Sunday, November 16, 2008

Things to Teach My Daughters

We have been going through 1 Corinthians in our Bible study. There is a lot of talk about immorality and marriage in the chapters we did this week. There is a lot of talk about marriage and immorality in our ministry right now too. We are watching a marriage completely implode before our eyes. When I look in the eyes of women in these situations I can't help but think about my girls. I never want them to be in a situation with that much hurt and pain.

Now, I know I can't control that. They will make mistakes and choices, but so much of the pain in people's lives revolve around the fact that they want to feel loved and important. I want my girls to be able to grasp God's great love for them. I know some girls that have been pure and married and never for a second doubted the love God or their husbands have for them. Following God's plan builds in that security.

But I know so many women that are continually falling into turmoil because they have this unfilled desire to be loved. Oh, they may be married and have great children, but still they do not feel loved. They may have a family that cares for them, but they still have to go looking for love. They may have a very fulfilling career and that is not enough. The emptiness inside them can only be filled with God. Without being secure in the love that God has for them they are treading on the road to danger.

Unfortunately, that dangerous path usually leads to sex. Yep, that's right! Women that are looking for love often try to substitute sex. This is not a topic I like discussing. And I think it's because I was raised baptist. Modesty, purity and abstinence were taught. All definitely things I want to teach my children to uphold. But I think there is a danger in the desire to promote those virtues that allows them to be distorted. It's easy for those things to come across as negative, old fashioned and heavy handed. A very strict, secretive approach to sexuality can easily be twisted into an abnormal view of sex.

It seems it could easily lead to a desire or curiosity for pornography and strip clubs. The numbers of people that are reportedly dealing with pornography in the church are astounding. It could lead to a desire for romance novels and soap operas. I think it could also go the opposite direction and lead to total sexual repression and destroy the ability to have a healthy, normal sex life as God intended it. It isn't possible to have a Christ-honoring marriage without enjoying sex. If you don't believe me read 1 Corinthians 7!

As my kids are being exposed to sexual content from a variety of sources - and there is no way to avoid that- I am even more convinced of the importance of teaching my kids a biblical, balanced, healthy view of sexuality with openness, dialogue and some humor.

I just got Family Life's Passport to Purity. It's a weekend you take your same sex child away and go through lessons dealing with the physical aspects, but also dating and purity. They encourage you to make it a big deal and a very special weekend. I like the idea of making it special and not a dirty, backroom type conversation. And it seems to teach from a very balanced perspective, openness does not supercede Biblical teaching. So I'm thinking I am going to try to do the first half of it with Jenna this winter. I want her to hear it from me, not her classmates!

I know that I need to teach my girls modesty but they need to know WHY. They need to know we aspire to modesty to glorify God and not to be legalists. They need to know that sex is created and sanctioned by God and is beautiful in marriage. They should know that purity is not just a plus in your heaven requirements or something you do to keep from shaming your parents, but it's a reflection of our devotion to God and His love for us. Most importantly, they need to know that they can come to me with any question they have. I want them to know that they are accepted and loved no matter what.

Chances are you have already begun teaching these things, and I suppose in a way I already have too. But I want to be purposeful and diligent about it. They need to know the love of their heavenly Father and the security that brings. I've seen first hand the results of a life lived looking for love in all the wrong places and it's not pretty.

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