Yes, I know you know that already but I’m just reminding myself and you that you don’t get off days from parenting. It’s a 24/7 appointment and you’d better know that before you take on the assignment. Yep, it goes far beyond donating sperms and incubating them in your womb after fertilisation has taken place. Parenting is hard work.
So, we read Matthew 7:7 during worship and Dave decides he needs to exercise his right to questioning and getting me to provide answers. Oh, I’ll let you into his question soon enough but let me state that one of the responsibilities of parenthood is having the answers to all questions or at least having an idea how to get the answers. I don’t want that look of disappointment when my son asks a question and realises I don’t have a clue…especially experiential questions.
So Dave asks: How does a man rape a woman to whom he is married? My first reasoning was whether he wasn’t too young to destroy his innocence about what goes on behind closed doors. Do I really need to tell him that sex can be used to hurt rather than to love? And why was he asking anyway?
I thought maybe I should stall the question. I was quite capable of making him forget the question but for some reason I felt it was best to answer. What if he decided to go ask his friends?
I told him it was quite possible and he asked again how that can happen. “A man marries a woman he loves, so he can’t hurt her. Is it that the woman stops loving the man?”
So first we talk about rape in general. About ‘no’ meaning ‘no’ and not ‘maybe’ and then I tell him about how a woman may come home tired and not wanting sex that night and the husband wants it and she says ‘no’ and he goes ahead anyway.
And then he asks ‘so there are times the wife does not want it?’. I respond in the positive and again I mention she may be tired. And then he goes ‘I get it! The man can come home early cook and take care of the kids so that when she gets back she won’t be too tired for him!” (I think my boy just grew 100 yards of husband material)
We talked about other ways a man can show thoughtfulness and he listened quite attentively. I think he was taking mental notes. I reminded him again that no matter how aroused the man felt he must not force the wife to have sex if she says no. He got the point and suddenly couldn’t wait to move on to other things.
I think discussing sex with the boys is one of the harder things I have had to do. But, I am grateful to God that they come to me with their sex related questions. No matter how awkward it sometimes feels, I wouldn’t want to have it any different.
Aside: so while we were having the sex conversation, I made a discovery. The kids obviously didn’t know you can make love without making babies.
Zaram blurted out flabbergasted: “Have sex for fun???!!! You man you can have sex without getting pregnant???!!!” I had to find a way of explaining that sex could be awesome without actually making them want to experience it. Don’t ask me how I did that please x_x