How do I Tell My Daughter? – Part One

I have four sons. Why in the world would I attempt to encourage moms with thoughts on how to explain sexual intimacy to their young daughters? Obviously not because I have experience. It’s because of all the questions:

My nine year old daughter was innocently building castles at the sandbox when a friend started elaborating incorrect crude detail about sexual intimacy. She came to me, horrified and scared. I am thankful she came to me, but how do I straighten this out for her?

My husband and I are expecting another baby and our daughter is asking questions and wanting more information. I feel like someone has been filling her in on things I do not think she was ready to hear. Help!!!!

My daughter is getting to “that age.” Do you have any resources to equip me to explain sex in a way that shows its beauty and sacredness?

We repeatedly get questions like this at our book table, so I searched for resources for these moms, but never found one that used the Bible to prepare young girls for the precious future God has for them when they one day get married. The need was so urgent for one mom that the two of us got together and reviewed the scriptures. We ended up having a Bible Study one morning with a group of her friends. A few moms who were unable to attend asked for notes, so this article is the answer to their request.

The goal is to equip moms with biblical explanations of marriage and physical intimacy so they can work with their daughters to develop a positive, respectful, and sacred attitude towards sex.

This is a process, almost a lifetime of conversations in which the information needs to be adjusted to fit the maturity of the child and then expanded as she grows in understanding. In every conversation, whether planned or impromptu, whether casual or an actual scripture lesson, God and His ways should be exalted. Inspiring respect for marriage and a confident passion to live life God’s way should be the intent. I pray our Father, the designer of physical intimacy, will use the truths in this article to develop precious bonds that give daughters freedom to trust both their moms and their heavenly Father.

Before we dig into explanations of scripture, I want to offer a few tips and thoughts to keep in mind. The text is presented conversation style for young girls but it’s not a script—just information for you to process and use as needed. Make sure you read the footnotes. They contain valuable information to use as your daughter matures or asks questions.

  • Start explaining marriage at a young age. Expand into the physical privileges of husband and wife.
  • With every explanation, remind your daughter she can come to you and ask questions because you will always tell her the truth.
  • Open your Bible and read the account as you explain. For toddlers, use a bible story book[1] and supplement with explanations, but always let your daughter know all of this is in the Bible, therefore we know it is right and true.
  • Repeatedly affirm these truths in everyday life — adding detail as needed.
  • Know it and live it well so when casual conversation allows, you can reinforce or even introduce different aspects.
  • In the New Testament, when Jesus and Paul addressed marriage or sexual relations, they consistently cited the first marriage relationship, so always start at creation. As she matures and you expand the details, remind her that the plan originated at creation.
  • Read the scriptures as you work your way through the article and don’t forget the footnotes.

 

Gen 1:29-30.

Our wise, loving Father created a perfect, glorious environment where man could live. He provided everything Adam needed -– food, a beautiful place to live, pleasure and purpose (His job was to take care of the garden). God was Adam’s friend. He came everyday and talked and walked with Adam. The world was perfect. No danger, no sadness, no hurts. God’s love was evident everywhere.

Gen 2:15

Adam was busy enjoying what God had given Him. He was living what God planned for Him.

Gen 2:16-17

Adam had freedom to live life to the fullest. In all of his freedom and pleasure, he needed to continue to show respect and honor to His Maker. He showed honor by obeying the one command God had given Him. God gave the restriction in order to protect Adam because life gets distorted and confusing when we do things our way. We must honor God with our obedience because He is God.

Gen 2:18-20

God had made man to be like Him-not to be another god, but a person who loves and connects with others. God knew Adam was lonely because he did not have another human to love and talk to and enjoy life with. Adam had all the animals, but they were not like him. He could hug them and play with them, but when they walked by him in pairs to get their names, God made him realize there was no one else like him—a human being. Mr. Rhino had Mrs. Rhino. Mr. Zebra could walk beside Mrs. Zebra and know he belonged. When Mr. Orangutan grabbed a vine to swing across the garden, Mrs. Orangutan clapped for him. No one clapped for Adam. Adam was lonely for a companion just like him.

