**Prior to any discussion, sit down with your protégé’s guardians and make sure this is okay with them to do**
We encourage mentors to talk with their protégés about each of the 5 S’s. The topic that can be most intimidating to talk about is sexual purity. We think coming to the purity conference is a great way to spur conversation, but we also want you to be equipped to initiate conversations about sex and purity. Here are some tips leading into that conversation:
The first step is to take a deep breath! The second should be to pray.
We often all feel a lot of anxiety when there’s a challenge given to bring up “the birds and the bees” with a child for the first time. A lot of that stems from a fear of being unprepared or not being able to preempt the questions they’ll ask. The reality is that you will not be able to prepare for every question they ask, but hopefully, you’ll begin to realize it’s okay to not have all the answers! Another helpful tool is to acknowledge the awkwardness of the topic, be able to laugh together, and comfort them with your own stories of silly questions you asked. By giving the child space to be free to be who they are, you open many doors of trust that will be needed as you move forward.
Start at the beginning. Sex originated as a gift from God to people for procreation, building unity with another person, and fun. It’s a gift, not a dirty matter that shouldn’t be talked about.
Following that, you need to explain the role sin has had in perverting this gift. Point out tangible examples of the brokenness that has come to our world through misusing God’s gift: fatherlessness/single moms, rape, etc. Ask your protégé if they can think of any other examples.
A great analogy to use is that of fire. Fire is great– we love to sit by it and soak up its warmth. We use it to cook, heat our homes, clean, and so many other great things! But, fire is also very dangerous. When it is removed from its proper boundaries, fire becomes harmful, even deadly. Sex is the exact same way– without proper boundaries, it can be very destructive!
After you’ve laid this foundation, it is best to change from instructing (or, as the children say: lecturing) to asking questions. Here are some great open-ended questions:
-Why do you think God asks us to wait for marriage to have sex? Is He just being mean and trying to take away our fun?
-What do your friends saying about sex? What do you know about sex?
-Do you think sex is bad, wrong, or dirty? Why would you believe sex is bad/dirty if God created it to be beautiful and awesome in marriage?
-What have you heard about sex at home, at school, in South Dallas, or on TV? Do you want to do those same things or are you interested in changing or being different?
-What are you planning to do if you get into a physical situation with your boyfriend/girlfriend? (Let your protégé know that it’s helpful to have a plan in mind and to think through this beforehand!)
-Do you think that sexting, watching porn, or snapchatting pictures is not as bad as actually having sex? Do those things harm you? Do they help you?
There may be instances when these conversations arise during elementary school, but once your protégé hits middle school, we recommend you begin bringing them up. It can be a planned, more serious hang out, or you can casually start the conversation by asking about the opposite sex. Whatever is more comfortable to you is fine!
Whenever your protégé opens up, it is a big deal! They may not readily trust, so approach the conversation with an open, gentle mindset. We have all believed lies, and it has taken time to have our hearts and minds transformed. Please be slow to correct and throw Bible verses at them, but do make a mental note to pray and check back in on that topic. If they don’t open up, don’t give up! Seek the Holy Spirit and pray for Him to open up the door in His perfect timing.
-Christina Hickman, Relationship Coordinator