The World According to kcillini77

September 2, 2008

If you can read this you’re too close

The announcement that Sarah Palin’s teenage daughter is pregnant has the blogosphere and radio waves abuzz.  A few days ago no one outside of Alaska really knew anything about her, but now her statements in support of “abstinence-only” sex ed are fuel for the fodder that, SEE, we need comprehensive sex ed that includes education about birth control methods and techniques so that our kids don’t wind up knocked up.

Sex education has long been a hot-button topic.  It seems that the vocal opinions, as the political climate seems to dictate, are always at polar ends of the spectrum from each other.  One choice is to sit our kids down, give a cursory overview of fallopian tubes and vas deferens in front of a diagram,  give them statistics on teen pregnancy and STDs and the many dangers of sex, and remind them that the Bible says sex outside of marriage is a sin.  So DON’T DO IT.  Phew, now we can get back to boycotting Hallmark.

The other option is to give a cursory overview of the potential dangers of sex, then tell them we’re smart enough to know they’re going to do it anyway, so here’s a manual on sexual positions, 50 condoms, and oh, yeah, you need to pass a test by demonstrating you can roll one onto a banana.

I think there’s a middle ground.  I’m not sure where it is, but I think it’s there and we, especially those of us associated with American evangelical Christianity need to find it.

The biggest problem when it comes to American Christian parents relating to their kids in the area of sexuality is that we are presenting them with an impossible double standard.  We want them to follow the straight and narrow path of avoiding all forms of sexual immorality and save themselves for marriage, BUT we also want them to achieve financial independence and be educated for a great career before they enter into a marriage covenant.  We’ve bought into the American Dream, and we are trying to fit morality into that dream.

Let’s say your daughter comes to you at the age of 17 and she says, “Daddy, I’ve met the greatest guy in the world.  We have the same hopes and dreams and values, and we want to get married.”  What are you going to do?  You’re going to give her sage advice and say, “Honey, you have your whole life ahead of you.  You don’t even know what love is yet.  This is infatuation.  You have a scholarship offer and you’ve always wanted to be a doctor.  This is puppy love.  Go out to movies and have fun (not too much) and you’ll meet a great guy later in college.”  This is wise in the way of the American Dream.  But you’ve provided no solutions to a girl who loves a guy and has raging hormones (designed by God).  You expect her to find some way to remain physically chaste, but you know there is no human way possible that she will live up to the standard set by Jesus.  You know she will lust.  You know he will lust.  But you want them to figure out a way to suppress that for the next 10 years until they can have good-paying jobs and are able to start out life on the right foot.  Then they can put rings on their fingers and start enjoying the sexuality that God intended for them.

So what’s the solution?  Do we sign the papers so our son can get married while he’s still on the JV football team?  Do we just go ahead and let him sleep over at his girlfriend’s house and figure he can ask for forgiveness from his future wife for all the past girls he remembers?  No.  I don’t think so.  But maybe we do our best to foster an open dialogue on the good and the bad.  Maybe we don’t go ballistic when they fail.  Maybe we admit that we are all a part of an oversexualized world and we all struggle with temptation.  Maybe we believe a marriage can make it even when they seem too young.  Maybe then when all of their Christian friends say, “They just got married at 19 so they can have sex,” they can smile at them and reply, “Well, that wasn’t the only reason, but rest assured I ain’t going back to single life!”

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