Posts Tagged ‘samson society’

Fathered by God: Learning What Your Dad Could Never Teach YouFathered by God: Learning What Your Dad Could Never Teach You by John Eldredge
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Great ideas…and big ones. Initiating our biys into young men, our young men into warriors, our warriors into kings and our kings into our sages. Which one are you? You’ll find yourself somewhere along this continuim, and you may recognize you have had at least one of these steps excised from your story…yet each step is important in becoming the full man God intend. Eldredge is helping us put those forgotten peocs back into our stories.

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Where do little Timmy and Jimmy get there ideas about the proper way of thinking about physical intimacy in our culture?  Isn’t it from the world?  And in our Society today that means the Media.  Not long ago, as I was doing research, I ran across a story about a friend of mine who was going even further than most Christians I know in trying to help there children stay pure for marriage.  It has become almost a passé thing to ask one’s daughter to learn about sex and its many pitfalls when indulged in outside of marriage.  There is usually a purity ring given to the young lady and some kind of ceremony is involved, so that it’s a really special event in her life…but few think about doing the same for our boys.  Here’s the thing…my friend Julian did think about his sons.  What do you think the mainstream press thought about such laudable behavior?  Well, see for yourself…

‘I’d thought purity balls—dances when tween and teen girls pledge to their fathers that they’ll stay virgins until marriage—were paternalistic and super-creepy for the girls. But, apparently, they are equal-opportunity paternalistic and creepy. The Tennessean interviewed parents Julian and Valerie Head, of Franklin, Tennessee, who are hosting a purity ball at their home for their 9- and 6-year-old sons, where the boys will make a virginity pledge with their dad. Yeah, these poor boys are 9 and 6.

It’s never too early for parents to discuss the birds and the bees with their kids in an age-appropriate way, but that’s not what purity ball parents do—they push abstinence. Abstinence is safe and baby-free, of course. But like veganism, religion, or rooting for the Red Sox, it should be a choice, not something your parents indoctrinate you into believing is the best. It really boggles my mind that full-grown adults would actually expect older children to abide by a pledge they’d encouraged them to make as 6-year-olds. Oh, and never mind that niggling little fact that virginity pledges do not work.

Big problem I have with all this: Why are fathers charged with protecting their children’s virginity? That’s disrespectful to mothers whose kids are taught through this ritual to just not disappoint their dads by having sex before marriage. I’ve read about kids who make a virginity pledge to both their parents, but pledging to the father only seems more in line with fundamentalist beliefs about male headship of household. Blech. So many things wrong with all of this.”  [The Tennessean]  “The Frisky” (“Dads Are Talking To Their Sons About Balls—Purity Balls, That Is” Jessica Wakeman December 2009)

So there you have it.  The incredibly astute Miss Wakeman has with one fell swoop, relegated our sons to pointy-headed, creepy kids whose parents are completely out to lunch culturally, and even scientifically.  I mean after all she sites “a study”.  Oh well, goodness…she citing studies.  She must be very smart…or very prejudiced.  What she doesn’t say is that it is one extremely isolated study from Maryland, where fewer than a thousand young men and women were surveyed, and that it is very tricky to convey such subtle truths as slipping up once or whether or not the person was truly a person of faith, etc., etc., etc., ad nauseum.  Meanwhile, she completely ignores the studies done in Uganda and Sub-Sahara Africa on the effect abstinence is having on the over-all AIDS crisis…and this is in a sample of millions of people!  See, I tend to believe the studies, where if the people get it wrong, they die.  Call me cynical, but I tend to give less weight to the article and studies, where if wrong, the person gets a reprimand from their editor, or snarky comments left on their blogs by miffed readers.  Death tends to make you get it right, and make no mistake about it.  We are in many ways in a life and death struggle when it comes to this issue with our sons.  So, where on earth does one start to address such a hot, polarizing, loaded topic?  The only place to start then is at the beginning.