Raising G-rated Kids in an X-rated World
August 29, 1999 | Ray Pritchard
(This sermon was given by Bob Boerman.)
Jim Dobson once said,
“Kids today encounter more sex on their way to school than Grandpa did when he went out looking for it on a Saturday night.”
Things have changed a lot in the last 30 or 40 years, haven’t they? Take television for example. Do you remember the Dick Van Dyke Show with television characters, Rob and Laura Petri? I do. I loved how he tripped over the couch at the beginning of each episode.
A Couple Trivia Questions
Question #1- How many beds did Rob and Laura have in their master bedroom? Answer- Two!
Question #2- Why Two? Answer- Well, they didn’t have two because that was the norm back then. My parents had one, and so did the rest of the married couples on our block. The reason they had two was that Hollywood didn’t want to offend their viewers moral value system. You see everyone knew that Dick Van Dyke and Mary Tyler Moore weren’t married in real life, so why put them in the same bed? Today, it’s much different.
Here’s another example. In the 50’s, the FCC fined TV talk show host Jack Par $5,000 for stating that one of his female guests had to use the bathroom. That’s a hefty sum of money for something we wouldn’t consider offensive in the 90’s! Today, we’re subjected to hosts like Jay Leno, Mancow and Howard Stern who get most of their humor off of those bathroom walls.
Yes, things have changed. Unlike Grandpa, our kids learn about sexual perversions, not at the local street corner, but under the guise of health education classes at school. Even among Christian youth, George Barna recently reported that 60-70% of our kids think it is o.k. to “mess around sexually” as long as they believe they are in love. Movies like “Titanic” have caused a tidal wave of immoral beliefs.
Somehow this terrible moral vacuum in which our kids are growing up in must be stopped. Men and women, we are at war and our kids are the battleground.
So What’s The Answer?
Is there hope, or are we forced to sit back and wring our hands? Fortunately, there are many good aids available today to assist parents at their task of raising morally pure kids. Books and videos on moral purity line the walls of my office. There are purity ring ceremony’s and study manuals which Jean and I have used.
Let me stop here to say that Jean and I have 3 gorgeous daughters who’ve all made a commitment to moral purity. I’m proud of the stand they’ve made. I look forward to giving them away in marriage someday!
This week, Jean and I dropped our oldest daughter Melissa off at college. Just for your information, Anderson is 210 & 6/10 miles from our home. Folks, it’s frightening to drop your oldest daughter off at College! For example, when we pulled into the parking lot by Melissa’s dorm, 8 or 9 great big guys immediately surrounded us. They all said they were there to help us unload the van … but I knew better. My fears were confirmed when I saw one of the guys pick Melissa up and carry her away! At the end of our time with Melissa, I must admit that I was tempted to give her a Tee Shirt that said, “My dad is 6’7″, ugly, mean, and loves guns!” But then I realized that I wasn’t ugly! Oh well. I ended up giving her a tee shirt that said, “Leave her alone.”
But, even with all of these great aids, including tee shirts, I believe there is a key, which is often overlooked. A key, so important, that without it the chance for moral success diminishes greatly.
What’s the key? Men…we are that key!
Guys, I believe the purity of our homes lies directly at our feet. I realize this is a strong statement and I want you to know that I don’t make it flippantly. It’s taken me a long time to come to this conclusion. I’ve been a dad for 19 years, a Youth Pastor for 15 and Family Pastor for 7. Over the years I noticed something important when it came to raising morally pure kids. When dad was involved in the purity process, the outcome was usually positive. When he wasn’t … it often produced less than favorable results.
In 1980, Dr. James Dobson said, “The western world stands at a great crossroad in its history. It is my opinion that our very survival as a people will depend upon the presence or absence of masculine leadership in millions of homes … I believe, with everything within me, that husbands hold the keys to the preservation of the family.”
Things haven’t gotten any better in the years since Jim Dobson made that statement. If anything, the need for male leadership has grown even more acute. So guys, today I want to talk to you. I guess you can say that this sermon is to the men, but for the sake of our kids. Sorry ladies, but I feel that God wants me to talk to the guys today. Men, I want to appeal to you as one man to another. I hope you will listen to what God has to say.
Guys, we must stop selling ourselves short. Without us leading the way, I don’t think we stand a chance at preserving the moral integrity of our kids. For too long we’ve abdicated our responsibility in this area, forcing the women to take the lead. And ladies, I praise you for the work you’ve done. But I don’t believe it is a battle you can win without our active leadership.
As proof that we’re key, I want to offer 3 simple “real men” statements for you to consider that come from God’s Word. The first is directed to our single men.
#1- A “Real Man” treats the single women as sisters!
1 Timothy 5:2- “let the young men treat the young women as sisters in all purity.”
Guys, the issue of raising morally pure kids begins way before you have children of your own. It starts before you see your bride walk down the wedding isle. If you fail to live with the big picture in mind, it will be difficult for you to make a course correction later on when you have kids of your own.
