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Archive for June, 2013

teenagersI will never forget the mom and professional church worker who told me she hoped her sons and daughters would practice safe sex.   We were serving together on a life task force and, during lunch break, she confided, “I raised them to be chaste . . . I want them to wait for marriage.  But, once they started college, I encouraged them to use protection because, after all, they’re sexual, too, and I’m scared to death they’re going to be like everyone else.”

I remember the grandma who toured our local pregnancy center.  She thought the best thing parents could do for their daughters was to get them on The Pill so they wouldn’t need a pregnancy test.

Then there was the single father who raised his daughter to believe in Jesus, but made sure she had the Gardasil shot and was using birth control.  “I know what I was like at her age and I know she’s just going to sleep around so I have to look out for her.”

And there was the pastor who told me that he’s taken some girls from his congregation for abortions because “their parents wouldn’t be supportive of an unplanned pregnancy.”  These girls are “just going to do it,” he explained.  “They can’t help it . . . so I need to be there for them.”

Can’t help it?  What does this say about the way adults view children?

Children are sinful human beings born into a love-to-sin-world.  Do we say, “My child is a sinner.  It’s just who he is, so I’m going to help him lie, cheat, and steal with the least amount of damage.”  Is this how God sees children?  Is this how He helps them?

When we don’t see children the way God does, then our mentoring role in their lives is compromised.

Yes, children are sinful… just like their parents and grandparents.  But baptized in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, God sees us as His adopted sons and daughters in Christ.  Jesus won for God’s children the privilege of becoming heirs of the heavenly kingdom.  This not only bestows value but defines purpose.

Identity matters!  Our sons and daughters are not “sexual from birth” as Planned Parenthood sees them.  They are not captive to instincts and desires.  They are persons created more in the image of God than the image of wolves and rabbits.     To see children as God does is to realize they are more than flesh and blood but spirit and, because they are spirit, every choice they make will take them either closer to — or farther from — God.

It is the children who suffer when we fail to see them as God does.  Expectations for their purpose and behavior are lowered.  Their future appears grim.

Identity matters.  And, because it does, my grandchildren need me to remind them of what happened at the baptismal font.  Their baptism “is an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers having been subjected to Him” (1 Peter 3:21-22).  I can literally tell my grandchildren that their Lord and Savior rules!  This means that someday, when they are teenagers, they won’t have to be subject to raging hormones or made foolish by lack of judgment.  In remembering who they are, they will know the source of their wisdom and strength.  This will affect their choices and behavior.  But that’s not all.

When boys and girls see themselves the way God does, the way they view each other will improve.   Relationships will take on new meaning.  Think about it.  If boys see themselves in light of their baptism as sons of God and girls see themselves as daughters of God, then all baptized people become brothers and sisters in Christ.

Can you imagine?  I mean, really!   Can you imagine the impact this would have on high school and college campuses… at the beach… in the workplace… around the neighborhood… and for society as a whole?

I can.  And it renews my hope.

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Christian young womanThis government has failed to defend our daughters and granddaughters.

With its blessing of Planned Parenthood, this administration embraced a profiteering assembly line dangerous to women and fatal for children.  Now, the administration has decided not to fight a judge’s ruling to allow girls of any age to get the morning-after-pill over the counter – with or without parental permission.  Shame on this administration.

In fact, shame on us all – parents, grandparents and the Church – for approving pills, shots, and devices for our girls instead of providing boundaries, long-term mentoring, and truth about their bodies, minds, and souls.

The young women in my life are worth defending.  Because I respect them as persons, I lovingly tell them the truth.  It is for this reason that I vow to continue mentoring privately in my home, one on one, and publicly through Titus 2 Retreats.  I begin with an apology for the women of my generation who were deceived during a silly season of feminist fantasies.  Today, those fantasies are the social norm for our daughters and granddaughters.  The mantra hasn’t skipped a beat: Men and women are just the same.  But, no matter how a feminist might want to manage, minimize or manipulate the female body, she cannot fool the Master Designer.

