By Erin Bishop
Some 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.
- 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.
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
By Hanna Chaffin
Let me be clear, being smart is powerful. I am sure you have witnessed those girls in school who twirl their hair as they pretend to not know the answer. Or, they act dumb to get the attention of the cute boy sitting next to them. If you think that getting a guy’s attention entails flipping your hair, showing puppy dog eyes, and loudly saying, “wait, what?” after every joke, or question asked, you’re wrong. I mean sure, you may look unthreatening, and somewhat cute, but for the most part it is just a tad air headed!
In high school, I remember thinking that girls shouldn’t have to dumb themselves down in order to be less intimidating to guys. It seems that in today’s society more emphasis is put on being the center of attention for negative reasons, rather than having confidence in the woman you have been created to be.
Why would we pretend to be something we are not for the sake of a crush that really doesn’t deserve our time? Some women say they are looking for a man who is smart and confident. Why can’t we want the same thing for ourselves?
Having a keen intellect should be something to strive for, not run from. The right guy should not be intimidated by your strengths, but rather work alongside you and challenge you to become better. He should never keep you down.
The right guy should not be intimidated by your strengths. When you get up in the morning and head to school, have confidence in who God created to be. Surround yourself with people who don’t make you change or act different just to fit in. Be YOU, and remember that God wants us to be who He created us to be.
As a woman, I know that there is power that comes with being smart. Don’t be afraid to stand on your own, and have your own opinions.
- Have you ever acted like someone else to get a guy’s attention?
- What are some benefits of owning your intelligence?
- Do you want to spend time with a guy you can’t be yourself with?
God’s Truth to Stand On:
God created each of us for a special and unique purpose. He has great plans for our lives.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11
Putting It Into Practice:
- Move beyond negative thoughts, capricious emotions, and others’ opinions as you gain unshakeable confidence.
- Limit the draining affect of “girl drama” so you can invest your time in becoming the best you.
- Replace the agonizing frustration of wanting to be noticed and liked with a deep assurance that you already are.
As you live out nine amazing characteristics—known as the fruit of the Spirit—you will not only cultivate an inner and outer beauty, but you will also hold an irresistible appeal for godly guys. Shift your focus from a guy to the Guy and become the magnetic young woman God created you to be.
Purchase “Magnetic: Becoming the Girl He Wants” by Whatever Girls contributor and Proverbs 31 Author and Speaker, Lynn Cowell.
By Joneal Kirby
When you hear someone mention “Family Devotional Time” you may get all pumped up, and ready to share the plan you roll out every morning for developing your daughter’s spiritual muscles…or not.
You may actually moan, groan, and roll your eyes knowing the reaction your daughter has every time you mention such an activity. She may dread those planned, and sometimes awkward moments as you attempt to read words of Proverbs’ wisdom and just sing ONE song together.
As a mom, you may not be a Bible scholar, a praise leader, or a trained speaker, so it is natural that you may be a little self-conscious trying to lead a devotional in front of your daughter. You also may want her to actually LOVE these moments of spiritual growing. Those expectations, and your lack of confidence lead to NOT ever wanting to do them again because that is not exactly her reaction, and is exactly yours.
Not knowing exactly what to say can lead to feeling ill at ease at best, and completely embarrassed at worst. It may be best to plan to have only a few of these planned devotionals and instead, include your spiritual training of your daughter into your daily lives.
Here are five ways to build your daughter’s spiritual muscles:
- Cuddle on the couch before bedtime and talk about all the ways that God blessed you during the day.
- Say a prayer for grandpa or a family friend together to ask for God’s healing hand.
- Talk about what her Bible class lesson at church was all about.
- Talk to her about the youth group’s mission effort and how it is affecting her life.
- Begin your day reading an encouraging Psalm around the kitchen table together.
These are simple, daily ways that mean a lot as you love on your daughter and help her focus on God.
Here’s an idea: Try out one of the above activities with your daughter this week and do something at least once a week that gives focused attention to spiritual matters. Expect a little resistance from her as this is new for her, but hang with it and soon it will become a regular part of your lives.
Here’s an inspiration for you, Mom:
“Show me the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul.” (Psalm 143:8)
By Kim Chaffin
It was the end of the day and I could not wait to get home from school. Just before the final bell rang, an office teachers assistant walked in with a bouquet of flowers and a card. The room erupted with remarks about someone having an admirer. Much to my surprise, the long stem roses were for me. The card attached said, “What does a guy have to do to get on your busy calendar to take you out?”
