The Top 10 Reasons to Do Sex-Ed at Home . . . #2

defiant girl“Because I said so!”  How many of us recall those words from an exasperated parent during our formative years?  I do.  Mom or Dad would tell me to complete an undesirable task (cut the grass, clean my room, dry the dishes) and my pre-compliant response was, “Why?”  In my childish sin nature I wasn’t really seeking a rational motivation for doing the task . . . I was simply stalling, resisting or hoping to avoid it altogether.  And if my parents initially attempted to answer my “why” with a logical explanation, I always had a counterargument to delay my compliance and eventually prompt those discussion-ending four words: “Because I said so!”

God has His own version of “Because I said so!”  But unlike my beleaguered parents, God was not speaking out of frustration when He gave us clear instructions for raising our children according to His moral laws . . . He told us what, not why; He does not owe us an explanation.  This brings us to reason #2 for conducting sex education at home: Because God said so . . . in familiar Scriptures such as these:

These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts.  Impress them on your children.  Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. (Deuteronomy 6:6-7)

Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it. (Proverbs 22:6)

Clearly God expects His people to teach their children His moral laws . . . including the laws governing His gift of sex.  And those laws aren’t all “Thou shalt nots” . . . there are plenty of positive commands about marital love and sex that contribute to fulfilling intimacy.  It takes time—about 18 years’ worth—to instill the myriad biblical standards in our children in age-appropriate layers before they leave the nest. Family-Praying

Certainly homeschooling families can readily integrate this daily holistic character training. And I am not suggesting that non-homeschooling Christian parents keep their children away from reproductive biology classes in school; the point is that God intends the moral context for sexuality—and everything else—to be taught within the family.  Keep in mind that many institutional sex-ed programs—especially in public schools— promote sinful behavior (more about that in a future post).  Thus Christian parents must be vigilant, informed and ready to counter ungodly messages when the kids get home.  For some families it may be wiser to “opt out” their children from these lessons than to be constantly doing damage control.

Occasionally God does reference a reward for obeying His commands or a consequence for disobeying them.  However, our compliance should flow from the knowledge that our loving Creator’s laws are for our benefit.  He deserves our unswerving trust and provides everything we need to carry out sex education at home.

Trust and obey, for there’s no other way
To be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.
Sammis & Towner, 1887

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The Top 10 Reasons to Do Sex-Ed at Home . . . #1

As America shifts further away from her Judeo-Christian roots and values, God-fearing parents may be feeling overwhelmed and dispirited by the broadening social acceptance of sexual sin in its many forms.  Twerking, sexting, same-sex marriage (now legal in 17 states as of this writing), government-mandated health insurance coverage for birth control & abortion . . . these are just some of the recent high-profile issues coming at us so fast that it’s hard for even the most motivated, informed parents to keep up.  These developments may lead some folks to think home-based sex-ed isn’t effective or that they’re not up to the task.  But I contend that the opposite is true—that home-based sex education is needed more than ever.  Therefore I am beginning a series of posts to help explain why and to encourage parents to do it: The Top Ten Reasons to Do Sex Education at Home.  Today’s post lays out reason # 1 . . . because you CAN.  Looking at each other - compressed

Over the years I have spoken to numerous moms and dads who doubted they could carry out sexual instruction for their children.  Here are 4 common factors that undermined their confidence followed by my assurances that insecure parents CAN conduct sex-ed at home anyway.

A. They’re embarrassed.  Despite the openness and explicitness of our sex-saturated culture, many adults are squeamish about talking to their children about sex.  This is often due to how sex was discussed, or not discussed, during their own upbringing.  It can be overcome with encouragement and practical advice from other experienced parents and faith-based sex-ed resources.  God helps us in our weaknesses, and even secular research1 confirms that parental comfort levels do not affect the quality of those parent child-discussions.

B. They believe they don’t know enough.  To these dear folks I say, “If you’ve been through puberty, and you know how your children were conceived, and you know that God created sex exclusively for marriage between a man & a woman, then you know enough biology and theology to begin sex-ed.

