Last night the teenager walked in on the hubs and I kissing in the kitchen. While her cheeks flamed red and she feigned disgust, there was a smile on her face. Why? Well because she knows her parents love each other. She reminded me a few days ago about the current rate of divorce in our country. Upwards of 50% now, she said. Over half. Yikes. Over half of all marriages end in divorce. Parents, we’ve got some work to do.
Sex floods our televisions and radio stations. Songs are re-made and remixed and their once risque material is now down right nursery-rhymish compared to the new lyrics. Teenagers in books and movies are boring if they aren’t knocking boots in the horizontal mambo, and this is what our kids are seeing. No wonder so many kids are walking this earth with a chip on their shoulder and a condom in their wallet. Where is their example?
I’m sorry to break it to you, mom and dads-but the job to teach our kids about sex and intimacy and the sacredness of a relationship is ours. Is it hard to talk about? Sometimes absolutely. Me? Well I’ve never really had a problem keeping my mouth shut (shocker, I know), and when it comes to talking to my kids about relationships and physical contact, I’m the one I want them to hear it from. I taught her seventh grade health class after all. (and yes, she’s sure she’s scared for life). But it wasn’t the first time she’d heard those words out of my mouth. We’ve had this conversation before, and we’ll continue to have it.
I want my kids to know about their bodies and what they have to keep. I want them to understand that sex is a big deal. I want them to recognize that our bodies are sacred, and they are meant for beautiful things. And those things aren’t found in the back of a pick-up truck after the homecoming dance. I want them to know that they can talk to me about their relationships, and know that they will get straight forward information. No, I don’t candy-cote it. No I don’t use metaphors like the birds and the bees. I’m a nurse, y’all. We use the real words. And honestly-it’s not as scary as it may seem.
I want them to see what a healthy relationship is supposed to look like. And that starts with the one they see at home. My man and I-we love each other. That love is shown in our actions. From fixing him lunch to oiling my boots to kissing in the kitchen. Our relationship is more than just the physical-it is about meeting needs and being a team. It’s about putting the other one first and setting our own desires aside. And it’s about sneaking a kiss in the other room.
Is it always perfect? Nope. Do the kids see that? They sure do. But they also see how he can make me laugh even when I’m so mad at him. And they see how even though I drive him batty, he shakes it off with a smile. And they know we keep them in the loop. That we talk about big decisions with them. They all chimed in about our move and even adopting the babe. And while they know their voices are heard, they also know that the final decision comes down to us and what’s right for the family. They know that we make the rules about dating and driving and curfews together. And they know that when it comes to the big topics, like sex, we’re open to conversation. Together or one on one.
And they know they can trust our answers, the conversation. Because they see us holding hands and cuddling on the couch. They see us pass a look worth a thousand words across the dinner table or a crowded living room. They know that divorce isn’t a word in our vocabulary. They know that the vows we took are sacred and they tie together this relationship we have.
So parents, I’m sending out the plea-show your kids what a healthy relationship looks like. It’s okay to kiss in front of the kids. Even if they pretend to gag
. It’s okay to talk to your kids about sanctity of their bodies and the relationships they keep. It’s the only way to show them what true love looks like. So, what do you say? Let’s cut this divorce rate down a bit, shall we?
This post was inspired by lovely and brave Deidra Riggs