“Did You and Dad have Sex Before You Were Married?” … A Christian Mom Answers
By: Vicki Tiede
This is the hardest thing I think I’ve ever written – and that’s saying a LOT because I wrote an entire book called When Your Husband is Addicted to Pornography: Healing Your Wounded Heart. However, when I agreed to write a column called “Behind Closed Doors” I agreed to live with authenticity in the Light, whether it was easy or not. (For the record: it’s not easy.)
I confess that I’ve embraced the “Don’t ask, don’t tell” motto when it comes to talking to my kids about sex. Let me explain …
- My husband and I have talked about sex with all of our kids from the time they were little – giving them developmentally appropriate bits of information as they asked specific questions.
- We have amassed quite a collection of purity and sexuality books over the years including those we’ve read with our kids, and those we’ve read ourselves – gleaning wisdom from brave parents who have gone before us.
- We’ve completed Dennis Rainey’s Passport 2 Purity weekends with two of our three kids, and though they’ve squirmed through portions, we persevered and celebrated having a terrific resource such as this. (#3 is slated for his weekend this summer.)
- My husband and I have honestly answered every question our kids have asked us about purity, sexuality, and intimacy.
What we have NOT DONE is offered up information or answered the question they haven’t asked yet (much to our relief!)…
Did you and Dad have sex before you were married?
Our position has been … If they don’t ask – don’t tell.
Did anyone else immediately develop a lump the size of Texas in your throat? Let’s be honest, 80% of Christians can’t boast that their wedding night was their “first time,” so I am confident that I’m not the only mom uncomfortably sitting on this kind of information.
We haven’t “gone there” with our children, because frankly we didn’t want our poor choices to seemingly signal a green light for them to follow our example. “Do what I say, not what I’ve done,” doesn’t bode well as a parenting mantra, does it?
I have no memory of my own parents ever straight-out telling me not to have sex before I got married or pointing out God’s standard for sexuality in the Bible. I’m not blaming them for my choices, mind you! In fact, if you ask them, they may have a bird and bees conversation seared in their memories, but apparently my frontal lobe wasn’t fully developed yet and nothing stuck from those conversations.
As long as I’m laying truth out there for the world to see … when I was a snoopy, young kid I found something in our home that led me to conclude that perhaps my parents had not waited for marriage themselves. I didn’t ask them directly if that was an accurate conclusion, because … HELLO! Talking to your parents about their sex life is gross! (And seriously, I would have been so busted for literally sticking my nose where it didn’t belong.) Instead, I took that perceived evidence as a green light for my own sexual choices.
That’s what has led to this post, because the question plaguing me now as a mom of three who are 1-month-shy-of-being-an-adult, a teenager, and a tween is …
What if our silence on this matter is misinterpreted as permission?
So, here I am … uncomfortably moving my secret from the shadows, into the light …
I wasn’t about to have my kids discovering this revelation on the Internet. We’ve had conversations now. Next month, I’ll share with you how we chose to handle this and how our kids responded. Please rest assured that we have their permission to share this with you.
I’d like to hear from you on this matter. Let’s assume you have a “friend” who has also adopted the “don’t ask, don’t tell” motto when it comes to premarital sex …
- Why might keeping that information a secret be the best option?
- How might that tactic backfire?
- Is omission of such details during the sex talk the same as lying?
- Does silence on the matter equate to permission?
- Pride and Prejudice and Purity
- Grossing Your Kids Out Is Awesome! (Good Girls Guide to…
- Why Not Keep It Behind Closed Doors?
- Love, Sex, Marriage: Inspiring purity in your teens…
- Purity Ring: More than Jewelry
Vicki Tiede (3 Posts)
I happily live in Rochester, MN, where my husband, Mike, and I are raising and homeschooling our three kids—Kadi, Ben, and Caleb. When our kids were 4 months, 2 years, and 6 years old I thought it would be a great time for a new career as a speaker and author. When they were 6 years, 8 year, and 12 years, I couldn’t imagine anything better than starting a Master’s degree in ministry. Try not to judge me, I’m a bit of a mess, but when God asks me to do something I try to say “yes” –even when it means writing about the painful issue of pornography. In the midst of our family pandemonium, I unapologetically drink deep gulps of the Word, refuel by the power of time spent with Jesus, count my blessings, and embrace the opportunities He gives me to teach, speak, and write with holy enthusiasm.