C. They believe the world will undo their efforts.  This fear is understandable as sexual sin becomes more ubiquitous, glamorized, and even codified into law.  And opting out of secular sex-ed programs at school is not always easy or practical.  But again, recent studies demonstrate that parents still carry the most influence in their children’s lives, and that children prefer to receive sex education from their parents.2  Research also shows a correlation between parent disapproval of premarital sex and the delay/deterrence of teen sexual debut.3

D. They have a “tainted past”  Prior to marriage many Christian parents engaged in—and now regret—extramarital sex.  They want to promote biblical virtue, but they worry about their kids finding out about their past sexual sin. Being labeled a “hypocrite” by their children is one of their most paralyzing fears.  However, just as cigarette/drug prevention presentations feature former addicts to steer youngsters away from these substances, parental honesty about sexual regrets/consequences can be powerful motivation for children not to repeat their folks’ mistakes.  Furthermore Scripture assures parents that the moral failures of one generation will not necessarily be repeated in the next: “Amon . . . did evil in the eyes of the Lord . . . And Josiah his son succeeded him as king . . . he did what was right in the eyes of the Lord.” 2 Kings 21: 19–26 to 2 Kings 22: 2.  Even parents who married as virgins sometimes have young adult children who rebel against God’s plan.  He calls us to be faithful, not successful . . . we are to teach God’s plan for sex in spite of our foibles.  The results are between God and our adult children.  FatherDaughtercompressed

FOOTNOTES

1. Binkley, L., Frey, R., & Violant, M. (2007). Sex communication between mothers and daughters. Paper presented at the conference of the National Communication Association, Chicago, IL.

2. Heisler, J. M. (2005). Family communication about sex: Parents and college-aged offspring recall discussion topics, satisfaction, and parental involvement. The Journal  of Family Communication, 5(4), 295-312.

Isaacs, A. (2007). The influence of family on adolescent sexual behavior. Paper presented at the conference of the National Communication Association, Chicago, IL.

Kirby, D. (2001) Understanding what works and what doesn’t in reducing adolescent sexual risk-taking. Family Planning Perspectives, 33, 276-281.

3. Isaacs, A. (2007). The influence of family on adolescent sexual behavior. Paper presented at the conference of the National Communication Association, Chicago, IL.

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More Wisdom from the Greeting Card Aisle

I’m baaaaaack!  My 6-month absence was the result of two things: assisting my mom through a major life change & switching to a new internet provider that promptly dropped my blog recipients’ email lists. . . their reconstruction was quite time-consuming.

In regard to sex ed, much has happened on federal, state & local levels since my last post, which means plenty of fodder for commentary here in the months ahead!  For now, my restart is “going local” to ease back into the blogosphere.  Greeting card sex-ed truthYou may recall a 2012 post about a greeting card that caught my attention because of its wry take on modern courtship: http://www.hearttohearttalks.com/Blog/?p=433    Well, Hallmark’s “Shoebox” division has done it again; they have humorously portrayed an observable truth about human nature . . . that boys & girls view things very differently.  As our modern culture exposes children to inappropriate sexual material at younger & younger ages,  stereotypes and distorted messages about male/female relationships are passed along too . . . like the ones shown on the right.  A few folks might blame Disney princess movies  for the little girl’s idealism.  Others might dismiss as normal (or cute) the boy’s reference to the little girl as a set of (future) mammary glands.  Both characters represent countless real life children I’ve known who have picked up these problematic perceptions and carried them well into adulthood.

The card suggests that “the trouble”, e.g. the battle of the sexes, begins with this early childhood disparity.  But it actually begins far earlier . . . we’re born with a sin nature that is inclined toward trouble of all kinds.  God-fearing parents are instructed in Scripture to raise their children to follow His ways.  Deuteronomy 6:6-7 makes clear how important and continuous this task is: “These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts.  Impress them on your children.  Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.”

