Share This Episode
Family Life Today Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine Logo

On Having “The Talk”: Justin and Lindsey Holcomb

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine
The Truth Network Radio
March 21, 2023 5:15 am

On Having “The Talk”: Justin and Lindsey Holcomb

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine

On-Demand Podcasts NEW!

This broadcaster has 1022 podcast archives available on-demand.

Broadcaster's Links

Keep up-to-date with this broadcaster on social media and their website.

March 21, 2023 5:15 am

When it comes to having “the Talk,” where do you start? Justin and Lindsey Holcomb, authors of God Made Babies, hand parents pointers for establishing healthy sexual worldview.

Show Notes and Resources

Find resources from this podcast at

See resources from our past podcasts.

Find more content and resources on the FamilyLife's app!

Help others find FamilyLife. Leave a review on Apple Podcast or Spotify.

Check out all the FamilyLife podcasts on the FamilyLife Podcast Network


I yelled at one of my girls on the way to school and barked at him and I felt bad. So I drove back a half hour later and I took her out of class.

Like, hey, they're like, what are you doing here? I'm like, I need to apologize. I can't I can't even go through my day feeling guilty. I can't believe how horrible your day is going to be.

Just feeling the way like I left you in the car like that. I'm so sorry. So she's like, I forget. Will you forgive me?

I'll forgive you. And then she went and told her at lunch. One of her classmates was like, why did your dad come back? Did you forget something? You forget your lunch? She's like, oh, no, he came back to apologize.

And the whole table was like, what? Welcome to Family Life Today, where we want to help you pursue the relationships that matter most. I'm Dave Wilson and I'm Ann Wilson. And you can find us at or on the Family Life app. This is Family Life Today. So we live in a day and age where our children are going to be exposed to questions, images about.

Sex at an earlier and earlier age, it just seems like it gets younger and younger every year. It was so interesting. I was watching a movie on a plane, kind of a teenage coming of age movie. And I saw you over there watching that movie. This is a while ago.

I saw you over there. I was like, oh, she's watching another teenage. Yeah, because these girls were maybe 13 and they have these questions about, oh, what does this term mean? What is this?

And what do they do? They Google it or most likely they'll YouTube it. And so if kids don't know a question, if their parents aren't talking about it, they're YouTubing it. And so that's where their education about sexuality is coming from. And I don't know what you think, but I think that is a scary thing because the misconceptions, the ideas that they have are not biblical based and God's the creator of this beautiful gift that he's given us. And our kids are just being warped.

I've been warped. And I think as parents, we're scared to death. We know we got to do something. We know we got to step in there.

And yet we're afraid and we don't know what to do. So we've got a couple in the studio that's going to help us out today. You're going to coach us and coach our parents.

Justin and Lindsey Holcomb are back in the studio. You've written a book about this, but more importantly, your mom and dad. Yeah, you've written a whole bunch of books about this topic, but welcome back. It's good to be back.

Thank you. Now you sit over there and you're smiling as we're talking about this. You know, we've already had a discussion about your book, God Made Babies, which is a resource to help parents get into this topic. Now, I mean, Justin, you're a PhD. I mean, you teach at a seminary. I'm a seminary professor. You guys are in marriage ministry, parenting ministry. We talked about this before, but it is a passion of your heart to say we have to help parents understand how to have these conversations.

So when you think about how does a parent step into this, because we even said yesterday, so many parents are afraid. And your story's crazy how your dad is drawing pictures. Teaching you. With your, what, second grade? Kindergarten. Kindergarten. Kindergarten. So, I mean, that's not the usual background for people to have a dad that involved.

Now you're the parents. Justin and Lindsay have drawn pictures in a book. Like, you guys haven't drawn them, but you have an illustrator. We have an amazing illustrator. And it's a beautiful book.

It's really well done. But, you know, as you think about stepping into that, how do you coach a parent to step into that conversation? Because as Ann said, it's happening at a younger age. What the social media world is, you know, showing our kids is really scary.