Our daughters are not the same as our sons.  Girls are influenced by oxytocin.  This hormone produces a warm, cuddly feeling with the touch or kiss of a boy.  Oxytocin is great for married women who want to bond with their husbands, but not so great for 16-year-olds.  Girls are not ready for sexual intimacy.  Their pre-frontal cortex, the thinking and decision-making part of their brain, is not fully developed and ready for dependable use until the late teens or early twenties.  Girls have a sensitive ecosystem.  The cervix plays a vital role in female sexual health, but can actually increase a girl’s vulnerability to sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) because it, too, is undeveloped.  A mature cervix can better guard against infection with its layers of 20-30 cells, but an immature cervix has only one layer of cells.  Might this be the reason why girls under the age of twenty are hit hardest by the STD epidemic, most especially HPV and Chalmydia?  (HPV can cause cervical cancer.  Chalmydia can cause pelvic inflammatory disease, ectopic pregnancies, miscarriages, and infertility.)  A girl’s cervix is easily penetrable and becomes a nesting place for nasty bugs whose single purpose is to multiply.

So, when our government and the laws of this land disregard the science of our daughters’ anatomy to instead guarantee them access to the morning-after-pill, how must parents with the support of the Church respond?  We should confess our own failures and then press boldly forward to defend those entrusted to our care.

It is to moms and dads that God entrusts children.  God does not leave parents ill-equipped but gives them everything they need in His Word.  The Church is to support parents in their courageous endeavor.  Shamefully, it is parents who have handed over their mentoring responsibility to government schools.  Every day, in public schools across the country, the government educates our children in sex.  Shamefully, parochial schools assist busy or overwhelmed parents by wrapping Jesus around government-produced sex-ed material.  But whether in a public or parochial classroom, talking a great deal about sex and encouraging a child’s celebration of sexuality has sure and certain consequences for vulnerable bodies and minds lacking maturity of judgment.

The government, confident in its role of educator, also sees itself as problem-solver.   Shamefully, fearful parents entrust their daughters to government-funded industries such as Planned Parenthood and chemical companies who produce the before-sex-pill, the after-sex-pill, the just-in-case-shot, and the use-it-and-be-safe-device.

God did not give to government the role of parenting.  Government has no personal, vested interest in helping girls be patient for love while their bodies mature and their brains kick in gear.  Government was instituted by God to guard life and the pursuit of right things, make safe the highways and byways, and stand against enemies of the state.  An amoral government has more interest in perpetuating itself rather than the people it was instituted to serve.

The government and courts of law have a voice.  They can mandate a policy or a procedure.  But they have no hands to pick up the pieces, no arms to hold the sick and dying, no way to nurture relationships, no heart and soul to comfort the brokenhearted and hopeless.

Parents and grandparents have a voice, too.  With informed voice, we must dare to speak truth even at risk of being labeled intolerant or judgmental.  And, while we speak, we can do what no government can do.  We can use our hands to lead away from danger, our arms to embrace the confused and fearful, our homes as safe places to mentor and nurture relationships, our hearts to love unconditionally, and our souls to bring hope in the midst of hopelessness.

Note: I highly recommend Unprotected and You’re Teaching My Child What?
by Miriam Grossman, M.D.

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boy scout pledgeA Boy Scout learns how to survive in the wilderness.  Trained correctly, he can sense danger and steer himself and others clear.  But when faulty ideologies reconfigure the training ground, a young man’s moral sense is compromised.

Adults who should know better can boast, “Look at what we’ve done!  We broke new trail for young men!”   But this trail most definitely leads off the edge of a cliff.

Why would anyone want to tamper with moral behavior and remove boundaries put in place for the human good?  Jesus said, “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him if a great millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea” (Mark 9:42).

There is little that influences society more than mentoring a boy to be a man.  Dennis Prager writes,

Wise cultures have learned that happiness is attained only when we conquer our nature . . . Historically, societies and parents have always known it’s a good thing to teach boys to control aspects of their male nature – their sexual desires and their predilection for violence.  Decent men were taught from youth to touch a woman sexually only with her permission and to channel physical aggression into sports or into helping fight evil by joining the police force or military.  Men who didn’t learn to control these aspects of male nature not only became bad men, but unhappy men.” (“Wanted by women: A few good old-fashioned men,” The Washington Times 6/30/08)

When a scout questions his male nature, how will his troop leader respond?   Will he help the young man practice self-control?  Will he remind the scout of his pledge to “do my duty to God . . .”?  And, if so, what god will he be pledging to?  Here he faces the most dangerous cliff of all.

