Facing a Modern Goliath: Sex Marketed to Our Kids
- 2005 14 Sep
It seems to me that one day I was minding my own business and the next I was writing a book about media’s influence on youth culture as it pertains to their sexuality. What’s more, I’d somehow gotten Jessica, my twenty-something-year-old daughter, involved. Having read to her my initial table of contents, she began asking pertinent questions, leading me to realize she just might know more about the topic than I. Within weeks of signing a book contract, Jessica opened my eyes to an entire world I’d thought I was savvy to, but in fact knew nothing about. At my gasp, she shook her head as though to say, "How do you even get dressed in the morning?"
Then I really began to dig. I discovered that, as wise King Solomon once said, "There is nothing new under the sun." (Ecc. 1:9) Research into the history of sex took me back to the early Egyptians, ancient Mesopotamia, and — most importantly — Scripture. A quick look-see at the "golden age of Hollywood" left me gaping at my computer screen, reminding me of the day I’d watched an old Tarzan movie (Tarzan and His Mate, 1934) in which "Jane" swims completely nude for nearly four minutes in the opening scenes. Though I often complain about the lyrics in today’s music, I had to admit some of the songs I listened to in my youth were fairly suggestive as well.
For sure, there is nothing new under the sun. Since the dawn of entertainment, sex has been used as a selling point.
But today’s parents fight battles much deadlier than the ones my parent’s fought or their parent’s before them. And, they fight them whether they want to or not. In fact, if you are a parent or grandparent and have any form of entertainment technology in your home, you are smack in the middle of pornography’s invasion into the life of your child or grandchild. Statistics, even those concerning Christian teens, are staggering. It’s as if the war against the Christian family is nearly at an end…with the Christian family on the losing side.
An Old Remedy for a "New" Ailment
You may think you know the story of David and Goliath well, but take a few moments to read excerpts from 1 Samuel 17. Once you've reacquainted yourself with the story, you will find lessons of strength for today’s Christian family:
1. Parents, for the sake of your children, "do not lose hope!"
2. Saul’s declaration that the giant was too great for little David to fight may ring true in your own ears. Porn rose 1800% in five years. That figure seems like a giant itself. So, how can we fight it? Like David, without fear -- with faith.
3. David’s declaration that he had been tending his father’s sheep is a reminder to us, as mothers and fathers, that we have been tending the "Little Lambs." They are ours. They do not belong to the lion or the bear. We have protected them from the little evils in the world since the day they were born and have already fought a number of battles concerning them, whether we realized it or not.
4. Just as David could not fight Goliath with worldly armor, so we will be most unsuccessful if we try to fight this battle "the world’s way." According to advocacy groups, if you don’t want your teen and pre-teen daughters pregnant…pass out birth control. If you don’t want your teen and pre-teen sons to contract STD's…pass out condoms. Is this really the solution? No. Instead of "armoring" them with the world's faulty "protections," put the armor of the Living God around them. Tell them the truth about pregnancy, STD’s, and — above all — how sex robs them of future intimacy with their wife or husband and presently robs them of intimacy with God.
5. Don’t just talk to your children. Talk to God! Pray every single day over the lives of your children.
6. Run to the battle line. Don't wait for negative outside influences to take their toll. Meet the "giant" head-on with the weapon you have "in your hand," which is the truth.
Tell your children the truth about Jesus, about His will over their lives, about His desire for relationship with them. Tell them daily how important they are to Him. Show them the scriptures that deal with their minds, their lives, and God’s will when it comes to their sexuality. And tell them the truth about what the media is saying to them. This will require your knowing what the media is saying to them. Educating yourself may take time and energy, and you may find yourself outside of your comfort zone. But remember, although you are the warrior facing down the giant, you are not alone just as David was not alone.
Eva Marie Everson and her daughter Jessica are the authors of Sex, Lies and the Media (Cook Communications, 2005) and are speakers on the subject of how parents can best combat media’s influence on youth culture. For more information, go to www.EvaMarieEverson.com.