A couple of weeks back I gave a message on lust and adultery. During his sermon on the mount Jesus spoke clearly on the matter, and since the urgency is great, I tried to do the same. In a culture where sex has been commoditized, Christians are frequently stumbling in places they should have avoided. We are seeing an increase in impurity, a decrease in holiness, and an avalanche of regret. Something must be done.
“What can I do?” asked a mother of a son. Like most mothers of sons, she is simultaneously awed and bemused by her boy. He is both a wonder and a mystery—boys are just different to girls. Generation after generation, boys reinforce the distinction between the fairer and coarser sexes. Moms of sons have to learn to live with dirty faces, torn clothes, and strange odors. Slugs, snails, and puppy dogs tails indeed! But this mother’s appeal wasn’t about her son’s strange aversion to cleanliness, but his strong sexual appetite. She wanted advice on raising a son in such a sexually permissive society.
I have thought a great deal about this and have distilled my advice to two pointers: (1) watch what he’s watching, and (2) talk about girls.
- Watch what he’s watching
Pay attention to the images surrounding him and pay attention to the movement of his eyes. Realize that with the flick of his eyes he can catch all the dimensions of a passing girl. It’s so fast that you will frequently miss it. Remember that images that don’t cause you to look twice, will sear into and charge his imagination.
- Forget privacy issues—look through his phone and check the computer browser’s history. If the history is wiped clean intervention is needed.
- Chuck the catalogues—advertisements for Victoria’s Secret, etc. are primers for pornography.
- Beware of dark sunglasses—if he knows that his eyes are hidden his restraint is likely to lessen.
- Inquire about immobility—when a boy is presented with a titillating opportunity and grows still, it signals that his mind has just kicked into high gear.
- Talk about girls
Just as your son is a mystery to you, girls are a mystery to him. He is utterly bamboozled. To make matters worse, our culture has so objectified women that he is likely to think of an attractive girl as an opportunity first and a person second.
- Personify girls—if you see him looking at a girl don’t embarrass him, educate him. It’s great that he finds girls appealing, now lead his affections beyond their appearance to their character.
- Explain yourself—you are his best guide into the feminine mystique. When you hear things that objectify women share your concerns with him.
- Champion girls—when a mother denigrates girls she is sending a message to her son that some girls are of a cheaper cut and in turn he thinks that he can be selective with his respect.
Certainly, this is incomplete advice, but I hope it helps. Let us do what we can to raise our children in the world but of the Kingdom. We remain diligent while remembering that their futures rest in the hands of our loving Father.