Defined as a “sexual being,” a boy may be tempted to give himself freedoms that God does not; to trust his own reason and desires; to, in fact, worship and serve self rather than God (Romans 1:24-25).  In time, sexual identity can influence everything… even the way a boy sees God.  When society redefines morality, identity and even the character of a Boy Scout, then it redefines God.  It will not just be young men who are in danger.  It will be all the others who fall into idolatry with them.

I’d like to believe that many young men, in doing their “duty to God,” have been encouraged to see themselves as God does.  God does not call a boy “gay” or “straight.”  He calls him “holy.”  Even in the midst of conflicting desires, God equips a boy to rise above self to Him and through Him resist dangerous attitudes and behaviors.  God says, you “will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work” (2 Tim. 2:21).  Identified this way, a young man can blaze a trail for himself and others away from danger.

What god does a boy pledge to — the Creator who made woman a “good fit” for man in the faithfulness of marriage, or the god who declares sexuality not a moral issue but a civil rights issue?  It matters.  It matters a lot because a god in our own image is no god at all.  Such a god cannot help any boy navigate the wilderness of life.

Foolishness is tampering with marriage.  Now it threatens another institution.  God did not establish the Boy Scouts, to be sure, but He did establish the boundaries of morality and character.  He does not give us license to do as we please.  He does not make square pegs to fit in round holes.  He does not delight in a boy’s frustration and misery.  But He does offer wisdom and strength to change… or practice self-restraint.  Only the God of all creation enters the chaos of this world to bring order and goodness to life.

New trail for scouting may have been broken, but it leads off the cliff.  Rather than sinning against God and all that is holy, the most courageous thing a boy might do is to turn away to a trail less traveled.  Separate from the pack.  Together with dad, grandpa, and men of faith, set safer course.

P.S.  Looking for a collection of outdoor adventures and character building supplies?  I highly recommend Vision Forum.

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Boy scout logoThe Boy Scouts now allow homosexual boys to participate fully in its programs.

What does this mean?

Weren’t all boys always welcomed into the Boys Scouts?  Weren’t all boys invited to be morally trained in courage, tenacity, community service, trustworthiness, and good citizenship?  Weren’t all boys equally mentored to develop character and skills that honor God, country, and neighbor?

Has there ever been a time when a Boy Scout had to declare himself a heterosexual?

Who turns the heads of boys to think they must demand their rights to sexual preference?  Is sexual identity a pre-cursor to responsible citizenship?  In the name of common sense, we’re talking about children here!

Sexual identity rules the day… even for a Boy Scout.   Alfred Kinsey would be proud.  He’s the one who coined the phrase we’ve heard over and over again: “Children are sexual from birth.”  Prior to Kinsey, no one ever referred to children as being “sexual” or inferred that they enjoyed or responded pleasurably to a sexual experience.   Prior to the 1950s, a child was never defined as “sexual” except in the mind of a predator or pedophile.

A Boy Scout pledges on his honor to do his best “to do my duty to God and my country . . . to help other people at all times . . . to keep myself physically strong, mentally awake and morally straight.”  What does it mean to honor God who never once identifies children as “sexual beings?”

God calls boys and girls by name.  He entrusts children to moms and dads within the faithfulness of marriage so that they won’t be mistreated by those who do not see them as He does.  To guard their personhood, God sets children apart from animals who are captive to instincts and bound to do whatever it is they do.  Honoring God, boys are equipped to mature into self-controlled men who rise above selfish interests.

In a sin-drenched world, boys battle sinful natures and the distortion of identity.  But a boy who is baptized is a son of God in Christ.  He is not defined as sexual, but holy.  He is not common, but uncommon.  He is not slave to the weakness of body, but strong of spirit.

Baptized or not, we are all – beginning in the womb of our mothers – both body and spirit.  Our bodies will change, but our spirits will live forever – either with God or apart from Him.  Spiritual identity matters for eternity.

So here is my plea to the Christian community: Do not hide behind choice words like “tolerance” or “compassion.”  Linger no longer in organizations shape-shifted by humanist ideologies.  Take a stand for the sake of boys who journey to manhood.  Treat them not as slaves to themselves, but as heirs of a Kingdom not of this world.

P.S.  Fathers, grandfathers and pastors interested in alternatives to the Boy Scouts might visit Vision Forum.  This ministry offers exciting resources to mentor godly young men.

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