As we continue to share in a dialogue about our teens and the promiscuous culture they are being raised in, I have found myself on the receiving end of some excellent feedback.
Some parents have said, "Thanks for talking about these issues. I'm glad I'm not the only one who is concerned."
Others have said things like, "I have never thought about these things at that level before."
I have even gotten a few emails from parents who have made excellent observations on some similar, related topics. I thought I would share one such note with you today.
Below is a streamlined version of what one mom has discerned in today's culture. She and her husband are keen observers of "these times" but also firm believers in the biblical standard. For lack of a better phrase, she is on to something.
I think her insights into social media and what is potentially going on inside a teen girl's heart and mind regarding boys is dead on with many I have witnessed.
With that introduction given, let me get out of the way for some powerful and insightful observations from a wise mother.
My thoughts about texting, the internet, Facebook, etc. is that our childrens' guards are down. They don't understand that there are long-term consequences for foolishness, whether it be truly physical consequences or spiritual and emotional consequences.
Teens are typically extremely self-centered, so they use technology to make themselves the center of their digital universes. We did the similar things when we were kids, but today it is so much easier, and the reach is so much farther. The point, as it always has been, is that if we spend our time and energy focused on ourselves, we have no time and energy to serve God or others.
Also, I believe that technology has caused relationships to become more surface... extremely wide, but lacking depth. When you have a million 'friends' to share trivialities with, do you search for those deeper relationships that guide you to truth? I heard it said that people are lonelier than they've ever been, and they are able to connect farther than they ever have. Even in boy/girl relationships, sex is so trivialized, that it is almost prudish to be a virgin or to only have one partner. Back when I was a teen it was 'cool' to experiment with drugs. Today it is 'cool' to experiment with sex.
As far as emotional purity, I have seen the results of its absence, and it does great damage. My sister's main message to her daughter and young women/teens is to, above all else, guard your heart. There is a trap that is set when a boy tells a girl that she is pretty and desirable. This feeds her ego. She begins to believe that those are the most important qualities to have, and when the relationship ends, she is left wondering what happened. Is she no longer pretty? Has she become less desirable? Then, many who are caught in this trap go seeking out a new relationship to prove that they are still worthy. It becomes a cycle, and they keep giving more of themselves to these relationships so as not to be rejected.
Of course, the thing that they must know from the start is that they are always beautiful (true beauty...inner beauty) and desirable to God. He loves them no matter what. He will never reject them or use them... He gave all of Himself for them. Unfortunately, our world is saturated with sex and a message of outer beauty, so it is very hard for girls to accept that truth.
I guess I would have appreciated if someone had approached me when I was a teen with, "If you knew that what you believed in was a lie, would you rather continue in the lie and not change anything, or know the truth, which would cause great changes to occur?" I would have at least liked to know the options available. Would I have made better choices? Maybe.
Also, the damage that occurs from a lack of purity, whether emotional or physical, is long-term. Barrett was absolutely right when he said that we take this baggage into our marriages. I will be the first to tell you that it never goes away, even when you are right with God and right with your husband.
Well said, mom. Well said.