Some parents cringe when they attend my sex-ed seminars and hear me insist that toddlers should be learning the clinical names of their intimate body parts at home. . . along with how God made males & females different,  equal, and infinitely valuable  in His sight.  But if we don’t communicate “early & often” in biological terms that convey respect for our own bodies, and if we fail to share God’s plan for relationships, then the culture will transmit false messages to our children first and gain a head start in influence.  It’s more difficult for mom & dad to correct bad information in a child’s mind than to inoculate him/her with proper knowledge . . . in other words, when it comes to sex, Christian parents need to “get first dibs on the spin” so their children won’t uncritically absorb degrading or unrealistic views of what it means to be male & female.

 

 

 

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Libert Meets Liebster

Fellow blogger “Manoah’s Wife” ( http://manoahswife.wordpress.com/ ) recently tagged me for a “Liebster Award.”  While not quite the Pulitzer Prize, I’m happy to accept it as a resume enhancement and potential stepping stone toward publication and the big PP for my sex education book.

The sole qualification for receiving the Liebster: have an established blog with fewer than 200 followers.   Then, on a blog post, recipients must provide brief autobiographical information and answer a series of questions.   The Liebster is a fun way to help readers discover more “good reads” online.

Okay, here I go . . . Libert-meets-Liebster!   Computer keyboard with pink Help key

• My hunky husband & I have been joyfully honeymooning for 33 years so far.

• I’m finding the “empty nest years” bittersweet . . . I’m happy for the career success my 3 beloved adult daughters have achieved, but they live so far away.

• I have an extensive background in education as a classroom teacher (public & private schools), private tutor (college board test prep), and home-schooling mom (3 daughters from birth to high school level graduation, all subjects)

• I have been a professional speaker since 1995 on topics such as sex education, how to homeschool, how to get homeschoolers into college and how to be an effective public communicator. My mission is to uphold the Biblical framework for personal virtue, strong families & savvy citizenship

• After my daughters finished college, I earned a master’s degree online . . . who says “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks?”

• I’d give up chocolate but I’m no quitter

• I’m a news & talk radio junkie, artist, photographer and perpetual tomboy . . . I still bike-ride, climb trees (during apple-picking season), and play soccer in a weekly women’s league with folks 10-30 years my junior . . . hey an empty-nesting mom must work hard to keep her figure!

liebster-blog-award gold trophy

Questions for the Tagged:
1. If you could choose one fictional creature to be your pet/animal companion, which would you choose and why?  Pegasus, the winged horse (AFTER it’s been tamed by Athena).  Why?  Because he’s beautiful, fast, efficient, economical, “green” transportation.  No sitting in traffic jams, no air pollution, no gasoline to buy, no road tolls, no car insurance, no expensive repairs or flat tires, no need for GPS . . . He’s “self-maintaining” . . . and how about those spectacular panoramic aerial views en route to my destinations?

2. Name a favorite moment of yours from any movie released in the 1980s and explain why.  Chariots of Fire!  I love the moment when Eric Liddell sums up his daily dynamic relationship with God: “I believe God made me for a purpose, but he also made me fast. And when I run I feel His pleasure.”  This crystallized my understanding of Colossians 3:23 and of the gifts God has given me.

3. If you had to be chased by some hostile fictional creature or character, through a fictional landscape, which ones would you choose and why?  The White Witch of Narnia can chase me through the “Blue Lagoon” (or any other tropical paradise).  I don’t tolerate cold weather very well and her domain is “always winter, but never Christmas.”  She cannot ultimately harm me because of Aslan, so I’ll always escape.

4. In-N-Out, Five Guys, or Chik-Fil-A?  Definitely Chik-Fil-A . . . why? Two words: “waffle fries!”

5. Name a song you really like from a musical genre you don’t generally like and explain why this one works for you.   “God Bless the USA”, by Lee Greenwood. Normally I’m not a country music fan, but this 1984 song helped me (& countless other Americans) rally emotionally after the terror attacks on September 11th, 2001.

6. What is, in your opinion, the best portrayal(s) of the Elves/Fair Folk/Faeries in film?  Multiple choices are permitted, but you must say why you think your choices are so good.  I loved the floppy velvet beret-wearing chief elf Bernard (and the rest of the North Pole toy-makers) in “The Santa Clause” (1994) starring Tim Allen.  Looking like he just stepped out of a Renaissance painting, Bernard appeared quite Machiavellian in his lavish attire, suited to his station as Santa’s top advisor.  His diminutive colleagues were portrayed as cute, loveable, hardworking, happy children with distinct personalities.