So how do you coach a parent to step into that? Well, pick your pain. That's the phrase that we use. And there's a few things from the previous conversation. Go back and listen to that stuff if this is the first time you're getting it. Because some of the stuff you need to hear from there. But picking your pain is the idea. You can either pick the pain of the awkwardness that many parents would feel of having conversations about how babies are made with their child. And for various reasons that Lindsay talked about. And we talked about, you know, perhaps this guilt because of what you've done. You feel icky, dirty because something's been done to you.

You feel shame. Talking about this activates some old emotions, pains, wounds or awkwardness. And so being aware that that's yours and not your kids. And most parents have some type of either guilt or shame connected to sex.

I was going to ask, and is that why it can be awkward? Because it's associating to our background. And as the parent, this is where you sacrifice. Parents sacrifice all the time. They sacrifice time, money, energy, emotion for their children. Think of this as a proper sacrifice for your child. I'm going to sacrifice some guilt or shame or awkwardness to actually be here to parent and coach and teach and train up and disciple my child on this issue. And so giving them that category, it is a sacrifice. You might have to go back to something from years or decades ago of guilt.

Like, who am I? Like most parents, the awkwardness isn't because they're just bumbling around and oh, this is weird. It's actually hitting home. It is fearful, not just awkward, but it's terrifying for most parents to think about having these conversations because they have to go to. Yeah, I did some stuff when I was 14, 15, 21, 30 last night that I'm not qualified to have this conversation or someone who has been harmed. The weapon of sex has been used against them.

The gift turned into a weapon and they don't even know how to even talk about it without, you know, tensing up and getting anxious or wanting to run out of the room. So we are joking about it, but I do want parents to hear like, go there. There's hope and healing. So talk to a pastor, talk to a counselor for some of this if you might need to prepare for these conversations. But pick your pain. What I mean by that is pick the pain of the awkwardness or going into the past of guilt and shame now or avoid it and regret not having had that conversation when your child says something like, well, I wish you would have told me. Like the biggest fear I have is regret. Like I'd make decisions now.

I sacrifice now because I want to avoid regret in the future. I don't want my daughters to be like, Dad, like, why don't you pray with us? Like, why don't you teach us about the Bible? Why don't you talk to us about boys and girls and life and money and sex?

Like, what were you doing? Like if I'm distracted or because I don't want to, it's too painful for me. So pick your pain. It's going to be a pain now or it's going to be pain later.

And that pain later sounds overwhelmingly horrible. And so I think having that big picture could be helpful for parents to encourage them. We're not trying to dump guilt on parents. We're trying to say, hey, like God gave them to you. He entrusted them to you.

Like think through how you can best steward that trust that he gave you. Justin, when you talk about your girls who are 12 and 13, every time you're emotional, then I get emotional. I'm over here crying. I know, we're all over here wiping tears. You're so passionate. It's beautiful.

It really is. And you're passionate about this topic too, which I feel like we all need to be because our kids' lives and their futures are at stake with this. And Lindsay, you have experienced, like you've been an advocate for sexual abuse survivors.

Like this is kind of your ballpark. Is that why you're so passionate about it? Because you've walked that path?

I think for me, just knowing a lot of people's stories that are close to me and growing up in a home where nothing was talked about. My dad was abusive and then I went on to date an abusive guy. You know, I could have continued on that trajectory. I became a Christian in college and kind of started to realize I want a different life.

I want a different path than all the women in my family who had abusive husbands who left and then they raised the girls or their children. I could have easily continued on that path. So now looking at our girls, I'm thinking I want to have as many conversations. Our home is not every single second, let's have a really tough conversation. It's interwoven when we're watching TV or we're laughing at the dinner table about crazy terms that people use for body parts and we're like, that is bogus. Or, you know, at nighttime when one of our daughters is saying, hey, I heard the middle school boys joking about this. Like that seems like a dirty term.

Like what is that? It's interwoven throughout the week. But it became so important to me because I think when things happen at a young age or at adolescence to children and it's not discussed, it just lives in darkness. So much shame gets heaped and then that just continues throughout their life. And I just think of if a kid sees something or experiences something, then that can frame, they might think this is how it's supposed to be. This is how a woman is supposed to act in marriage or how a husband is supposed to be towards a woman. Or in my case, seeing my dad abusive and then dating a bad guy in high school, I didn't think that was bad until I experienced like a healthy relationship. And I was like, oh, that wasn't normal.

