Children will learn about sexuality from someone. The options are their peers, pornography, school settings, experimentation, or their parents. The best place for sex education is in the home, as a natural part of training children “in the way they should go” (Proverbs 22:6). It is the parents’ God-given responsibility to teach children God’s perspective on every area of life, including sexuality (Ephesians 6:1–4).
Due to the intrinsic complexities of human sexuality, the physical aspects of biological reproduction cannot be separated from moral responsibility. Regardless of whether children receive sex education in schools or even at church, it remains the parents' responsibility to ensure their children are properly educated about both the biological and moral aspects of sexuality. Leaving values-training to others is dangerous, particularly regarding matters of sexuality in many cultures today.
First, what does the Bible say about sex? Sexuality is a gift to us from God and should be viewed as such. God created sex for two purposes: procreation and unity between husband and wife (Genesis 1:28; Matthew 19:6; Mark 10:7–8; 1 Corinthians 7:1–5). Any other use of sex is sin (1 Corinthians 6:9, 18; 1 Thessalonians 4:3). Sadly, many in our world do not believe these truths. As a result, there are many perversions of sexuality and much unnecessary pain caused by them. Parents who properly educate their children about sex can help their children discern truth from error, walk in wisdom, and ultimately have a more wholesome experience of the gift of sexuality.
Most modern sex education instruction presents perversion, fornication, homosexuality, and living together before marriage as “normal” expressions of sexuality. Any teaching of boundaries is limited to the avoidance of negative consequences. All of this is contrary to Scripture (1 Corinthians 6:9; Leviticus 20:15–16; Matthew 5:28). Christian parents should be actively involved in all aspects of their children’s education, especially in areas that compromise Scripture. Parents should be aware of what their children are learning and correct any misinformation given to their children. They should also educate their children in such a way as to equip the children to discern biblical truth from cultural error. God holds parents responsible for the upbringing of their children (Ephesians 6:4), not schools, churches, or governments.
Many parents find the topic of sexuality awkward and embarrassing, but it doesn’t need to be. Parents should begin when the children are very young, speaking matter-of-factly with preschoolers about their bodies and how men and women are made differently. Those conversations transition naturally into more complex areas as the child matures. It is important that a child knows he can talk to mom or dad about anything that confuses him.
Sexual information bombards us from every direction, so these parent-child conversations must begin very early. Before parents allow a school system to instruct in sexuality or morality, they must be sure their children have already learned the truth. It is then crucial to stay abreast of what the children are learning and how they are applying their knowledge. Keeping a constant, open dialogue with one’s children is a key to staying in charge of what they are learning. When parents are proactive in their children’s instruction, those children have a basis upon which to recognize and reject errors that the world promotes as truth.