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Where Do Babies Come From?

Focus on the Family / Jim Daly
The Truth Network Radio
May 21, 2024 8:16 am

Where Do Babies Come From?

Focus on the Family / Jim Daly

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May 21, 2024 8:16 am

Dr. Justin and Lindsey Holcomb help you answer that question in a kid-friendly way. While the world wants to teach your kids about sexuality, God has shown us in nature and in His Word how to describe this to our curious kids in a way that honors and glorifies Him. You’ll be encouraged and empowered as a parent!

 

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God wanted you. Like, you know, the frogs, the flowers, the trees, the universe was made with intimacy and on purpose that he wanted you. Because that's the question when they're saying where the babies come from.

They're not trying to ask a technical question. They're kind of wondering about themselves. Like, did God have me in mind? How awesome! That as parents, we get to tell children not just that we wanted to have you in our life. Like, that's really cool. That's great for a child to hear. Like, mom and dad wanted you.

But to say God wanted you in his world. Well, that's Justin Holcomb, and he and his wife Lindsey are with us today on Focus on the Family with Jim Daly. Thanks for joining us. I'm John Fuller, and they're here to share about how you can talk with your children about where babies come from. John, let me ask you, how did you approach the talk? The talk about where babies come from?

I mean, there are stages, obviously. There are the smaller children, easy discussions, and then there are the longer conversations. We went off for a fun weekend. I would take the boys, and Dina would take the girls, and it was one-on-one time, and we would have these long flowing conversations. And did the boys say, oh, that was fun. I didn't quite get that reaction.

I think the boys had a lot of fun, and then there were some not fun moments, but they appreciated the energy. I heard that's gross. That's what one of them told me, so I felt like I caught it in time, right?

That's exactly the reason. It's so good, and you know, hopefully the Christian community is managing this better than the world at large, but everybody could do better at talking to their children about where babies come from. And it starts at a young age, you know.

It doesn't have to be the full beans right at the beginning. You know, you see nature, and we're going to talk about how we can talk to our children at different ages and stages about where babies come from. And mom and dad, if this is already making you uncomfortable, I'm glad, because that's what we want to do. We want to help equip you for that time where you really need to give them the talk.

And hopefully, again, that's a conversation that's over many, many episodes, not just one single thing. The world wants to teach your kids. They're going to grab your children and probably do a brutal job in defining sexuality.

So, this is a better way to go. We have some great guests today, Justin and Lindsay, as we said at the top there. They've done a great job putting a book together called God Made Babies, helping parents answer the baby questions. Yeah, it's a great resource, and Justin and Lindsay have been here before. They've spoken on similar topics. Some years ago, they co-founded an organization dedicated to rescuing and protecting women and girls. Justin is a minister and a seminary professor, and Lindsay works at a classical Christian school. And the book that Jim mentioned is available from Focus on the Family, God Made Babies, helping parents answer the baby question.

It's a terrific resource for kids and parents to read together, and you can get a copy through the show notes. Lindsay and Justin, welcome back. Thank you for having us.

It's good to have you back. Why is this such a funky topic for us as parents? I mean, I think it's an important topic, but we all get a little like, well, we'll talk about that later or something like that. I think we've had numerous experiences as kids, children having these talks or not having the talks. So, I think that's part of it. Also, because I think many parents have some guilt wrapped up with the topic, also some shame, depending on what they've done or what's been done to them.

So, I think for that reason also because of how culture makes such a huge deal about the topic of sexuality, but in a way that actually doesn't get to the foundational issues of how a doctrine of creation should inform how this is talked about, how it's celebrated from taking a gift and making it way more than just a gift, making it an identity, making it- Ideology. So, there's so much wrapped in with it that I think parents, I was nervous. I mean, parents are nervous. I had a great experience and we'll tell our stories about that. I had a great experience learning about the topic of how babies were made.

Lindsay had a different, it's not necessarily bad, just different experience. So, I think that plays into why people are, and you want to talk to your kids about this in a way that doesn't freak them out or weird them out. So, you want to do it right.

So, it's a lot playing into this, I think. I think the other thing, Lindsay, I'll aim this at you, but the, you know, we feel like we've got to do it perfectly, you know, like it's placing something on a wobbly mount, you know. We got to just find the perfect spot to place this in at perfect age, but it's not that. It is kind of an ongoing conversation. It starts with age-appropriate observations or things like that. So, how do we let some of the pressure out as parents to make sure it's perfect, it's on the right time, it's, you know, not too soon, not too late?

