Thursday, October 16, 2008

Too Much, Too Soon

Stumble Upon Toolbar

**The following post contains adult content.

I usually like to keep things light here at Smockity Frocks, but today we are going to take a detour and I'm going to get something off my chest that has been bothering me.

I would like to make clear that I have dear friends who are on all sides of this issue and they are still my dear friends. What you are about to read are my very strongly felt opinions on a personal matter, not a test of friendship. Please, don't be offended if you disagree.

It has come to my attention very recently that some churches like to teach sex education beginning in the jr. high classes. The foundations of the classes are Biblically based and the goal is to encourage purity.

One problem I have with these classes, though, is the absolutely shocking and extremely graphic language and descriptions used. It has even been noted by proponents and teachers of the classes that there are children learning of sexual situations for the very first time in these classes. BIBLE classes.

Which leads me to the next troublesome issue. Jr. High? Really? You can call me old fashioned, (and I would say, "Thank you!") but we have two children of jr. high age and we are simply not needing to have these kinds of discussions yet. Our jr. high kids are still interested in building snail habitats and making elaborate plans to dominate this year's gingerbread house competition.

Some have said, "That may be true for you, but there are kids that age who are dealing with this temptation." I would reply, first of all, that it is a very sad situation, and secondly, if that is true, they should be treated as the exceptions, not the norm.

There are also children who have been sexually molested and children suffering from serious diseases and children who have lost parents, but we do not set up discussion groups and order curriculum to address these issues with classrooms full of children who have previously had no experience with these struggles.

Also, why does it take weeks of curriculum and posters and discussions to say what the Bible outlines very plainly in a few verses?

"Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body." 1 Cor. 6:18

Pretty straight forward, no?

This passage in 1 Cor. 7 makes it even more crystal clear.

1Now concerning the things about which you wrote, it is good for a man not to touch a woman.
2But because of immoralities, each man is to have his own wife, and each woman is to have her own husband.
3The husband must fulfill his duty to his wife, and likewise also the wife to her husband.
4The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does; and likewise also the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does.
5Stop depriving one another, except by agreement for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer, and come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control. (emphasis added)

We have talked in our family about keeping pure before marriage and how God created our bodies to enjoy sensual physical touch. Kissing, caressing, etc. That enjoyment has been made, by God, to be kept within the confines of marriage.

In other words, a husband and wife may enjoy each other, but that enjoyment must not be practiced alone or with anyone besides the person's spouse. This was ordained by God from the beginning.

And there you have it.

No posters. No weekly discussion groups. No graphic descriptions. No giggling groups of girls.

Private. Personal. Simple.

I just don't think it is wise to introduce such a sensitive topic at such an early age, and also to talk and talk and talk about it in such detail and in such a public forum.

We would like to have these discussions with our children privately and do NOT want them to feel free to talk of such personal things publicly. We also like to study the Bible in Bible class and not so much ourselves, but that's a whole other post.

I think there is the perception these days that things that were formerly private matters should be proudly spoken of publicly. I do not agree with this and I do not believe that more information is always best.

Besides, I happen to personally know a crazy lady with seven children who has a very pleasing relationship with her husband even though she has never attended a single sex ed class or discussion group! She remained very innocent and naive right up until her wedding night, and she suffers absolutely no adverse affects from it to this day!

Or so I've heard.


Brenda said...

My husband was part-time youth minister for a time and boy the knowledge those kids had about things! It really did seem that the whole group of 'em knew about all of it too. We sort of worried about the incoming 6th graders--what would they learn here? He always taught from God's word, but the stuff they knew always came out in discussion time. It seems they really do deal with these things. That begs the question--are the Christian families living any differently than the world? SHOULD our children know everything the other teens know about? Just asking.

Shari said...

Christianity today is not like yesterday. Yes, I am old-fashioned and proud of it. I can't believe a church that preaches salvation and God's Word would teach this to pre-teens or teens themselves. That's opening up their minds to be 'thinking' which could cause impurity and possibly open up a can of worms for sin to take place. The parents of children should be teaching what the Bible says about man/woman, purity, marriage, etc. That's what we do. Obviously, the world doesn't do that, but I belive it's our place to be an example to all, Christian or not. I'm stunned churches would teach this. That leads me to believe that churches just aren't what they used to be. We attend a church and churches of the like that are very 'straight' and have taught to be in the world, but not of the world. Amen! I agree with you, Mrs. Smockity!

Anonymous said...

Call me old-fashioned too...too much says me. I agree...well said!

Aunt LoLo said...

You're a good Mama. My hubs was....lamenting (?) the other day. His cousin attends the same high school that my hubs attended nearly 15 years ago. His cousin recently started her Sex-Ed course (she's 14?) and my hubs was SHOCKED that the school now hands out 14 year olds! This high school is smack dab in the middle of Utah Mormon Country. There are maybe 3 dozen kids, out of 2,000, who DON'T attend the LDS church every weekend, and religious Seminary 5 times a week.

