Saturday, November 29, 2008

Animal Cracker Illustrations

When it comes to *sex* education and children, questions can be uncomfortable, but I've always tried to answer them honestly. I'd rather that my children have correct information from me, than misinformation from another source. We've never had to sit anyone down for a big talk, but they've gotten what they need to know just the same. Tucked inside one of my cookbooks is a handwritten recipe with an illustration of the woman's reproductive system drawn on the back of it. Why? Because one day as I was making dinner, a child entered the room and asked me how babies are made. I drew a diagram explaining how eggs are released from ovaries, travel down fallopian tubes, and are fertilized by sperm. And honestly, it wasn't an awkward moment at all. And the child still remembers it!

As a Christian mom, I've talked with my children about the sanctity of marriage. About keeping yourself pure for your spouse. I don't think it should be a once and done conversation. It needs to be said early and often. Again, it's in the everyday moments that I do most of my teaching. While we're reading scripture that relates,

Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous. ~ Hebrews 13:4

Or even while we're eating animal crackers. Animal crackers?

Yes, animal crackers. Mac was eating cookies the other day, and trying to bring me out of my funk. You know, the depression that I'm feeling because my babies are grown and leaving the nest? Anyway, he was trying to make me laugh, so he started trying to feed me cookies. Like I used to feed them when they were little. "Open wide for the airplane!"

"No. I don't want any."

He popped the cookie into his own mouth.

"C'mon. Open wide for the choo-choo train."

This time, the cookies were iced together.

"Mac, there is no way I'd put two cookies into my mouth at once. That's too big a bite!"

"Oh, yeah. Hey, if Xon were here, he'd tell me to get a fork and stab those cookies in the belly because they're fornicating."

And there it was.... a teachable moment.

"Mac, break the cookies apart."

As he did, part of one cookie stuck to the other one. "Mac. That's one of the consequences of *sex* before marriage. Once you give a part of yourself away, you can't get it back."

"I know, Mom."

And just for good measure, God provided more cookies that were iced together, and we tried to break them apart again.

Dt 6:1 “Now this is the commandment, the statutes and the rules that the Lord your God commanded me to teach you, that you may do them in the land to which you are going over, to possess it, 2 that you may fear the Lord your God, you and your son and your son’s son, by keeping all his statutes and his commandments, which I command you, all the days of your life, and that your days may be long. 3 Hear therefore, O Israel, and be careful to do them, that it may go well with you, and that you may multiply greatly, as the Lord, the God of your fathers, has promised you, in a land flowing with milk and honey.
Dt 6:4 Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 5 You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. 6 And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. 8 You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. 9 You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
Dt 6:10 “And when the Lord your God brings you into the land that he swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give you—with great and good cities that you did not build, 11 and houses full of all good things that you did not fill, and cisterns that you did not dig, and vineyards and olive trees that you did not plant—and when you eat and are full, 12 then take care lest you forget the Lord, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. 13 It is the Lord your God you shall fear. Him you shall serve and by his name you shall swear. 14 You shall not go after other gods, the gods of the peoples who are around you, 15 for the Lord your God in your midst is a jealous God, lest the anger of the Lord your God be kindled against you, and he destroy you from off the face of the earth.
Dt 6:16 “You shall not put the Lord your God to the test, as you tested him at Massah. 17 You shall diligently keep the commandments of the Lord your God, and his testimonies and his statutes, which he has commanded you. 18 And you shall do what is right and good in the sight of the Lord, that it may go well with you, and that you may go in and take possession of the good land that the Lord swore to give to your fathers 19 by thrusting out all your enemies from before you, as the Lord has promised.
Dt 6:20 “When your son asks you in time to come, ‘What is the meaning of the testimonies and the statutes and the rules that the Lord our God has commanded you?’ 21 then you shall say to your son, ‘We were Pharaoh’s slaves in Egypt. And the Lord brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand. 22 And the Lord showed signs and wonders, great and grievous, against Egypt and against Pharaoh and all his household, before our eyes. 23 And he brought us out from there, that he might bring us in and give us the land that he swore to give to our fathers. 24 And the Lord commanded us to do all these statutes, to fear the Lord our God, for our good always, that he might preserve us alive, as we are this day. 25 And it will be righteousness for us, if we are careful to do all this commandment before the Lord our God, as he has commanded us.’


His Girl said...

wonderful teachable moment!



wow. totally, totally awesome.

beautifully done.

Mrs. Rabe said...


That is incredible! Such a simple way to show truth!

We also take these "teachable" moments....we are open with our children on a level that is appropriate for them. We also never make jokes about s*x, never speak coarsely...

We do however allow them to see us show affection to one another, they pretend to be shocked! :)

We want them to know that God made man and woman for each other, and that it is very good, when kept within His guidelines.

I would like to link to this post if that is ok, it is such a good post.

Tracy said...

His Girl,


Mrs. Rabe,

We're the same way. We think showing affection in front of our children is very important. Marriage should be exciting, but sadly the world thinks that "dating" is the fun part and that marriage is boring. We never want our children to think that way. (And ours pretend to be shocked, too. Except Abigail. She just grins.)

You certainly may link to the post!

Abounding Treasures said...

This is great ... such wonderful, teachable moments, used beautifully!

Thanks for sharing!

Tori said...

Wow, that's a great teaching moment. You had some wonderful answers about fornication and you're right, it needs to be heard.

Great post!

~~Deby said...

WOW...this is good...a parable of sorts and something many of us won't forget....
Good job Tracy. Very tasteful and such simplicity and wisdom

lady jane said...

What an excellent teaching opportunity with unexpected tools. I love how our Lord works. :o)

Bless you.

Terri said...

What a great teaching moment! I love when those type of things happen around here.

Ways of Zion said...


Heather said...

What a great moment - I am currently teaching the young girls at our church - and the last couple lessons have been on Courtship and dating - it has been interesting to say the least. Thanks for you post it was so great to hear others with the same values are still out there.

Sheri said...

Tracy, you are the best! This animal cracker illustration is fantastic! I am going to use it at some of the youth groups I speak to and for my own kids someday too. =)

Missy said...

First I must say that I can't even remember how I stumbled upon your blog. It must've been God leading my way, cause I get something valuable from it each time.
I missed the last couple of days, and found this post.

Awesome! I love it. My baby is only 2 1/2. But we have a 17 1/2 year old also, that we missed a lot of those teachable moments. Thank you for sharing yours! You are an inspiration!