Absolutely. That is a great question because I think as Justin was saying, so many parents think I'm going to mess it up, so I'm not going to have a conversation and we'll just delay and delay, but little kids are naturally curious about where babies come from. They see women that are pregnant in the grocery store or they, you know, notice a new baby comes home, whether it's their own family or their friends have, you know, new siblings come into the picture and so they're naturally curious, but I would just encourage parents have many and many conversations, small conversations ongoing, even from a small age, and I think that's just a habit you can build into your family household, like other healthy habits you're probably trying to to emulate within the structure of your family is having small conversations over time so that it's not weird, so that when they're 13, 14, you're not sitting them down for this huge long talk. That's really going to shock them, but if you're having these small conversations over time as little conversations or observations or things that you see maybe in a TV show, then that allows your child to realize, okay, when I have a question that maybe my parents haven't covered, they're used to this topic, they're used to talking about things that are maybe a little bit uncomfortable, I can broach this topic with them rather than I'm going to freak out my parent.

You know, one of the important things too is trying to decipher as a parent what is the question actually being asked here. That's a good one. We had it, I remember here at Focus, I jumped on the elevator with Troy and he said, Daddy, I know the S word and I went, uh, what word is that? Stupid. And I said, yeah, we don't say stupid. We don't want to ever say that word. And I'm going, okay, I'm glad it wasn't the other one.

Could have gone in different directions. That's part of it. And as a parent, especially around sexuality, we need to make sure what question they're asking because you can over deliver information that they're not ready to hear, right? Take it, take it to a completely different topic, like teaching a sport to one of your children, like baseball. There's different levels of what you'd say about baseball. Well, you have a bat and a ball and you have these gloves and you hit the ball and then you just say the basics of what the child, like, why do you like baseball dad?

I like it because of this and this is what they do. Well, then you start getting into more details about how many players are on the field and how many strikes there are. And then you start getting into like the nuance, the technique of the position and a curve ball and why you bring in a pitcher and a pinch runner and all that kind of stuff. And so following Lindsay's lead, I'm as a father of two daughters who are now teenagers. I remember years ago thinking, how do we do this? And she said many and many, I mean, that was just many and many, make it normal, answer the question. And that was so helpful because what happens is we had just assume so much of what the question means. Where do babies come from? Well, you can literally say, well, a little part from dad and a little part from mom, God made it so baby will grow. And we got 18 months out of that very simple answer where if I wasn't there, if I was there alone, I would have gone into the nuances, the mechanics that really needed at the time.

And I remember we had 18 months of cushion before they got specific on, well, how did that little part of mommy and little part of daddy, you know, how did that happen? Yeah, I just to extrapolate on that, I think it's really critical, though, something you said I want to highlight, which is the person, the parent that might say, you know, we don't talk about that. We'll talk about that later. It kind of shuts down that normal curiosity. And that's not a good thing to do, right?

Absolutely. And I would say definitely follow your child's lead, answer their questions. But you also might need to initiate because if they're not ever asking questions, you need to say, Hey, you notice that little baby?

Where do you think that baby came from? So you might have to actually kind of set the tone of the conversation. And then of course, parents will say often to us like, well, my child's just not they're not even wondering about this. They're 13.

And they've never asked any questions. And I'm like, Oh, they are getting information from their friends, my dear friend. And that's the big thing I would say to parents is you're not going to mess it up. If you're having little and often conversations, that is the best thing you can do.

You're not going to mess it up. You might need to go back and be like, Hey, you know, I needed to think about that question a little bit. I have an answer now.

Like you can buy yourself some time. If you feel caught off guard, and you can just say, hold on, let me let me think how I how I should explain that best and then go away and do some research and come back. But if your child is older and hasn't started asking any questions, that is a place where a parent needs to step in and initiate start initiating.

That's good for sure. Just in fact, I think you had an experience in kindergarten that kind of got you rolling. So describe that. That's a pretty early kindergarten. And I was born in September. So I was a young kindergarten student. So during recess, we would go to recess and then come back for show and tell. So I went out to recess, I caught frogs mating. And so I caught them, put them in my hand. And I asked the teacher, I was like, I have frogs, can I go first for show and tell? She said, absolutely. So I came in and I unveiled open up my hands.

I was like, look, look at these frogs. And the teacher looked over. And I remember I still remember her. They were still engaged in the they were still dancing. As she said, I said, what's happening? And she said, the frogs are dancing. When you go home, tell your mom and dads that you saw frogs dancing. And that was it.

