When it comes to sex, language matters.

March 5, 2019 | Written by Suzy Bates

Formation is a series of posts about ideas and truths God is using to shape us at Pulpit Rock.

Within our ministry to families at Pulpit Rock, we want to empower our parents to embrace the influence they likely never knew they have always had with their own kids.

Parents are, without a doubt, the strongest spiritual influence in a kid’s life.

But most parents feel ill-equipped to disciple their kids – especially in matters related to sexuality.

This is why the church can serve its families well by equipping parents to enter in to these crucial conversations with their kids confidently. Be on the lookout for a new parent resource area in The Gathering Place in the coming weeks to help us better equip our parents!

In the meantime, here are some helpful things to consider:

Language matters.

In our annual PRiSM series, The Talk(s), we address all the hot button topics – Identity, addiction, self-perception and harm, suicide and depression, and sexual integrity.

Our desire is to break down the old belief system that there are things you just shouldn’t talk about at church.

These are the greatest issues facing the next generation and the choices they make regarding these things have serious consequences! Parents and the church should be leading the way in these conversations, creating safe places for discussion so truth can root down in the hearts of the next generation. And we should enter in to these conversations purposefully having thoughtfully considered our posture and our language.

One way we do that is by talking about sexual integrity versus sexual purity.

The term sexual purity has been used in church for a long time and if you’re an adult who spent your teen years in church it’s likely you heard a talk about how remaining sexually pure until marriage is God’s best plan for your life. Of course it is! But those words can be unhelpful and misleading in a few ways:

– What if you’ve already messed up? Is it possible to earn your purity back? Labeling someone “pure” or        not can cut out a large group of teens who have already made a sexual choice they probably wish they            could take back. When purity is described as something that can be lost, where is the hope on the            other side of that? So we choose to talk about sexual integrity. Integrity is defined as the quality of   being honest. We can all fight for that, no matter what choices we may have already made.

– Since when did the fight for sexual integrity END once we get married?! Anyone who is married      knows that this fight is one we will always face. This is not a lesson for our teenagers to sit down and   be lectured on by us. This is something we are all ALWAYS fighting for, together. Now that’s a beautiful         story that teenagers can see themselves joining us in.

Timing matters.

Parents, be encouraged to begin having these crucial conversations at a young age! Don’t wait until they’re 17, or even 15. We should be talking about sexuality and identity by the time our kids are 9 or 10 at the latest. The fact is, exposure to these topics is happening earlier and earlier.

The question isn’t “When will they hear about it?” but “Who will they hear about it from?” Parents, this information needs to come from YOU. Silence is not an option.

We need to be having these conversations and we need to be encouraging others who carry spiritual influence (church leaders) to be having them as well.

When we become the best, most consistent and trusted voice concerning sexuality, we minimize the impact of other types of sex education in our kids’ lives.

This is why The Talk(s) is a yearly series in our Student Ministry at Pulpit Rock. And this is why we added the (s) onto The Talk – it’s not just a box to check, a one time conversation that leaves us feeling whew glad we got that awkward thing out of the way!

This is many conversations. This is a dialogue. This is a journey. This is discipleship.


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