Like you normalize things when you don't see the opposite. And I think as Christian parents, we should talk about sex because we are free because of Jesus. We can have these conversations. It's a beautiful thing. How cool is it to say to our children, like God is sovereign and he wanted you here. Like you are so important and so special.

And of course, we don't want them to walk around thinking they're like a unicorn, like I'm unique, but God had a plan for you. And I was laughing earlier when we were talking the other day because I was thinking when we had this conversation with our girls, they were young. And we talked about, you know, God took a little bit of you or a little bit of mom, a little bit of dad and knit, you know, you into my belly. And then we had more and more conversations as they got older. And then I think when one of our daughters was maybe 10 or 11, she realized, okay, parents have sex to create children, but also for pleasure. That blew her mind. She was like, oh my.

Wait, you've done this before? But how cool that we had had so many conversations with her that then she was able to add in that other element of like, okay, this is different. I wasn't, you know, we had talked about that when she was little, but she had forgotten.

So we were able to keep adding kind of different things to it. And I think for a parent just to encourage them, you know, if your child asks a question, what is that? Like if they see a pregnant mom, oftentimes you could say, well, what do you think it is? Like if you feel a little bit awkward and you're not quite sure where to start, ask them a question back.

What do they think? And then that will give you kind of a launching pad of where to start from. And you'll find out what they're really asking. Exactly, exactly. And then keep your response short and simple. Nobody wants a long-winded lecture.

I think oftentimes parents will set aside a weekend to take their child away, which can be a really beautiful time to connect and bond and talk about some things. But don't just start her in there. That's what I would tell parents. Make it frequent and short and simple. I want to go back to your question about abuse real quick connected to you, Lindsey, because we've done seven books together. Four of them were for hope and healing for survivors of abuse and trauma. And Lindsey coached me on all that. When we were dating, I was a seminar professor and she was working as a survivor advocate for domestic abuse and then sexual abuse crisis center.

And we go on dates and I'm talking about theology and pastoral ministry. She's talking about abuse advocacy. So we started writing these books for hope and healing. I remember Lindsey saying, we can do something on the preparation side, the prevention side. And that's when she said, let's go for the kids. Let's do one helping children protect their bodies.

Let's do one on body and just do one on how babies are made. So these kind of came out of a desire. We would like to put our other four books out of business. So they wouldn't need that. We want we want to lower the hope and healing need. Now, we will never lower it because of sin. And Satan likes to devastate people and he hates images of God. He uses trauma and abuse as a way to try to do that. And so hope and healing there. But hopefully this is preventative.

This is not responding to and need us preventing the need for it. And so Lindsey was being humble. But yes, I think it's directly connected to her calling as a survivor advocate. Yeah, I just heard Lindsey's the genius of this couple right here. I'm writing her coattails regularly.

The books I've done are all historical theology and like academic and seminary students read them. And these are the ones that we get to do together. And I just write her coattails on all seven of them. Talk about how you have these conversations in your home. Because there is a sense as we're listening, it's like, wow, the whole comes. Man, you walk in their home, they're talking about sex all the time. It sounds like this is a conversation. I once had a friend of one of our sons say, gee whiz, I guess the way to raise sons that are virgins when they get married is you just talk about sex all the time. Because every time I'm in the Wilson's house, you guys talk about this.

And I'm like, no, we don't. But what he was getting at, it was a conversation that was comfortable in our home. And again, it wasn't every day, but it was every week. You know, from probably seven, six, seven years old all the way until the day they got married. And even now, you know, as grown men and adult men and their married men, their husbands, their dads. But it was a conversation that was comfortable. And, you know, Lindsay, you and I grew up in homes where we never talked about this and grew up in a home, sort of talked about it.

But she drove this in our home, like we're talking about this because it's not going to be allowed not to talk about it. Well, a lot of that came from the pain of my past where I shared yesterday of just living in captivity. And those feelings of unworthiness were overwhelming to me. And so I didn't want our kids to live in the bondage of that.

That's what I feel like you're saying. Jesus said, I came to set the captive free. Our kids are in bondage. And as adults, I see people in bondage over this. And so I love that you're like, where do we start? Oh, we start with little kids. That's where we start.

