How to Talk to Your Daughter About Sex

By Erin Bishop

How to talk to your daughter about sexSome parents plan ahead for the “sex talk” and maybe even rehearse it in front of the bathroom mirror a few times, and then bring it up when they think their daughter is ready to learn about such a serious topic.

But sometimes, thanks to our over sexualized media, and the placement of certain magazines next to the candy, Matchbox Cars, and Princess Band-Aids, we find ourselves dodging questions like bullets in the checkout line because our daughter wants to know exactly what Cosmo means by “Kinky Sex Moves”, “Summer’s Hottest Sex” and what the deal is with this Bruce Jenner person.

For some parents, the idea of talking to their daughter about sex may cause anxiety for various reasons. If this is the case for you, I encourage you to ask yourself why. Why it’s uncomfortable and if there are some issues from your past you could work through with a licensed counselor so that you can be available to talk to your daughter about this important topic.

Or, maybe you’re worried you won’t know what to say, or you’re afraid you’ll embarrass yourself or your daughter. Give yourself some grace. Kids are resilient and they are looking for some direction and leadership from you. We have some great resources at the end of the article to help you on your way.

Talking about sex with my daughter has always come easy to me. It kind of had to. You see, she’s 17, and my husband and I have only been married 14 years. There’s a story here, and you can read part of it, here.

7 Tips for Talking to Your Girl About Sex

  • First, pray. Ask God to give you peace, clear communication with your daughter, and for the Holy Spirit to go with you and before you to prepare her heart, and yours, for the conversation.
  • Start with the truth. Tell her what sex is, that God created it for husbands and wives, and why. Arming our daughters with a firm foundation in the truth will empower and equip them to admonish cultural lies and choose God’s best for their lives. When we do things God’s way and save sex for marriage, there is no shame, condemnation, fear of an unplanned pregnancy, or sexually transmitted diseases. Our daughters will know kids who have sex and see on the outside that things seem fine and normal-but the changes that occur on the inside of a girl who has had sex outside of marriage can be devastating-even traumatic.
  • Have a gentle, loving spirit. This will set the tone for this part of your relationship with her. This will reassure her that she can trust you and come to you with questions and for guidance.
  • Be open and honest. Her little girl body will begin to change into a woman’s body. She may experience curiosity, confusion, arousal, embarrassment or shyness about her growing body. She needs to know these changes and feelings are normal before someone or something tells her otherwise. Give her an idea of what to expect, and ask her if she has any questions or concerns.
  • Know where you stand and stay there. Flexible morals are no morals at all. Our daughters are counting on us to be leaders and hold them accountable to a higher standard.
  • Your actions should line up with your words. Some movies, television shows, books and music normalize casual and premarital sex. Adults in her life may be shacking up with someone, sending the message that sex outside of marriage is acceptable.
  • Keep talking. The “sex talk” shouldn’t be a one-time conversation. It needs to be an ongoing dialogue that continually keeps her grounded in the truth and the knowledge that she can talk to you about this and anything else, without fear, rejection, or condemnation.

Reflection Questions:

  • Do you feel prepared to talk to your daughter about sex?
  • When do you plan to talk about sex with your daughter?

God’s Truth to Stand On:

  • “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6
  • “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2:10

Putting It Into Practice:

  • Pray for your daughter and her desire to lead a life of purity and sexual integrity.
  • Keep the conversation going. By demonstrating that you are a tender and loving person to confide in, she will feel free to talk to you about this and many other topics.

Suggested Resources:

Passport to Purity

“Preparing Your Daughter for Every Woman’s Battle: Creative Conversations About Sexual and Emotional Integrity” by Shannon Ethridge  

“Every Young Woman’s Battle” by Shannon Ethridge

“Every Single Woman’s Battle: Guarding Your Heart and Mind Against Sexual and Emotional Compromise” by Shannon Ethridge

Make Him Climb for You; My Big Brother’s Dating Advice

By Hanna Chaffin

Hanna's imageGrowing up with an older brother had its challenges, but it also turned out to be one the most rewarding things in my life. Though we would argue and bicker about pointless mishaps and pretend we didn’t know each other in elementary school, I always knew that he had my back and would protect me from anyone who tried to mess with me. When high school finally came around, we realized that it was just the two of us against the world and not each other. We decided to make a pact to never fight again and since then, we have been inseparable.

