Once featured on Larry King Live was the review of a ‘Baby Pageant’ – a beauty pageant for young girls. The participants were from 3 months to about 7 years old and they had to undergo all the beauty therapy preparations adults would go through, polishing themselves up for a contest. With the increase in paedophilia and the rise in the campaign against child abuse, one wonders at the reasoning behind exposing young children to such adult scrutiny.
The world we live in is full of data showing different statistics on increased levels of teenage pregnancy, violence and drug abuse. Premarital sex is considered a norm and as such condoms are handed out in schools in certain countries, in an attempt at preventing pregnancy and STDs. A recent article in a UK newspaper featured an article advocating for 13-year-olds to be encouraged to become sexually active, in order to boost their self confidence.
Sensuality has become the order of the day. Movies, music (lyrics and videos) and fashion that are devoid of sensuality are considered boring. It has become common place to find overt sexual themes in cartoons. Our children are bombarded with concepts and ideas that pale in the light of Sodom and Gomorrah! The sweet, joyful sound of innocent toddlers and juniors playing safely in public parks and quiet streets has given way to the sensual gyrations of children at all sorts of parties, writhing to the graphic tunes of modern day entertainment.
What is our world coming to? Where are we headed?
There is a deliberate attempt to rob our children of innocence and thereby prevent them from connecting with God. “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” (Matthew 5:8, KJV) There is therefore an urgent need for us to rise up and raise a generation of light bearers – leaders who will stand as light in this Dark Age. We must all raise a cry for the redemption of our land and the restoration of innocence. We must teach our children the purity of sex, as designed by God so that they are empowered to stand against the affront of compromised standards of behaviour which they witness on a daily basis.
We all know the saying – knowledge is power. A clear understanding of sex, for instance, will empower our children with the tools necessary to withstand societal pressure to engage in premarital sex. A number of parents have asked many questions: How do I start such a discussion? Where do I stop? What is too much information? At what age do I explain?
We are all familiar with the age ratings in movies. I am often amazed at the sexual content of movies tagged PG13. That tells me a number of things:
- The media assumes that almost all preteens are able to have boy/girl relationships.
- These relationships involve – at the very least – a kiss ever so often.
- These relationships are sanctioned by about 50% of the parents of the children concerned.
- By age 13, the media unofficially permits our children to explore their sexuality.
It is our God-given responsibility, as custodians of the precious gifts that our children are, to teach them the principles of the kingdom to which we belong. “Write these commandments that I’ve given you today on your hearts. Get them inside of you and then get them inside your children. Talk about them wherever you are, sitting at home or walking in the street; talk about them from the time you get up in the morning to when you fall into bed at night.” (Deuteronomy 6:6-7, The Message).
We need to teach our children the parameters in which sex is acceptable. This implies that we must have a good understanding of these parameters ourselves. Sex is – simply put – the coming together of a man and a woman, in a legal agreement to be fused into one for the rest of their lives. This agreement is sealed in blood – the breaking of the hymen in first intercourse. It is the continuous reminder that they are one body and as they find pleasure in one another, they are able to create godly seed.
Just as any legal document is binding only when all parties concerned have duly read and signed it in the presence of witnesses, sexual relations are permissible only after the parties have come into a binding agreement. Based on this simple definition, we can arrive at some conclusions:
- It is impossible to sanction premarital sex because the parties involved are not interested in a life-long relationship.
- Even when the parties involved are thinking of getting married sometime in the future, as long as they have not entered into a legal agreement (of course with witnesses et al) sexual relations are inappropriate.
- Same sex marriages are not sanctioned as the agreement cannot be brokered appropriately.
Teaching our children to understand their bodies, to recognise appropriate and inappropriate behavioural patterns among their peers and others (including adults) and to set personal boundaries for relationships, all form the bedrock of what is formally termed Sex Education.
Sex Education has become part of the international curriculum of schools world-wide – primary schools inclusive and as such teachers are now expected to teach Sex Education, using age appropriate language and guidelines. Medical practitioners are expected to educate their patients during consultations. Parents (believe it or not) are also expected to educate their children on such matters. “My son, obey your father’s commands and don’t neglect your mother’s instruction. Keep their words always in your heart. Tie them around your neck. When you walk, their counsel will lead you. When you sleep, they will protect you. When you wake up, they will advise you. For their command is a lamp and their instruction is a light; their corrective discipline is the way to life. It will keep you from the immoral woman, from the smooth tongue of the promiscuous woman.” (Proverbs 6:20-24, NIV).
About a year ago, my 9-year-old daughter asked, ‘Mum, what’s virginity?” She was reading a devotional that had a story about a 17-year-old girl who was being ridiculed because she was still a virgin. I was startled at first but immediately seized the opportunity to draw the male and the female organs and explain the changes that occur in puberty. I went on to explain the implication of ‘the marriage covenant sealed with the breaking of the hymen’. She then asked, ‘So why do people want to have sex before they get married, if their souls will be tied to so many people?’ I explained that they were ignorant of the true meaning and value of sex and that it was up to people like us who knew the truth to tell others about it.
Several opportunities will come our way as parents to teach our children the principles of the kingdom – especially with regards to sex and we must not shy away from giving them a clear understanding of its true meaning. Remember that it is the knowledge of the truth (God’s word) that sets us free, not good morals or high expectations. Empower your children to stand!