I am a big reader, and love learning new things. In fact, I have just been reading up on youth and culture for about 3 hours straight. Here are some things I found out:
- Teens are sexting (sending explicit pictures of themselves to their peers) not just because of peer pressure, but because they are exploring what it feels like to be erotically appealing to the opposite sex.
- Parents must be fueling some of the sexualization of girls, because 8-year-olds don’t have money to buy trashy outfits.
- Some people who have previously perused porn unashamedly have concluded, in public forums, that their porn use has affected their ability to desire and appreciate their real life partners.
- After decades of decline, teen substance abuse is up these past three years.
I am feeling a bit depressed right now after all this bad news! Is there a bright side in this seemingly never-ending battle for the hearts and minds of our sons and daughters? Has our culture won the war? Do we throw up our hands in helpless defeat?
No. We can’t. We are parents. We love them, and want to see them have happy, healthy lives. We cannot control their behavior like we could when they were toddlers, but we have a responsibility to be wise guides. In the words of a sage writer: “Therefore lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees, and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint but rather be healed.” In an often broken world, we can continue to point our children to the straight paths…the ones that will take them to the finish line strong in character and healthy in mind and body. It’s our JOB.