During puberty, your child will experience body changes, new desires and feelings, questions about sexuality and new challenges to deal with that sexuality responsibly. Christian parents could discuss God’s plan for life, sexuality and moral responsibilities when they talk to their kids about puberty.
God has created human bodies in an amazing way, allowing children time to grow and mature in mind and body before most are faced with sexual changes and activity. Discuss with your child how you nurtured and helped him grow through many changes so he had the opportunities to learn about how his body works. Stress how you have provided experiences for him to learn to take personal responsibility. Now that his body is changing, he will experiences physical and emotional changes brought about by the changing hormones. This is all within God’s plan.
You can turn to the Bible to talk your child through God’s plan for new life. Begin your exploration with Genesis 2:18-25, where God created Eve for Adam. Discuss the natural desire of man for woman and woman for man as a way to create intimacy, companionship and love, in addition to creating a home to bear and raise godly children. Explain, “The changes going on in your body are preparing you to participate in that plan one day. God designed sex and it’s a good thing. It can create a beautiful relationship between two people who are committed to each other.” Discuss what it means to be intimate, physically, emotionally and spiritually, where two people become one.
Even if your child has studied human reproductive facts, cover them again. Use diagrams, pictures or graphs to explain how the body changes during puberty to change your child into an adult. Talk about the voice and body changes in boys and the beginning of menses and outward body changes in a girl. Cover pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases and common myths kids might about about first time sex, such as it can’t produce pregnancy or having sex standing up prevents pregnancy. Ask your child if she understands the changes and answer any questions she has about her body. Talk about ways you will help her adjust, such as by buying her first bras, an exam and consultation with a gynecologist or midwife, purchase of sanitary products and use of products to deal with unwanted body hair. Create some excitement about these changes and new purchases so she sees this as a positive experience.
As your child matures and moves through puberty, more questions will arise. Offer to provide books your child can read that can answer more questions you child might not feel comfortable asking you. Some titles include Debra Evans’ “The Christian Woman’s Guide to Sexuality,” Jeremy Clark’s “I Gave Dating a Chance: A Biblical Perspective to Balance the Extremes,” Charlie Shedd’s “The Stork is Dead” and “When God Writes Your Love Story: The Ultimate Approach to Guy/Girl Relationship” by Eric and Leslie Ludy. Your youth pastor could have additional suggestions. Leave your child with the message that your door is always open and any questions are always permissible.