Youth Specialist, Dawson McAllister once told of a time when he took a walk on Daytona Beach, Florida during spring break. To his surprise a young college man walking toward him was wearing a tee shirt that said, “STAMP OUT VIRGINITY.” Dawson, without skipping a beat approached the young man and challenged him to take off his shirt, wash it, fold it up and then put it into his dresser and wait 20 years. Then he said, “when the first guy comes along to date his daughter, take it out, hand it to him and tell him to have a great date.”
Get the picture? One day you will get married and have kids of your own. What you do with your life at this point will greatly impact what happens with your kids later on in life.
Let’s take a closer look at what the Apostle Paul has to say in 1 Timothy. Men, protect the young women by treating them as sisters in all purity! It’s a pretty straightforward word picture if you ask me.
The question on many a man’s mind today is “How far can I go with this woman?” Answer: Imagine that you are on a date with your sister. In other words, treat her as you should treat your sister. View yourself as her brother and her as your sister. Yes, brothers will fight with their sisters from time to time, but a good brother will also fight for his sister when trouble comes knocking at the door.
Men, this passage teaches us something else. It also indicates that God holds us to a higher level of accountability than women. Notice the passage doesn’t say, “Let the young men treat the young women as sisters and let the young women treat the young men as brothers.” No, this is a one-way-street command directed toward men.
Why does God place the heavier responsibility on us?
Well, there are many reasons but let me give you the most important. By nature, God created men as initiators and women as responders. We see this throughout Scripture. We even see it in a wedding ceremony with the groom entering the auditorium first, and taking the lead by saying his vows first.
This doesn’t mean ladies, that you are a hopeless pawn or that you’re not responsible for your moral purity. You are, but the young man more so.
I remember a time when I was Youth Pastor of Allied Force that a “Cad” had infiltrated our group in search of some girls to exploit. He thought there would be easy-pickings, that is until three of our high school guys, Paul Klobucher, Tom Krumseig, and Bruce Smith caught wind as to what he was up to. After youth group one night they cornered the young man and told him, “Not here … not with our sisters.” The young man left the group. I thank God for guys like Paul, Bruce and Tom … men on patrol guarding the perimeter from intruders.
That’s what moral leadership is all about. It’s active. It protects. It never takes advantage of a woman. “Boys will be boys, if the girls let them” may be true of some guys, but a real man isn’t on the prowl he’s on patrol!
#2- A “Real Husband” protects the purity of his marital relationship!
Top of page
Turn in your Bibles to Ephesians 5: 22-27 and read along with me.
In this passage, Paul lays out the job description of a “real husband.” There are a lot of insights we can glean from this passage, which we don’t have time to look at this morning, but let me highlight a couple as it relates to the issue of moral purity in the husband/wife relationship.
Insight #1- Husbands are born leaders.
Some wives respond, “You’ve never met my husband.” Well stick with me for a moment. Ephesians 5:23 says, “For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church … “
“Headship” refers to things like authority, leadership, and protection.
Please note that nowhere in this passage is a husband commanded to be the head of his wife. That’s because he already is the head of his wife. God made you head at the birth of your marriage. God did this at the moment you said, “I do.” Verse 23 isn’t an imperative, it’s an indicative … a statement of fact!
Douglas Wilson, author of the book Reforming Marriage says, “Meditating on this is a very valuable thing for husbands to do. Because the husband is the head of the wife, he finds himself in a position of inescapable leadership. He cannot successfully refuse to lead. If he attempts to abdicate in some way, he may, through his rebellion, lead poorly. But no matter what he does, or where he goes, he does so as the head of his wife. This is how God designed marriage. If you are a godly man, then your leadership won’t be harsh; it will be characterized by the same self-sacrificial love demonstrated by our Lord at the cross. If you try to run away from your headship you’re still leading, but in the wrong direction. If you catch a plane to the other side of the country, and stay there, you lead by your absence.”
Bottom Line: Arguing with the fact of your headship in the home is like jumping off a cliff in order to quarrel with the law of gravity. This leads us to a few pertinent questions.
Question #1: How is a husband to lead?
Answer: By loving his wife as Christ loved the Church.
Question #2: What does that mean?
Insight #2- A good husband works hard to keep his marriage spotless. (Vs. 27b)
The words, “spot, wrinkle, holy and blameless” speak of the purity of ones’ character. A husband is commanded by God to work with Him by preserving the moral purity of His bride. The husband is to keep “dirt” out of the house, which usually doesn’t come natural for a guy.
Question #3: What specifically does a “spotless” marriage look like?
Good question. For the answer, let’s go back and read Ephesians 5:3-4. “But do not let immorality (adultery and fornication) or any impurity even be named among you, as is proper among the saints. And there must be no filthiness (obscenities) and silly talk, or coarse jesting (sexual signs and innuendo’s) which are not fitting, but rather the giving of thanks.”
