My husband knew I’d be pretty excited when he came home from the Priesthood session of General Conference and told me that someone had said something positive about sex. I was thrilled! Here’s what Elder M. Russell Ballard had to say:
“I am especially concerned that we communicate openly and clearly with our sons about sexual matters. Your sons are growing up in a world that openly embraces and flaunts early, casual, and thoughtless promiscuity. Your sons simply cannot avoid the blatant sexual imagery, messages, and enticements that are all around them…. Be positive about how wonderful and beautiful physical intimacy can be when it happens within the bounds the Lord has set, including temple covenants and commitments of eternal marriage” (“Fathers and Sons: A Remarkable Relationship,” General Conference, Oct. 3, 2009; Ensign, Nov., 2009).
As a marriage educator I am a big proponent of more positive and affirming messages of the goodness of sexuality in general, and more specifically, of the beauties of the sexual relationship within marriage. Both our youth and our adults need to connect God and goodness more fully with sexuality, as it was designed for marriage.
Positive Affirmation of Sex
It may be true that we shouldn’t need to hear a lot of public affirmation of the goodness of sex if we truly understand God’s designs for sexuality, but there are a lot of competing messages out there that make it hard to remember who is the author of sexual intimacies. Satan and society have made a mess of something that should be clearly understood as good and godly when reserved for a husband and wife.
I applaud Elder Ballard for his willingness to boldly and plainly encourage parents to talk to their sons more openly and frequently about sexual issues. Our daughters need to be having such conversations as well, and maybe even more so given their unique wiring.
Preparing Kids for a Healthy Sexual Relationship in Marriage
Many couples experience something I call The Good Girl Syndrome, which encompasses the negative or unproductive thoughts, beliefs, attitudes, feelings and behaviors that inhibit one’s responsiveness and enjoyment of the sexual relationship in marriage.
The Good Girl Syndrome may not seem like something to be concerned about prior to marriage, but as parents we must take a longer-term view to better prepare our children for success in marriage. That includes preparing them for a positive and fulfilling sexual relationship with their spouse.
When there is so little positive promotion of the sexual relationship even when within marriage, and so many negative messages about it, it makes it difficult for young brides and grooms to transition from “No, no, no” before marriage to “Go, go, go” after.
It’s a huge mountain climb especially for women given their unique wiring. What’s going on in their brain plays a big role in their sexual responsiveness. They need to have a reservoir of positive messages about sex prior to marriage.
The many unhappy couples who are currently struggling in their marriages with negative thoughts and attitudes about sex attest to the fact that a more positive approach prior to marriage needs to be taken.
Parents Providing a Positive Model
One issue with parents talking to their kids about sexual matters, is that if they are struggling with sexual issues in their own marriage, then the conversations they have with their kids may not come across as effectively as they could.
Parents must make their intimate relationship a high priority, and work through any issues they may have, so that their discussions with their children can be genuine, confident and powerful.
I don’t want parents to wait around, though, to talk to their teens until their own intimate relationship is perfect, but I do hope they will make an effort to continue to learn and grow intimately and work to overcome any issues that may arise in their relationship.
More Positive Messages for Women
It’s great that we are hearing more positive comments about physical intimacy. These positive messages about sex also need to be given directly to women if we want to strengthen our marriages.
I applaud anyone who is willing to publicly promote a positive message about God’s gift of sexual intimacy. His designs for the sexual relationship within marriage can always use a few more good promoters in order to counteract the constant barrage of negative messages.
Like the woman who stopped her friend from denigrating her husband and sex in general, and instead put in a plug for sexual intimacy, I encourage us all to take advantage of any opportunities we may have to put in a good word for sex.
Whether it’s a reminder that sex was created by God, or that sexual intimacies are one of God’s great wedding gifts to a husband and wife, we can all benefit from more messages that align marital sexuality with God and his goodness.
Click Here for an article to help you talk to your kids about sex.
Laura M. Brotherson is the author of a groundbreaking book on sexual intimacy and marital oneness entitled, And They Were Not Ashamed-Strengthening Marriage through Sexual Fulfillment. Laura shares her passion for building strong marriages and families as an author, intimacy educator, blogger, and show host of the new online show “The Marital Intimacy Show.”
Visit her website www.StrengtheningMarriage.com to learn more, and to sign up for her “Straight Talk about Strengthening Marriage” newsletter. StrengtheningMarriage.com is your trusted resource for education, products and services to strengthen marriages…intimately!