Although I’ve watched hockey for most of my life, I was 24 when I played my first game. I really didn’t know what I was getting myself into. I hadn’t played as a kid, I didn’t own the proper equipment, and I didn’t know how to put it all on. I showed up early to our first practice with new equipment and waited to see how the other guys got ready. I just copied what they did and basically figured it out without asking for help. I later learned that I had put one critical piece of protective gear in upside down, leaving me with bruises.
This isn’t that far off from how many boys learn about sex. We may have had “the talk” with them once or twice. However, because we often find this conversation to be awkward, we may have skipped over important parts of it. But our sons need to hear everything about sex from us or, as I did with my new hockey gear, they’ll go looking for answers on their own. Our goal can’t just be to teach them about their bodies or the mechanics of sex (though those are important, too). We need to help them grow in virtue and understanding of the purpose of love, marriage, and sex. As we have many critical talks with them, here are 4 things to explain when teaching your son about sex.
1. What Love Is
As dads, we need to be deliberate and explicit in teaching our sons that love is more than a feeling you can fall in and out of. We need to teach them that love is a choice—one that is repeated over and over again—and that sexual intimacy is meant to flow from a relationship built upon a foundation of love and commitment. Boys who grow up understanding that love requires you to do what’s best for another person even when it’s difficult are more likely to apply that understanding of love to the choices they make in their sex lives.We need to be deliberate and explicit in teaching our sons that love is more than a feeling.
2. How Intimacy Is Supposed to Work
Our sons have drawn expectations about relationships from the shows and movies they watch. It’s common to see people go from “What’s your name?” to “Let’s have sex.” in the span of a single episode. The result is that our kids often don’t understand the normal progression of a healthy relationship. In real life, emotional and physical intimacy are meant to grow over an extended period of time. Boys who grow up understanding that intimacy normally grows in small (and often awkward) steps are less likely to rush into sexual activity.
3. Why Sex Is Worth Waiting For
In today’s world, it often seems taboo to suggest delaying or limiting sex in any way. But we know sex has consequences: uniting you with your partner and (potentially) creating a new life. When teaching your son about sex, make sure he understands these effects are extraordinary and are not to be taken lightly. At the right time, in the right circumstances, they present to us some of life’s greatest gifts. Boys who understand the gift and responsibility that come with sex are more likely to understand why we teach them to wait until they are married.
4. How to Treasure Women
While most boys love to pick on their sisters, they are also often the first to stand up should they perceive someone else to be a threat to them. Deep down, boys truly care for their sisters and don’t want to see them hurt. This is because they see them as people who ought to be treated with respect. Our sons need to learn to treat the other women in their lives with that same sense of dignity. They can do this by choosing to look women in the eyes (and not stare at their chests), by being mindful of the way they talk to and about any woman, and by avoiding the poison of pornography. Boys who learn what it means to respect a woman are more likely to grow up to become men who treasure their own wives and stand as guardians of the dignity of others.
Share and discuss: Are you married? If so, share this article from iMOM with your wife and discuss it: 5 Things Moms Do that Push Their Sons Away.
Sound off: What are other things to keep in mind when teaching your son about sex?
Huddle Up Question
Huddle up with your kids and ask, “What do you think it means when you tell someone ‘I love you?'”