There was one piece of advice he gave me one afternoon while we sat in the kitchen after school. I remember it clearly because I was having “boy issues.” Frustrated and confused I started venting to my big brother about how boys were “lame” and I didn’t understand why I was single. Instead of the usual eye roll and chuckle out of him, he sat down beside me, put his arm around me, and began to tell me about climbing the apple tree. He told me that us girls were like a gigantic tree. I had no idea what where he was going with this, so I hid my laughter and kept listening for a punch line. But then he got serious, and began to explain something to me that I will never forget. He told me that when a guy seeks a girl for the wrong reasons, he goes for the apples on the bottom of the tree because they are easier to reach. They never want to climb the tree and seek out the apples at the very top because those ones are too much work. So they keep going back for the ones closer to the ground, and eventually the apples on the top of tree start to think that maybe there is something wrong with them because they have not yet been picked. However one day, a brave man will come along and take the daring climb to the top of the tree and he will seek the apples for the right reasons, and know that God has called him to make the climb.

“That is what you need to wait for.” he told me.

“Wait for the man who will make the climb and don’t worry about being at the top of tree. That only means that you respect yourself enough to not throw yourself to any boy.”

Who would have known that one talk about an apple tree would change my perspective forever? I hope that every young girl knows that she does not always need to be dating someone. Sometimes we have to wait until God sends the right guy up the ladder.

 

 

 

Hope for those who are boy-crazy

By Tracy Steel

I spent the majority of my teens and 20s swooning over countless young men. I was boy-crazy.

Perhaps a certain boy is on your mind 24/7. Maybe you believe that having a boyfriend will make you 100% content and satisfied. If so, I pray you’ll consider reading Paula Hendricks new book, Confessions of a boy-crazy girl: On Her Journey From Neediness To Freedom. What follows is a portion of my story and review of the book.

confessions of boy crazy bk ocver (1)

By the time I finished reading the fourth paragraph (not the fourth chapter mind you, but literally the fourth paragraph) of this book, I was hooked.

On page 18, Paula confesses:

“… I wanted off my merry-go-round ride that never stopped its perpetual spinning. It went something like this:

  1. Spot a cute boy (we’ll call him Boy A).
  2. Dream about Boy A.
  3. Do whatever it takes to make Boy A notice me.
  4. Even though Boy A doesn’t pursue me, hang onto my dream of Boy A…
  5. Mend my broken heart by hating Boy A and finding another cute boy (Boy B).
  6. Replace Boy A with Boy B.
  7. Dream about Boy B.
  8. Make sure Boy B notices me.
  9. Hang on to my dream of Boy B until he…
  10. Move on to another cute boy—Boy C.

The truth is, I went through an entire alphabet—and more—of boys over the years.”

I so get this.

My list of dream hunks spanned the entire English alphabet, as well as the alphabet of several foreign languages. By the time I entered my late 20s, I wanted to be married like everyone around me. I found myself on this same merry-go-round of thinking and feeling. I was incredibly unhappy, and God’s presence seemed to elude me no matter how hard I prayed or no matter how hard I tried not to “like” another boy.

Is there hope for those that day dream about a boy after boy? Is there hope for those who need to have a boyfriend ALL the time (and who will do anything to get one?)

Absolutely.

Confessions of a boy-crazy girl, is full of wisdom and encouragement for young girls who want to break the habit of moving through an alphabetical list of love interests, and for those wanting freedom from heartache and hopelessness. I love how this book combines snippets of Paula’s personal journal entries with solid Biblical teaching. Paula addresses issues such as temptation, beauty, jealousy, and the danger of forcing a “happy ending” in an honest, wise, and sometimes, humorous manner.

Teen girl, if you feel rejected or guilty for having boys constantly on your brain, or fear spending the rest of your life alone, you are more normal than you think. You are NOT beyond the saving and redeeming work of God in your heart either. I am proof of this.

Overtime, my need for male attention decreased as my desire for God’s affection increased.  When God decided it was time, He brought my husband into the picture. Was I perfect in every way when I met Chad?

No way.

Yet, God helped me find deeper security and contentment in His love for me so I could freely love the husband He has given to me.

The merry-go-round in my mind has ceased…

How did Paula’s journey from “neediness to freedom” end? Did God finally bring Mr. Right into her life? You will have to read the book to find out! I believe the final sentences of this book will truly inspire your heart- especially if it is occupied with Boy “C” or “Q” or “Z” right now.

Enter to win a copy of Confessions of a boy-crazy girl

The author has graciously donated an autographed copy of this book- thank you Paula! We would like to give it away to one of you. Simply comment below. We will us Random Number Generator to pick and announce the winner on February 23, 2014.

The Winner of an autographed copy of Confessions of a boy-crazy girl is Jo Cook Millett!

Jo look for an email from Whatever Girls to claim your prize.

