The Concordia Publishing House Podcast

Ten Reasons You Need to Talk to Your Kids About Sex, Now with Heather Ruesch

July 21, 2020 Elizabeth Pittman Season 1 Episode 4
The Concordia Publishing House Podcast
Ten Reasons You Need to Talk to Your Kids About Sex, Now with Heather Ruesch
Chapters
The Concordia Publishing House Podcast
Ten Reasons You Need to Talk to Your Kids About Sex, Now with Heather Ruesch
Jul 21, 2020 Season 1 Episode 4
Elizabeth Pittman

Teens hear a lot of conflicting viewpoints about sex. The world tells them to follow their heart and do what feels right. That sex isn’t a big deal, that pornography isn’t harmful, that modesty, well, it’ just old fashioned. 

But that’s not how God designed sex. We need to have honest conversations with our youth about sex. In this episode, we’re going to talk with Heather Ruesch about the Top 10 reasons you need to talk to you kids about sex, now.

Heather Ruesch is well-respected life issues speaker and singer/songwriter. She is passionate about youth and about being a voice of God’s truth in their lives. Heather is an abstinence educator and certified pregnancy center advocate and has served as executive director of crisis pregnancy centers.

Show Notes Transcript

Teens hear a lot of conflicting viewpoints about sex. The world tells them to follow their heart and do what feels right. That sex isn’t a big deal, that pornography isn’t harmful, that modesty, well, it’ just old fashioned. 

But that’s not how God designed sex. We need to have honest conversations with our youth about sex. In this episode, we’re going to talk with Heather Ruesch about the Top 10 reasons you need to talk to you kids about sex, now.

Heather Ruesch is well-respected life issues speaker and singer/songwriter. She is passionate about youth and about being a voice of God’s truth in their lives. Heather is an abstinence educator and certified pregnancy center advocate and has served as executive director of crisis pregnancy centers.

Elizabeth Pittman:

Welcome to the Concordia Publishing House Podcast, where we consider everything in the light of Jesus Christ was the same yesterday, today and forever. I'm your host, Elizabeth Pittman. Teens hear a lot of conflicting viewpoints about sex. The world tells them, just follow your heart and do what feels right. Sex isn't a big deal. Pornography isn't harmful. Modesty, well, that's just old fashioned. That's not how God designed sex. We need to have honest conversations with our youth about it. In this episode, we're going to talk with Heather Ruesch about the top 10 reasons you need to be talking with your kids about sex. Now, Heather is a well-respected life issues speaker and singer songwriter. She is passionate about youth and about being a voice of God's truth in their lives. Heather is also an abstinence educator, certified pregnancy center advocate and has served as executive director of crisis pregnancy centers. Welcome Heather.

Heather Ruesch:

Hey, great to be here with you guys. What a fun endeavor.

Elizabeth Pittman:

I know. How are you doing?

Heather Ruesch:

I'm doing great. How are you?

Elizabeth Pittman:

I'm good. Things are good in Michigan.

Heather Ruesch:

Oh my goodness. Yeah, it's hot, finally. I think, although it's already starting to change over to fall from summertime, so we had our two weeks and now it's bending the other way. But it's beautiful. Everything in Michigan is great. Very blessed to be here. Our family is healthy and well, and yeah, life is good. We're blessed.

Elizabeth Pittman:

Excellent. I'm glad you're with us today because you have spent a lot of time and put a lot of passion into teaching and talking with youth on this subject. Before we jump into the top 10 reasons, why don't you set the stage for us? Why should we be worried about having these conversations now and as ongoing conversations throughout our children's lives?

Heather Ruesch:

Oh yeah, I think that's a great idea. Honestly, here's what it comes down to. Why does this matter? Why do we have to be talking about sex and sexuality with our kids? You know, we've heard a lot of blanket statements over the years. When you equate Christianity with sex, it's purity, it's this exchange that you have to make with God in leading a pure life, right? Or it's the other side, it's like all judgment and law and it turns into shame and regret and secrecy. I think overwhelmingly where we're at in our culture today is pointing us toward why this topic matters, why we have to focus on sexual health and wellness as part of a bigger scope of total body health and wellness, right? The way that I like to parallel it a little bit or make a comparison is we put time and energy into educating our kids, into educating ourselves on how to take care of our bodies, how to be contributing members of society, how to treat others well.

