The world is turning on itself. It’s imploding actually.
I listened to some young adults poems and heart shared about this and that, painful things really, and my mind kept thinking: “where were your parents!”
I can’t even begin to describe how limited my teenage experience is with dating. Zero to be precise. Not out of ignorance mind you. There was a time when I felt it was unfair and that I missed out on some essential experience. But my parents always made it clear that there is evil lurking. Propriety is not cheap.
Trip to the past: As a kid we went to check on the status of the bean-stock and grapes in a field my grandmother owned. It was on the other hill. Kilometers away. We took our sweet time as any three kids under 10 would. As we got back later than expected (the field was in god shape not much weed had grown) my grandmother tried to contain her worry but she just said that she prayed that we hadn’t been pulled in a hole by an older boy. I thought to my innocent self: “what, you think we couldn’t climb the hole?”. The world was a little more innocent.
Besides the fact that my mother didn’t encourage me to go to the wild parties (they were called disco then) I had an older brother who came home late a few times, I honestly didn’t like the vibe my “cool party colleagues” gave me. So I declined many outings because I had my church fulfilling social life.
As an adult I learned that many of my friends came to faith because of the peace they felt around believers. Other young adults said they felt like a huge weight was off their shoulders regarding dating expectations. That sex was off the table, and respect and abstinence was highly regarded. So they came to learn about this Jesus who made it possible.
I grew up in a church setting and I never knew otherwise, but I like the clear boundaries of personal space, of propriety and abstinence. Those rules were not written to ruin the fun, but to save us some grief. That’s how they sold it to me and I bought it full price and never regretted.
Noise and confusion, shame and shock, this is what many teenagers eat for breakfast, when it comes to sexuality. Nobody takes the time to slowly and repeatedly explain it, and let the truth sink in. My mom let me go to all these great christian camps and indeed I learned a lot, but the first layer of self respect, sexuality and boundaries are learned at home, from mom and dad.
I plan to wrote a book about my childhood, and all the seemingly dangerous things I was allowed to get close to, or the utter independence I had in the things that mattered, but how sheltered I have been kept from the sexual side of things, simply because it was not the right time, or my parents were too embarrassed to make sense of it. At just the right time I had figured it out. Still, to this day it feels like they played the roulette and they won by pure luck in my upbringing.
But looking back there is little I would do differently. Because they cared wholeheartedly, and they prayed unceasingly. I walked on my mom praying for us and blackout slowly. She loved God and she loved us and she was only human. Bud God is almightily, all seeing, all powerful, and we are His to protect. His to care for. His to love. And He can. Oh, how many times, in a hundred yards from home I could have been kidnapped twice, coming from church. I almost got stranded in the capital city, in the train station over night, with a younger girlfriend, I was 16 she was 13, where the darkness surfaces at night. There have been countless young girls being sold into slavery from Romania. Somehow, we were spared.
It was not what my parents did, because they have had their limitations. But it was to Whom they entrusted us. Daily. Some things are allowed by him to happen. I have a handful of friends who are bitter because of the abuse they have endured. And my heard aches for them and their pain.
So about “me too” – we are all different, we perceive things differently, even the same exact touch or suggestion. I read about women saying that we already the “me too” has gone too far, yet there are voices that haven’t been heard yet. And there are men who are afraid that their mild past flirtation could now be revived as abuse. We live in a broken world that wanted to wash the line of propriety, that wanted empowerment and fun and self gratification, but there are consequences and consequences are hard and painful.
I have a daughter. A beautiful daughter. A daughter that already dodged a life of abuse or human trafficking. And my heart pounds at the thought of what this wold has become in one short decade. And I pray as only a mom can, that God will watch over my daughter. That she would grow strong in faith and in the knowledge that she was made in the image of God, that she has value and a strong voice to use. That she is here to serve out of love, to empathize, to shine and to be humble. To be joyful and to be brilliant. There is such freedom in Christ.