Let’s also look at verse 12 which says, “For it is disgraceful even to speak (discourse over or explain in detail) the things which are done by them in secret.”
Wow! Do you get the point of these verses? In verse 3 Paul uses the word, “proper” which carries the idea of “towering up.” In effect he says, tower over immoral speech etc.
I often hear Christians say that it is O.K. for us to have an intimate knowledge of evil as long as we don’t participate in it. Friends that is a lie straight from the pit of hell. Paul in Romans 16:19 says, “be wise is what is good and ignorant concerning evil.”
So men, what does this look like in the marriage relationship?
As head of the house you are to set the pace by …
Encouraging your wife to be in the Word,
Not introducing pornography into your home,
Not uttering a swear word,
Putting blocks on the Internet,
Not bringing your wife to a movie that portrays immorality, nudity, vulgarity etc.
Keeping the marriage bed pure.
But Pastor Bob, “this standard is so high! Sorry guys, I don’t make the rules. I just communicate them. God’s Word sets the standard for what is acceptable, not the movie industry or our culture.
I’m reminded of the words of G.K. Chesterton who said,
“The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting.
It has been found difficult and left untried.”
Sorry husbands, the buck stops at our desk. Starting way back in the Garden of Eden, it’s always been this way. Remember when Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden? Both ran when they heard the Lord God walking in the garden. Now listen as I read what happened next in Genesis chapter 3, verse 9. “Then the Lord God called to the man, and said to him, “Where are you?” Both Adam and Eve were there, but God called for the man first.
Point? When God looks for your family, He looks for the man of the house 1st!
Up to this point men, we’ve seen that moral purity in the home begins when you’re single and continues into marriage. Doing the first two will make it easier to raise kids that are pure. This leads to our last real man statement …
#3- A “Real Father” teaches his kids how to be pure! Top of page
At this point, I wish I had a whole morning to address my fellow fathers, but I don’t. But let me say this. Being uncomfortable with the subject of moral purity is not an excuse for whimping out. Dad’s, as head of the family, it is your responsibility to make sure your kids know what it takes to live a life of purity. If you don’t speak up, your kids may mistakenly believe that moral purity isn’t that big of a deal to you.
Where’s the proof that this is the father’s job?
It’s hinted at in Ephesians 6:4 which says, “Fathers, bring your children (sons and daughters) up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.” As the Pastor of your family it’s part of your job to teach your kids. Yes, Mom’s teach too, but Dad, you are to take the lead.
We have a detailed example of moral instruction given by Solomon to his sons in Proverbs 5. Let me read just a few of these verses.
“Now then, my sons, listen to me, and do not depart from the words of my mouth. Keep your way from the adulteress and do not go near the door of her house, lest you give your vigor to others, and your years to the cruel one … Drink water from your own cistern, fresh water from your own well … Let your fountain be blessed, and rejoice in the wife of your youth. As a loving hind and a graceful doe, let her breasts satisfy you at all times.”
Men, Solomon was not ashamed to discuss that which God was not ashamed to create. And dads, neither should you or I. If you wonder what you should say, study this passage, practice what you will say, but by all means, just do it.
My house is filled with women. Until recently, even all of our pets were female. But I did not see that as an excuse for not talking to my girls. Yes, I left the mechanics part up to Jean, but we must remember that the issue of moral purity goes way beyond teaching our kids about the facts of life. Over the years, Melissa, Heather and I have had many good discussions with no question off limits.
From an early age I have shared with my girls,
Why they should wait and how to defend their position.
How to say, “no”
What it takes to have a great marriage, since they need to see the big picture.
That it is more important to turn a man’s heart, than his head.
The importance of waiting for the guy to initiate the relationship.
How to show a “holy rudeness” to pushy men whom they do not know.
Melissa worked as a bagger at Jewel Foods when she was in high school. At work one day she bagged a nice looking guys’ groceries, but as she finished the guy told her that she forgot to bag something. Puzzled, she asked, “What do you mean?” He answered, “You forgot to bag yourself.” Melissa, because she had been coached well by Jean and I quickly practiced “holy rudeness” by responding, “I’ve bagged all you’re gonna get. Have a nice day!” The guy left.
Dad’s, you are your child’s protector, and that means a lot more than just locking the doors at night. Too much is at stake. You have to be involved.
In Matthew 12:29 Jesus asked, “How can anyone enter the strongman’s house and carry off his property, unless he first binds the strong man?
Implied Answer- It can’t be done. This verse was written in pre 911 days. There was no police force to call for protection. Husbands understood that they were often the only lines of defense in their home.
So this morning, I end with these questions. Strongman, are you bound? Have the cords of sin enveloped you so that you are unable to protect that which is precious? Or are you free to patrol the perimeters for intruders?
Man of God, are you bound? If so, I encourage you to repent like David did after his fall with Bathsheba. If you do, God promises to make you clean so that like David you will be able to say, “Now I will teach sinners Your ways.”
Our wives need us. Our children need us. Let us not delay at the task He has given us. Amen!