Georgia is dealing with the painful reality of puberty exacerbated by sexual reactivity, which makes 13 a ridiculously difficult age.

Because 13 is otherwise so easy. But I digress.

I was notified of potentially at-risk behavior on our computer through my filtering program.* It only took a few moments of deeper research to discover it was Georgia. She was googling: Sex.

My heart broke.

I gently pulled her into my bedroom and simply shared with her the report of her internet search. She immediately broke down and began crying. We both knew her actions were not a result of innocent questions that could be answered no other way. Through her tears, she shared that she was missing Asher and thinking of sex.

“Are you thinking of sex with your brother?”

Her voice was so small as she answered, “Yes.”

This is where the rubber meets the road with redemption and grace and the reality of Jesus’ willingness to show up in the ugliest of our moments.

I reminded myself, like I’ve done so many times before, that healing is best facilitated through the truth, and my children will struggle for their entire lives if they believe they cannot be real with their parents. I took a deep breath and was miraculously met by the Holy Spirit.

We spent the next hour talking about God’s very great design for sexuality. I tried to normalize her sexual curiosity and gently reminded her that other girls her age were also facing the nuances of attraction and sexual tension. But I also explained that ideally, Georgia would be facing these feelings without her experiences. Sadly, because her body already knew some of the sensations she now desired, her brain quickly connected this newfound desire with Asher.

We spoke openly of the shame she felt over desiring her brother. I listened, but also reminded her that her desire was not fully governed by reason. She was not seeking an incestuous relationship with her brother because he was her choice above all others. Her body was simply craving the kind of touch she knew from only him. In a crazy way, her brain was doing exactly what God designed it to do with a husband.

However, ultimately, Asher is not her husband.

We must deal with these realities and not fall prey to either side of the pendulum by either: A) ignoring them or covering them in shame because they are too painful and ugly to address or B) rationalize them to the point of acceptance and not ever call them out as perversion. So, after crying, praying, hugging, and speaking the truth in love I also suggested we read a book together.

John Mark Comer’s book Loveology is excellently written. It speaks openly of the very great design behind sexuality, but it never wavers from understanding that the Bible’s prescriptive is God’s best plan for it – a husband and wife in a covenant relationship. Period. I strongly recommend this gem for other parents working through these difficult topics. You may find yourself needing something more subtle at these tender years. But for those of us dealing with the full assault of our children’s sexual purity, I believe the weapons must be strong and sure. Loveology may be just the sword you need.

*We use a combination of Covenant Eyes and Circle to appropriately manage the internet content coming into our home. I cannot recommend these two services highly enough and find that, together, they work beautifully to create a safety net for me, Joseph, and our children. Asher was exposed to pornography outside of our home and was able to circumvent our filters through cunning manipulation during his final month at home (he snuck an old iOS device into his room that we had forgotten to disable from our internet). However, the amount of exposure was so minimal in comparison to what it could have been that several of his staff workers at JCF mentioned the relative purity of Asher’s mind considering his crimes. Nothing is 100% guaranteed in this world, but we are grateful for devices and services like Covenant Eyes and Circle, which help us fight to keep the inside of our home free from the lusts of the flesh.