I’ve been thinking about all the sexual harassment and abuse we’ve be inundated with for the past few months and trying to put together a meaningful take on it. I know that no matter what I’m going to say will offend some folks, while others will completely understand and support my thinking. I don’t like rejection, which is why I have difficulty submitting any of my work for publication. I’m generally a nice person who doesn’t like to make enemies, but these are some of my thoughts.
Ever since the 1960’s sexual revolution, when women burned they bras, because they refused to be encumbered by anything, we’ve seen a lack of modesty. Over the decades this death of innocence has become the norm. Young girls in their tweens are wearing clothing that accentuates their blossoming bodies and think nothing of it. Virtue, humility, demureness are words seldom acknowledged today.
At the same time, young boys are exposed to half dressed, voluptuous women in the movies, on TV, on the internet and at their schools. Things that were taboo at the turn of the twentieth century are appropriate today. Bank tellers, cashiers, news reporters, women in business have no qualms about wearing revealing clothing in the workplace. It too has become the norm.
The family unit has changed radically over time. Often children have more than two parents. Many times, there is only one parent laying the ground work. In any case, the children are getting mixed messages on how they should behave.
Fathers have taken on a different role as well. They used to be the spiritual leaders, sole bread winners, disciplinarians, counselors, and providers of a financial future for their family. Today dads are often not even in the picture.
I have totally digressed from my intended topic, but I feel all of this has a bearing on the events taking place all across our land. How we teach our children to respect themselves and others will determine how they behave in the future. Parents have them under their roofs for such a short time, but in that time they’re behavior is being shaped.
Most importantly, it’s up to the parent/s to be the role model for their children. Unfortunately kids don’t come with an instruction manual and often parenting is a matter of learning as you go. Here are things that we should be talking with our children about as soon as they can understand.
- ThGod is the head of the family and He should be shown the respect He deserves.
- Modesty – they will imitate what you wear, by the way, because you are their hero.
- Respect for parents, self and others.
- Manners should be reintroduced into the curriculum for child rearing.
- The should learn what is inappropriate behavior from others, including words and touch.
- Talk about sexual immorality.
- Encourage your children to vocalize their fears, their uncomfortable feelings, their misconceptions, their ability to trust.
- Keep the lines of communication open all the time – I’m talking face to face. Build that relationship early on.
- Be available, encourage, give them the tools they need to deal with social issues
Here are some Bible passages that might help.
1 Peter 3:3-4 talks about modesty. Phillipians 2:3 refers to respect. Regarding sexual immorality refer to 1 Corinthians 6:18. Exodus 20:12 and Romans 12:12 talks about honoring others.
It’s hard to imagine that we’re raising a clone, but actually that’s what happening in those 18 years of their lives. Their first hero is their parent. You are setting the bar. Are you living up to your responsibility?