I have two boys. They are cute. They are cuddly. They love being silly. They love running around, wrestling, making guns out of legos and making airplanes out of plastic bottles. They love to be read too and they love to laugh. One is four years old. One is three. And one day (God willing), they will be 16 years old..... and one day they will discover girls.
They will discover girls are different and ‘girls are pretty’. And if we are being honest here, they will discover the effects these pretty little creatures can have on them... in more than one way.
Now, I wouldn’t consider myself to be an overly protective mother who wants to control my children’s lives, but neither am I willing to be an under-protective mother who wants to allow the ebb and flow of our culture to control my children’s lives particularly in the area of sex. Why, particularly in this area?
Because as a woman working in full time ministry, I have come face to face with the realities of what happens when men (and women) listen to the worlds rendition of ‘follow your heart’ or ‘follow your feelings’ allowing the fleeting pleasures of life to dictate the decisions they make. I have seen the heartbreak that occurs when a man has struggled with the temptation to click on that advertisement for Girls Gone Wild... because “what does it matter that I just look?” I have seen the pain, insecurity and emptiness it causes because ‘it’s okay since I’m just looking and not touching’ . I’ve seen the tears because although he bought her a ring, his eyes still find pleasure in checking out the woman wearing the culturally acceptable low-cut braless tight fitting blouse in the booth next to them. I have seen the tears in the eyes of a man who wants to stop looking at pornography but despite his best efforts, has succumb to his ‘need’ over and over and over again. And I have heard the stories of that slippery slope that has led to divorce.
This is a hot topic for me because I love marriage. I feel like I married a man who desires to not only protect our marriage, but protect my heart as well. And I want my boys to do the same for their future wives, God willing. I want my boys to love their wives enough to control where their mind wanders. I want my boys to value their wives enough to do whatever it takes to guard the vow they make at the alter... even if it means taking a baseball bat to their computer [Fireproof](because nothing on that piece of equipment is more important than their wife). I want my boys to enjoy their wives enough that they are willing to practice this insane idea of being faithful to them even with their eyes. And I don’t ever want my boys to feel the pain of divorce, the pain of knowing how badly they have hurt the one they loved, and the heartache of the inability to be pure before the Lord.
God is good and God redeems and God heals... but it is a painful process I pray that my boys will never experience.
So we begin now teaching our boys what is appropriate in God’s eyes. We begin teaching them now the importance of what they allow their little eyes to see. And we pray. We pray that they would recognize how much God loves them and because He loves them so much, He has given us instruction on how we should conduct ourselves, what we should allow our hearts and minds to dwell on and what we should allow ourselves to be a part of .... for their benefit, safety and joy. As one woman said, "Do I really think that my 7 yr old [for me, a 4 year old and a 3 year old] is being sexually tempted by what he’s seeing? Not really, but he is learning habits now that will make it easier to look away when the temptations are strong."
The other day I was reading through a blog titled Protecting Boys From Pornograpy. After she finished her post, she asked the readers what were some steps they were taking to protect their sons from the dangers of pornography. One of the comments stood out to me because it’s not just about teaching our boys... but it’s teaching our girls to help their brothers (both literally and figuratively).
After reading the Duggars book, we’re also working to teach our daughters to be advocates and help their brothers. We’re teaching them to dress modestly as well as a little trick to call out “nike” when they see a woman immodestly dressed in public. The boys learn to look down at their shoes quickly and avert their eyes. As summer approaches and clothing seems to become optional, it is not just digital media that can numb or ensnare our sons, but it can be the fellow shoppers at the grocery store, or even fellow visitors at the zoo and playgrounds. We must teach them to be vigilant and guard their eye gates in even the most “safe” places.
I thought, “wow, what a great perspective”. The bible says in 1 Corinthians 8:9 “But take care that this liberty of yours does not somehow become a stumbling block to the weak.” My daughter may be ‘model material’ when she grows up.... she may have that liberty to wear that shirt or that short skirt... the liberty to wear that bathing suit... But I pray she would strive to humbly put her brothers first (not just JT and Hudson but her brothers in Christ) and help them fight the battle of purity before the Lord. I pray that my little princess would be an advocate for her brothers and encourage them to see women in the way God created them - precious, valuable, honorable, and tender. I pray that she would battle herself to help them battle to keep pure for their future wives. I pray my daughter would be secure in her identity in Christ that she would want to honor God in her choice to put others above herself.
If you get a chance, I would encourage you to read Protecting Boys Against Pornography including the comments below it.