It's beautiful. But is it like a weekly conversation now with your daughters who are teenagers? I would say, I mean, at any given point, I would say on the daily, we're talking about healthy relationships. We're talking about healthy communication as they see Justin and I communicate and disagree and repent. So all of those things are from the foundation of talking about how babies were made at an early age, that now we have a lot of freedom to talk about why is that husband such a loser as we hear of a story or just as different things we see in the news or maybe a show that we're watching.

Why is that not a healthy relationship or why is that woman being treated with respect? We're able to now have those conversations just very easily. We're not sitting around talking about a husband and a wife making a baby, but we're talking about just bigger concepts now of communication and repentance. And they'll often say, how come my peers don't apologize? And we'll talk about that, that that's a trained art of repenting and what does that look like? So it kind of has all evolved from an early age. But I would say daily, weekly.

It's easily multiple times a week. And it just emerges. I mean, because the groundwork was laid early on where it was intentional. Lindsay was very intentional. I was very intentional to ask questions.

What do you think about that? And so one of the key things that Lindsay taught me and it was an example of this was ask why they're asking the question. That just helps because at least you know where they're coming from. And so doing that early on, they'd say something. Well, why do you ask that? Because I don't want to answer a question that they're not actually wondering.

Let that pop up later on. So why are you asking that question? OK. And you do that groundwork and you keep it simple.

You answer the question and then you ask, does that make sense to you? OK. Yes or no. Do you have any other questions?

No. Well, that lets me know I can stop. It's a little mini conversation. And then you go back to talking about the school day or volleyball practice or fishing or whatever.

And so it is woven throughout. But now, because they're noticing and hearing more, now it just pops up in conversation. I don't know what the next thing we need to talk about is and we'll figure it out.

But it does pop up and it's regular. It's something you heard at school, something they have heard us talk about because we'll talk about stuff about, oh, we talked about so-and-so and why are they getting divorced? Well, he was abusive. What was he doing? He was doing this and going to strip clubs and doing this and this and this.

You're like, what's a strip club? Like, it just happens in being a ministry couple and doing what we do. But you don't have to be a pastor and a survivor advocate because in every parent's life, they have these stories that they can point back to in their own or family members. And so just kind of letting, not shielding them. We do want to protect their hearts and guard their hearts from just evil. I mean, some of the stuff we deal with is overwhelming because you're looking at darkness and evil on a regular basis.

And I get the desire. I don't want to freak my children out about evil in the world, but I also don't want them to be clueless about reality. So asking for wisdom. God cares about these kids more than you do. And so ask God for wisdom and opportunities because here's the deal about prayer. I don't know how it all works out, but I know as one of my friends, Glenn Lucky, said back in seminary, when I stop praying, the coincidences stop happening. And so I'm going to keep on praying. So pray.

Pray that God will give you opportunities. Pray He'll give you wisdom. Pray He'll give you the right things to say and ask. Because Jesus told us, like, that's the prayer He likes to answer. And He hears everyone. There's not a prayer that we've prayed that He hasn't heard. He may not be answering it the way we want right now, but He's hearing it. What about the family that has never talked about this? They have middle schoolers or high schoolers and they're thinking, it's awkward. It's painful. We've never talked about it.

How do they jump in now? Is it too late? It's not too late.

It's never too late. I have told parents before, if you have a middle schooler, you know, any age and up, you need to apologize to your kid first and say, hey, I have not done a good job for, you can say whatever reason it is or just say, I have not done a good job in talking to you about really difficult topics. And I am so sorry.

Will you forgive me? Start with that. And then it still needs to be small and often conversations. They're not going to want a whole long lecture.

You know, don't sit them down with the PowerPoint. But just start kind of talking to them and just you're going to really have to be intentional and say, have you heard any things at school from your peers? Like do the boys tell dirty jokes? Do the girls, you know, talk about their bodies, you know, and because we're going to start getting into topics about, you know, body insecurity as our girls are going through middle school and high school, and they're starting to think through just, you know, how they're growing. So that's a whole nother topic that's going to build from this, just as we're thinking about body development and changes. But first and foremost, I would say repent and then kind of figure out where they are. You've got to figure out your starting point. So you're going to need to ask some questions and pursue them.

