TALKING ABOUT SEX TO YOUR SONS (Pt.2)

I started a series of blogs writing down all the insights I’m getting from the book by Steve Zollos entitled, “Time for the Talk.”

The first installment, you can read here.

Here are a few more insights from chapters 3 on the topic of “Manhood Designed by God.

1. God is glorious and his creation, us included, was made to reflect his glory.  Think about it: God consciously created us and this world to be a reflection of his very majesty. He also made a fantastic, sinless, glorious place for us to dwell.

Unfortunately, we allowed sin to enter the world and have been watching the world become increasingly corrupt ever since. But God did not stop there, He had a plan to rescue the world through Jesus.

2. Your son needs to see that taking on the responsibilities of work is an important part of gradually transitioning from boy to man. There is a place for fun and rest but we are commanded to work. (Genesis 2:2-3)

3. God is not shy in letting us know that we have been created to be sexually active. (Genesis 1:28, 2:24) He always intended us to be fulfilled sexually, so he set sexual pleasure into a single righteous and blameless framework: MARRIAGE.

From the moment of her creation, Eve was Adam’s wife, and it is within the context of heterosexual marriage that God has given us the ability to fulfill the righteous, joyful, and holy act of sexual intercourse.

4. We are dependent upon the finished work of Jesus Christ to save us from our sin and empower us to live a holy and godly life.

TALKING ABOUT SEX TO YOUR SONS

I recently bought a book from Amazon by Steve Zollos entitled “Time for the Talk“. It’s a book about how a father can talk to his son who is transitioning from boyhood to manhood. Topics from puberty, sex, how to treat women, considering a wife, etc. are tackled by the author.

It really has been very helpful so far and I’d like to share with you some of the insights I’m getting.

I won’t be able to put in everything in one blog, so this would be the first of several posts.

There are a few foundational principles to start with before talking to your sons about sex, according to Steve Zollos.

Here are a few of them.

1. HONOR. Leading your son into true manhood is a great honor and a serious responsibility. It is a process that takes many years and can be profoundly rewarding. This is the goal we have as fathers – to raise them to become men… men after God’s own heart.

2. RESPONSIBILITY. As fathers, we are tempted to abdicate our responsibility in this area. We get lazy and take the easy way out: we lie to ourselves. We think, “My boy knows about these things. He’s not ignorant. He’s a good kid. He’ll do fine. As a result, we deliver a useless little talk or skit it completely.

3. FRIENDSHIP. Shifting from boy to man and from father to friend… Many father and son relationships deteriorate as a boy matures because the father never recognizes his need to shift relational gears and continues to treat his now young man like he’s still a child.

4. ORIGINAL DESIGN. Without a doubt, there is no one else on earth that God has given this particular task, his dad, in helping your son grow and mature.

“A wise son heeds his father’s instruction.” (Proverbs 13:1)

“Listen, my sons, to a father’s instruction; pay attention and gain understanding. I give you sound learning, so do not forsake my teaching.” (Prov. 4:1-2)

5. COMMUNICATION. The Talk is more than a single conversation. The goal is that it opens a door to a deep and trusted father-son relationship that lasts a lifetime.

6. INDEPENDENCE. When we see our sons attempting to make decisions independently, it’s not necessarily rebellion. It may be his way of stretching out his wings in growing up. If we as dads can keep this in mind, understanding that our sons are changing into men just as God intended, we will be better equipped to respond with loving instruction instead of angry correction.

7. GRACE. You and I don’t need to hire professionals to lead them into manhood. As God has called us to raise our sons, He will give us the grace to accomplish all He has planned for them.

8. GOSPEL. The culture your sin lives in is on of continual hostility toward godliness, but God has chosen your son to live in this culture at this time, for Christ’s purposes.

It is clear that this world has a pattern (Romans 12:1-2) and that this world has principles that are counter Scriptural (Colossians 2:6-8). Part of our responsibility as dads is to help them discern truth by leading them into a personal relationship with Christ.

The Gospel is going to be the foundation of every teaching and principle we’ll need to impart to our sons.

(More to follow regarding this topic in the next several posts.)

“BUT I CAN’T LOVE MY BROTHER”

“But I don’t like my brother!”

Because of this statement, I had to speak with one of my kids about the attitude displayed. This child of ours explained that this particular brother has been sooooooo annoying and irritating.

Not sure if you’ve had one of these situations at home. For us, this one is not rare.

I had to tell this child of ours, “When my sister and I were growing up, we had lots of fights too. I was annoying to her and vice versa.”

