Friday, 19 November 2010

The Birds and Bees Written by Jessica Harris Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Everything I know, I learned i learned in sex ed.
God bless my mother; she tried. Looking ahead, I am not even sure how I would begin ‘the talk’ with one of my future children. Looking back, I wish she would have.

I can understand the awkwardness of that discussion. How do you start that anyway? What do birds and bees have anything to do with it at all?

By the time my mother mustered up the courage to attempt to have “the talk” with me. I had pretty much blown the cover off the whole sex secret. I remember thinking that I could have taught her a thing or two about it. I learned it all from sex ed class, and my classmates.

I had already, at the age of 11, been made fun of for being a virgin. I had already heard my classmates talking about where they had sex and how they had sex and who watched them have sex. I knew all of the biological terminology and could list off contraceptives. I even knew where I could get them, and where I could go if I got pregnant. At that point, I wasn’t even involved in pornography.

Little late there on the uptake, Mom.

Often, parents ask me, “How do I protect their innocence? How much is too much?” Wrong questions.

Here are the facts: Next to putting your kids in a literal bubble with absolutely no access to the outside world or the opposite gender, you yourself cannot alone protect their innocence. The world is out to get it, and believe me, the world will go to no ends to try.

Our focus should not be in keeping the message from them, because we can’t. Instead, we need to make sure our message reaches them first and strong, and that it is true. Telling them not to think about it and to ask the eve of their wedding is not protecting their innocence; it is spiking their curiosity and maybe even their frustration. Telling them it is dirty, wrong and nasty is not protecting their innocence; it is destroying something God designed for them to enjoy.

We are in desperate need of a middle ground. Instead of asking how to protect their innocence, we should be asking how to protect the sacredness of sex in their lives. We should be promoting, yes, promoting sex, as something God-created, God-intended, enjoyable and sacred. It is an approach that gives beauty, worth and value to their sexuality (which is what God intended). On top of that, it gives hope.

As I came out of pornography, I began to rethink my take on sex. It was no longer some animalistic, biological, procreational drive- it is a testimony to the glory of God. It is something beautiful, something sacred, something powerful. Now, what once was full of frustration, guilt, and shame is full of joy and hope. The beauty of sex is something we take on faith until we experience it, and that faith and hope makes the waiting worth it. That is our message- a message of purity and truth or value and purpose. That’s the message our young ones need to hear, and they don’t get that in sex ed.

Jessica Harris is the founder of Beggar’s Daughter Ministries, designed to raise awareness and provide tools for women struggling with sexual addiction. Jessica came to know Christ at the age of 17, four years after her addiction to pornography began. He set her free and gave her a burden to help others. She graduated from Word of Life Bible Institute in 2006, and spent the last three years working with teenage girls. It is her desire for young women to understand the love Christ has for them and the potential they have for Him.