The Engage Family Blog

Official Blog of The Family Policy Council of West Virginia

It’s Great to Wait!

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I (Jeremiah G. Dys, Esq.) just had the opportunity to call in to Hoppy Kerchval’s show, “Talkline” and give a brief comment about the importance of abstinence.  Hoppy was wondering if we as a culture have gone to far in celebrating the poor choices of some of our teenage celebrities.  Chief in the mind of Hoppy was Jamie Lynn Spears who will forever be known for two things: being the sister of Britney Spears and having a famous (or perhaps “infamous”) teenage pregnancy.  

In his commentary (“Hester Prynn v. Jamie Lynn”)earlier this week, Hoppy made some excellent points.  His concluding thought was this:

Somewhere there has to be a happy cultural medium between treating pregnant teens like The Scarlet Letter’s Hester Prynn and celebrating them with magazine covers. 

I wanted to make two points on Hoppy’s show.  First, to affirm his supposition – and your commonsense – that the best environment for raising children is in the home of a married mom and dad.  That’s what our government policies and culture at large ought to work toward with every fiber of their being.  That some environments will not be ideal does not detract from the importance of our society working toward this goal.  If that be the ideal, why would we aim for anything lower?  As maturing adults, our children need the wisdom that comes from the commonsense of mom and grandma (not to mention, dad and grandpa), such wisdom is full of experience and regret – each of which is a lovely learning opportunity for the lives of the next generation.

The point I did not have the opportunity to make is this: while Grace requires that we forego shaming the pregnant teen (and the witting male accomplice), our young adults have lost the ability to blush.  Our world is permeated with sexualization from TV to movies to Walmart and interstate billboards.  It’s nearly impossible to purchase a Coke or Pepsi without having some vivacious model encouraging your patronage to his/her brand.  As a result, our teenage friends approach sexuality with the casualness of drinking a glass of Mountain Dew.  

With the loss of the ability to blush, the next generation has lost the capacity for critical thinking.  Or so it would seem.  I happen to think this next generation has a tremendous capacity, one that will surpass the ability of their parents.  Which is precisely why I choose not to appeal to the lowest common denominator.  To say, “They’re going to do it anyway, let’s teach them to do it ‘safely,'” takes the high ability of our maturing children for granted.  It makes them to be slaves to their biology, rather than the critically thinking beings they have the capacity for being.

Hoppy’s right, there must be some middle ground between shame and permissiveness.  To me it begins with training our children to blush over the things that are beyond their moment, while at the same time working – as a culture and as a part of self-governance – to strengthen the environment of marriage.  

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Written by Jeremy Dys

July 18, 2008 at 3:24 pm

Posted in Marriage

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