For nearly two decades of my marriage, I wasn’t a very good wife. I maintained emotional walls between Big Guy and me. I resisted sex. I treated him disrespectfully. I refused to trust him with my heart or my body.
I carry many regrets from those years, many of which include what I was teaching our kids about marriage. My sons were learning that marriage was not a happy state for a man, and my daughter was learning that it is okay to, well, be a shrew.
I’m thankful that they all still lived at home when I got my act together. They at least had a glimpse of what a happy marriage can look like. That softened the impact of the negative lessons, and they also learned that people and relationships truly can change.
One of the regrets I carry is that in not having a healthy understanding of sex for myself, I did a lousy job of teaching my children about sexual intimacy.
I especially regret not having done a better job for my daughter. So many women bring an incomplete understanding of sex and sexuality into their marriages. When sex becomes a problem in their marriages, their challenges are to unlearn negative lessons about sex and to learn positive ones.
I did four things “right” in teaching my daughter about her body, sexuality, and sexual intimacy:
- I knew a lot of facts about bodies and sex. When it came to biology, I got things right. She often came to be with questions about menstrual processes.
- I taught her the importance of consent. Although I hoped that she would reserve sexual intimacy for marriage, I made it clear that it isn’t okay for any man to force her into sexual activity she doesn’t agree to, even if he is her husband.
- I taught her the correct names for her body parts.
- I never disparaged my own body in her presence. She never heard me express shame or embarrassment about my weight or about body parts I don’t like.
While I’m glad that I did a few things right, I’m keenly aware of the many things I did wrong or that I didn’t bother to do at all. It’s so important to give our daughters positive messages about their bodies and God’s design for sex, especially if we want good messages to shout more loudly than all the messages the world throws at them. (See this post.)
What are you passing on to your daughter?
I often hear from other women who are concerned about what their daughters are learning about sex and marriage. Let’s face it: many of us struggle to talk with our own husbands about sex. How on earth can we talk to our daughters about it?
Fortunately, a new resource if available to help you do just that. Sheila Wray Gregoire at To Love, Honor & Vacuum has a brand new online video-based course for moms and daughters about sex, puberty, and growing up. The course is designed to help you start and continue important conversations with your own daughter. The course comes in two different versions: one for girls ages 10-12 and and another for girls 13-15. Sheila’s own daughters lead the videos, and you’ll find discussion and activity ideas to help you and your daughter continue the conversation.
Learn more at The Whole Story (affiliate link). You have several different options to purchase the course:
- Separately, each course is $39, and you get access for one year.
- You can buy them both for $69, with access for one year.
- OR you can buy a VIP version for $99, with lifetime access and extra materials, including audio training and pep talks from Sheila; advice from her husband Keith about when things are weird enough with periods or puberty that you should see a pediatrician (Keith is one!); parenting audio downloads featuring Rebecca and Sheila on how to parent teens well; and access to a Facebook group where people can ask questions and suggest topics for webinars (which they can then get for free).
- From now through September 18, the VIP pack is available for $69.
If you have a young teen daughter and have struggled with these important conversations about sex and puberty because of what you have modeled so far, let The Whole Story help you transform the legacy you are passing along to your daughters.