Thursday, February 10, 2011

Family Matters: How to Talk to Children About Sexual Morality

Do you remember when your parents had THE TALK with you?  Perhaps mom and dad avoided the Birds and the Bees conversation all together or left it to your health teacher at school.   It is more likely that your own sex education came from your peer group and was consequently full of misinformation and inappropriate suggestions. 

As parents, we are called to teach and guide our children, especially regarding sexual morality.  This is no easy task and as a parent, I now understand why my parents sat us children down to watch an ABC after-school special on teen pregnancy, and then concluded the program with, “Some mistakes you only get to make once.”  I was just as baffled by my mother’s words then as most children would be today. 

Parents and sex-educators tend to focus on the physical consequences of sexual activity (i.e. sexually transmitted diseases, and unintended pregnancy).  These painful realities are important; however, what about the moral and emotional consequences of sexual choices?  How do we talk to children and teens about sex in a way that clearly communicates both the physical consequences of sex and the beautiful plan God has for the sacredness of sex within marriage?  Many parents offer lots of scary reasons not to have sex, yet fail to offer any positive and encouraging motivation for chastity until marriage. 

Common sense (and research) tells us that kids and parents are more likely to hold similar values about sex if parents (mom and dad!) consistently and repeatedly talk with their children about sexual morality.  So, where do parents begin?  First, it is important for parents to get their own house in order.  What sexual values are you communicating to your children with your behavior?  If you are not currently married, how might your children view your romantic relationships?  What are your beliefs about premarital sex, contraception, masturbation, abortion, and pornography?  These are difficult questions, and if your answers for your personal behavior differ from what you would say to your teen, then some self-examination may be in order. 

You don’t have to go it alone or reinvent the wheel!  There are lots of great resources to help you learn how to talk about sex and to clearly articulate your values about sex.  A great place to start would be your church pastor or priest.  Your church may already have a clearly stated position on sexual issues.  There are good books and DVD’s that are helpful to start the conversation, and sometimes bring the material into a full understanding.  Just remember, nothing replaces a good parental role model and a real conversation between parent and child!

Here are some great resources I have found to help parents and teens.  Please feel free to add suggestions for additional resources!

·      Theology Of The Body For Teens DVDs by Brian Butler, DVD
·      Theology of the Body for Teens (Student Workbook) by Brian Butler; Jason and Crystalina Evert, Paperback
·      Theology of The Body For Teens – Leader’s Guide by Jason & Crystalina Evert; Brian Butler, Paperback
·      Theology of the Body for Teens Parents Guide by Brian Butler, Paperback
·      Theology of His/Her Body by Jason Evert, Paperback
·      If You Really Loved Me: 100 Questions on Dating, Relationships, and Sexual Purity by Jason Evert, Paperback

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Our Vision and Mission

Vision:  The vision of TFAM is to partner with like-minded groups and persons, including but not limited to the Georgia Family Council, Inc. its founding sponsor, who agree to promote the transformation of our community by joining together in practical ways that enhance and strengthen families and marriages.

Purpose:  The purpose of Thomasville Family and MarriageNet, Inc. is to create a network of empowered pastors, community leaders and families with resources to strengthen families and prevent family breakdowns.

Mission:  The Thomasville Family and MarriageNet, Inc. exists to equip and empower individuals, families, and the community of Greater Thomasville with resources needed to build, heal and enrich family relationships.

Strategy:  The Thomasville Family and MarriageNet, Inc. will promote

Twelve strategies to accomplish its mission:
Conduct periodic marriage and family needs analyses;
Identify and evaluate resources available to meet those needs;
Create a referral system to maximize awareness and use of these resources;
Evaluate the effectiveness of those marriage and family resources in the community;
If resources are not effective or adequate, re-direct the network’s efforts;
As necessary, develop unique resources specifically for the Thomasville environment;
Educate the community regarding healthy marriage and family relationships;
Sponsor or co-sponsor events that further its purpose;
Promote the TFAM Network and mission through the media;
Plan for future growth and stability by identifying and training new leadership;
Partner with Community Transformation, Inc. and other Christian organizations to communicate with and provide resources to pastors and church congregations;
Participate with Georgia Family Council, Inc. and all of Georgia to create a model program that can be replicated. 


TFAM was jointly formed by Community Transformation Inc and Georgia Family Council Inc. (GFC). Its purpose is to promote welfare of families and marriages. Several people have already been through TFAM training programs, written articles for the paper, and hosted events over the years. Now, we are having a lot of turnover from the “older board” members and GFC is sponsoring an event to make its services and TFAM’s opportunities known to those already trained and those who might have interest in carrying the torch for families and marriages. We need new insights to tell us what is needed and decide how to set a course for the next decade in Thomasville to strengthen families and marriages.

We’ll have a get acquainted meeting, a presentation, and a round table discussion with good food as well, on Saturday, January 22 @ St Augustine Catholic Church, Thomasvile, GA, from 3pm to 5pm hosted by Dr. Shannon Mullen (Mrs. Mike) Magbalon and Shannon (Mrs. Rich) Bassi, who are two of our new board members and are members of St. Augustine. It will be for both husbands and wives who are interested in finding ways to promote marriages and families in our community and will be led by John Jauregui, VP of Community Strategies of Georgia Family Council Inc. (headquartered in Atlanta). Children will be welcome to come along, enjoy the food and refreshments, and use the playground while their parents talk and enjoy a presentation.

Douglas K. Silvis
Chairman of the Board
Thomasville Family & MarriageNet, Inc.
c/o Silvis, Ambrose & Lindquist, P.C.
Post Office Box 1557
220 South Hansell Street
Thomasville, Georgia 31799-1557
Telephone:  229-228-9999, Ext 21
Facsimile:  229-226-9350