Heather Ruesch:

But we don't very often put that same amount of time and energy into teaching each other how to build relationships and look beyond the superficial, not only in ourselves first and foremost, but in every other person around us. Unfortunately what that's led to, the superficial way of thinking about our sexuality, it's led us to this point where sex has become something that's distorted in our culture today, our youth especially. Moms and dads, our generations and our parents above us as well, with each generation, we started buying into this too. We started seeing that, putting our value as individuals into our sexuality, like how desirable we are to the opposite sex, to the world, to our friends. Right? Suddenly we make our physical body the object of our value. It's very easy for our sexuality to be the place where we go to find our identity. Right?

Heather Ruesch:

That's why it's important because we can see, like I talked about the value of every human life at the very foundation of this. You want to talk to your kids about sexuality. The very first place to start is and to always come back to is the value of every human life, that we are God's most priceless possessions. Then what does it look like to live that out? You are not just a physical body with physical worth, but you are a physical body who also has a mind, your emotional, your social, your spiritual, and your mental. You have this beautiful mental side too as well. What we're trying to do in all of these resources and the things that we're teaching on is bring back to this balance. Teaching students and parents how to balance every aspect of their worth so that they know what true value is and where it comes from and how to find it, how to get back to it so that we can then project that out to others.

Elizabeth Pittman:

I remember talking with you once and you took that a step further. It stuck with me and I have since used it in conversations many, many times, but it was because we have been given this value from God and this special worth. But when we look at other people around us, we need to recognize that they also have been given that value and we need to treat them as valuable children, precious children of God. I remember that stuck with me because it's so simple but it's so powerful and it can change your mindset in terms of how you interact with other people. From the big issues to the small ones.

Heather Ruesch:

Right. I mean, look at our culture today. This, I am convicted that the core of all of our conflict is when we do not recognize that value. The value of every human life is the most important issue on the table. I say that over and over because I want people to remember it. When we understand our own value is at that point that I can look across the table, I know my value. I know my place. I know what I'm worth to my creator, the creator of all things and therefore I'm comfortable with who I am. Right. I can look across the table and it doesn't matter then if you offend me, right, if you come at me, if you hurt me, if I disagree with you, if I struggle with your decisions or you struggle with mine.

Heather Ruesch:

I can still look at you and respect the dignity of your life because I know you have a significant place in this world because you are created as one of God's most priceless possessions. I mean, you know what that does is it tones everything down. It creates empathy. It creates empathy. Suddenly now I'm not as up in arms as I was before because I can maybe look beyond what the behavior that's happening and I can see that value of that person that still exist and it's not subjective. This value is not subjective. It's not changing.

Elizabeth Pittman:

Not at all. That leads to the rest of our conversation today of we have this value and we need to teach our children this value so that they one respect the physical body that God has given them. But also that they respect their peers and other people that they encounter on a daily basis. Let's start with number 10, your top 10 reasons. Number 10, you're the only one not talking to them, unpack that for us.

Heather Ruesch:

We hear it all the time. You're the only one not talking to your kids about sex. We hear that twisted in all different ways. They say, be the only voice they hear. The reality is like quantity over quality is what we're up against in our culture today and that's unfortunate. I'm not saying that that's right, but I'm saying that parents, we have a big calling on us to challenge the voices that are around our children, because it is coming at every one of us from every direction. We are all susceptible to this very superficial understanding of value and the physical body and how we see and approach ourselves and other people as well. The things that God places value on, like relationship, marriage and family.

