I am afraid that many evangelical Christians might read this article, “Relationship with Dad Affects Teens Sexual Behavior” and kind of be like, “Well duh!” But we shouldn’t, because studies like this are a big deal. This wasn’t done by a Christian, as far as I know, and it gives us a point of contact with the culture at large on why we are always talking about the family the way we do.
But beyond the fact that a dad’s personal love and relationship to his children has a positive affect, we ought to also ask ourselves and others, “Why do you think this is?” I am a Christian father myself. I want my children to wait for sexual intimacy until marriage. Why do I want that? And why would my love for them cause them to want that for themselves? Or at least, even if not a Christian, why would a healthy relationship with dad cause sons to behave more responsibly in the area of sexual activity?
I think the answer is fairly obvious, but it is worth pointing out. Sex is about intimacy. It is a sharing of yourself in one of the most intimate ways with another human being. It is wonderful, even sacred. I desire my children to wait because if they spread themselves around like that, they will miss the point of the intimacy it was designed for. Now, I also believe premarital sex is sin, but that’s why I think it is sin. It is, as the Bible says, a sin against your own body. God didn’t design sex and then forbid us having it to be a celestial killjoy; He did it because it only works properly when shared between two covenant lovers who have sworn themselves, by life and death, to love one another.
So what does dad have to do with this? Because dads ought to love like that. Not that moms can’t or don’t. Please, moms, try not to be offended at me for a moment. But when my son skins his knee, he goes to mom. I get that. Moms, in general, are better at that sort of comfort than dad. There is a kind of love, I think, that we get from our dads that is a different kind of intimacy. He might tell you to dry it up or shake it off over a skinned knee, but a good dad makes you feel safe as a kid. He is a protector and a counselor and one who pushes you to be who you are. Cause sometimes, we know deep down, that we don’t need our boo-boos kissed, when need to rub some dirt on it and get back on the bike.
When children have this kind of loving relationship with their fathers, they are less likely to seek out shallow intimacies with others. Because dad is there, and he loves them. Don’t take my word for it. Read the article for yourself.