You can't wait. And I think there's going to be some kids that are going to be more apt to ask questions, just that's their personality. And then some kids you're going to have to just pursue over and over and over again. Is it appropriate to say to our kids at that age, middle school, high school, like my past was pretty painful when it came to this area? I think in middle school would be a good...

It would. Well, you and I share a similar background, and I was just not much older. And I forgot that we hadn't talked to the girls about that. And so a few weeks ago when I was preaching somewhere further away, and it was on a live stream. And so the girls didn't drive all the way there. Lindsay and the girls didn't drive all the way there. But in the sermon, I didn't have it in my notes. I was talking about shame, and I just kind of went for it. While I was saying it, I was thinking, I wonder if the girls are watching. I wonder if I've had this conversation with them. And then I was like, no, I did.

Like, surely I would remember that. And came home, and Lindsay said, by the way, they have some questions for you. It was really sweet, because my 11-year-old, she had some questions. She was like, what? Can I ask what happened? She became like the listening ear in the conversation. When your 11-year-old...

The one that's ministering. Yeah, she was the gift of God to me at that point. She said, can I ask what happened? And I told her, basics. And she said, how did you feel? Why did that person do that? And then she just started crying. She said, the idea that my dad... She's like, your dad?

You're the one that helps people on this. Why would God let that happen to you? I mean, she was going big questions. And I loved it. So we just sat there for like an hour and a half, just kind of... Did you cry with her?

Oh, yeah. I cry all the time with them. If my dad cried at me, I'd just be a puddle on the floor. I cry all the time with them.

It's a common thing. They make fun of me. They vote when he preaches. They're like, how many times do you think dad's going to cry?

And they'll cast their votes. Oh, yeah. It's a joke around the family about how much I cry. And then my oldest, that night I was like, hey, do you want to... I pursued her and I said, I had no, you know about this. Do you want to talk about it? And she said, not right now.

And just respected that. And then later on, I brought up the next day and said, hey, I don't need to talk about it. Do you want to talk about this?

And she said, yeah, I do have a few questions. And so again, it's age appropriate. You don't want to harm them with your story, but there's a certain power in that where now they look at me a little bit differently. And I like the fact that they know they can actually, if they ever feel threatened, they know, okay, I know this is mom and dad's field, but they get it. Dad gets it.

Yeah. I just got to say, it's so beautiful to hear you talk about this. It's so wise what you're teaching us and our listeners. Cause so many men I know would have run from that conversation. Even myself would be like, I would have an easier time preaching to a audience of strangers.

I did it for 30 years, thousands of people and come home. And then my son wants to ask about something that intimate. It's easier to be intimate in public with people I'll never have a relationship with than my own sons. And there's a lot of parents when their daughter or son would ask for something a little deeper, like your daughter did, 11 years old, by the way, you know, it's just, wow.

You know, it'd be like, I don't want to talk about it or this is inappropriate. You went there. Way to go.

I mean, that is coaching for us. And it blessed you, Justin. Oh yeah. It blessed you.

Yeah. Oh, it sure did. She ministered to him. I just want to just, I want to stop and say, you know, to the dad who's afraid to go there, go there. You want to be able to say, I didn't miss this opportunity. I actually, in an inappropriate way, shared my heart with my son or daughter who was asking for it.

And this is for a mom too, but I just know so many men would run. Like I'm awkward. I'm scared. I don't know what to do.

Well, guess what? Pray a quick little prayer and say, God, here we go. And, and open up your heart is going to bind you to your kids in a way that you'll never regret.

It's going to be a beautiful time. Most men are so afraid of looking weak because we have this American masculinity picture that we need to be strong all the time. And honestly, the most courage and strength comes from vulnerability.

And if we stopped believing the lie about what manhood is all the time, we'd have some dads who would be like, I'm going to pull back the veil and just be weak. And I still remember I yelled at one of my girls, probably both of them, but on the way to school and barked at them and I felt bad. So I drove back a half hour later and I took her out of class and I was like, Oh, I, I've done this numerous times.