Heather Ruesch:

These deep constitutional roots that God has given us to keep us healthy and balanced and strong in this world, the culture is surrounding us with all kinds of distractions to say, squirrel, squirrel, squirrel, squirrel so that we're very much living in the superficial world and the superficial state. When I say you are the only one not talking to your kids about sex, like for real, for real. I've had parents when we're out teaching, concerned that fifth grade is maybe too soon to be starting these conversations with students. You would be surprised. Now you have to be tactful, right? You need to be age-appropriate when you're talking to young kids. But the earlier that you can start introducing concepts of human growth and development and sex and sexuality, family to your children, the better. I actually would say, you should be starting at birth.

Elizabeth Pittman:

Parents, the lesson is start talking to your kids now, which leads us into number nine. Your voice will always be the loudest one they hear.

Heather Ruesch:

Especially when we say nothing at all. Yeah, convicting. Right? I can tell my daughter all day long to not smoke cigarettes, but if I'm smoking cigarettes, she's going to probably end up smoking cigarettes. Right. I'm just going to leave that one there. Parents, they're watching you, they've been watching you from the moment that they laid eyes on you and they adore everything about you. They are looking up to you. You are who God gave them as the example to follow in this world. Your voice will always be the loudest that they hear and sometimes it's not necessarily spoken, right. It's our actions that they actually pick up on more than even our words.

Elizabeth Pittman:

They absolutely do. Dr. John Eckrich talks about this in a book that he's written titled Family Wellness. He emphasizes that one, they're sponges, and two, they are far more likely to follow what they observe than what they're told. I've seen my kids call it up [inaudible 00:11:00], you're not doing that. They hold you accountable and that's a good thing, but it also reminds us that we have a high standard to set for our behavior.

Heather Ruesch:

I think we also have to remember, don't let that be daunting. Don't let that be something that gives you shame and brings up feelings of regret and makes you like flee. No. Instead, allow this to transpire as you become more and more transparent with them. You know, hey, this is something that I struggled with, or you know what, I'm struggling with this right now. Maybe I'm not making the best choices but here's what I'm doing to make it better and then be willing to do it. When you fail, come back and talk to your kids about that. I mean, being the family unit that leans on each other, that is in it together, I think is such an important part. You know, a family culture that we're missing today. Bring them into your world and allow so that you open the doors that you can become part of theirs.

Elizabeth Pittman:

It's powerful when you can be vulnerable with them, let them see you being vulnerable, ask them for forgiveness and then show them how you have wrestled through it. It's such a powerful lesson for them to learn. It's one that when the time comes, we need to be willing to take it. As we're talking to them, we're doing so because of number eight, they don't know God's thoughts on sex.

Heather Ruesch:

They don't. There's so much confusion. I mean, really just stop for a second and think about how much you actually know, how comfortable you actually are talking about the subject, sex, sexuality, marriage. I mean, are these heavy, complicated subjects? You hear varying opinions and you're given guidance from one spectrum to the other. Even in the church where we tend to come back to biblical teaching as our guide, our manual to get through this life. We come back and we still hear lots of different distortions about what does God say about this. I think it's really important for us to stop and be mindful of the fact that we a lot of times were assuming that our kids are just, that they're going to know, and they're going to figure this out and it's all going to be fine.

Heather Ruesch:

What we're realizing, what we're seeing unfortunately when we look at CDC statistics and other teenage pregnancy rates and things like that in our country today is they don't know. They're out there winging it. If we don't know how to teach them, then we as the adults, we got to figure it out. We've got to go to our pastors, we've got to pull in the resources. We have to make an intentional effort to be in it with them together so that we both are learning and figuring out according to the word of God what is right and solid and true, what they know to be good and what is not.

Elizabeth Pittman:

If they don't know and we're not teaching them, they're going to look to their peers. They're going to look to the internet, which leads into number seven, as the culture continues to devalue human life, our youth need to know from where true value comes.

Heather Ruesch:

Right. I started off as a pro-life advocate, pro-life speaker. I worked in crisis pregnancy centers and it's because I have my own pro-life story with my daughter, Bella, from when I was a sophomore in college and found myself facing an unplanned pregnancy. That experience in my life led me into pro-life advocacy. My conviction, as I've said before already, my conviction is that the value of every human life, our value to our creator is the most important thing we should be teaching our kids. That is at the core of every other major decision and source of sin and conflict in our lives is whether or not we understand the value of human life and that it is not subjective. It is unchanging according to by God's standards because of who created us, right?