CHILD: “But he’s being so difficult! It’s so hard to love him. I can’t love him.”
ME: “I understand. But do you know why you can’t love him the way you should?”
CHILD: “Why, dad?”
ME: “It’s because your heart is rotten… rotten to the core.”

Taken aback, this child was speechless in the next few moments.

I then had to explain that that is exactly why we need Christ to rescue us.

Jesus didn’t come to be our example; He came so that He can be our Savior.  We didn’t need new lessons on life. We needed to be rescued from our sinful self.

As we parent our kids, it’s good to show them a good example, teach them to obey the rules, set boundaries. However, we can’t stop there. Teaching them why Christ came and how His death, burial and resurrection is applied to daily life is just as critical if not more so.

We can’t but through Him, we can.
We are unable to, but through Him, we are able.
We won’t, but through Him, we will.

Until our kids see that their hearts are sinful, they will never see their need for a Savior.

As they understand the Gospel more and more, they then cling to the perfect obedience of Christ to empower them to live a life that honors and pleases God.

You were dead because of your sins and because your sinful nature was not yet cut away. Then God made you alive with Christ, for he forgave all our sins. He canceled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross. (Colossians 2:13-14, NLT)

MY FUTURE AS A SOLO PARENT?

I recently received a Facebook message from a mom who I met years ago when my wife, Jenn and I shared in a parenting seminar.

I’d like you to read her short note because it was so encouraging to see a mom who though has gone through a very difficult time, and yet was able to accomplish something many would say is an insurmountable task.

The promise of Jeremiah 29:11 is true for everyone – single, married, solo parents, widows or even children.

I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for. (Message Version)

 

POST SCRIPT:

In case you have questions, stories, testimonies on parenting, growing up without a dad or living life with your Heavenly Father, feel free to send me a message through https://www.facebook.com/messages/paolovelapunzalan/

WHAT DO YOU VALUE AS A FAMILY?

During one semestral break, we took the kids out of town.  With us were the Sy’s (Dennis, Thammie and kids), Marge, Teri and Bruce.

As a family, we often take the opportunity to take off when we can because schedules have been crazy these days.  Even our kids are now ‘busy’ – from baseball to musical theater, TFT to piano lessons.

During one of our conversations over breakfast, Thammie asked me a question, “What are your core values as a family?” I really didn’t have a nice, carved out answer.  I guess all these years Jenn and I have operated on instincts and never really wrote down our ‘core values’.

I know many have written books these type of stuff like Patrick Lencioni who wrote a book entitled “Three Big Questions For A Frantic Family”.  I know that James Dobson have written a few books on these too.

While driving home, I thought about that question again and I began listing down guiding principles we worked with through the years as a family.

1. Love God.

If we can teach our kids to do this, then I feel we’re on the right direction.  We desire to help them develop a relationship with God.  We feel that that is the most important task we have as parents – to connect them with God.

We won’t be there for them all the time, but if they have a relationship with their Heavenly Father, then we know that they’ll be just fine.

2. Love family.

Respect. Compassion. Love for family.
I guess that’s why we invest (not spend) on family vacations though we have an old, ugly, clunky Crosswind.

Memories have been a priority for us.  We may not have a lot to leave them in terms of inheritance, but memories through times together is definitely on the top of our list. Seeing my kids love each other and look out for each other is definitely another important one for us.

3. Love others.

Service. Empathy. We want to teach our family not to just think about themselves, which we already are are very good at.  Life is really not about us.

It’s about God and the people He loves.

4. Love learning.

With the influx of information today, the accumulation of it is no longer the key to success.

Everything is now ‘googlable’.

However, processing and filtering of information is now the name of the game.  Critical thinking has never been as critical.  If we are successful in inputing love for learning, then I feel they will accomplish what God has designed them to be and do.

LEARNING THE VALUE OF SACRIFICE

I had a family huddle with 2 of my kids one night.  We were discussing the value of sacrifice. I was trying to explain that we can’t always get what we want.  Unfortunately, life is unfair at times and that’s just the reality of things.

One of my kids wanted to be picked up from school later than usual but that would mean having the car go back instead of just riding with carpool mates. Because we were trying to figure out the best way to become better stewards of what God has given, Jenn and I decided to make a decision to go with car pool for that day instead of the car going back again for the pick up.

Sacrifice is giving up something you value which may cause short term loss but in exchange for greater gain.

Society today has taught our children instant gratification.

We want what we want… and we want it NOW!

Teaching our kids that they can’t always get what they want is a good lesson to learn early in life.  Why?  Because that’s just how life works.

The earlier they learn this lesson, the better it is for them for it will save them from the many frustrations and heart aches circumstances may bring because many of them are way beyond our control.

John 10:15. “…just as my Father knows me and I know the Father. So I sacrifice my life for the sheep.”