I mean, she handled it masterfully. So I remember getting home and kind of telling about the day was, it was just me at the time. My mom was just pregnant with my younger sister. And having dinner, my feet weren't hitting the floor. And I'm kicking him. My dad said, how was school? I was telling him and it hit me. I was like, oh, I'm supposed to tell you about the frogs dancing.

I caught frogs. And the teacher said they were dancing and to tell you. And I still remember my mom and dad looking at each other.

And I think it means right. And I noticed it was different look in their eye. And then my dad said, after dinner, you know, before you go out play, let's talk for a little bit. My dad's an artist. And so he sat down, drew a male body and a female body.

It's just so normal. And it was actually accurate because he was an artist. And it didn't, it was just normal. And then he explained, he just went for it, explained everything. But he did it in such a way that had so much dignity. He talked about how God made the bodies, the differences of the bodies. And so he made it just this wonder.

It was amazing. I mean, as a five-year-old. And then he told me, this is a conversation for other children to have with their parents who don't say anything to anyone.

Will you promise me that? And I said, absolutely. I wouldn't know where to start. So I went back to school and explained everything to them. Like I wasn't supposed to. So you're that kid.

See, that's what we're talking about. Lindsay, we got the frog story. What was your experience as a child?

My mom is a nurse. And so I got a very like kind of probably middle school biology video was shown to my sister and I, but it wasn't followed with a conversation. It wasn't followed with any Q and A.

It was just, here's the video. And then you go on your way. So a lot of my education was through friends. I grew up in the eighties. So the social media wasn't there, but I think of kids nowadays, if they weren't getting those conversations from their parents and from safe adults, they're going to get a lot of information from the internet, which is going to be really poor. And then from their friends. And some of that might be good if they have great parents speaking into their lives, but some of it might be really haphazard. So just going back to that idea of parents, the role, the privilege that a parent can play is, is huge to be able to tell your child you were made on purpose. You were created by God on purpose and you were intended to be here.

And that is beautiful. And so if we can keep pointing our kids to goodness and truth and beauty, just to encourage parents, you can't mess it up from there. And that's the beautiful part, because if you start with the foundation of God creating, you can get to it from a nurse's point of view or my father's artist point of view, but you're still getting the intricacy of what God was doing to make the world inhabitable and is a fancy word for it called the anthropic principle that he made the universe set for humans to thrive and exist. And that God wanted you like, you know, the frogs, the flowers, the trees, the universe was made with intricacy and on purpose that he wanted you. Cause that's the question when they're saying where the babies come from.

They're not trying to ask a technical question. They're kind of wondering about themselves, like, did God have me in mind? How awesome that as parents, we get to tell children, not just that we wanted to have you in our life, like that's really cool. That's great for a child to hear like mom and dad wanted you, but to say, God wanted you in his world. He made all of this and he wanted you in his world for a reason. And he made you the way you are, the way you look, you have certain gifts and there's something that you do that God made you for this world. That's important. That's a great dignity. Let me ask you in the book, you use an illustration of pollinization to express to a young child, some, you know, the concept of where babies come from, describe it for all of us.

And then does it work effectively? Do kids walk away from that illustration of the bee? Is it a sufficient illustration for young kids to go, Oh, okay, I get it. There's a reason it's called birds and the bees. With the flower conversation, you actually get the idea of seeds, which is helpful for a small part from dad connects with a small part from the mom. And so we talk about birds and bees cause you get to the birds, you have eggs. So you're actually setting up the conversation for later on, but specifically the flower conversations actually really helpful because there's a part of the flower that's called the male part of the flower. When you have a lot of confusion about man and woman, male and female and the culture, and you have flowers that have male parts and female parts, that's really helpful and kind of ground foundation laying. And so because it's helpful because it starts laying the ground of it's a flower. I mean, God made flowers and trees able to make other things like flowers and trees like this flower, these flowers can make another flower, but it actually takes at least two flowers to make another flower. So you're getting a lot of the groundwork in place of a mom and a dad and specific parts of mom and dad making another. So it can be helpful and you can start there.

You're getting male and female. You're getting parts that make and reproduce. And then because it's connected to bees, birds, butterflies, which are the carriers of pollen, there's a fascination of them just learning.

You used the word a while ago, curiosity. And that's what's so helpful is that children are asking us because they're curious about themselves and how God made the world. That's actually fascinating. If you think about how all the thing that has to happen for another flower to exist is just really, it's just cool. And I could imagine, I don't have to imagine children being fascinated about what they're learning about reproduction from just a flower. And then you move on from there.

That's a good foundation. Lindsay as a mom. I mean, that stage of pregnancy. And of course, if you have a child already in your home, they're watching your belly get bigger.