Gen 2:21-22

Then God took the final steps to complete His plan for creation. He made exactly what Adam needed, a helper companion—specially designed for him. This helper[2] would enable and empower him to do what God had designed him to do. This was God’s plan from the very beginning. The words, made a woman, mean the Creator artistically built or fashioned Eve to be exactly what Adam needed. She was the one and only girl for him. Emotionally, she would make him happy. They would share their hearts with each other. They would laugh together. They would encourage each other.

The woman was a precious gift from God. Every wife is a special gift to her husband. He should not get lonely because they can do everything together—eat, walk, talk, fix up a house, plan vacations, laugh, play, work.

Gen 2:23

God brought the woman to Adam. He couldn’t believe his eyes. There was someone just like him. He would never be lonely again. He was so delighted he sang a song about her.

Gen 2:24

Adam and Eve got married and became a family. This was God’s perfect happy plan. But this plan was not just for Adam and Eve. It was for all people forever. He planned that a man would grow up and leave his parents and join together with his wife to start a new family unit.

God planned that the husband would protect his wife and make sure she had food and a place to live. Most of all he would love her. He designed the woman to be a companion, a partner so the husband would not get lonely. God wanted her to cooperate with her husband and help him take care of their home. Best of all, they would worship God together. They could do things God’s way and be secure forever.

In this verse, God says a man will leave his parents and cleave or hold fast or join tightly to his wife. The word means to make a covenant or a promise to be inseparable. They would stick together like glue. In our culture a couple does this when they exchange marriage vows. This means Adam and Eve and every bride and groom promise to be companions forever. It means they hugged bodies and they hugged hearts. When I hug daddy, it reminds me he is my one and only man. He is the most important man in the world to me. We belong to each other forever.

The words one flesh picture becoming one person. The couple is so connected with each other that they become one unit like a specialized team. They fit together[3].

He even designed their bodies to fit together and move together. A man is hairy and has a lot of muscles, but a woman is soft and curvy. So after they make their promises in front of God and their friends (get married), they can snuggle up and it will feel so good. This helps them love each other even more. This has always been God’s plan starting with Adam and Eve until now — that a husband and wife promise to take care of each other and to serve Him together forever. They belong to each other.

Genesis 2:25

The first husband and wife lived in a perfect environment, enjoying God and creation. Tasty food. Beautiful flowers and trees. Babbling brooks. Cute, gentle animals. No bad thoughts. Total acceptance. No Fear. No shame. No guilt.

They talked together about the greatness and goodness of God. They talked to Him and walked with Him. That’s why it is important for mommy and daddy to read their Bibles and pray together every day.[4]

This verse describes their relationship as naked and not ashamed[5]. There was no bad or evil. They knew only good. Didn’t laugh at each other or think anything was strange. They only said kind sweet words and continually reminded each other about what an amazing God they served. They did not have secrets. They could tell each other everything because they did not make fun or embarrass one another.

Adam and Eve did not need to wear clothes in front of each other because there were no ugly thoughts. This was God’s perfect plan for husbands and wives.

Nakedness between a husband and wife is acceptable. It’s God’s plan for closeness. They can hug each other and keep warm[6]. He likes for them to kiss and make each other happy.[7]

Gen 3:1-4

God had given them one rule. It is important that we respect Him and do what He says just because He is God. We should honor and obey Him. He made us and gives us everything we need so we would be so thankful that we joyfully do whatever He says.

But the devil is sneaky. He came like a serpent to trick Adam and Eve. He shifted their thoughts away from how good God is and got them to think about the fruit God told them not to eat.

They had lots and lots of delicious fruit they could eat, but Satan wanted them to pay more attention to him than to God. He wanted control of them.

