It was a book a friend gushed over, crafted by one of the best historical writer and this his crowning glory. I'm always on the hunt for a good book so I quickly downloaded it to my iPad and settled in for what I anticipated to be a story bathed in brilliance with enough suspense and drama to keep me hooked.
A few hours in it became the first book that has ever brought crimson to my cheeks while reading, the only book where rather than diving in I felt compelled to turn my head out of respect for the intimacy shared between two characters, out of shame for the cheap sell sex was presented as, and out of concern for innocence lost.
Let's be straight, I'm no prude. Ask my close friends, I'm known to joke about hilarious situations inside the bedroom, mine or others. In fact, one of the funniest stories I've ever heard told was this one recently at a friend's wedding reception held the night after the wedding:
The bride's father shared that, at a house party he hosted, he was chatting with some friends when our friend, his future son-in-law, came up to him and declared, "I'm dating your daughter, what do you think of that?" Later, when they had been dating for some time, he again approached his girlfriend's father and said, "I kissed your daughter, are you ok with that?" When the father of the bride entered the venue the night of the reception (remember, this was just after their first night as a couple), he cringed as he saw his now son-in-law, a frequent over-sharer, walk towards him, not sure of what his question might be this time!
Sex is beautiful and fun and mysteriously interwoven into our very beings, hooking us heart and body with another. Trust me, I understand the biological responses and our natural longing to engage in intimacy and a little about the challenge it is to wait until marriage to fully awaken that desire.
It's just that I worry about the cultural landscape and the views and values with which they, the majority, have endowed to the act of making love. Sex is no longer what you can give to another but what you can get out of it. It has become a symbol of a successful night on the prowl, catching the eye of a stranger in hopes of luring into bed someone who can sufficiently embody the fantasies that we hope to reenact, a dance of lust performed as a mimicry tribute to the smoldering hunks and heroines of our favorite t.v. shows.
No wonder even kids growing up in Christian homes aren't waiting anymore, who is?? With a culture selling sex on enough corners, magazine covers, and prime-time comedies, is it really worth the wait? When sex sells, everything from gym memberships to dieting plans to four door sedans, why not get why the getting's good?
The good news is promiscuity among youth is highly inaccurately over-publicized. Sure, almost one of every two teenagers is having intercourse but it's less than it was a decade ago due, in part, to the fact that our children are engaging in safer, oral sex. Yippee!
The purpose of sharing my thoughts here isn't to post another rant against the world for polluting the minds of our youth. It's rather to challenge us as parents: what can we do differently? Will we heighten our commitment to stem the flow of filth aimed at our children, building below ground bunkers in which to isolate our children until an arranged marriage can be bought with the herd of goats we hope to have within the next ten years? Innocence and virginity seems to have an expiration date, that of 13 or 14 in biblical times, so why not seek out a SWM at your son's next basketball practice?
Or, will we continue to impress on the minds and hearts of our children that God has a better way. Not necessarily one that comes with the guarantee of a rainbow and fireworks when you finally give love, not only one that it will grant your experience all the more meaning when you share it with the one you will share the whole of your life with, and certainly not one that comes with the idea that is is nothing more than an obligation from a dutiful wife. But we can tell them that it is a choice that comes from the heart of one who desires to walk in open unity and unabashed intimacy with their God.
So what hope is there that my kids, our kids don't become one of the 88% who hold their virginity loosely between fingers holding too much temptation? Let's face it, we can't compete with a world that wraps it's packages in glitz and glitter. But what can we do, what will you do? It's just a gander but I'm thinking that telling my children that what I have with their father is hotter than what they'll see on the big screen, because it comes with passion and commitment, is probably not the best preface to our next birds and bees discussion.
On second thought, just the thought of it might so sour their perspective on sex that it'll buy us a few extra years at least just to fatten up those goats a little more. :)
What are your thoughts? I'd love to hear!