Praying for the Love of Your Life

praying for your future husbandBy Emily Miller

Since today is Valentine’s Day, I want to discuss the topic of how teen girls can pray for their future husbands.

I can remember when I was younger, making Valentine’s Day cards for my family and friends. It was so much fun to hand them out, and get them back in return. I can also remember dreaming about who my Mr. Right would be…..

What would he look like? What would his name be? How many children would we have?

From a very young age, I have also prayed for, “the love of my life”.

Some may think that it’s too young for teenagers to even begin to think of marriage. However, if it’s approached with the right frame of mind and our thoughts, wishes, and hopes are taken to the Lord in prayer, it can be beneficial to everyone.

The following is a list of ways that you can start to pray for the love of your life.

  • First off, when a teenager prays for her future husband, she should not pray with the expectation that she will absolutely be married in the future. No one but the Lord knows what our future holds. “Not my will, but yours,” is a great statement to include when one prays for her husband, as well as for anything and anyone else. This keeps us in the mindset that God is ultimately in control in our lives, and that it is up to him to decide if we are to eventually marry or remain single.
  • Secondly, we can pray for our future husband’s purity. When we do this it can ultimately help keep us pure mentally and physically as well. When we pray for our future husband’s purity, we can also be praying for our own as well. This can help keep us spiritually and personally motivated to save ourselves for our wedding night. With all the temptations out in the world today when it comes to purity, it can be hard to really be dedicated to staying pure for the person you eventually marry. Having a little extra motivation and assistance through prayer can really help.
  • Thirdly, you can pray that God will mold both you and your future husband into the people he wants you to be for each other and for Him. Marriage was designed to provide humans with companionship as well as to further His kingdom. However, in order for this to be accomplished, we must allow God to mold us and shape us. Hebrews 13:4 says, “Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral” (NIV).
  • We can also pray for our future Mr. Right’s spirituality. It is increasingly becoming harder and harder to be a Christian in the world today. It can be really hard to lose sight of God and question our faith with all the lies Satan is spreading. Because of this, our future husband, as well as ourselves, can use all the prayer we can get.
  • Finally, we can pray for our future partner’s health and well-being. We really don’t know what he could be facing as we pray for him. When you finally do get married, you may just discover that you were praying for God to protect your husband physically right when he was going through a difficult time in his life.

There are so many ways we can pray for our future husband. God intended marriage to be Christ-centered, pure and holy. The main way we can keep marriage like this is to pray for our future husbands, as well as ourselves, in the key areas listed above.

All for Him,

Emily

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A Flashy Neon Light: Mommy Porn

By Jen Ferguson

I’m betting you, Mom, don’t feel satisfied in every area of your life every single day.  And I’m betting that you, like me, try to do something to change this, even if it’s just a momentary lift.

It happens.  We feel lonely, we go get some chocolate or wine and settle into a good book.  We feel restless, we begin to think about exotic vacations.  We feel out of control in our household environment, we leave for a run or a night out with friends.  Anything to escape these negative, and at times, overwhelming feelings.  We’re made to crave light.  We don’t like dreariness.

I’m glad I have outlets and I think God gives us fantastic writers, good chocolate, and amazing friends to help us deal with the pressures of this life.  But we have to evaluate what we’re running to, lest we find ourselves seeking joy and pleasure in these outlets instead of our relationship with Jesus.  See we crave light, but we often substitute the true light of Jesus for flashy neon ones.  The world twinkles, doesn’t it?  And we are often drawn in by its lure like a moth to a flame.

NeonLights

So much of the world is fake, though, right?  But even though we know this somewhere in the back of our minds, we try to let worldly expectations become our reality.  We allow our minds and our hearts to be deeply influenced by Hollywood movies for sure, but it’s also lurking in books.  There’s an entire shelf at Goodreads.com dedicated to category of “Mommy Porn.”

See, the world saw us as unhappy moms who were dissatisfied with our sex lives and it told us that we needed to escape into a world where satisfaction was pinnacle and the way to get it was to embrace erotica and find ourselves sexually.

I don’t think there is anything wrong with knowing what pleases us. I think God totally wants us to enjoy sex.  He created it, right?  It’s a gift for us.  And He created our bodies to be arousing for our spouses.  Read Song of Solomon and you’ll find we were meant to explore each other.  But when we embrace torrid affairs and domination, our expectations change.  If we weren’t already satisfied, we sure won’t be now either.  We’re spending our time getting lost in a world that’s not reality.

