The three of us were all snuggled on the couch. I had one of you tucked under each arm and we were watching some Duke Blue Devils basketball before bedtime. This almost never happens: a) you never sit still this long, b) I never get to watch my team play. I was more than enjoying this moment, and then there was a commercial break.
Suddenly there was before our eyes a man and a woman kissing quite passionately. Things were taken further and the man took the woman’s shirt off and we could see her naked back. They were (and I hate this term) heavily petting. I searched frantically for the remote and could not find it anywhere. I considered doing jumping jacks in front of the TV to distract you, but it didn’t matter – you were both locked in and had seen all of it. Why is it that you never pay attention when I want you to, but the exact moment I would like you to be otherwise occupied, you are zoned in?
The questions started. “What were they doing? Why did he take her shirt off? Why were they doing that?” The fact that the commercial was for cologne was lost on all of us. I really didn’t know what to say and so I found myself saying this: “I’m sorry, boys. I’m so sorry that you saw that.”
The fact of the matter is, I am sorry. We were enjoying a basketball game – at 7:15 in the evening – and sex was right in our faces. You boys are not quite 2 and 4-years-old. I have read the statistics, I have seen the reports – the number of sexual images you are projected to see before you reach adulthood is staggering and scary.
God made you, as boys and one day men, to be very visual beings and that’s a good thing. I am sorry that Satan takes the fact that you are visual and uses it against you every chance he gets. I am sorry that sex sells and it will be sold everywhere. I am sorry that you will experience more peer pressure when it comes to sex than any other issue. I am so sorry that holding on to your purity will be one of the biggest fights of your life.
As your mother, I am committed to do everything I can to help you grow from boys to men. I want you to be men after God’s own heart. The Bible talks repeatedly about fleeing from sexual immorality and lust. There is a reason for this. When I tell you not to touch the stove while I’m cooking, I do so because I know that you will be burnt if you do. Likewise, when you are lost in lust and sexual immorality (sex outside of marriage, pornography, etc.) you will get burned. But beware, the world will tell you that there is nothing wrong with lust, they will encourage sexual immorality. Our culture will tell you that you are not a man until you have lost your virginity and will applaud you when you do. I am here to say that the world is wrong. God does not warn us over and over again about the dangers of sexual immorality just because He doesn’t want us to have fun. He mentions it throughout the Bible because He wants what is best for us and he wants to protect us. I would be a horrible mother if I let you lay your hand down on a hot stove burner. Would you trust God if He didn’t warn you about things that could have major consequences your life?
While I am sorry that this is a battle that you will have to fight over and over again, I am not sorry for doing all that I can to shelter you and protect you while you are being raised in my home. I am not sorry that devices will be password protected and certain shows will not be watched on our TV. I am not sorry that we will have uncomfortable conversations about sex because I always want you to feel that we can talk about these things. I am not sorry that I will not let you off the hook when it comes to pornography and I refuse to succumb to the ‘boys will be boys’ mentality in this regard. I am not sorry that you will be angry with me at times for not being as lenient as other parents. I know that I will receive flak for having unrealistic expectations and being ‘out-of-touch’ or old-fashioned, but I am willing to handle all of that. I love you and it is my job as your parent to build the strongest foundation that I can for you so that you will one day be able to make positive decisions on your own behalf.
I don’t want to be all doom and gloom here, guys. There are two big things that I want you to know. First, this is not a new phenomenon. I’ve already said that these issues were mentioned many times in the Bible. That means that people have been dealing with lust from the beginning. While technology has made things much more accessible, the issues remain the same. Not only that, but Christ came to help us overcome all of this. You can win this battle, but it is not going to be easy.
Secondly, this is not just an issue that affects boys and men. It may not affect girls in quite the same way, but our sexualized culture absolutely damages them as well. You see, I am a girl. I have been and continue to go through this. Girls are faced with feelings of inadequacy and lack of self-worth. They ask themselves why they can’t look like that woman, why they can’t measure up to that level of sexuality. The fact is, it is all a myth. These advertisements are a myth, pornography is a myth. No one will ever measure up to those standards because they themselves don’t exist.
Those girls that are dealing with this issue, they have Moms and Dads that are just as concerned about them as we are of you. They have parents who are bound and determined to raise them and shelter them from our sexualized culture, who work night and day to make sure that their daughters do not buy in to the fake ideals the world projects. Their parents are praying that there will be good men left in this world to one day marry their daughters – be those men.
This is good news, boys! I know many of these parents. Like me, they pray constantly that their children will grow up and cling to God’s Word. Their commitment to raising godly sons and daughters is unwavering. You will find friends who are committed to leading a life of faith and you will one day find a girl who will make you realize why it was all worth it. I promise you when this day comes, you will be thankful that God warned you not to put your hand on the hot stove.
Let me leave you with this: you will not be fighting our sexualized culture on your own. No matter what happens, your father and I love you very much. If you stumble and fall, we will be right here to pick you up. More importantly, your Heavenly Father is always ready and willing to wrap you up in His grace and forgiveness.
Stay strong, boys. Stay strong.