My coauthor, Daniel Weiss, and I, were on Focus on the Family’s broadcast on Monday. If you don’t know this broadcast, it is listened to by over 6 million listeners a week. I did the math: That’s about 5.999 million more people than I’ve spoken to even on one of my best weeks.
But that’s not why the interview was important. It actually has nothing to do with me. I’m a parent like every other parent, doing my best to find my way as I raise kids that I both love and fail more than I ever imagined I could.
What makes the interview important are the kids we’re all parenting. All of our kids are growing up in a culture unlike any ever before in the history of the world. It’s not that today’s culture is so hyper-sexualized that makes this time unique. Other civilizations in history have matched us in that regard. What makes this era so unique, however, is the combination of being hyper-sexualized and digitally-connected.
No parents in the history of the world have ever raised kids in a time like this. Never.
So, if there was ever a time parents could avoid talking with their kids about sex, that’s certainly not now. The reality is that pornography is an issue in everyone’s home, whether we know it or not. It’s an issue because it’s an issue in this culture. Whether our kids are actively looking at pornography or not, they’re around other kids that are, and that definitely shapes youth culture in a major way.
A 2016 Barna study revealed that nearly 70% of young males (ages 13-24) and just over 30% of young females seek out pornography monthly or more, and we suspect those numbers have only increased in the past six years.
Moms and dads, if you are not talking with your kids about sexuality, now is the time. Start with brief, age-appropriate conversations. We stress conversations (plural), not just one “sex talk.” One talk puts too much pressure in one place and leaves your kids to navigate too much all on their own.
If you like what you heard in the broadcast, pick up a copy of our book! Again, parents today are the first to raise kids in a culture like this one, which means there is no map, no charted course to follow. But our book provides really important compass headings that will help you orient yourself to Jesus, so you can have more hope and courage as you walk with your kids as they grow.