7. What was the last black-and-white film you saw, and what did you think of it? Sergeant York! This bio-pic is one of my all-time favorite B&Ws.  So many inspiring elements to this one: Alvin York’s true story of redemption, his mother’s persistent prayers, his extraordinary marksmanship gifts used heroically in God’s service to save lives during WWI.  I especially love how York—despite his grinding poverty—becomes a man of principle and works so hard to earn/save money to buy land before proposing marriage to the woman he loves.  He wouldn’t dream of approaching her without a valuable means of provision.  It reminded me of my post last year on “Spouse Vetting” http://www.hearttohearttalks.com/Blog/?p=433

8. What did you think of the new trailer for The Desolation of Smaug?  It appeared to take the high production values of the previous Tolkien movies to an even higher level.  I predict a “date night” with my husband upon the film’s release.

Now it’s my turn to tag additional bloggers.  The 3rd one is in Romanian:                the-liebster-award pink

http://sandysmotherhoodblog.blogspot.com/

http://fellowshipfreshstart.blogspot.com/

http://www.laviamoldova.blogspot.com/

 

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The Origin of My Interest in Sex . . . Education!

birds_beesSometimes I wonder how an artsy, geeky, news junky like me became interested in sex education.  I used to think it started in my 20’s with my involvement in the right-to-life movement shortly after the Roe v Wade Supreme Court decision legalized abortion.  But last week during some spring cleaning, I discovered that the true genesis of my sex-ed interest actually occurred earlier . . . at age 17.

I came across a box of memorabilia from my senior year of high school.  Flipping through my yearbook, I paused at the 2-page photo spread for the 1971 senior class play–an obscure 1948 production titled: Goodbye My Fancy.  I recalled how as an underclassman I had looked forward to indulging my senior inner thespian–singing, dancing & delivering witty lines associated with an iconic character.  Alas, unlike the previous years’ popular musical comedies, Goodbye My Fancy was not a musical, nor did it contain any iconic characters, choreography or lavish costumes.  Though billed as a comedy, it wasn’t laugh-out-loud funny.  I guess the school had done all the good musical comedies by 1971.

I decided to try out for a part anyway.  Everyone auditioned by reading the same bland lines. When the cast members were chosen and posted I saw that I’d been selected for the role of Professor Birdeshaw, a minor comic relief character with the following description:

Miss Birdeshaw is a professor of Sex Hygiene at the protagonist’s alma mater, a women’s college.  She is an old maid and has a drinking problem. (My interpretation of this profile?  She’s old, grudgingly unmarried, and teaches sex education at an all-female college . . . no wonder she’s chronically drunk!)

My dream of a future Tony Award suddenly vanished along with my expectation that the 1971 senior play would be among my fondest memories of high school.  I couldn’t fathom why this part was given to me–the squarest goody-two-shoes in the student body.  Except for being unmarried, I couldn’t relate to Miss Birdeshaw at all.

Below is the yearbook photo of me as the besotted, passed-out prof being carried off by the college president.  (My maiden name was Linda Campbell in the cast list.)

Senior Play - Miss Birdeshaw 1971 EDITED

 Apparently I did deliver a convincing performance as the inebriated sex educator.  Several months later, a humorous senior document known as “The Will” was published & distributed along with our 1971 yearbook.  This tongue-in-cheek last will & testament was a list of items “bequeathed” by a student committee to each graduating senior.  See what they “willed” to Linda Campbell in the excerpt below . . . it was downright prophetic  🙂  God works in mysterious ways.

Senior Class Will excerpt of me - EDITED

 

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Accentuate the Positive

People Mag cover - waiting 4 weddingIn my last post “So Many Subjects, So Little Time” http://www.hearttohearttalks.com/Blog/?p=485 I provided some recent examples of societal rot that work against parents’ efforts to instill biblical virtue in their children.  Indeed there is certainly much to critique about American pop culture and its broad negative influence.  So when a faint positive spark appears I want to help fan it into flame.

