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Archive for the ‘Sex’ Category

Sex, Part 2

I was at a party with some friends last night when we got into an interesting discussion about dating. My friend’s teenage daughter (a freshmen in high school) was sitting with us, and she was telling me that she was dumped last month by a boy who didn’t treat her well, but she still likes him. I told her she didn’t need to be dating anyway. It wasn’t my place because I’m not her parent, but I said it before I thought about it. Her mom said her sister-in-law had a rule for her daughter that she couldn’t date until she made a list of the qualities she was looking for in a boyfriend, and that the girl’s standards changed a lot and she was more choosy about who she would date because of it. My friend thought this was a great idea, but I pushed the conversation a little further than that.

I asked my friend’s daughter why she needed/wanted to date a boy. She said because it’s fun and you can do stuff together. I told her you can do that with a “friend”, so why the need for it to be a “boyfriend”? She just smiled and I said the only reason boys and girls want to be boyfriend and girlfriend is so you have someone you can be physical with. “Am I wrong?” I asked her. She shook her head and said “No”. As far as the list thing is concerned, I had a list like that when I was twelve! I also had a 17-year-old boyfriend. Please tell me why a 17-year-old would want to date a 12-year-old?! I know I’m pretty special (wink~wink) but I’m pretty sure it was the size of my chest. Also, it took me about 30 seconds to jot down a list that would fit whatever guy I was currently interested in, or I would justify him to my existing list. Here’s what I’m trying to say: Lists and Rules aren’t enough.

On the way to the party Benny and I had been talking about why my brain has been set on sex (mainly writing about it – haha) for the past week. He had read my post yesterday and said, “where’d that come from??” I explained where my thoughts have been and told him my frustrations with a silent (or skewed) society and church on the subject. I was angry that I grew up in the “Just Say No” days. “Just Say No” wasn’t good enough for me, and it’s not for kids today either. I wanted to know WHY I should say no. “Because I said so”, and “because God said so” weren’t good enough either. Neither was the pregnancy and STD speech …no teenager thinks that can happen to them.

At youth rallies I attended, sex, drinking, drugs and satanic music were the common themes. I wondered aloud if I really was taught the “why” but I didn’t hear it because the speaker lost me the second he started bashing everything he thought I might be doing. I still hate it when people assume things about me or generally lump me into a stereotype. As I’ve already divulged here, I was playing around with sex, but the other things weren’t even a temptation for me.

I also hate it when Christians use the Bible to prove something to people who don’t know the Bible and don’t yet have a reason to believe (or care) what it says. At that point in my life, I didn’t have any understanding of scripture or the depth of God’s love and desires for me. So why should I believe a brief-case toting youth minister who didn’t know me or my personal struggles, standing up on a stage talking down to me and threatening me with hell if I didn’t follow God’s plan for my life? I needed something a little more concrete than that…something more real to me. I think kids today deserve more than that canned approach. The only people I listened to were people I thought were genuine in their concern for me and those I had a relationship with. Honestly, sometimes I didn’t listen to them either. Being a teenager is tough, and learning about sexual purity in the middle of hormonal changes and rages isn’t helpful or practical. Those are lessons that should be taught LONG before they will be tested.

I believe kids aren’t learning and practicing sexual purity for a lot of reasons, the main one being it isn’t being taught in the home. I know there are always exceptions to this, but I know and love many Christians who have very worldly views when it comes to purity. A lady commented on my last post that she is single again after a painful divorce and even her Christian friends chide her and don’t think purity is even a possibility in today’s world. These are church friends, the ones who should be encouraging and supporting her. That tells me something about church isn’t working…but that’s a post for another day. I have friends who say they know their kids will experiment because that’s just normal and they can’t stop them. While that is true to a point, training for years before those days arrive would be a better offense than the “that’s just normal” defense. I don’t have all the answers, but I have plenty of ideas. My kids are already learning about modesty, purity, respect, and all those qualities God told me to ingrain in them.

Zoe comes to me and tells me when a shirt is too small for her. She’s 3 years old, so how does she know? Because ever since she started wearing big girl clothes as opposed to baby clothes, we’ve been teaching her that if it’s tight fitting or she raises her hands over her head and you can see her belly button – her shirt is too small. When she asked “Why?” (one of her favorite words) we told her that her belly didn’t need to be seen by everyone – that is skin we think should be covered. Am I worried that she’s going to be showing it off or someone is going to lust after her body because of the availability of her skin? Not at 3, but when she’s 12 and her body is developing…who knows? It won’t be our clothing rule that will keep her modest, it will be the day-to-day training ever since she can remember.

Clothing is a symptom, not the problem. The problem is in the heart. I need to speak to Zoe’s heart and teach her about God’s heart for her. There are teens out there who are modest and remained pure until their weddings.I know them. I know it can be done. I’ve talked with the parents and asked, “How did you do it?” Their answer? You have to start small…as in when they are young. This may not be a great comfort to you if your kids are already in their teens, and I’m not saying it is too late if they are. I do have to warn you that teaching sexual purity is not easy. I believe God calls us to do it and He gives us the strength to stand up under the persecution that inevitably follows: the rolling eyes, the comments about being prudish or old-fashioned, and looking a little ridiculous to those who don’t share our convictions.

