The Fear Of Being A Transparent Parent

The day after we published our last podcast, Episode 21: Let's Talk Sex...Again, a few of us sat down to watch the National Hot Dog Eating Championship. As we watched the panel of contestants shovel hot dogs down their throats, we found ourselves laughing hysterically at this perfectly timed commercial from Oscar Mayer. 

We talk about transparency often on our podcast and on this blog. Check out the grandpa in this commercial - he's the king of transparency:

That is a really funny commercial but it also ties in perfectly with our subject of teaching our kids about sex. As we have discussed, transparency is difficult for some parents and we have a few reasons this might be the case.

Some parents are just plain fearful of being honest with their kids, because it means they will have to own up to their past and some of their own personal failures. Christian homeschooling parents don't always want to admit their failures: sex before marriage, a history of multiple partners, broken engagements, or any other secret they have kept from their children.

This reminds me of a few stories. We knew two couples who were hiding big secrets from their children. One couple had a prior marriage. Even as their children became teenagers, they still did not know that their parents had each been married before. The second couple had hidden a secret elopement from their children, instead allowing them to believe the photo history that showed a staged wedding.

I believe both of these parents were living in fear. Fear of the truth and fear of what might happen if they told the truth to their kids. Why is this? Some parents don’t want to give their children the idea that it was okay to make bad choices, act on those bad choices and then discover that life would turn out okay like it had for them. In other words, some parents don't want their story to provide their kids with a license to sin.

I think the second and bigger reason that these parents lack transparency is that they are just plain ashamed of their past. Fellow homeschooling parents – this blog post is no longer about educating your kids about sex, but about Christian parents choosing to live in the Gospel.

The Gospel exists for this exact situation! It is not about who we were, but it’s about who we are now in Christ. Think about it for a moment: the Gospel has the power to save everyone and God doesn’t rank us according to our sinful past. Your past is no more shameful than my past. The Gospel saves sinners. It removes fear and it allows us to be transparent.

This is what is sorely lacking: the willingness to be transparent with one another. The Christian Homeschooling environment often has two horrible ingredients: Pride and Fear. Homeschooling parents are too prideful and too fearful to be honest with one another.

When we live as loved, we are free from our chains and we are free to be honest with one another. When we know that God loves us 100%, we are free to tell our kids about our past. When we live as loved, husbands are free to tell their wives about a hidden sexual addiction. Wives are free to tell husbands about a hidden eating disorder.

Let me push a little farther:  if you are a parent like me who struggles to be truthful with your kids about your own past, are you truly grasping the grace of God that comes in the Gospel? Are you living as loved? If so, then you are free.

Even though I began this discussion about sex education, I am finishing it on the Gospel. Homeschooling parents, live as loved! Trust that God has your back. Live in the freedom to be honest with your kids, model transparency and start talking about sex, before someone else does. You can point them to Jesus and away from the world’s bankrupt view of sex.


Andy Fletcher

Andy "Fletch" Fletcher has been married for the past 22 years. He and his wife Kendra are the proud parents of five sons and three daughters, all of whom keep them laughing and on their toes. During the day he can be found fixing people's teeth, but in his spare time you can find Fletch stretching out a pair of flip-flops, creating a new pizza recipe, playing the drums, or rescuing a piece of his tie-dye wardrobe from his wife's donation pile. You can find him online where he writes on his personal blog: theMangoTimes and cohosts with his wife on the podcast.