So He lied. He twisted the truth of God. He told Eve she wouldn’t die if she ate the fruit. He convinced her she should ignore God and do things his way. He challenged her to consider all the inviting aspects of the fruit.

Gen 3:5

He made her think that if she ate the forbidden fruit, she would be like God, because then she would know good and evil. Up to this point, Eve had only experienced good. All her thoughts were right and true and fulfilling. She had never participated in evil.

Who wants to know evil? That makes us sad and selfish and confused.

The woman ignored everything God had told her husband and everything God had done for them and started thinking about how much she wanted that fruit and what it would do for her. The more she thought about how exciting it would be, she convinced herself to eat and get her husband to disobey and eat too,

When we consider reasons to do things our way, we end up disobeying God. Then sad, bad things happen. Our happiness dies. Life gets distorted and confusing.

When Adam and Eve disobeyed God, everything in the world changed. Plants and animals started to die. People became selfish and mean. Sin broke the whole world. God’s creation is still amazing but it isn’t perfect anymore. Corruption entered. Now Adam and Eve could catch colds and get sick and eventually die. Diseases started infecting people. Their bodies got aches and pains and started to die.

Gen 3:7

Now they knew evil. Before disobedience, man only knew good happy things. Now they are embarrassed. They started thinking mean, ugly thoughts about each other.

They knew they were naked so they covered up with leaves. There is nothing bad about bodies—sin and evil thoughts make it necessary to wear clothes.[8]

Man changed, but God didn’t change. Man started thinking selfish thoughts. He was afraid of God. God didn’t change. He still loved Adam and Eve. He told them about His plan to send someone to rescue their hearts from all the evil thoughts, then He killed an innocent sweet animal (probably a lamb) to make them clothes that wouldn’t crumble up and blow away in the wind. That little animal gave His life and died so they could be covered—so they would not have to be embarrassed and afraid of God and one another.

The problem is man kept on doing things his way. We humans still have a tendency to ignore our Heavenly Father and do things our way. So in the Old Testament, God directed His people to practice ceremonies to kill innocent animals so they would remember and understand the wages of sin is death.

Because they kept sinning, people had to perform these ceremonies over and over again until the rescuer (Jesus) came to completely pay for how bad they were.

God’s love did not change. He was such a kind God that He let Adam and Eve live for a while before they died. He let them follow His original plan and have a family.

Gen 4:1

Adam knew Eve. What a special word! He knew her the way God originally planned for a husband to know his wife—back when they were naked and not ashamed—one flesh connected, fit together and moving together. He knew what it felt like to hug her with no clothes on.

Know is a word denoting sexual intimacy. It is good and acceptable in God’s sight because this was His original plan for a husband and wife to know everything about each other and still love and accept each other. It feels good to hug like this. God even causes their bodies to produce chemicals that help them love each other.

This is God’s plan for a husband and wife—that they love each other like this. But if anyone else does this besides a husband and wife, it is disobedient and brings more trouble, guilt and shame into the world because when the couple is not a husband and wife they are doing things the wrong way—their way instead of God’s way[9]. It is ignoring God. Knowing each other sexually is sinful between anyone but a married couple.[10]

God also planned something else very special when a husband and wife become one flesh and know each other this way. He makes something happen between their bodies that sends some of the man’s special cells called sperm into his wife. The sperm can swim up her body tubes and unite with her special cell called an egg—(a lot like a chicken egg except it stays inside a woman and it doesn’t have a hard shell.)

God designed the sperm to have coded information about the man and his family in it—color of eyes, hair and all kinds of things. The egg contains coded information about the wife’s body and family because it was made in her.

Sometimes when the sperm unites with the woman’s egg, (that is the word conceive) God selects some traits from the man and some from the wife and makes a totally different cell. He starts a baby inside the woman. The baby will be a little like the husband and a little like the wife, but unique and very special[11].