When the bell rang, I ran to my car trying to avoid running into him. The roses were beautiful but I did not want to go on a date with him. I felt like I was somehow obligated to accept his invitation because he bought flowers for me.
When my dad came home he asked me about the flowers and I explained my dilemma. I will never forget what my dad told me. He said, “You do not owe this boy or any other man that comes along, anything. You did not ask for the flowers, he bought them for you because he chose to on his own.” My dad went on to say that I was never to feel obligated to any man who bought me something or was nice to me. My dad also told me that I should never go out with someone I was not interested in and that if a guy made me feel like it was an obligation, I should tell him, “I owe you nothing.”
That next day at school he asked when I was available to go out. I very nicely explained to him that I was not interested and said, “Thank you for the flowers.” He was not very happy about my nicely put “no thank you” and told me that he had spent his money on the flowers so I at least owed him one date. The wise words of my dad blared like a bullhorn in my head. I looked him straight in the eye and said, “My father told me that I owe no man anything. You chose to buy flowers but that doesn’t mean I owe you a date.” I know he was not happy, but he seemed to clearly understand what my dad told me and he accepted it and moved on.
The words of my father are for you, too. You never owe a man anything because he bought you something or was kind to you. If you think that you need to go out with someone because you feel obligated, that is a red flag. Healthy relationships do not start out of a sense of obligation. Never allow someone to pressure you into a date and if a “no thank you” is not enough to get your point across, go to your parents and tell them what is happening. In the words of my dad, “you owe him nothing.”
Free resource: Is your daughter ready to date? Check out this freebie from Lynn Cowell
By Joanna Teigen
Oops, I did it again. I cooked up a perfect summertime meal yesterday, and then walked away without turning off the grill. My daughter discovered the mistake about 18 hours later. It’s going to be difficult to grill our shrimp kebobs today with no propane.
Everybody knows I do this. We’ve discovered it right away when we’re clearing the table, and much later while taking the dog out before bed. My husband Rob has headed out to the deck in his boxers at 2:00 a.m. to deal with my forgetfulness. I’m grateful that my family can laugh about it, and Rob is a good sport about exchanging the empty tank.
This humbles me, though, because I don’t always extend that same grace to my kids. They also have careless habits that can push my emotions over the edge. They leave lights on in the basement overnight. I find dog poo on the floor because the puppy missed his walk. They neglect to call home when plans change. Homework gets misplaced on the due date. The list goes on, but I don’t want these kind of day-to-day irritations to steal the joy from our home.
My children each have weaknesses that they have trouble overcoming. Their common sense and organizational skills are a work in progress. Their world holds distractions—technology, busy calendars, teenage girl drama—that can make it hard to keep it all together. While they need to be challenged to grow and respect the rules, they need patience and understanding along the way. Here’s four tips that can help them learn about responsibility :
- Make expectations clear. Sometimes I think a casual remark is all it takes to set a standard. My girls need me to look them in the eye and make declarative statements, like, “You need to lock up the house when you come in late at night. Please remember that.” Create written to-do lists or put sticky notes on her mirror. Make sure your daughter gets the message and knows what she needs to do.
- Create logical consequences. Your child might not make a request a priority unless it costs her something to fail. If she leaves her assignment on the counter again, don’t deliver it to the school office. Take away the car keys if she consistently drives home late or leaves you with an empty tank. Cancel social plans if she keeps using “that word” to insult her little brother—friendship and respect start at home.
- Reward progress, not just perfection. My girls are gradually figuring out how to manage their time, stay organized, and help the household run smoothly. They need to know that their efforts are noticed. Buy a new app for the girl that’s managing her phone better this week. Stop for a smoothie after school if a grade improves. Don’t just point out mistakes—celebrate the small successes with a hug and a “thank you.”
- Don’t define her identity by her failures. Let mistakes just be mistakes. When your daughter once again leaves her makeup all over the bathroom counter, don’t label her as lazy, disrespectful, and selfish. Losing her new jacket doesn’t mean she hates you and doesn’t appreciate all you do for her. She’s a beautiful gift from God who’s wrestling with immaturity and trying to grow—just like the rest of us!
Patience, mercy, and understanding don’t come naturally.
When we pray for our daughters this week, let’s ask the Lord for an overflowing measure of His kind of love for them:
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.
(1 Corinthians 13:4-8 NIV)