Are you blaming that on pizza or are you saying, okay, here's what's happening? Absolutely. With our girls, we had, I mean, we had a toddler when, when our second came along. So it was very natural to just say, you know, there's, God took a little bit of mommy and a little bit of daddy and is knitting this baby together and in my belly, my womb. And so we just started with that conversation. So I actually skipped the flower conversation part with them. But I think that part is really helpful if you, one, need kind of a slow on-ramp to getting to the conversation, if you don't want to just jump into the baby talk, but also if you don't have a pregnant belly to kind of explain it away. But I do think kids are so curious, but just continuing to go back to, isn't this neat? God is creating this baby and we get to watch this baby grow.

And we were talking about it, is it at four weeks? The heartbeat starts eating and then the lungs are formed. And then, I mean, every organ every organ is developing. We were able to, because my oldest would come to the doctor appointments with us. And so she was able to hear, she probably doesn't remember any of it because she was tiny, but to hear those conversations and we could just wonder and just the curiosity and the delight is what we always want to keep pointing the kids towards, for sure.

Yeah, that's so good. In the culture today, kids can get the message too, those three, four, five year old siblings about imperfection and maybe, especially in schools today, maybe your gender wasn't right. There's been a mistake. How do we counter some of those messages that some people, some adults may feel it's not that consequential, but they come home and start talking about, I think I'm not a girl. I think I might be a boy. I mean, you start going, it's even odd that we need to talk about that, but especially some public school settings now, that thing that is encouraged.

Absolutely. Well, going back to just the foundation laying of birds and bees, it takes a male snake and a female snake to make a baby snake in an egg. And so you need two parts that are different, two entities, two beings that are different, male and female. But going back to creation is helpful, that God made things the way they are.

And there's Psalm 139, God knit you in your mother's womb. That idea of God being involved in the process that he made, that when God made you with certain biological parts and those biological parts are what are foundational and determine your gender. And it's just kind of a matter of factness of creation that takes place that God wasn't confused when he was making things and he made certain things. So it's helpful because the basics that you need to explain how babies are made and how God likes creating and created things that can create other things requires male and female, and that's determined by biology.

And then that's the foundation. Parents can then figure out how that engages with the culture, but you have that in place already. How they interpret that, what that means is where the parents really need to start.

And doing that sooner than later because you're going to get that question at an earlier and earlier age. Yeah, and I think what's critical with that, and I don't mean to offend anybody that might disagree with me, but I think really the culture is preying on those situations, especially in elementary school, where little boys and little girls don't really know how they should get along with the opposite sex. Most of them stay close knit, girls with girls, boys with boys, and you have adults start saying to them, you know, maybe you have that interest because you really don't like little girls. Maybe you're meant to like little boys. That is insidious because everybody in elementary school up until about fifth or sixth grade, ooh, that's icky.

Those people have cooties. It's not even the basis of just basic psychological understanding of sexual development of how fluid and children are trying to figure out who they are. Like we're actually undermining basic principles that 10 years ago from just psychologists or child sexual development specialists, Christian or not, would always say like this. And so you have to actually undermine previous scholarship and work.

Yeah. And it just, again, it's just such a horrible thing for a political ideology to prey on children like that, in my opinion. Let me bring it back to that practical concept of having the talk about where babies come from. What are some tips, Lindsay, let me turn it your direction. What are some tips for practically answering that question? Great question. So we've talked a little bit about many and many small conversations often and over time, starting at a young age, answering the question that they're actually asking by asking them, like you were telling us when you were in the elevator and your son, you know, was asking a question, you said, well, what do you think? So you can often kind of turn it back on them, like, well, what did you hear? Where were you?

So you can at least get a lay of the land. Like, were you in kindergarten with your peers? Or did you see something on the internet?

Did you hear something on the radio or a movie? So at least kind of figure out where you need to start from. Those are a couple. Keep it simple. Don't make it weird. You know, and there might be times when they ask you a question, you're like, wow, I don't know that.

Or this is really uncomfortable. And you can easily say, hey, hold on, I think I need to go think about that. You know, I'll get back to you.

Just give me give me a couple of minutes. And you can take some time, go figure it out. There was a question our daughters asked as a term. We told them as they've gotten older, the conversations change more into like, hey, if you hear something at school, that's, you know, around the topic of sex or bodies or babies or whatever, please ask us. And if we don't know, we'll figure out what it is. So one of them asked us something, a term that must be something culturally, you know, prevalent that we hadn't heard of. So we were like, let us go look this up because we have not heard this. I was stumped. And so we got back to him within 10 minutes and we're like, wow, that's a new one. Okay, let's talk about this. That's great.

