page or Instagram at Joyful Journey Podcast. If you have questions or comments for us, you can email us at joyfuljourneyquestions@outlook.com. Joyful Journey Podcast is a ministry of Faith Bible Seminary. All proceeds go to offset costs of this podcast and toward scholarships for women to receive their MABC through Faith Bible Seminary.

Host Janet and her husband, Brent, also speak at a variety of conferences as a way to raise money for the seminary. If you want to look at what they offer or book them for a conference, go to their website.

Janet Aucoin


Janet is the Director of Women's Ministry at Faith Church (Lafayette, IN); Host of the Joyful Journey Podcast (helping women learn that when you choose truth you choose joy); ACBC certified; teacher in Faith Community Institute; Coordinator of FBS seminary wives fellowship, retreat and conference speaker; B.S. Human Resources, University of South Florida.