What has happened to the Family where kids who OUGHT to know better need to be handed condoms by their science teachers?! I don't really know what I'm getting at here. I wish all parents were as conscientous, and righteous, as you are. More importantly, how can I shield my baby girl from all the ugliness when SHE'S in high school in 15 years...if the Sex-Ed classes are ALREADY R-Rated?!

Headmistress, zookeeper said...

Amen! I think we've gotten to the point where our Sunday Schools are just weak copies of public schools. They certainly are run by people with the same philosophy.

Anonymous said...

I agree very much. Good post. :)

Lisa Winton said...

I found your blog through Laura. This happened to us w/o our knowledge, except that the public school teacher teaching the 5th & 6th graders decided they needed Jr. High curriculum at that age. It was the beginning of the end of our kids' involvement in Sunday school.

Smockity Frocks said...

Since you asked... No. I don't think our children should know about every deviant and promiscuous behavior that other teens know about. At least they should not be speaking about those things. I know others disagree and think having open and frank discussions is best. I don't.

I would be beyond LIVID!

jennifer said...

Yikes...I think I am with you on this one. This is a subject I would rather speak to my children about, not another adult (or another teen for that matter).

Meliss said...

I remember being in junior high and getting so tired of hearing about sex. In the public school, sex ed started in 5th grade. My mom talked to me about it. The kids at school talked dirty about it. When my Sunday school male teacher had to graphically explain circumcision and why Abraham had his servant swear, placing his hand under his thigh etc. etc., I told my parents that I was tired of hearing about it all the time. Then they quizzed me, worrying about whether I had been molested. I had to reassure them that that was not the case, I just didn't want to DWELL on adult matters when I had a long way to go before being an adult.

Lisa Beth W. said...

I absolutely agree with you. If that was happening in my church, someone would be hearing quite strongly from me and my dh. Absolutely not the place for that. No. way.

Holly said...

I agree with you so much, Connie.

When our children were all small, I thought junior high was a long way off.

As they grew, I realized that in some churches the junior high divisions would include 10 and 11 year olds. That really gave me a new perspective and I KNEW I didn't want them learning these things at 10 or 11. Frankly, I don't ever want them to be comfortable sitting in mixed company having these conversations. I'm not comfortable sitting around with other couples talking like this...why should we expect our children to be? And yeah, in church nonetheless.

I wouldn't let my children go. I don't let my children go. Particularly in mixed company.

Anonymous said...

If you don't make your voice heard loud and clear, no one will listen.
Not the church leadership and not the school boards.
We have had a lot foisted off on us in the past years, while we just sat and did nothing.
And I would wonder about the character and relationship with the Lord of someone who insisted on teaching this is an apparently ungodly way. AND the church leadership that allowed it.
Sooz in the Tules

Sophie said...

Let me start by saying how very much I enjoy your blog and love your family! Although I can see why your family would not need or want these discussions, you must realize that your children are in the minority of kids being raised so well. I am willing to "agree to disagree" with you somewhat on this topic, but have some thoughts I'd like to share from a different perspective. First of all, I would agree that the teens should NOT be in mixed company for any discussion of sex--a boys' group and a girls' group are a necessity. Also, I agree that anything below 7th, or even 8th grade is too young. However, I think that there can definitely be a place for learning about sex in a Christian setting. Let me explain. I was raised in a Christian home, went to church, youth group, church camp, etc. However, my parents did not talk to me about ANYTHING personal. They did not restrict us to dating only Christians (there really weren't any, just church-goers, which aren't the same!), they didn't encourage me to think about what kind of man I would someday want to marry, they did not tell me anything about sex. I knew from youth group and camp and reading the Bible that I was expected to wait until marriage. However, when I began dating and faced pressure from my boyfried, I eventually gave in. We did end up getting married 4 years later because I couldn't face ever marrying someone else after already having sex. We are still married 19 years later, but my life would have been 100 times better if I'd have made better choices with more knowledge back then. I have raised my 4 children in the church and they have all accepted Jesus as their savior. However, I struggle with wondering how on earth to get them through their teen years without succumbing to that pressure. My oldest son is 15, and I would LOVE to have him in a group of boys with a STRONG christian man to lead, guide, and help them understand how to be a man of God in this and all areas. My husband is fine, but will not teach him this. I try, but while my son is respectful of me and agreeable, I know that often he thinks of me as a sentimental woman who obviously, is not a man! In my son's freshman class last year there was 14-year-old pregnant girl, who obviously had sex in 8th grade. She got an abortion and was not from a Christian family. At the end of the year, another girl in his class became pregnant. Both she and the father of the baby are from strong families in our church. So we know that many of these kids are facing this problem. We also have many kids in our church that come without their parents. They do not have families that attend church or teach them anything about God. How are they to learn about a loving, committed, wonderful marriage the way that God intended? I've gone on very long, sorry! Again, thanks for sharing your wonderful family with us, but please remember that all families aren't as wonderful as yours!