You got back so quickly. Well, we searched it. I mean, I love that point because it goes back to the curiosity thing that if you said, ask them what they think and think of how the dignity of that, of that's really important that you asked that question. I'm not sure exactly how to answer that.

Will you give me a few minutes? I mean, the kid's going to be like, yeah, well, that's your least you're thinking about. Yeah. Because you can't ignore it.

If you ignore it, it's going to create so much shame and their, their curiosity will get satisfied somewhere. The other one was actually naming, using proper names. Oh, that was Jean. Jean was big on that because you went to like a uterus or a womb because it's, it's not helpful to, I mean, at a certain age you can say stomach or tummy, but even that's confusing. It's like, well, there's a womb, it's a uterus. There's a, there's a part in the woman that is different from a part in a man where baby grows.

And so using the specific proper terms. I think that's always good. That helped. Let me, we're down to the end here. So let me ask you just one last question.

You both can answer this. I'll start with you, Lindsay, but the, the parent that feels like, oops, I missed the window. You know, you might say 10, 11, especially if they're in public school, you might have a different thing, but normally friends talk even in homeschool and Christian communities. And you're teaching at a Christian classical school.

So you get this as well. They know, they know far more than we think they do as parents. And so the, the question is if you've waited too long, you know, now maybe they're 13, 14, 15, let's say that becomes a bit awkward because now the child is the one that may not want to engage this conversation because it's awkward to talk to your mom and dad about that topic. But what do you do as a parent to make sure they've got the right direction, the right compass when it comes to human sexuality?

That's a great question. I tell my friends who have not talked to their kids when, when they have older children, um, the best place is probably when you're in the car one-on-one driving somewhere. Cause you don't have to look each other in the eye, which can enhance the awkwardness of the conversation, particularly for your child. So maybe when you're in the car, you could just say like, Hey, I have realized I have not really had conversations with you that I should have had a long time ago. And I'm really sorry. Um, there's some things that I just kind of want to talk to you about, like about bodies and babies and sex. And I know that this can be a little bit awkward and funny, but I feel like it's, it's something that we need to chat about.

And I'm sorry that I haven't done this earlier. Are there things that you've already heard, or have you heard your friends talking about things? That's one thing that we've done with our, with our older daughters, she's gotten through middle school and now in high school, it's like, Hey, do you ever hear your friends talking about some, some different things that are inappropriate? Do anything that make you feel uncomfortable? So I honestly would say, start with a little bit of an apology too. I think it just can level the ground of like, I've not done my, my job as a parent. I love that point of just starting with an apology because there's humility there of just saying, Hey, I think I should have had this conversation earlier.

And I wish I would have, I regret not doing it. That, that kind of humility is respected by a child. And the beauty of doing it earlier is, I mean, our daughters are now teenagers and they come to us. I mean, I'm just surprised that some of the questions they ask, I'm thinking, I wouldn't have had the guts to ask my parents that question.

And my parents were really open Christian. And I mean, it's really about them that they trust the way they do. And I'm sure we did the best we could of laying that foundation.

So I just affirm and say that, but think about the joy that you want to be the person that they come to. I'm reminded of something we created, launch into the teen years. It's a little more detailed than I believe God made babies. It's kind of the step three and four, the, but this is a great resource for parents to kick off the discussion and talk with your children. God made babies, helping parents answer the baby question. What a, what a great way to get some information, especially if you're out there on a limb, you don't, you don't know what to do. That's pretty common because most of us didn't have the chat with our parents.

So we don't know, okay, what's the right way to do this. Get in touch with us because we'd love to get this into your hands, make a gift of any amount, and we'll send it as our way of saying thank you for being part of the ministry. And man, if you, if you need that more deeper, serious discussion, launch into the teen years is available as well.

Yeah. Donate and get your copy of God made babies and check out launch into the teen years. All the details are in the show notes or call 800 the letter a in the word family. Justin and Lindsay, thank you again for being here. What a delicate topic, but you've handled it so well. Thanks for what you've done in creating the book. Thank you for having us. It's always a blast to be with you. Thank you guys. It's been great. And thank you for joining us today for Focus on the Family with Jim Daly. I'm John Fuller inviting you back next time, as we once again, help you and your family thrive in Christ.

Hey, this is Dr. Greg Smalley with Focus on the Family. That considers your individual strengths, areas of growth and how unique people like you can better come together to get started on your marriage assessment. Visit marriage strengths.com. That's marriage strengths.com.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-05-21 10:26:05 / 2024-05-21 10:38:40 / 13

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