But what can be reality? I truly believe God wants you to have an amazing sex life.  But what if we consult Him about out sex lives instead of worldly books?  What if we ask Him to help fix what doesn’t satisfy?  And what if our bringing our less-than-stellar bedroom experiences to Him also allows us to grow closer with our husbands spiritually and emotionally?

What if we don’t cut God out of our sex lives, but instead ask Him to be Lord over it?

Crazy, right?  We don’t often think about God in the bedroom.  But the truth is, the Bible addresses sex and marriage a lot.  Which means, He’s probably pretty interested in helping yours be awesome.  But He doesn’t need help from “Mommy Porn” books.   And if you use them to ignite the bedroom flame, you run the risk of setting your marriage up for failure.

We will be unpacking these thoughts for the next few months because your view on marriage and sex will influence your daughter’s view on marriage and sex.  It can be really difficult to teach something to our kids if we don’t really know it ourselves.  And, girls, our God wants us to KNOW Him.

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Social Media Outlets Parents Must Know About

By Jen Ferguson

I’m sure most of you know about Twitter.  And Facebook.  Probably Instagram, too.  But there are other social media outlets your kids might be plugged into of which you have never heard.  The standard rules of “don’t give out personal information” or “don’t chat with people you don’t know” and “keep your passwords private” just aren’t enough.  These social media outlets have dangerous facets, which some of our kids might not process through entirely.  They need our help to navigate these territories.  In order to do that, though, we must be educated on what’s out there.

WG Know

SnapChat

What it is:  Essentially, SnapChat markets itself as a way to share any day’s ordinary moment with a friend.  You can take a quick selfie, add a caption, send to a friend.  And it all disappears within 10 seconds.  The message is this: Whatever I send is so temporary that it really doesn’t matter. 

Why it’s dangerous:  SnapChat gives the illusion that there will be no lasting consequences for the pictures we take and send.  The proof will be gone to never return.  When we think we can get aways with something that is wrong, temptation jumps to a whole new level.

What you and your child need to know:  Anything you post online or send through data channels still exists in they cyber world.  You may only know how to see it for 10 seconds, but it doesn’t mean the data itself dissolves into incomprehensible grains of sand.  You never know what information or pictures will turn up one day.  The truth is, too, that many colleges and employers are using things like Google and Facebook to find out who we really are instead of just looking at a black-and-white resume.  We need to teach our children that when they put something out there (even with perceived privacy), we must be prepared to have it resurface again, probably at the most inopportune time.  Do they really want their future college, mate, or employer to see a sext they sent five years ago? No. Of course not.  But if they do not understand that this possibility exists, we are doing them a great disservice.  (For a great article about SnapChat and it’s snares, check this out.)

Vine

What it is:  Vine is an app (now owned by Twitter) that allows a user to record a looping 7 second long video using in-app camera software.

Why it’s dangerous:  Vine, nor Twitter for that matter, bans pornographic content on their site. In fact, they only bumped up the minimum age required to download the app from 12 to 17 at the request of Apple.  

What you and your child need to know:  Vine can be super fun to use for making videos.  It can be neat to see other creative souls at work, too.  However, it’s pretty easy to search and find porn on Vine.  Some images now have a “caution” but they seem to not have adequate staff to catch all images before users can view them.  There is also no way to tell Vine you don’t want to see certain types of images (i.e. there is no way to filter out the porn).  You or your child could easily be searching for something innocent, but be confronted with something very much not innocent pretty quickly.

Kik

What it is:  Kik is a messaging system for smartphones.

Why it’s dangerous:  Stated on the Kik site is their statement of belief, part of which entails this: Your smartphone is actually part of you: always on, always connected, and always with you. We see it as an implant. It just hasn’t been implanted yet.  I don’t know about you, but this scares me as much as for myself as it does for my children.  I don’t want to be this tied to their phone, much less encourage my children to exude this behavior.  In addition, there is the illusion of privacy that we have in SnapChat.  Kik doesn’t use the mobile number to send messages, which means they won’t show up as text messages on the phone bill.  Instead, it uses user names and sends the messages through the data network on the app.

What you and your child need to know:  You can send pretty much anything through the Kik app.  Pictures, links to YouTube videos, messages, sketches, and smilies.  These leaves a wide-open door to sexting and cyber-bullying.  In addition, it is difficult to know the true identity of someone on Kik and the app does not seek any type of “proof” that a child is 17+ before someone downloads the app.  17+ rating is a huge indicator that your child could be exposed to highly inappropriate images or people.

As we discussed last month, it is so critical we have conversations with our teens about what they are using and why.  Can anyone share a personal experience with these (or any other) social media teen hangouts?  What tips/information do you have?  There is so much power in learning from each other!

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