The March 25th, 2013 cover story of People magazine was titled: “Waiting for Our Wedding Night.”  It featured a couple who became engaged “on air”  after following the program format of the reality TV show Bachelor.  The latest bachelor, Sean Lowe, chose contestant Catherine Giudici to be his bride.

I have never watched Bachelor, and I don’t subscribe to People.  But the cover story caught my attention while I was waiting in the grocery store checkout line. My first reaction to the cover headline? Amusement that saving sex for marriage is now such a novel concept it’s a “hook” to sell fluffy magazines.  I mused that the story inside probably offered feeble respect for the couple’s principled decision, followed by plenty of skepticism, naysaying, and even a suggestion of sexual inadequacy as the *real reason* they were foregoing  pre-marital intercourse.

Well, I bought the magazine for um, research purposes . . . and I was pleasantly surprised to see that the interviewer presented the couple’s unvarnished responses to her thoughtful questions.  Sean Lowe, age 29, is described in the story’s introduction as a conservative Christian who became a “born-again virgin” after indulging in sexual sin during college.  He explained that he was “tired of being selfish.”  Catherine is honoring his desire to consummate their relationship on their wedding night.  The story doesn’t mention anything about her faith background though, so sexual  temptation may be difficult to resist if the couple does not share Christ-centered values.  Hey, temptation is hard to resist even for couples who do!

My one disappointment with the story was that the abstinence-related portion of the interview was quite short: fewer than 2oo words.  In fact only 3 of the 21 questions had to do with the headline hook on the mag’s cover.  And the responses were probably heavily edited to meet the story’s word limit.

But role models are hard to find in pop culture, and this couple deserves kudos for their decision.  I pray that God will bless them with the strength to stick to it and draw them to Himself for a long,  happy, equally-yoked marriage.

 

 

 

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So Many Subjects, So Little Time . . .

Believe it or not, my 2013 New Year’s resolution was to post here more often than once-a-month.  Alas, as the younger generation would say: “Epic Fail!” 🙂  My teaching & tutoring skills seem to be in higher demand these days . . . even internationally!  I’m trying hard to reconfigure my employment to make time for regular blogging and progress in writing my book.  But I also have to make ends meet in the current economic downturn.  So I’m trusting the Lord to reveal his timetable for the completion of Sex-ed Homestyle.  Your prayers would be appreciated!

5 young girls on beach - backs 2 camera

Meanwhile I keep observing the rolling tide of cultural decline.  The first 2 months of 2013  continued to poison the social environment for parents trying to raise virtuous kids. Here’s a sampling of what we’re up against.

Wolves in (black) sheep’s clothing
My friend & fellow blogger Susan Johnson alerted me to a bizarre fashion line pitched specifically to Christian teen girls that is just as indecent & provocative as any trendy secular collection. The company is called Heart OMG, a name associated with casually taking God’s name in vain. On the company website three teen girls model the clothing in church & home settings. Some of their “come hither” poses are EXACTLY the same as those found in Victoria’s Secret catalogs or on the giant display window posters at VS mall stores. I can’t improve on Susan’s scathing critique, especially this excerpt from her post:

        No matter what they may say, Heart OMG isn’t really selling Christian fashion. They are selling sex, pure and simple. These girls are dressed like street walkers. They pose seductively and provocatively in skimpy clothing with the express purpose of inflaming lust in the male of the species. This has nothing to do with advancing the kingdom of Jesus Christ and everything to do with making a buck off a group of consumers they must figure are too ignorant to know the difference. http://manoahswife.wordpress.com/2013/01/09/fashion-forward/

Prime time trash
Early in this year’s Superbowl a sickening Go Daddy ad startled viewers with its extreme closeup of a prolonged, open-mouthed kiss between a supermodel and a nerdy guy. If I didn’t already know that the company sells domain names, website hosting and other related services this ad wouldn’t have enlightened me about its products. The Superbowl stopped being family-friendly years ago . . . especially at halftime. But sadly, an unprecedented number of families were subjected to Go Daddy’s vulgar ad, because according to the Neilson ratings the 2013 game attracted the largest viewership in television history. I wonder how many dads faced uncomfortable questions from their kids or scrambled to change the channel when the ad appeared?

