Maybe this was because I was raised in an emotionally conservative household, but whenever my family discussed sex, I wanted to crawl under the sofa and die. It was just so embarrassing. Maybe it was because as an elementary school kid and I didn’t real know what sex was. Heck, I still thought girls were weird (well, maybe that part hasn’t changed).
Money was also a touchy subject. I know we always had enough. Sometimes we may have even had a lot. Honestly, I don’t know. But nobody in my family ever told me how we were financially. Money wasn’t so much a crawl under the sofa and die conversation, but more of a “avoid at all costs” conversation.
Then there was church, religion, Jesus, Christmas, Easter, prayer and that whole bag. Looking back on it, sadly, the discussions about religion/faith/church/God were just as awkward as the money and sex discussions. We only prayed if we were at my grandfather’s house – and church was a twice a year event (what an inconvenience!).
These three things are possibly the most important pieces of a man’s life, and I was denied healthy, engaging, educational discussions on these potentially life-giving or life-destroying topics. Thanks be to God that I am a self-starting learner, because it took my own gumption to learn about these three. Sadly, I’m still behind the curve. I spent more time on the golf course than I did in a church. Sure, I could crush the ball off the tee, but I didn’t know the Lord’s Prayer until I was a sophomore in high school.
We always hear talk about how we want the best for our children and grandchildren. We want them to inherit a good country, to be successful in their choice of careers, to find someone they love. Using my parents as a real life example, they wanted these things for me – but they never provided me with the tools to do so. How was I supposed to know what real love was unless they held honest, truthful, and difficult conversations with me about sex? Why should I care about the responsible use of money if my parents only discussed finances in abstract and awkward ways?
Do we really think our children will inhabit the churches we build and the hope that we affirm unless we pray at home, talk about God, and discuss our faith openly with our families?