Evangelism: Moving Beyond the Sex Talk
Now that we have a ten-year old boy in our house – and three more of his brothers coming after him – we’ve begun thinking about how to talk with our kids about sex, girls, puberty, etc. You know, the fun stuff of parenthood.
One of our friends who has raised fairly-well adjusted adult boys told us a while ago that the best way to have the “sex talk” was to not make it a “talk” at all. That is, it shouldn’t be something that you approach as a specific, planned BIG conversation. It should be a natural part of the conversation in your home. Yes even at the dinner table if that’s how it happens. Sex isn’t something to be ashamed about and treated as an “off-limits” conversation.
So, when the topic comes up, we talk about it. This looks different all the time and since we only have one at this point its not very often yet. But there soon will be a time when we have four teenaged boys in our house! But, when my son is on the computer, I check in about what he’s looking at on the internet and let him know about some of the dangers out there (and that I can view his browsing history – thankfully he’s not at the point yet where he knows how to erase that!). When we’re riding in the car, I ask him about girls. When they ask about where babies come from, we tell them.
For example, when one of our kids was 7 they asked where babies come from. After I panicked for 3 seconds I just told him – “Mommies and daddies have something called “sex” that is reserved just for them and that’s how babies are made.” That was enough for him and the conversation quickly moved to cars and trucks. The older they get, the more detail I’m sure we’ll have to go into.
But the point is this, it’s a natural part of conversation in our home. We aren’t going to take them out for the “special talk”. We aren’t going to try and manipulate an awkward conversation about the topic. We aren’t going to just give them a book and expect them to figure it out themselves.
We are going to let it be natural conversation. The bottom line is this, the more natural it is for us (Even if we are faking it at first!!), the more normal it will be for them.
I believe this is how evangelism should work.
Our faith should be a natural part of our conversation because it is (hopefully) a natural part of our lives. In some way, its not “evangelism” as we have learned it in the negative definitions of the term. It’s just, “talking about your life with your friends”.
We don’t have to find ways to “turn conversations towards Christ” with our friends any more than we should have to “turn conversations towards sex” with our kids. We don’t merely hand out tracts and more than we merely hand our kids some book about puberty.
We just live life with our friends (and our kids) and talk about the important things in our lives as they come up.
So yeah, I guess talking about Jesus should be more like talking about sex?