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Teaching Your Children Healthy Sexuality

Small Group Curriculum Introduction


Leader’s Guide

Introduction

As I’ve spoken with parents around the country, I’ve found that only a very small number received healthy, value-centered sex
education from their parents when they were growing up. Perhaps this is why so many parents today find it difficult to talk to
their own kids about sexuality. While hardly anyone doubts the need to equip our kids with healthy, biblical and value-based
content on the topic of sexuality, there is regrettably a disconnection when it comes to such discussions between parents and
their children.
This small group study series is my best attempt to get parents talking to one another about the principles and necessity of
teaching their children healthy sexuality. I have come to realize that the best learning takes place not when I talk, but when
people communicate with each other. Small group studies provide some of the very best opportunities for this to happen. I know
that I have learned so much by relating with people who want to work on their family relationships. There have been seasons in
my life when a small group curriculum became the catalyst for incredible personal growth and significant influence on my skills
as a parent. The Bible says, “Iron sharpens iron.” (Proverbs 27:17) That is what takes place so often in a small group, and my
hope is that you’ll see it happen too as you lead this study.
The more open, genuine and authentic you can be as a leader, the better your group experience will be. No one expects you to
be perfect! We’ve done our best in this leader’s guide to make it very easy for you to lead a group. All the ingredients are here
for you. We’ve tried hard to give you the right amount of material for each session. But, you might find that there’s actually too
much material for each session. So your job will be to use what works for you and your group and skip what doesn’t. And if we
can be of any help to you at HomeWord, don’t hesitate to contact us (www.homeword.com). We exist to serve you and to help
equip parents to build a happy, healthy family.
Wouldn’t it be great if in future generations, parents might find it natural to talk to their kids about healthy sexuality? I think
that together with your partnership, it is entirely possible for us to not only help today’s parents teach their kids, but to also pass
along a legacy their children who will one day be parents themselves. Thank you for joining me in this adventure!
Blessings,

Jim Burns
President, HomeWord

About This Series

IT’S ABOUT RELATIONSHIPS


This material is designed to get people talking, interacting with one another, establishing and/or growing relationships with each
other, and supporting each other in the grand adventure we call parenting.

IT INVOLVES EXPERIENCES
People learn best when they are involved in the material, not just looking at it or hearing it as an abstract subject. These sessions
integrate participants’ experiences, parenting scenarios, video segments, and discussion to draw people into the material.

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IT’S APPLICABLE
The point of this series is to help parents become more confident in their ability to pass along a healthy understanding of
sexuality to their children. Participants will be challenged to act, not just gain knowledge. “So What?” has always been a vital
aspect of my educational model and this material encourages participants to make important decisions that lead to changed
behaviors and enable them to put what they’ve learned into action.

IT’S BIBLICAL
While the Bible may not have been written as a “parenting” or “sexuality” manual, it has a lot to offer in the way of principles
and behaviors that, when acted upon, can help parents build a happy family. This material will draw participants into the
Biblical narrative for the express purpose of equipping them as parents.

IT’S ADAPTABLE
Pick, choose and adapt the material as it best suits your needs! While we’ve provided you with all the content elements that will
lead to a great small group experience, it’s likely that there is more material than will fit into your group meeting timeframe.
Don’t feel that you have to use all of the components of the material in order to have a successful experience. Instead, choose a
few of the sections and discussion questions, or do it all; the choice is yours. Each session is provided in both pdf and Microsoft
Word formats on the CD-ROM in the Teaching Your Children Healthy Sexuality Kit. Feel free to change your Leader’s and
Participant’s guides to fit your needs.
Also, with a little planning, you can adapt this material to work in various settings, such as:
• Adult Sunday School
• Personal Bible study
• Retreats or camps
• Special Seminars

IT’S PROVEN
The book, Teaching Your Children Healthy Sexuality, was written on the basis of what I’ve learned as a husband and parent,
as well as from my ministry experiences with thousands of parents over the years. This study material is also largely based on
those experiences. The bottom line is: this material is written by a parent who has been involved in the parenting journey for
other parents involved in their own journey.

How to Use This Material

Each session of this series is divided into six main parts:

1. PREPARATION
To prepare for each session, participants will read one or more chapters from Teaching Your Children Healthy Sexuality. They’ll
also take an action step they’ve focused on from the previous week’s study.

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2. GETTING CONNECTED
Each session begins with a few icebreaker discussion questions that all participants can answer briefly in the larger group
setting. These questions prepare the group for the discussion to follow and aid in helping participants get to know each other.
The Getting Connected section also includes a “Just for Fun” option in this segment. Many groups find some kind of fun activity
or discussion helpful for breaking down walls and setting up a comfortable environment. If you choose to use these optional
activities, consider your timeframe and plan to adapt your study session appropriately.

3. GETTING STARTED
The heart of the Getting Started section is a discussion about the session topic. The goal is to get everyone talking and focused.
Sometimes an activity is introduced that sets the stage for the discussion questions. You’ll also watch a video clip of Jim from
the accompanying DVD in the Teaching Your Children Healthy Sexuality Kit.

4. GOING DEEPER
In this section, you’ll dive deeper into the topic through more in-depth information and you’ll use discussion questions and
personal reflection to help participants process the key issues.

