Why don’t I just jump right in and write a really awkward list of some of the song bites that I have stashed away in my brain from when I was a kid:
“Let’s talk about sex, baby. Let’s talk about you and me.”
“Freak me, Baby, awe yeah. Let me play with your body, baby, make you real hot.”
“I need $50 to make you holler, I get paid to do the wild thing”
“Boom, boom, boom, let’s go back to my room…”
“I wanna sex you up, all night!”
I could go on and on (till the break of dawn. ha!) and make myself and most readers continue to squirm and have sweaty palms. Did my parents know I was listening to such inappropriate songs at a young age? I doubt it. One of the funniest jokes a friend and I have is over the overtly sexual piano sheet music that she bought and we played and sang together as young girls. Oh, how our mothers would have cracked if they’d known! Has mainstream music always had an edge to it that required older folks to declare, “Those young kids and their loud music!!” Sure. But, do we really have any clue how sex has infiltrated our current generation of kids and teens beyond just the lyrics in mainstream songs? I don’t think so.
I have twice now seen a commercial advertising a new reality show and one of the quotes coming from a 20-something girl was, “Am I still bang-able?” Yikes! It’s the norm. It’s what young ladies (and guys) are seeing everywhere. I know the basic idea of sexuality being woven into music and entertainment is nothing new because it has been a risqué piece of many former generations, but again, I don’t think we really have a solid understanding of how entertainment and social media is distorting sex for both Millennials and beyond. The YouTube videos bombarding our youth about sexuality, the pressure to be Instagram ready with just the right selfie, the television shows like Keeping Up With the Kardashians that are portraying what our young girls should look like and act like and talk like. Modesty has gone out the window. Am I sexy? Am I hot? Am I “bang-able”?
This past weekend, I attended an extremely interesting and informative conference on sexuality. It was from a biblical perspective, but it was no holds barred as it covered almost every aspect of sexuality in the mainstream culture, from same-sex attraction, pornography, the biblical definition of both women and sexuality, singleness, how to address it with kids, etc. I was thankful to get a nitty-gritty discussion going on this issue because I don’t want to lay low on this as my kids grow. As the conference’s guest speaker, Melanie Cogdill (managing editor for Christian Research Journal), emphasized, God created sex and we must talk about it age-appropriately, frankly and regularly. Does it make me squirm a bit to think about bringing up these issues with my children? You betcha. But, it’s a part of my job and as I try to do with our Christian faith in general, I want my kids to know what they believe and why they believe it. That requires an open and welcoming environment at home where they can ask anything they’d like and feel comfortable sharing any feelings they have. Is that far-fetched? Maybe, but it can at least can be the goal.
What I learned this weekend that was so incredibly important to remember, but that initially sounds like it’s removed from the issue of sexuality, is that of our core belief in God. Without a moral compass that was instilled by our Creator, what value is found in modesty or sexuality modeled in the bible? Why not fall head first in to the sexual revolution that’s taking place in our current times? As Melanie Cogdill said, “It all goes back to Genesis 1-3.” Do we believe in God? If so, do we believe that the Word of God is our authority? If so, what is the biblical definition of sexuality?
I can think of many ways that my own perspective on sex was distorted and most of that was from the exposure I had and lack of any memorable conversations that may have helped. I don’t write this to lay fault on my parents because how many millions of other families typically avoid it because of it’s awkwardness? It only increases my concern for our up and coming generations with the seemingly quadruple amount of exposure they have nowadays and leaves me wondering how they will view sex as it pertains to marriage. How do they think they need to look in order to attract someone from the opposite sex? What language, forward flirty-ness, or sexiness must they exude in order to get attention?
It feels like a drowning fad to consider the idea that girls dress modestly and that boys are gentle and encourage girls to act like a lady. I have an entire future blog idea on how we, alongside other parents in the same peer group, can hopefully support our kids through the dating phase, but for today, I’m leaving you with this: If God created sex for good, and as Tim Keller described it, “Sex is God’s appointed way for two people to reciprocally say to one another, ‘I belong completely, permanently, and exclusively to you.'”, then how are we helping to encourage this truth, whether that’s in our own marriage bed, in relationship with others if we are single and/or dating, or in guiding our children? It’s a question I’ll be asking myself, too.
Crowe, J. (2016, July 28) 5 Lessons My Parents Taught Me About Sexuality [Blog Post]. Retrieved from https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/5-lessons-my-parents-taught-me-about-sexuality
Cogdill, Melanie, (2016 October) Conference on Biblical Sexuality at Covenant Presbyterian Church, Lakeland, FL