Heather Ruesch:

That's why it's unchanging. But we always, if you can look around in our culture today and you can see how the value of a person's life has become subjective, it's become dependent upon race, ethnicity, religion, weight, height, beauty, talent, ability, success, status. All of these things are subjective. They're dependent upon the opinion of a person and that can change. The only unchanging thing in this world is our value to our creator. As parents, we need to constantly be teaching our children from where our value comes and then teaching them how to steward their bodies, physical, mental, emotional, social, and spiritual, right, at every age and stage of our lives. That is the most crucial lesson that we can teach our kids if we want to impact, if we want far-reaching impact on the rest of their lives and their relationships.

Elizabeth Pittman:

That value as they understand where it comes from sets the foundation for them to address some of the big things that are going to come their way. We're going to get into those in some of these next reasons. Number six, casual sex requires more life or death diligence than ever.

Heather Ruesch:

Right? Teenagers tell me all across the country, they say to me like, I loved your presentation, I love that you're teaching because it wasn't fear and shame-based. All we hear is about all the STDs, infertility and the things that are going to happen to us. But you know, there's medication for all those things.

Elizabeth Pittman:

They always have a way around, right? They're going to push the boundaries.

Heather Ruesch:

They have to get it from somewhere. I mean, they're hearing that from lots of different people. Here's the reality. There is no such thing as safe sex outside the confines of marriage. That is a lie that we have bought into in order to gratify our own needs, wants, and desires. Okay. There is no such thing as safe sex outside the confines of marriage. The reason that I say that is because all you have to do is look at the statistics. I mean, purely science, okay. Purely scientific. We look at the statistics. We are in the midst of a sexually transmitted infection epidemic in our country today. Okay. Epidemic, that's according to the CDC, the Centers for Disease Control United States. In addition to that, suicide rates are the highest that they have ever been in all of history.

Heather Ruesch:

Now people say, well, that could be mental health issues. Here's what I've found in my own experiences traveling across the country, speaking at 53 different schools last year with the You Matter Tour. I'm talking to teenagers. You know what? They're stressed out. There's a lot of pressure and they're seeking relationships, sexual relationships to defeat and deplete that pressure. They're looking for connection. They're looking for bonding, deep bonding and a sense of identity and a place where they fit in and they belong and a place to be. All of that directly ties back to the sexually transmitted infection epidemic, the suicide rates increasing. 24,000 women becoming infertile each year as a result of sexually transmitted infections that were not treated. These are all statistics. In addition to that, one in four women in the United States is still susceptible to having an abortion, and then the effects after that, that that young woman is carrying with her.

Heather Ruesch:

These things are taking a toll on the whole body, not just the physical body. Casual sex requires more life or death diligence than ever because you are not just a physical body with physical consequences. You can never just separate your physical body and the effects of casual sex lifestyle from your mental, emotional, social, and spiritual body component.

Elizabeth Pittman:

Satan loves that playground because he knows it's tempting and it gives him something to work with. That lead to number five, marriage is under attack.

Heather Ruesch:

Yeah. God knew that Satan would twist and pervert sexual intimacy into a powerful tool to be used against us. One of the things that I talk about a lot when I'm traveling is that aspect of love and respect. There's a great book out there, I've read it eons ago, but you know, this is biblical. This is, husbands, God is commanding you to tenderly love your wives, because you will naturally as men gravitate toward respecting them, but you will need to slow down and you will need to be attentive to them. That will be hard for you. Women, God is calling us to respect our husbands because we as the nurturers get tired sometimes of being the ones who constantly pull the family together and bring the guys back in and saying, hey, we need you to love us now. Right?

