I've been thinking a lot about sex lately
...but more about that later...(now I know you're going to keep reading :-D)
Six years ago John hung a few bird boxes strategically around our house exterior, I'd heard it sometimes takes a while before you get any takers but six years is quite a while and though they were checked out a few times, this year we've had our first successful tenants, a pair of blue-tits. My housework has suffered greatly as I've spent so long watching the comings and goings of this very dedicated little couple. No whinging for 'me time' there.
It also happens to be the first time we actually have a half decent camera in our home though I still haven't mastered any of the settings apart from auto. Maybe over the summer I'll read the book it came with. Oh and please don't burgle us to get it, it's taken us 17 years to acquire and would probably take is 17 more to replace it!!
One morning after several fruitless attempts of impersonating a BBC Wildlife photographer (boy those little birds move fast) I managed to capture a few moments:
I'm so proud of my little visitors.
You know we have a little honey in our home. She's two and a right little busy bee, she learned how to open the garden gate today so I'm off to buy a lock first thing tomorrow, the older ones will have to climb over. Well anyway, I sent away for this little outfit for her, it came a day or two ago, now she's a little cutie bee too...
And on the subject of bees, over the years I have tried out many, many baby products, changed a million billion nappies, massaged little backs and tummies and generally made little babies kissable with every type of bubble, cream and oil I have been given as gifts or otherwise stumbled upon. By far my favourite is Burts Bees. I got a gift (from myself) of a little sampler set when Peter was a baby and fell in love with the natural, fresh and so very baby smell of the products. They're a bit expensive but really nice for an occasional treat or to give as a gift.
Which brings me onto the real subject of this post...
The Birds & The Bees.
So yes, I've been thinking a lot about sex lately. And the reason is that I'm in the process of wading through a mix of tweens, pre-teens and teenagers these days. So I'm praying, and studying and talking and guiding each little ladeee through these important times as best I can. For those of us who have come to the conclusion that our culture's presentation of sex as little more than a fun recreational activity is at least dubious and at worst an utter disaster there is a big task on hand. The bottom line is that it is ultimately a parent's job to inform and lead their children, to guide them through the quagmire and to equip them with what they will need to navigate their own way when they are old enough. It is not a task which can or should be left to schools, the internet or anything else. It's your job Mum...it's your job Dad!!
Sex is more than a recreational activity...much much much more and for anybody with an eye in their head it's not difficult to see that human sexuality and all that goes with it has been sold so far short.
To the best of my knowledge there has yet to be invented a condom for the human heart nor is there one on the horizon. So what has been left exposed in the early sexualisation of children, in the hook-up culture, in the porn culture and the growing addiction problems connected to it?
What is left exposed is the young human heart which so so often ends up with life long damage and hard to shake baggage. And all this in the name of something which has as it's intent human intimacy, the expression of the person as a gift to the other and the means by which our ever-loving creator has chosen to add to the human family. Yet we feel at a loss as to where to turn to help our children avoid the pitfalls, maybe the same pitfalls we have fallen into ourselves. All the more so if we have tasted the bitter after-taste of the fruit that cannot satisfy. All the more if we have entered adulthood ourselves with hearts that were ripped or damaged, with a body which felt wrung out and cheap, all the more so if the word abortion sends a knife through our soul. All the more so if what was sold to us as 'fun' 'doing no harm to anyone' & 'everyone's doing it' only to realise that we were sold a pig in a poke and that 'fun' didn't have the last laugh.
And now there are these little people we love so much and we want to guide them to something better, to the excellent ideal we know there is. I spoke about a year ago to a mother of young children who told me with tears in her eyes that she really believed there had to be more to parenting these children who were so precious to her and into whom she had invested so much love and care, simply at the end of it all to hand them a packet of condoms and a pill, it just seemed so...little. But she didn't even know where or how to start.
Do you remember before Christmas I wrote several posts about lovely things I'd come across which would make good gifts. That was nice and fun, but now I'm going to share with you some gems I have discovered along the way which I can wholeheartedly share and recommend to you as aids in the task of educating your child in the truth and meaning of human sexuality, in aiming for the high ideal and in training them how to pick themselves up again should they fall. I don't think God does anything for nothing, and Jesus falling under the weight of the cross not once, not twice but three times, getting up each time, was not for nothing. We are going to fall, our children are going to fall...but we and they don't need to stay down. Get up again and onward...
Teaching a child about the correct use of their sexuality begins as a tot, when they want the sweetie now, when they want that toy now, when they want the cookies straight out of the oven before they're cooled, and you say 'Don't grab' 'wait till it's ready' 'don't rip open that present until Grandma arrives' 'think of the other' You are teaching them that they can and should be masters of themselves and their wants, not be a slave to them. So it applies to all sorts of areas of their lives, not just sexuality. The teen who can wait for the coolest phone until they can save up for it will be a better adult than the teen who 'needs' it now at all cost (to their parent), and usually through no effort of their own. That will be an adult who is a slave to whatever chaff the breeze sends his way and probably not too financially responsible.
Actually, this post is getting a bit too long and unwieldy so I'll post the resources in a day or two. I'll just finish here by saying that this is something that is worth putting effort into. The stakes are high...very high. We all want our children to be happy and when this is right, more often than not, most other things fall into place. Sexuality is such an integral part of the human psyche, we can't just leave it to chance and vague hope that everything will magically work out for the best.
Tune into part two...