Prime time sex ed stupidity                                                                                                 The Superbowl ad for the Kia Sorento SUV perpetuated the stereotypical notion that parents can’t handle sex ed.  http://www.mostwatchedtoday.com/tag/babylandia/  Media commentators praised the ad for its “cute space babies” but my take on this ad was: the Kia Company advertised its vehicle by portraying parents as hapless fools who lie to their son and command the car’s media system to distract him instead of seizing an opportunity for an important discussion. For many of us “drive time” provides a captive audience and privacy for character-shaping conversations about sex, love, faith and other weighty matters.

Underage trash                                                                                                                               In contrast to Kia’s inquisitive and under-educated little boy, a Brockton, Massachusetts youngster is getting too much sex-ed too soon.  Viral video sensation Luie Rivera Jr.—a.k.a. Lil’ Poopy–is a 9 year old who raps about drugs, women & bling while slapping the buttocks of gyrating voluptuous adult women.  Don’t we have laws against contributing to the delinquency of a minor?  . . . and against sexual activity between adults and minors?  And yet this child receives $7000+ per gig with his band “Coke Boys,” which is probably funding the defense lawyer who’s handling the charges of child abuse & neglect recently filed against Luie’s dad.

Once again the lyrics to a favorite hymn keep me from discouragement over all this depravity: “. . . O let me ne’er forget that though the wrong seems oft so strong, God is the ruler yet.” (This is My Father’s World, by Maltbie D. Babcock)

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Overdoing it with Love . . .

It’s December 31, 2012 and I’m “recovering” from lots of holiday entertaining . . . not for the crowd of assorted relatives & friends that we’ve hosted in years past … but for very few beneficiaries.  Indeed, the cleaning, baking, shopping, wrapping and hospitality seem wildly out-of-proportion to the current number of guests.  So who are these sparse folks for whom I gladly wear myself out?  They are my 3 adult daughters—two with “significant others.”  They are scattered across 3 states and haven’t been able to gather at home all at once for several years.  Thus I see one at Thanksgiving and the others at multiple Christmas celebrations between December 25th and 29th.

Please understand that I am NOT complaining.  I am just reflecting on what drives me to carry out holiday preparations befitting royalty for guests who are “just my kids.”  And because they’ve left the nest, I must do all this exhausting prep without their help!

SONY DSC

Like any other family during the parenting years, we were used to sharing the spectrum of messy-to-tidy household conditions, weighted more often toward the “messy” end, complemented by meals of macaroni & cheese or peanut butter & jelly sandwiches.  Now as adults my daughters probably would be content with a simple Christmas lasagna dish against a backdrop of moderate clutter & dust bunnies.  Yet I strive to provide a spotless home, beautifully-wrapped gifts and a delectable, elaborate spread of homemade goodies.  Why?  Because this labor-of-love is one way that I can honor them as the magnificent young women they have become.

My husband & I raised our daughters as best we could.  But our work as parents is never truly over . . . we pray for them daily, try to communicate often, remain available as much as possible whenever they need/want us, and mostly watch them with awe from afar (on Facebook).  Just as God’s love motivated us to sacrificially give our girls their academic & sex-education at home, I believe His love is what prompts my annual holiday preparation frenzy. Colossians 3:23 says: “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart as unto the Lord.”  Because my children are gifts from God they are far more precious than royalty.  They deserve “all my heart” . . . . and my homemade goodies.

Happy New Year everyone!

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50 Shades of (Dorian) Gray

I admit to being puzzled by the popularity of Fifty Shades of Grey, the first book of the best-selling soft porn fantasy trilogy.  Having perused only the synopsis I have no interest in reading the book, and I am convinced that modern feminism has been dealt a serious setback.  For those who may not be familiar with the book’s plot, it involves a college coed who meets an attractive, wealthy businessman twisted by an abusive childhood.  A romantic relationship ensues, but soon takes a disturbing turn as the young woman agrees to a written contract that stipulates the man will dominate her sexually–as well as in all other areas of her life.