Heather Ruesch:

We have a hard time with that. But even recognizing the components between husband and wife, we don't look at that anymore. We look at marriage as the next big event. We look at marriage as a culture. I'm totally generalizing right now, but this is really important because this is what our kids are seeing as the example, the glorified aspect of marriage. Actually, I think they're calling us out on it, right? Because they see that it's fake and it's not working. They're wanting something more but they're not sure where to find it because they're not seeing it from the culture in what is supposed to be the most incredible bond here on earth with another earthly human being. They're not seeing it as that. They're seeing it as something that's disposable and superficial. In addition to that, then we need to bring in all the different ways that Satan has twisted and distorted what true marriage and the true family unit is.

Heather Ruesch:

We get into some really hard topics and some really deep situations. I have pastors and parents who text and call me all the time just wanting resources, especially about homosexuality and people that they love, how to approach people that they love that are in these relationships. You know what I tell them is that every single person is uniquely and intricately made and therefore every single person is going to be uniquely and intricately attacked. We cannot put this blanket statement out there that says, I will write you off because I don't agree with you, or because you're living in sin. Instead, we have to start teaching our children, and through example we have to start relating one-on-one with people and building deep bonding connections with each other again. Because that's how change happens through empathy and connection. The holy spirit then has this wonderful opportunity to work.

Heather Ruesch:

I say it all the time. I've given this example before, and I think it's worth spending a little bit more time on listing a few [inaudible 00:22:48]. I give this example especially when we're talking about foundational, super, super important components like marriage. Struggling with the argument of how the definition of marriage is under attack right now in our culture today. Here's the example I give. If my daughter Sophia and I are out for a walk and she runs ahead of me and she trips and falls, she falls to the ground. She gashes open her leg and she is laying there crying and looking for help. She's looking all around because she's in pain and she is hurting. Right. If I go over to her and I stand above her and I say, wow, Sophia, it looks like you fell. Jesus loves you. He's going to help you with that. Okay. What is she going to do?

Elizabeth Pittman:

Mom, I need a bandaid. Help me.

Heather Ruesch:

Help me. That's great. That doesn't apply to me right now. I'm hurting. I need help. If I am not relevant to her, what is she going to do? She's going to keep yelling to other people around her until somebody comes to help her. That person, that person who comes alongside her kneels down next to her, looks her in the eyes and says to her, "I see that you're hurting. I see that you are in pain. What can I do to help you? How can I help you and be with you in this?" That person will have all of her respect, all of her time and all of her attention. I as a Christian, now if we take that and we separate this, I'm saying like the holy spirit can work wherever he wants to. Right? I as a Christian need to make sure that my first priority is to come alongside and to see that person as a uniquely created individual, most priceless possession of God wherever they are.

Elizabeth Pittman:

Dr. John Townsend from the Townsend Institute at Concordia Irvine describes that as getting into [crosstalk 00:24:53].

Heather Ruesch:

I love that analogy.

Elizabeth Pittman:

Such a great visual and it matches exactly what you said. It's powerful when you think about, because it can be uncomfortable for us to jump into that well and kneel down beside them and say, I'm here. How can I help you? But it's necessary if we really do want to make a true connection and help that person in the way that they need.

Heather Ruesch:

Help doesn't necessarily mean agreement. You know what I mean? We know as parents, we discipline our children, right? We do certain things that maybe our children don't like in the moment, but they're grateful we did it later. There is tact in that as well that we don't compromise and say, well. I was talking to a fantastic speaker this morning, Brian Barlow. One of the things that we were talking about is this overused statement of God accepts me for just who I am. I think that's a great distortion, right? He said, actually, what it is is I have a God who loves me so much that he's not willing to leave me where I'm at. Isn't that exactly? That's the truth that we're trying to bring when we come alongside someone. We're not saying, hey Sophia, way to go for falling down. You look so good. Man, I'm proud of you for that. No, instead what we're saying is I see you're hurting.

Heather Ruesch:

What can I do to help? Maybe next time we need to reevaluate how we did that. Right? Then having the patience in recognizing that you're not going to be the change in anyone's life but the holy spirit is the only change in someone's life. But you could be the person who just opens them up to the place where they're willing to receive all the love that God has to give them.

