You got to read some of my pet peeves in my first Sex post. It irritates me that my children see lots of flesh when we’re standing in line to pay for our groceries. I’m concerned for my boys because they don’t need those images in their minds or the consequences that could follow, and my girl because I don’t want her to grow up comparing herself to those airbrushed, perfect bodies.
I told the story in this blog post about the day I went to buy my son a calendar. There right next to Spiderman and Strawberry Shortcake was a Playboy Calendar and the swimsuit models of Sports Illustrated. Yeah I know what sport was being illustrated! I asked the manager to move them and she seemed irritated when I told her I thought it was irresponsible of the store in their placing those particular calendars down low and mixed in with calendars for children and teens. She told me she’d check into it, and I finished my shopping. Right before I left the store, she found me and smilingly told me that the general manager was moving the calendars at that moment and thanked me for giving my input. I could have just stormed out of the store and boycotted Borders and wasted precious time and energy convincing others to do the same. I could have been shocked at a secular store doing secular things and shrugged it off as them being heathens. I could have done a lot of things, but I chose to confront the problem and politely ask for it to be rectified. I was polite and right in my concerns. I didn’t expect them not to sell that stuff in their store, but I did expect them to use common sense and not market flesh to children. That’s not just a “Christian thing” you know. Evidently the manager didn’t know about the shelf stocker’s particular placement of the calendars and agreed they should be moved. Even if they had decided not to move them, I felt better because I didn’t remain silent on the issue. I got good results for not being a jerk…this time.
I’ve moved stuff like that myself, and I’ve turned magazines around so the cover faces the back of the rack, but I think that saying something to the person in charge of that stuff is more effective because of the awareness it brings. Even if I’m the first person to say something, they know that sort of thing is not o.k. with everybody who sees it. God gave me a voice and courage to use it so I can bring about change in my world. Sounds official doesn’t it? He expects me to use it in love…that’s the key. Would the Borders manager have been spurred on to action if I had been a jerk to her? I think she saw me as a concerned parent and it made her think. Maybe she even wondered how she would have felt trying to protect little eyes from stuff like that. Maybe she was all about customer satisfaction and didn’t give me a second thought. I have no idea.
A few weeks ago, Benny took the kids to a health and fitness expo downtown. Max got to arm wrestle with the world champion arm wrestler. It was a cool day for them. When they got back to the car, there was a flyer under the windshield wiper advertising for a gentlemen’s club. Max asked Benny what it was for and Benny explained to him that it was a place where men go to look at women’s bodies, and that it made God sad. They had a short discussion about it and the seed was planted. I’m sure those conversations will continue, but right now his six year old mind doesn’t get it yet. He thinks that stuff is gross, and I pray that he holds that thought for life. It’s during those in-the-moment discussions I think our kids will learn about sexual purity.
How much damage has been done by adults that told their kids, “We’ll talk about it when you’re older” because they were too uncomfortable or didn’t know what to say? When kids ask, we better have an answer for them or they will get the answer from someone else; someone who might not have their best interest at heart. I learned “the ways of the world” the hard way. I won’t let my kids leave my home unprepared to face what they will confront. We just need to figure out how to tell them this stuff in an age appropriate way. Unfortunately, six is not too young in today’s world. I protect them from what I can, and I’m honest when they ask questions. It’s a start.
One last thing before I move on to adults tomorrow…
I read a funny story about a little boy who was at the doctor’s office with his mom. He was getting a physical done, and the Dr. had to check his privates. As soon as he touched him, the little boy yelled, “I’m going to tell an adult!” the doctor was shocked and the mother was embarrassed as she tried to explain to her son that it was o.k. and the doctor wasn’t going to hurt him. She said she was glad later that the lesson she had taught her son had sunk in. This story was only funny to me because it wasn’t me. I don’t want you or I to miss the point. Remaining silent on the sex issue is dangerous. We need to teach our kids that no one is allowed to see or touch their private parts…adults or other children. Don’t give me any of that crap about kids experimenting being harmless. Curiosity is normal, I get that, but there are kids touched by adults they trust, and some kids don’t know that it’s wrong…especially if they’ve never been told that it is. Kids that are touched themselves tend to touch other kids…see the cycle? Sexual abuse is nothing to be taken lightly. These things happen in some “Christian” homes too. Do you think Satan is not trying to work there?
Sexual abuse has been a generational sin in my family. I’m breaking that cycle of abuse. ALL of my aunts and uncles were abused, and my mom’s abuse effected how I was raised. Everything that I know and have experienced is effecting how I’m raising my own children. Talking with my mom about these things has been difficult, and she has been the best mom that she can be to me. I’m grateful for her openness. The abuse has continued into my generation, but it doesn’t have to go any further. Sometimes it’s hard for me to know how and when it is appropriate to talk about these things with my kids because they are so young. I haven’t had the luxury of it not coming to us from the outside like the instances I’ve already mentioned. My goal is to do the best I can to protect them and teach them a Godly lifestyle while living among those who don’t necessarily live that way whether they call themselves Christians or not. As a follower of Christ, we are not out of Satan’s reach, and he will test us, tempt us, and slaughter us or our witness when he gets the chance. This is too important of an issue for us to remain silent.
Next post: Sex is good…adults and temptation…and www.XXXchurch.com