Smockity Frocks said...

Thank you for the compliments and for sharing your story.

I'm not sure if you are saying that having more information about the specific variations of intimate acts would have helped you to remain pure, but if you are saying that, I wonder how that would have helped.

I would like my children to be made aware (by my husband and me) that God has given each of us strong desire. That is part of what makes a marriage wonderful! That strong desire outside of marriage, though, can cause us to sin. That is why it is not "good for a man to touch a woman." (See the scripture in my post.) It is also not a good idea for an unmarried man and woman to be alone together, lest that desire become sinful.

I honestly don't see why our chldren need to be taught IN BIBLE CLASS (!) the terms and descriptions of, say, the act that a former president and his White House intern committed in the oval office. How is having that knowledge helpful in keeping pure?

If I want my children to know that playing on train tracks is dangerous, I tell them that they should stay away because playing on train tracks is dangerous. I don't expect classes to be formed to study train safety, the physics of locomotion, and the properties of steel. I warn them, that no matter how strong the appeal, they should not play on the tracks.

As for other children, just because they have knowledge about sinful acts, doesn't mean that I want them (or their parents) sharing that knowledge with my children.

Smockity Frocks said...

I just wanted to come back quickly and make clear that I didn't mean any of that to sound snippy!

I know that others have different perspectives and appreciate you chiming in, Sophie.

I just think that the extent of what should be taught in our churches is that intimacy outside of marriage is sin. Period. Intimate kissing, touching, etc. is for marriage only.

I don't think including details makes it easier to resist. Instead, I think encouraging young people to be wise in their associations and not put themselves into tempting situations is where the focus should be.

Sophie said...

I absolutely agree with everything that you said in your last two posts! I see no reason to discuss any of the things that you talked about in those paragraphs (variations and such, yikes!)--you are very correct! What I meant was that having information about HOW and WHY to remain pure would be very helpful to teens. Things like: what the physical and emotional and spiritual consequences of unmarried sex are, how to avoid temptation (no dating non-Christians, no dating at all, no dating until a certain age, only dating with a chaperone?), what to look for in a mate, how to avoid/resist pornography, etc. Most especially I was talking about those teens who do NOT have parents like you guys! Again, I can see that you and your husband are doing a great job teaching your children these things, but what about all the children whose parents DON'T teach them. Should we just let them flounder along on their own? It's obviously not as easy as telling them to just say "no", as shown by teen pregnancies, even among Christians. They need to have a plan. Perhaps we are talking about two different things here, and really do totally agree as again, I wasn't talking about specifics of sex or any of that stuff, just help with the knowledge of how to stay pure in this crazy world. And don't worry, you didn't sound snippy! The last thing I would ever want to do is cause strife (I'm a very non-confrontational person), but this is dear to my heart because I really wish I had known HOW to handle things better that have affected my whole life. I would give anything to do it all over again, and I didn't even have any of the worst consequences, just a lack of following God's will. Thanks again.

Smockity Frocks said...

Thanks for this discussion! No strife. It's all good.

For the kids coming to church who don't have parents teaching them, I would say they need to hear in Bible class and from the pulpit, first of all that we, as Christians, are not to conform to the world (Romans 12:1). That will mean that we do things differently, like committing to following God's word. Part of that is for young ladies and young men to be pure before marriage and that is best achieved with the LEAST amount of temptation, which would mean purposing not to be alone with a boy/girl, not watching R rated movies, etc. I know this is radical these days, but Christians are called to be different from the world. This should be spoken of plainly and often.

Sadly, it isn't.

bigcitymama said...

While you may have those conversations with your children, not all parents do, and I think your children may be the exception, rather than the rule, unfortunately.

Keeping our children in the dark about this can lead to teenage pregnancy and worse - Sarah Palin doesn't believe in school sex ed either, and look at her daughter now.

Smockity Frocks said...

Big City Mama,
It takes more than being "in the dark" to become pregnant.

I am fully aware that teenagers get pregnant. I think we need to be teaching about a little thing called SELF CONTROL, which is sorely lacking in most of the youth today. NOT teaching detailed information about variations of sexual intimacy to pre-teens.

Are you saying you believe if children didn't get these "lessons" in Bible class or public school, they wouldn't understand sex? That there would be fewer teen pregnancies? I believe history would prove that wrong.

Blog Widget by LinkWithin

Swidget 1.0 6

Web Statistics