With all the progress our society has made in extending the broadest freedoms and equality to women, how could any thinking person take this plotline seriously? And yet, the book has been purchased primarily by young to middle-aged mothers and thus has been dubbed “mommy porn.”  What draws predominantly female readership to a graphic story about a female who consents to debasement through bondage, domination and sado/masochistic sex (BDSM)?

One theory comes from a Lord Henry Wotton, a despicable character in another “grey” book about sensuality written over 100 years ago: The Picture of Dorian Gray (1890) by Oscar Wilde.

Students of literature will remember this dark cautionary tale about hedonism and its ugly, destructive consequences.  In brief, Dorian Gray is a remarkably handsome upper class young man who is influenced by the utterly worldly, amoral and egocentric Lord Henry Wotton to pursue a life of pleasure.  Dorian’s artist friend Basil has painted a captivating portrait of Gray.  Jealous that his painted image will never grow old, the naïve and narcissistic Dorian wishes aloud that the portrait would take on the ravages of age instead of him.  Mysterious forces grant that wish.

As Dorian descends into decades of sordid pleasures his youthful good looks remain unchanged.  However the face in the painting not only grows older, but also becomes progressively more hideous in reflection of its owner’s increasingly depraved soul until the story ends with Dorian reaping the horrifying consequences of his choices.

While reading this classic novel recently on my new Kindle, I came across a stunning, timely quote from Lord Henry in chapter 8:

I am afraid that women appreciate cruelty, downright cruelty, more than anything else.  They have wonderfully primitive instincts.  We have emancipated them, but they remain slaves looking for their masters, all the same.  They love being dominated.”

Could this explain today’s “50 Shades” craze?   Is Lord Henry Wotton right that women willingly relinquish freedom to submit themselves to a cruel master?  The book’s profits suggest that modern readers at least approve of this behavior.  Wotton’s cavalier commentary actually echoes the truth about our sin nature stated in John 3:19: “. . . Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.”

With its meteoric rise to the top of the best seller list, 50 Shades has successfully mainstreamed a deviant “relationship” based on BDSM proclivities that are the antithesis of God’s design for fulfilling male/female relationships.  We need to instill in our young daughters the Bible’s message that women are to be loved, cherished, respected and protected.  Cultivating healthy perspectives at home and speaking candidly about unhealthy relationships in trendy books will empower our young women to eschew the trashy ideas espoused in 50 Shades and its ilk . . . and maybe someday they’ll help a college roommate escape sin’s bondage.

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The Lighter Side of Sex Ed

After a 2-month blogging hiatus to complete an intense roster of specialty teaching assignments, I’m back . . . and feeling giddy.  Consequently, this post features sex ed humor.  Yes, there really is such a thing–especially in hindsight.  Over the years I’ve collected cartoons and anecdotes that poke fun at the foibles, phobias, and fables inherent in the sex education of our children.  I hope to include some of them in my book.

Here are two of my favorite cartoons from “For Better For Worse” by Lynn Johnston:

The one below made me laugh-out-loud:

Teenagers offer another “spin” on sex ed humor:

I’ll conclude with a little anecdote of my own:

When my oldest daughter was nearly age 5, I was pregnant with my third child and was experiencing a lot of back pain through all three trimesters.  For relief I began visiting a chiropractor in between prenatal checkups.  While helpful, it involved lots of extra trips for medical appointments.  Apparently, my oldest was getting used to Mommy’s frequent departures for doctor visits.

One afternoon very late in my pregnancy, my husband got home from work early so that I could get to another chiropractic treatment without having to take kids along.  Seeing me put on my coat, daughter number one asked, “Where are you going Mom?”  I told her I had to visit the doctor again.

She replied, “Which one Mom? The back doctor or the front doctor?”

I laughed so hard I thought I was going into labor on the spot.  Art Linkletter was right–“kids say the darndest things.”

 

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