I would do the same thing. To apologize, not to continue the rant. So I go back and I'm like, Hey, they're like, what are you doing here? I'm like, I need to apologize. I can't, I can't even go through my day feeling guilty and I can't believe how horrible your day is going to be.

Just feeling the way like I left you in the car like that. I am so sorry. So she was like, I forget. Will you forgive me?

I'll forgive you. And then she went and told her at lunch, one of her classmates was like, why did your dad come back? Did you forget something?

You forget your lunch? She's like, Oh no, he came back to apologize. And the whole table was like, what? Said, uh, yeah. He said, what?

Why? He said, well, cause he wasn't really nice to me. And so he came back to apologize and they're like, does he done that before? He apologizes a lot. And then one kid at this table said, my dad's never apologized to me and all the other kids around the table said, mine neither.

So she came back to school from, from school that day at dinner and she, I remember her saying to me with tears in her eyes, she was like, dad, she told me the story and she said, none of the other kids have dads that apologize to him. Well that's because I know that that's not weakness. Like to be able to say, I sinned against you and God. So I've already repented to God. Well, you forgive me too.

Like she's on the side with God granting forgiveness, not, you know, me rationalizing it. Like that is not weakness. That's vulnerability and strength. And that's the kind of stuff that I'm banking on that when they start getting in relationships, they're going to have an expectation like, no, no, no, no, no, no, no.

You're supposed to repent upon. And they know how to apologize to each other. And I already feel sorry for their husbands.

They're going to be like, I can't live up to your dad. It's pretty cool. It's really sweet. Well, I feel like you guys have given us a picture of what these conversations can look like, not only about how to talk to our kids about sex and God's creation of how God created us, but also just how to have an open home where we're talking about all the difficult things that are going on in life, in our own lives, what we feel we're repenting, we're repenting. It's so beautiful and so doable with the help of God and the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us.

And we can go to him, ask him for wisdom, pray for our kids, pray for one another. You guys are inspiring. Thank you.

Thanks for having us on, guys. Are we ending? Yeah.

He's like, I got more. But what you said only works because of the gospel. Yes. I mean, if this is not a moralistic lecture of, hey, moms and dads, do better on this. This is the freedom that we're exploring of a family that's open and has conversations can only enjoy that because of the freedom in Christ, because the barrier between us and God has been taken care of. God has reconciled the world to himself in Jesus Christ. And so because of that, that actually unlocks freedom to be honest about ourselves because we don't have to hide the guilt or shame because that stuff's been dealt with. We don't put our best foot forward all the time.

So we're actually free. The vulnerability comes from the freedom of being made right with God. And that's the fruit of the gospel. So all of this stuff is not because, you know, we've learned from great examples and from negative examples. We've learned from doing it the wrong way and having to apologize to each other as a married couple and to our kids because we've sinned against each other and them. This is not a victory story. This is a redemption restoration story. And this is the fruit of the freedom from the gospel, not because we're smart enough and got it all figured out.

We're kind of testifying to God's goodness throughout our entire lives, but also in the thick of it right now. You're listening to Dave and Anne Wilson with Justin and Lindsay Holcomb on Family Life Today. If you're enjoying this series and want to start incorporating these kinds of conversations in your house, we have Justin and Lindsay's book called God Made Babies, helping parents answer the baby question. We have that available in our bookstore. We'll send you a copy as our thanks when you financially partner with Family Life and help make more conversations like today's possible. You can partner online at or by calling 800-358-6329.

That can be a one-time gift or a recurring monthly gift. Again, the number is 800, F as in family, L as in life, and then the word today. In marriage, secrets can be as dangerous as flat out lying. Well, tomorrow, Dave and Anne are joined by Phil and Priscilla Fretwell to tell their downward spiral of a story which started 10 years into marriage when Priscilla found out Phil was watching pornography. It's a compelling story. You won't want to miss that tomorrow. On behalf of Dave and Anne Wilson, I'm Shelby Abbott. We'll see you back next time for another edition of Family Life Today. Family Life Today is a production of Family Life, a crew ministry helping you pursue the relationships that matter most.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-22 06:49:00 / 2023-03-22 07:02:45 / 14

Get The Truth Mobile App and Listen to your Favorite Station Anytime