If you’re the parent of a teen, please don’t use unwanted pregnancy and STD’s as your reasons for not wanting your kids to abstain from sex. Yes, those are scary and the consequences are far-reaching, but as a spiritual being, you know it is so much more than that! Giving your body (including the heart) away to someone who will be foolish with it is not only stupid and a sin, but it hurts. Tough consequences are not always physical. Books on self-help and recovery are a multimillion dollar industry. I wonder if that would be so if people in general-including Christians – would take sexual purity more seriously.

Parents: Hear me say this loud and clear: It is NOT the school’s job to teach your kids sexual purity. It is NOT the youth minister’s job (or his wife’s). It is NOT the job of the preacher at your church to do a sermon series on sexual purity and you pray really hard that your child is listening. It is YOUR job. No one can or should do this for you! Who loves your child more than you???

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Sex, Sex, Sex – Part 1

It’s for sale everywhere we look. And we are desensitized to it. I’ve lost count of how many strip clubs are in a five-mile radius of my house. I don’t live in upscale, clean and safe suburbia. It’s not always so in-your-face. Sex is for sale in the check out lane of my our grocery stores. I’m not talking about Playboy, but on the covers of the fashion magazines and tabloids. It’s in the calendar aisle of our bookstores and in the romance novels lent out from our libraries. Sex is everywhere. And it’s our job to remain pure and teach our children to do the same? The deck is stacked against us, friends.

With our friends on the streets, sex is currency. I’ll have sex with you if you find me food and shelter for the night. I’ll have sex with you if you get me a $3.00 bag of heroin and share your needle with me. I’ll have sex with you so I’ll feel loved – even just for a little while. I’ll have sex with you so you’ll be “my old lady” and belong to no one else. This stuff is real, I hear it straight from the street kids themselves.

The news is dotted with stories of elementary school kids experimenting with sex, and junior high kids having oral sex parties. If you remember from my Redeeming Love, Part 2 post, most kids today don’t think oral sex is sex at all. Like I did at their age, they are believing the lie that sex is intercourse and everything else is just playing, testing to see what it feels like, and getting a preview of the real thing. Sometimes when the real thing finally does happen, it’s no big deal because of the sensations you’ve already experienced and you wonder what the big deal was about waiting for “IT”. Been there, done that.

Sex was not created by Satan, as some of the conservative adults in my life growing up made me believe. God made sex and even included a whole book about it in His Word. It is a gift to be shared between two people who have made the commitment to a lifetime of sharing it with only each other. Sex is not just intercourse, it’s being intimate in any way with someone else. It’s touching and probing whether both people are clothed or not. It’s giving a piece of yourself away to your partner, and accepting a piece of them in return, or not.

The American Heritage Dictionary defines sex as : “The sexual urge or instinct as it manifests itself in behavior.”

Oral sex is anything sexual involving the mouth. Would that make kissing a form of oral sex? Why do we kiss? To show our affection? To gain pleasure? To give pleasure? To be physically connected to our partner? I’m talking kissing here, not the innocent thing we give each other on the cheek as a greeting or a goodbye, but mouth to mouth contact. Think about it. If kissing were no big deal, then why is it so wrong for an adult and a child to kiss? Or how about young children kissing? Disturbing isn’t it?

Our world says sex is just physical, and nothing more, that we can detach ourselves from it mentally. What a lie. Even if we think we can detach ourselves, our subconscious knows and we live with it inside of us, acting out in ways we don’t even realize.

Our world says we should be intimate with potential life partners to see if we’re compatible. This is the funniest and stupidest of all the lies. Since when does physical compatibility have anything to do with it? Guess what? If there is a problem with physical compatibility, there are ways to ease or correct that problem. People use that as an excuse to experiment and play with fire.

Our world says it’s no big deal to show our bodies off. Some Christians buy into that too. NOW do I have your attention?

What does it say to a pre-teen or teen when their parents or other adults in their life encourage them in their pursuing of the opposite sex?

What does it say when we (adults) encourage them to “date around” and not get too serious with just one person? We hope they find “the right one”, just not too young or too soon. And when they do think they’ve found the right one and things go badly, we tell them there are other fish in the sea. We waver between not wanting them to have experiences too soon, and encouraging them to play the field. That’s messed up. What if they have found the right person for them and they want to get married and start their life together? I know what you’re thinking – it depends on their age, right? What if they’re both sixteen? Would that scare you and be unacceptable? How about 18? They’re legally adults and can vote and fight in a war at that age. How about 21?

What does it say when we think it’s romantic when they get that first kiss? Or when they hold hands and he plays with her hair when they sit near each other? It looks so innocent, but have your forgotten the fire that burns under the skin when you are touched by someone you desire? For guys, Benny calls it setting off their launch sequence.

What does it say about the Christian sub-culture when we look just like the world? Women and girls with tight and/or short skirts with lots of leg showing? Tight fitting shirts that accentuate breasts and waistlines? Or low-cut, cleavage showing clothing? Isn’t that advertising the goods? Guys aren’t without blame with their baggy pants that hang below their underwear, (not that it is attractive to girls) and their looks of approval to the women and girls mentioned above. It’s everywhere. Yes, even at church. I have separated teens that were getting too cozy with each other during the sermon. And do you think affairs never happen with church people?

There is not a corner of our society that you can find without the influence of sex.

Or is there?

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