20090415

Sex-Ed Is Not So Much TALK As It Is Modeled

My mother's sex-ed discussion was three-words long. I can remember as though it were yesterday. I was drying and putting away the dishes and somehow, "Good girls don't" blurted from her mouth. In silence, I continued putting the dishes away, and thought of all of the girls in school who did, and knew that she, in all her wisdom, missed the mark on this one. I thought of all the girls I knew who were on the Honor Roll, often with all A's. I thought of the cheerleaders who were good at throwing out cheers. I thought of girls who sang in the choir and put on the appearance of piety and respect. All of these girls were sexually active. And in honesty, this act did not make them what I'd consider to be bad people. In retrospect, they were good people who had liberal moral ethics, to put it politely. They had open relationships with their mothers and were provided birth control to prevent unplanned pregnancies. And yet, even though my mother gave me those three words to ponder through the years, I chose abstinence as my birth control, well into my 20s. The key word here is chose. I was taught the Word of God from an early age, and knew this was against God's plan for unmarried people. I saw what these active girls had to endure when relationships fell apart. I saw what missing a pill could create. As a border-line germaphobe, the thought of contracting a disease was more than I cared to risk. I chose abstinence because I wanted to get a degree more than I wanted to change diapers. My mother had a child later in life, and that was as close to motherhood that I wanted to get as a young teen. I enjoyed being an aunt; but, motherhood was not on my radar. I enjoyed my life and I didn't panic if my irregular cycle didn't show up. But, I truly don't believe sex-ed has to be taught, as much as it has to be lived. Having two adult children of my own, I didn't have a sit-down-and-talk lesson with them. I had an ongoing, as the occasion put forth, dialogue with them. If I saw something, or heard something immoral I didn't hesitate to point out why that was ultimately destructive to their well-being. I made clear from the start, that music with vulgar or offensive lyrics would not be welcomed in my listening field. I made clear that any songs on the PC that I didn't like the title would be deleted without warning. I knew that I couldn't stop them from listening; but, I could, as the owner of the PC decide what was on it. This understanding started when they were still moldable. I learned through the years that they modeled my behavior. If I enjoyed a certain genre of music, they began to enjoy it, too. I made it clear that Nintendo games that had violent overtones wouldn't be welcomed. I made it clear that I wanted to live a God-centered life and wanted that for them as well. I taught them that sex outside of marriage was not God's best plan for them. I told them of the costliness of parenthood and let them know that as long as they couldn't take care of themselves, they shouldn't consider trying to take care of someone else. The bottom line on this discussion is that parents can't be alcoholics and think their children won't grow up with beer cans in their hands, too. A mother can't bring men in and out of her bed and think that her daughters won't grow up with this promiscuous lifestyle as well. It's said that an apple doesn't fall far from the tree. What you believe is okay, your kids will believe is okay. If you don't have clear ground rules set, step by step, then they will adopt the ground rules set forth by Hollywood and music entertainers. Let's face it, leaving television and MTV to teach our youth morality is irresponsible and equally risky business that will most likely leave them on the losing end of what God's best plan for their life is. My children will never be able to come to me and try to justify living with someone outside of marriage, or being involved in a pre-marital affair; because, they know from the word go where I stand on these issues based on my own personal lifestyle. I've taught them that playing with fire will eventually burn you. And I've never been shy about giving them real-life experiences to prove my point. And the bottom line on this topic always is: You can't alter God's commands and expect Him to be okay with it. It's not going to happen. He has a Divine Order: Marriage first; then sex. Anyone who says that's not realistic should talk to God about that.