Elizabeth Pittman:

Well, outside of having that understanding and that teaching and mentoring leads to number four, that they'll think that this is love.

Heather Ruesch:

Yeah. They will. They'll think that this is love. I think it doesn't take statistic or anything like that for us to look around us and recognize that our kids are looking for love in all the wrong places. You know what? Probably so are we. This is the greatest letdown. They've been told that there's this grand love story waiting for them. Ultimately what I try to do is I try to show them this grand love story is between them and God and it's accomplished through Jesus Christ. That's the love story. Then from there, right, comes an understanding like just an explosion of realizing how incredibly valued you are and how much your life is worth. Then from there, the idea is that we would be able to be intentional about caring for ourselves so that we can be intentional about caring for others, and understanding I think at the end of the day that this is a concept that very few of us are really familiar with.

Heather Ruesch:

We are all just looking to the next relationship, the next validation of our value from someone or something instead of looking for it from God himself through Jesus Christ.

Elizabeth Pittman:

You see that everywhere from something as simple as how many likes did my last post get on the social media channel to behaviors that are intentionally seeking affirmation and what is being perceived as love. As we move on to number three, homosexuality is the hottest trend for teens today.

Heather Ruesch:

We talked about it a little bit before, but this again, the grassroots of this, I mean, there are a lot of different reasons why your teenager may be struggling with homosexuality. Again, you cannot just give a big blanket statement. There are many components to who you are, right? Physical, mental, emotional, social, spiritual. We can be attacked in any one of those ways or all of them and then even within the subcomponents of all of those ways, right? Because we are uniquely made. Again, you can not put a blanket statement on that, but the reality is that it is the hottest trend for teens today. The reality is it has very little to do with sexuality actually. It has everything to do with connection, with human connection in this day and age.

Heather Ruesch:

We are so busy. We are so overextended. Our family time, when you spend time together, we don't even usually necessarily get to the place where we can relax and be because that's a culture that you create in your home. It doesn't happen overnight. It doesn't happen on a weekend. It doesn't happen on a one week vacation. This is something that constantly has to be intentionally cultivated in the family. Even within our school systems and things like that, our class sizes are greater. The demands on our teachers are higher. We are rushing our kids through their lives, through their days. Unfortunately, they're all like, wait a second, I'm missing something. They immediately, because they are growing and changing, they're already questioning where are their places in the herd. They're going to either find ways that they can identify with someone else that they can stand out on their own and bring people to them.

Heather Ruesch:

They're going to look for a place to fill a gap. Unfortunately, instead of looking for that in balancing their whole body health and wellbeing, they're looking for it in this one, tiny, tiny, but massively impactful area and that is their sexuality.

Elizabeth Pittman:

The earlier that we can help them understand their sexuality and give them a healthy sexuality mentality, the better, because number two, their futures depend on it.

Heather Ruesch:

Right. This is their entire life we're talking about. At the very beginning of the podcast I said, we are living in a superficial culture. The time that we have with our kids is to teach them and impact them is very small. These are decisions that we are not teaching our children to make. This is massive stuff. Think about the important building blocks in your life right now. Your husband or wife, your marriage or your relationship, your children, your career, your faith, right? Your vocations, whatever those vocations are that God has called you to, they all are dependent upon whether or not you are able to build relationships. Communication, empathy, inner social emotional skills and understanding. These are all things that we ought to be continuously intentionally teaching our children. From that comes the integrity in our sexuality, right.

Heather Ruesch:

As we teach them these things, integrity in every area, hopefully, comes from there. Especially with sexuality. I've gotten a little controversial here a little bit because I've said when we're talking about comprehensive sex ed, I'm not on that boat. I'm also not on the purity abstinence education boat either because I think both of them are a fanatical side of what we ought to actually be teaching. What we need to be teaching our children is perfectly balanced down the middle, and that is your sexuality is not an exchange with a powerful God. It's not something that you have to give to God in order for him to be present in your life, for him to approve. That is not, and that unfortunately is what a lot of our purity pledges are teaching and our students then are not living up to that. They are living in secrecy or they're writing off sexual integrity as something that is old fashioned and outdated.