5. IN THE WORD
Here, you’ll dig into the Biblical principles that provide a foundation for parents regarding the session’s topic. This Bible
study section can be facilitated in the larger group setting or you have participants form into smaller groups and assign them
individual portions of the material to focus on.

6. SO WHAT? AND CONCLUSION


This section is for personal evaluation and application. Participants will be challenged to identify areas they need to work on and
action steps they will take in response to the study. Each session contains a concluding video segment that gives participants a
brief recap of the session and a preview of the subject to be addressed at the next session.

Leading the Study

You may be an old pro when it comes to leading small group studies or teaching Sunday School classes. On the other hand, you
might be a complete novice…or feel like one! Either way, this leader’s guide is provided to help you facilitate this series and
provide your participants with the best experience possible.

PLANNING AHEAD
Each session in the leader’s guide highlights The Big Idea of the session (the main point), the Goals of the Session (what you
hope to accomplish), and Leader’s Preparation (tips to alert you to supplies you’ll need). Review these notes, the session content,
and preview the video clips ahead of the session. Then choose how you’ll adapt the material to suit the needs of your group.

LEADING YOUR GROUP


Your role as a leader is to facilitate good discussion and lead your participants through the material, not to lecture or teach. Do
your best to keep discussion on track, while striving to balance the needs of individuals as well as the entire group. Tangents and
bunny trails are inevitable, but remember they can be two-edged swords. They can lead to times of great discovery for the entire
group, or, if way off track or allowed to go on too long, they can be destructive to group morale. Use appropriate discernment
about when to pull the discussion back on topic. Be generous with affirmation as participants share. Do your best to encourage
the development of relationships between participants. If conflict arises, deal with it gently and appropriately. (Sometimes
conflict resolution is best handled outside of your study time.)

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For the first few sessions, it’s important to lay down some ground rules for discussion. Sometimes with parenting groups,
resentment and anger might be lurking just below the surface and the topics addressed might well be enough to cause these
emotions to emerge. Instruct your participants that people should never share stories, comments or observations about their
spouse (or ex-spouse) or children that might be considered private or hurtful. Keep in mind that participants might innocently
share comments in parenting discussions that end up inadvertently embarrassing or offending their family members. So, be sure
to lay down some ground rules during the initial sessions and be prepared to gently deal with any hurtful or offensive comments
if they should arise.
We believe it is important for couples to talk through parenting issues with their spouses, particularly the decisions and action
steps they’ve committed to during the “So What?” application section. The curriculum does not specifically provide time in the
session for this, so leaders should encourage couples to engage in discussion together on their own after the session.

It’s likely that you’ll have single parents or only one spouse participating in your study. Be sure to go the extra mile to help them
feel welcome and included in your group.

Consider contacting participants outside of your study time to see how they are doing and to find out if they have additional
feedback on the sessions or the group that they might not feel comfortable sharing during session time. Above all, pray for your
group meetings and the participants. Pray as you prepare for each session!

Remember, you don’t have to be the parenting expert in order to successfully lead this series. Be open, be vulnerable and be
an encourager as a fellow-traveler on the journey of parenting! View yourself as a coach, cheering the participants on along the
journey.

It is possible that in the course of this study, parenting conflicts or family dysfunctions will emerge, that need to be addressed
but are beyond the scope of this curriculum. Most group leaders will not have the background to help parents resolve significant
issues. That’s okay. Again, you don’t have to be a parenting expert to lead this series. But, you might have to become a facilitator
in helping parents find the help they need. It would be wise, prior to the start of the series, to research what steps you might take
if you encounter such significant issues. For example, you might identify a pastoral counselor on staff in your church that you
can refer parents to or you might ask the pastoral team at your church for professional Christian counseling referrals. Referring
parents to pastoral or professional help is not a sign of weakness, but rather a sign of strength in knowing your own limitations.
It is the right thing to do for a family in need.

Additional Information from HomeWord


FREE PARENT RESOURCES – Did you know HomeWord has FREE parenting resource help via email for the families in your
church? The INFORMATION CARD on the document CD offering these FREE resources can be printed up, handed out, completed
by your attendees and returned to HomeWord. We offer a parent newsletter, daily devotional, and much more!

MORE PARENT RESOURCES – HomeWord has tons of practical resources for the parents and families in your church. We’ve
included a resource flyer on the document CD which lists many of our resources such as devotionals, parenting books, DVD’s,
marriage books, and other small group studies. Print the flyers and hand them out to your attendees with session #4.

EVALUATION – Your opinion is important to us. We’ve enclosed an evaluation for you to print and distribute to your attendees
upon completion of this small group study. We would appreciate any feedback from your group. This evaluation is also available
and may be completed online at
http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=9jwj5vV_2bDlIb6i223iK_2b6Q_3d_3d

Please mail all completed evaluation forms to: HomeWord


P.O. Box 1600
San Juan Capistrano, CA 92693

* This information is also found in the introduction of the Leader’s Guide


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Teaching Your Children Healthy Sexuality Kit Acknowledgements

Mike DeVries – Small Group Curriculum


Teri Haymaker – Document Design
Jim Liebelt – Contributor, Senior Editor, Video Production
Mary Perdue – Marketing, Product Production
Melinda Sylstra – Product Production
Kelli Trujillo – Curriculum Editing

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