POWER OF WORDS

Jenn and I shared at the Parenting Seminar in Victory Greenhills last Saturday. There was one point when a discussion came up regarding identity.

“How you see your children greatly affects how they see themselves.”

We may try to ignore, neglect and even disagree with the statement but seeing this in the lives of people we’ve encountered only validates it. Coupled with it are surveys and research through the years.

“You will never amount to anything.”
“You’ll end up just like your dad … a lazy bum.”
“No matter how hard you try, you’ll always be a failure.”

These words pierce like a dagger and hurt like fresh wound.

The tongue can bring death or life; those who love to talk will reap the consequences. (Proverbs 18:21)

As parents, we have the power to bring life in our children’s situations or sentence death to their futures.

WITH YOU ALWAYS

Since I’ve become a dad, I’ve endeavored to teach my children about God. We will not always be with our kids but giving them an awareness that God is with them is a good start.

The other night, Joaquin, our 3 year old, was watching a video in our room while we were all out in the dining room. Here’s a conversation that went on…

JOAQUIN: “Mom, can you stay with me in the room? I’m a bit scared.”

JENN: “Joaquin, it’s ok. Jesus is with you all the time. He is with you in the room.”

Long pause …

JOAQUIN: “But mom, Jesus told me that you have to be with me in the room.”

Haha!

How do you respond to that? :)

“THE BEST THING THAT’S HAPPENED TO ME…”

One of the surprises I had last Father’s Day was to see one of my ‘students’ in Kids Church from years ago.  I was a Kids Pastor for about 11 years and had the pleasure of teaching young kids. Many of them came from families with a complete set parents. A few had come from solo parent homes.

Darlene was one of them. I met her when she was about 6 years old.

She’s now 18 and when she approached me last Sunday, I was blown away by how she’s matured through the years.

I asked her to email me her thoughts about growing up with God as our Heavenly Father.

Read her thoughts and be blessed…

I honestly am not sure where to start. This topic is so complex, because I have so much testimonies …how God shaped me.

The best thing that happened my entire life- being raised by my single mom. Why, because I grew up feeling God directly had my back. That unlike almost all the kids I knew, I may not have a physical dad, (but because I was raised in church), I knew I had God as my dad. He has been the Father I never had, but at the same time, the Father I have always had.

I grew up feeling like nothing was impossible. Having God as your dad can make you feel that way versus having a limited human dad.

Don’t get me wrong, having a dad would be great. In fact, I wondered often what it’s like. I really have no idea at all. Just curious. But I don’t see it as a need, having a dad. Maybe I have grown so used to not having a father around that I just couldn’t tell the difference. I don’t have anybody I can compare to God.

Growing up in a single parent home, and being raised in church, worked this way for me:

When we didn’t know what to do as family, we’d go to God. Him being our decision-maker. Our guide.

When we needed protection as a family, we’d go to God. Pray for protection, and be protected. Just like how a father protects his family from harm. To this day, we have been given supernatural protection by God. Now that I’m 18 years of age, I can say that, all my life, specially during the trying times we’ve had, God has protected us. We have seen the best and worst our side of town has to offer. And no matter where we go, we never really get scared. We have always been protected. We just say a prayer. And everything is alright. We ride planes, we say a prayer of protection. When something doesn’t feel right, we say a prayer of protection. No human being father can protect a mother and daughter so supernaturally the way God does.

When we need provision as a family, we’d go to God. We have nobody else to go to but God. And God always worked in mysterious ways. He would provide vehicles he would use to provide for us, or he’d directly just provide for us through random people. God worked so mysteriously YET, he worked through everyone and everywhere. His provision was limitless.

Even though I grew up in a single home, I felt God was able to father me more directly. It has been the best thing that has ever happened to me. I was able to focus on him more. I knew nobody else but God.

Best thing that ever happened. Even though I grew up in a single parent home. Being in church, I did not have a hard time at all. In fact I feel it has been the best thing that happened to me. It has shaped me to be who I am.

I learned many things.

Most of the time, I don’t right away understand God’s will. But as time comes, I see how my Father is molding me.

I also learned that, things always got better sooner than I thought. God steps in, acts as my father and fixes problems sooner than I think.

He guides me and gives me advice. The principles he teaches through His Word, guides me through my everyday life. Just like how a real father would guide his daughter or son.

I’m an only child, and it has always been me, my mom and God. And it has been amazing. God has been able to  directly step in my family and take charge. Be the father of our family.

Having God as your father brings a certain calm. A calm no human being can give. It makes you feel you have a superhero as your dad. Him being everywhere. Unchanging in all his plans and promises.