Heather Ruesch:

The opposite side of that is the comprehensive sex side, sex education side that's being taught in schools and that is, you know what? You're going to do it anyway so here's a condom and some birth control. You know what? This is just healthy and part of growing up, like just be safe. Right? What we know, what we can tell from our scientific statistics is that that doesn't work either. Does it? The reality is these are individual human beings with incredible worth, and they are worth us teaching and taking the time. Whatever it takes, taking the time to get down next to them and come alongside them in every single fall and every single moment of their lives to be present and a part of it. Their futures depend on it.

Elizabeth Pittman:

They absolutely do. This is bringing us full circle I think with number one, what do they have that's priceless and what are we doing to protect it?

Heather Ruesch:

What do you have that's priceless and what are you doing to protect it? Think about that in your life. I mean, I think about what my most priceless earthly possession would be, like physical material possession. That would be a ring of my grandmother's. That ring, I don't wear it when I travel. I don't spend a whole lot of time playing with it and loaning it out to people like that. Instead, I keep that ring in a very safe and secret place. I take it out every once in a while just to look at it and to remember everything that it represents to me, but it's priceless to me and so therefore I care for it in that way. That is how we have to look at our children. We have to see them not, first and foremost, as God's most priceless possessions, recognizing that we are too. Then following that up, we have to be able to be willing to protect them and to steward them, to guide them because they're worth it. They're worth it. Nothing else in the world that we can give them is more valuable than teaching them how to honor their value to their creator.

Elizabeth Pittman:

God made them so intentionally and with such great value and the cost was so high with Christ giving his life for them that it is absolutely incumbent on us to teach that.

Heather Ruesch:

Yeah. What a great honor we have.

Elizabeth Pittman:

I tell my sons that all the time, I have been blessed and have been given the highest charge to be their mother. Honestly, it scares me to death most days because it is such a big job but God has entrusted these beings to their father and myself, and we have an obligation to help steward them on the right path. This is a huge part of that.

Heather Ruesch:

We're not in it alone. I want us to get to the place where we realize, get rid of the stigma. We're all failing and we're all succeeding. Every one of us, especially as the body of Christ, I mean, let's get rid of this idea that we have to live the perfect life and be the perfect people. You know what? Our kids are going to do the same things that we did and they're going to have similar temptations to the things that we are tempted to. Why? We cannot treat them as if they are going to be like a 2.0 version of ourselves. Instead, let's approach them as a uniquely created individuals they are and let's approach each other for what it really is. We're in this together. I don't want to do this by myself.

Heather Ruesch:

I really want to glean from your experiences, from your knowledge. I really want to just be able to talk to the people around me that God's put in my life with total transparency and know that you can do the same to me. Surround yourself with good people that you can do that with, that you can be transparent with. Then teach your kids to do that as well. Keep them connected.

Elizabeth Pittman:

That's such a great thing for them to witness and know that it's possible, that they aren't in it alone, that they have people that God has put into their lives to care for them and to help them as they face all the challenges that are sure to come their way in their lives. Heather, thank you so much for spending some time with us today. This has been a very important conversation to have. If our listeners would like to learn more about what creating a healthy sexuality mentality in your family looks like, please visit cph.org/sexualitymentality, that's cph.org/sexualitymentality. If you'd like to learn more about the work that Heather is doing through the You Matter Tour and through her writing and speaker, please visit heatherruesch.com and you'll be able to get connected with Heather. Heather, thanks again. This has been a great conversation.

Heather Ruesch:

Awesome. Blessings to you, sweet sister. Thank you for having me on.

Elizabeth Pittman:

All right. We'll talk to everyone next time. Thank you for joining us on this episode of the Concordia Publishing House Podcast. I pray that this time was valuable to your walk with Christ. We'd love to connect with listeners on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter @ConcordiaPub. Visit cph.org for more resources to grow deeper in the gospel.