The next time nature calls, take a moment and appreciate the handy dandy roll of toilet paper we so often take for granted. It is an awesome tool at your disposal. Because aside from its obvious use, that spool of soft tissue is an extremely effective means to impress a powerful truth in your child’s thoughts about sex. See, kids have this idea that waiting to have sex until marriage is, like, forever. They’ll be so old by then . The best years of their lives will be over. Why should they waste so much time? But let’s put this in perspective for them. Run, don’t walk, to the cabinet and grab a roll of Charmin. Now, here’s the illustration.
1. First you are going to need a few obliging assistants, (spouse, siblings, your kid’s friend, Uncle Bernie, or even your elderly neighbor out walking his dog).
2. Explain to your child that each square of the roll represents two years of a life.
3. Call one of your lovely helpers up to hold the first sheet. (Again, we are going to be unrolling. Just have them hold the end. Do not break off the square). That first square is BIRTH. Awww so cute…this square debuts a brand new life being brought into the world. Precious. Just precious.
4. Now…count the squares…2,4,6,8,10,12, STOP right here, between 12 and 14. Let me introduce you to puberty. It ain’t pretty but well, there it is anyway. Have an assistant stand behind the strand and mark this square’s place on the roll. Declare them PUBERTY.
5. Okay, next is MARRIAGE. The national average age to be married in the United States is age 28 you can use that or ask your kid for their input on what age they suggest. Someone will need to bookmark/hold this place on the roll. That person can be MARRIAGE.
6. Next is Death. Sure, a little disturbing, but trust me, it’s worth it for an awesome illustration. Find someone to be DEATH. Reassure them it’s nothing personal and ask them to hold the last square on the roll.
7. Now you have a very long streamer of TP. (So long that I wasn’t able to get a good pic but trust me, it’s loooong.) This is the fun part. Say something like this: You may think that getting married seems like a long way off and the idea of waiting to have sex until that time is old-fashioned, unnecessary or even unrealistic. But I want to show you something.
8. First, focus their attention on the section BIRTH to PUBERTY. Ask them, Is there any temptation to have sex during this time frame? (Not really because the sexual hormones that give the desire to have sex aren’t present at during this time in a child’s life.)
9. Next, highlight PUBERTY to MARRIAGE. This is a very, very important chunk of your life. It’s a very short time frame for sure, but even so, it’s definitely THE MOST IMPORTANT when it comes to the life choices you make. During this time you will decide things like if you will finish high school, where you go to college, what type of person you will marry, what you will major in for a career, who you will marry, etc.
It is also the time when the choice to have sex could possibly have lifelong consequences. If you choose to have sex before marriage, you could have an unplanned pregnancy with someone you don’t want to spend the rest of your life with. You could contract a viral STD like herpes that you will have for the rest of your life, you might invest yourself physically and emotionally with someone who never intended on making a lifelong commitment with you. Unfortunately, there is a lot at risk during this very short time frame. YOU NEED TO FIERCELY PROTECT THIS SECTION OF YOUR LIFE.
10. Now, look down the length of this entire ribbon of TP. That’s a very long life isn’t it? Do you know that the choices you make during the small time frame we just talked about will influence much of the rest of your life. And that’s a very long time as you can see! Can you see by this illustration that you can enjoy sex for a very long time within marriage. That’s the way God designed it. Sex is a gift from Him to us for our enjoyment and for a wonderful purpose, to create life. Sex was God’s idea and He determined in His Word that it is the best and safest within the context of marriage.
Well, that was your last roll. Let that lesson marinate in your kid’s heart while you hit Walgreens for an emergency 4 –pack. And maybe a Snickers for you. You deserve it. Alternate Idea: If it’s just you and your child and you don’t have a anyone to assist you, find a large room and you can lay the entire length of the piece out on the floor or up on the wall, and label the squares. It’s a much more effective visual if your child is not one of the “holders” and instead views it from above or from the front.
Talking to your kids about sex can be a task you want to avoid, but be strong! The best thing you can do is begin the talks early. Teaching the Birds and the Bees without the Butterflies is a wonderful resource to help you tackle the intimidating task with ease.