God is an amazing designer. He made woman’s body to feed and take care of the baby until the baby is born. You can tell the baby is growing inside because the woman’s tummy gets bigger and bigger as the baby grows. When the baby gets big enough, she can even move around and kick her mommy when she stretches.

This verse tells us Adam and Eve had a baby boy named Cain. He probably looked a little like Adam and a little like Eve. He was gift from God to remind them how much they loved each other and how much God loved them. Babies are always gifts from God. You are my special gift.

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I pray these truths will help you convey the preciousness of physical union to your young daughters. Be watching for a follow-up article, How Do I Tell my Daughter? – Part 2. It will expound the scriptures from Song of Solomon that Jewish moms used to train their daughters for intimacy in marriage. The Word of God is invaluable to stir the hearts of teens for purity and to prepare them with a healthy anticipation of enjoying a future husband.

One of the most impactful aspects of preparing daughters for lasting fulfilling relationships is to deeply love your own husband.   Whether your marriage is strong or struggling I challenge you to study God’s plan[12]. This will enhance the explanations you offer to your daughter.

Copyright – Family Fortress Ministries, March 17, 2016

 

[1] Jesus Storybook Bible. Our favorite bible storybook.

[2] The Hebrew word used in v 18 for helper is ezer. This is a glorious view of a wife’s role because ezer is one of the Hebrew descriptions of God Himself often found in the Psalms—a very present help in time of need; God is our help and shield. It means one who empowers and enables. God specifically fashioned woman to empower and enable her husband to fulfill God’s will for his life. She was designed to fit (correspond to his specific needs—emotionally and physically). Without her, man experiences a void; that is, he is lonely, missing, something in life. A wife is a unique precious gift to her husband.

[3] Clasp your hands as you explain fit together. This paints a mental picture of physically joining and lays the ground work for future conversation about fitting together. As the child matures you can describe fitting together or cleaving as a puzzle that joins together. What an amazing design! Only God would plan that. This act is very natural for kids who grow up around animals. When they comment on an animal couple that is mating, this is a perfect opportunity to go back to this verse and talk about God’s design of fitting together. It is another opportunity to later explain that homosexuality does not fit God’s design. The body parts do not fit the way He planned. God gave man a woman to be his specialized companion.

Anatomy books will be a great resource as the child breaks into puberty. No need to be awkward. Just keep expressing amazement at God’s design. He designed a husband and wife’s body to respond to gentle touch by changing to fit together even better. Your explanation can be expanded to say the bodies fit so well together that they can join and move like one person.

[4] Key for mom and dad to have daily devotions. Strengthens their relationship and lives out this truth before their children. Reinforces God’s plan to children. Time for Three is a resource with a daily devotion for couples to read together.

[5] The wording implies both a physical and emotional nakedness. Adam and Eve had freedom and did not hide anything from one another. They were completely known, yet still loved and accepted. After sin entered the world, they covered up physically and emotionally because they feared if the other knew the truth they would no longer be loved and accepted. That’s shame. It hinders communication and splinters relationships.

[6] Clasp hands again.

[7] It’s extremely important to demonstrate appropriate affection towards your husband in front of your children. Th See the two of you hug and kiss gives them security and reinforces God’s word for family life.

[8] God Made All of Me: Invaluable resource to train children how to protect their bodies from sexual assault. The book emphasizes how our bodies are wonderful and amazing and need to be protected.

[9] God tells us this is wrong and forbids us to practice this in the Ten Commandments. Exodus 20:14.

[10] The Princess Kiss: Beautifully written and illustrated fairy tale to promote sexual purity in little girls (I know a lot of teens who love the book also.) A princess is given the gift of a kiss and taught to save it for her Prince Charming. I have known mothers who had princess birthday parties and read the book as part of their activities.

[11] Psalm 139 describes how God Himself builds each person in the womb of their mother to be unique and special. Great passage to teach the miracle of conception.

[12] Meaning of Marriage, What is Marriage?, Intended for Pleasure, Intimate Issues