I know I'm going to sound old and prudish, but bear with me. I have noticed a strange and disturbing trend in recent years - or maybe it's been out there longer but I was too deep in diapers and sippy cups to notice when our world made a dynamic shift.
The trend is sex so casual it's not even as significant as buying a pair of shoes, with participants that seem to get younger and younger. I guess since my son is 13 years old and will be in high school next year, my observational skills have sharpened lately and I've begun to observe the youth in our culture.
I'll be honest - I don't watch much television. I have two shows I watch on Sunday evening, but otherwise, I hardly turn on the television set. Nevertheless, I don't consider myself terribly naive when it comes to the human propensity to ditch propriety and do what feels good. I am also aware that it is more uncommon to find a young person NOT having sex than the other way around.
Even though I'll be 40 in a little over a year, I do remember what it was like when I was a teenager. But things have changed. It's no longer couples that are engaging in intimate relationships. Now it is hook-ups and sex parties where young girls wear bracelets indicating their, um, shall we say, menu of options.
I recently learned that parties featuring young women wearing these bracelets take place on a nightly basis on some college campuses. Strangers - people who are meeting for the first time ever - casually go in back rooms, come back out and choose other people to go into those rooms again.
When did young girls come to view themselves, their bodies, their health, their emotions as worthless? At what point in our culture did young girls get the message that their sensuality and appeal to the opposite sex was their main source of significance and worth? How did we let our girls down so spectacularly that many seem to think the only way to be important or have worth is to have a guy or be attractive to guys? At what point did society flip so much that now it is young men that are being pressured and pursued by young women?
It's a disturbing trend, but it's also strange. Why is that? Because we are also in a time of "girl power." There has never been a time in history that females of all ages have as many opportunities and advantages. Do you realize only 100 years ago, women couldn't vote or couldn't buy land? Only 50 years ago, a woman couldn't get a credit card in her name only. It had to have her husband's name on there. There were hardly any girls playing organized sports either up until really the 1970's.
And yet, more opportunities, more education, more advantages has not translated into young girls and women who respect themselves, their bodies and their emotions more. Instead, I can't take my sons to the mall without them having to cover their eyes - either from the 6 foot tall boobs in the Victoria Secret window ad or from the clerk whose cups overfloweth. (do companies not have dress codes at all anymore??)
I'd like to think this is the world out there, but the truth is, Sunday morning can get dicey too. I know I have boys, but I am truly shocked at times in the outfits some girls/women come to church in. Apparently, loving a brother in Christ doesn't include covering up so as not to be a stumbling block to him.
I was reading in II Timothy the other day and came across these verses 2 Timothy 3:5-7, "holding to a form of godliness although they have denied its power; Avoid such men as these. For among them are those who enter into households and captivate weak women weighed down with sins, led on by various impulses, always learning and never able to come ot the knowledge of the truth."
That's us these days - we have a lot of learning but not much truthful knowledge. Lest you think I am condemning these girls - to be honest, it breaks my heart. I want to grab them by the shoulders and shake them. I want to tell them God created them. They are loved and cherished and the apple of God's eye. He is the person who will give them true significance and true worth - not the shifting ideas of being attractive and sensual. I want to shout for them to respect themselves enough to not display their bodies in immodest clothing or throw away not just their virginity but their souls for casual sex that will only make them feel MORE insignificant and worthless.
As Paul said, I want them to know the height and depth and breadth of Christ's love for them.
~ blessings, Bronte