Okay, this post is a continuation of the series I began last week about porn, sex and chidlren’s ministry. When I got home on Thursday night, my wife and I had an interesting talk about what I’d been writing (I’d been out of town most of the week, so we haven’t talked like normal). We talked quite a bit about timing with our son Titus and how soon we begin having certain talks. We talked about that tension of “taking away his innocence” on our terms versus having him overhear someone else say something that steals it away.

This conversation got me thinking a lot about innocence. It seems to be one of the reason (or excuses) some parents wait so late to talk to their kids. “Kids should be kids and they need to see and experience the world through their innocent eyes.” I’m still processing this, but I’m starting to believe the “innocence” reason is a bunch of bull. Again, I’m still processing, so feel free to comment and tell me how off base I am.

Is sitting down and having beginning conversations with our kids about their bodies and sex really taking away their innocence? Adam and Even in the garden have full working knowledge of their bodies and how to use them and they were innocent. I know, we don’t live in the garden anymore, but I’m not really seeing how it’s too far different. Talking to kids about their bodies and how it was designed to be used is somewhat matter of fact. It’s the way it is. I don’t think it’s the knowledge that takes away innocence, it’s the imagery and ideas that our kids will see on TV, in magazines and from their friends that perverts and destroys innocence.

I do wonder how much shame that comes from our fallen state affects the innocence. At some point, our kids become conscious of their own bodies and experience shame like Adam and Eve did in the garden after they sinned. It seems that the difficult part of having the sex talk with a child is getting past that shame. The idea of sex to most kids is gross and horrifying mostly because of that shame and once you broach that topic with your child, they’ll probably always have that thought in the back of their head when playing or talking with another child of the opposite sex. Something is different. Is that the “loss of innocence?”

So, I’m curious for other people’s thoughts. Obviously, I haven’t had this talk yet and speak only from having gone through it once on the receiving end. However, wrestling through these thoughts may better equip us to have conversations with parents about setting up kids to win in this vital area of their lives.