Copyright © 1981, 2005, 2009 Philadelphia Church of God
Dating procedures have undergone radical changes in the past 75 years. But has it been beneficial progress—or has dating become a lost art?
What about “going steady”? What about “necking,” “petting,” premarital sexual experience?
It’s time to come truly up to date—with the facts and with the truth!
Let’s have reasons, for or against, that are rational and that make sense!
First, look at today’s teenage world. Realize how it has changed!
Not only is a moral revolution in cyclonic progress around the world. There also is a teenage revolution. It is, of course, a large part of “the New Morality” as a whole.
There are those who, in their self-confident uninformed optimism, assure us that today’s adolescents are no different—and certainly no worse—than those of past generations. But the facts prove otherwise.
Human nature is the same. But we simply live in a different world today. The emergence of the phonograph, the automobile, the motion picture, radio and television and other productions of the machine age have brought new influences and changing customs. Human nature, adapting to changing times, expresses itself very differently today.
Some would hush up the naked facts. But the welfare of our youth is at stake. The adolescents, drifting with the immorality tide, are speeding past their elders in the downward plunge. There is a trend. It is an immoral trend. It is speeding up at accelerated pace. It is only natural for young people to follow the trend. They want to belong. It’s time to face the facts squarely.
People are like sheep. They all follow the leader to the slaughter. But they don’t know they are being led to the slaughter. They are just a little stupid. Yes, quite a little! But they still want to belong! It’s natural to just go with the group.
Look how times have changed—and moral standards with them!
When my mother was of dating age, in the middle 1880s, chaperons were in vogue. She wore long sleeves, high necks and skirts that dragged in the dust. Young men didn’t know what girls’ legs looked like. In her embarrassment, my mother, I remember as a boy, called them “limbs.” When a young man began dating a young lady it was called “courting.” There was little or no caressing—only when the young couple could give the chaperon the slip. It was then called “spooning” or “sparking.” And even on such rare occasions, the very proper young ladies quickly drew the line.
I distinctly remember one incident—after I had passed 20. A girl I frequently dated and I were being driven to her home by a young man with his girl friend. In those days all cars were completely air-conditioned—they were open cars. It began to rain. We buttoned on the side-curtains. To hold the curtain down, on my girl friend’s side, I was obliged to stretch my arm over the seat behind her. I shall never forget the difficulty I experienced in keeping my arm far enough to the rear to avoid any contact with the back of her neck. I was terribly afraid she would think I was “fresh” if any part of my arm touched her!
Today’s bold young people will get a real laugh at this. Yes, indeed—times have changed!
Later I knew of an experience involving a young man about 21 whom I knew very well. He and a 21-year-old chum were double-dating two girl chums. The other couple had begun “loving up” as the younger generation then termed it. So this friend of mine began to fear he would be considered “slow,” or behind the times. “Loving up” was then beginning to be considered the thing to do, after the first two or three dates. So this fellow began cautiously putting his arm around this girl’s shoulder. She didn’t shove it back. A date or two later, he worked up enough courage to kiss her. She made no objection. He remained very proper, otherwise.
The girl’s father was dead, and her stepfather was a dealer in Buick automobiles. He and his wife often took the young couple out on Sunday afternoon rides. Very few families owned automobiles in those days. The young people sat in the back seat, and his arm usually was around the girl’s shoulders. There was no objection from her mother or stepfather. It seemed to be accepted as normal.
One night, sitting in a front-porch swinging seat, the girl began to tell this young man how much money her father had left her. It was not a fortune, but a few thousand dollars. She began suggesting what they might do with it.
“Wait a minute!” he suddenly exclaimed. “Just what are you getting at?”
“Why,” she replied, “I thought we ought to begin to plan what we will do after we are married.”
“Married!” he exclaimed, in sudden alarm. “Who said anything about getting married?”
“Why,” she came back, equally surprised, “what have you been loving me up for, if we’re not going to be married?”
The flabbergasted young man then explained that he had never indulged in “loving up” before, but had begun to feel out of date, supposing it was expected. The girl burst into tears, jumped up and ran into the house, slamming the door behind her. Next day the boy tried to contact her by telephone. Her mother answered the telephone.
“Lucille told me all about it,” said the indignant mother, icily. “She never wants to see you again.” And she never did!
But in those “loving up” days, prior to World War i, girls were kept “decent.” Actual sexual intercourse was “unthinkable.” The girl who did submit to it “lost her honor.”
Have times changed?
The question sounds ridiculous today. Full premarital coitus is the rule—except the word “premarital” is a little out of date. Even marriage is on the way out.
Few people stop to realize to what extent the teenagers have taken over. They pretty well dominate the world picture.
Isaiah foretold this day. Here is a portion of the prophecy: Speaking of our people—today—in these very last days—God says: “And I will make boys their princes [Moffatt translates it, “I will make mere lads their leaders”], and babes shall rule over them. … [T]he youth will be insolent to the elder, and the base fellow to the honorable. … My people—children are their oppressors …. [T]he daughters of Zion are haughty [we continue with Moffatt] holding their heads high as they walk, and ogling with their eyes, walking with their mincing steps …” (Isaiah 3:4-16; rsv). And this latter expression, about ogling eyes, when properly translated, actually refers to painted eyes—makeup on the face, and sensuous manner of walking to arouse boys.
Now look at the facts!
Why do so many radio stations turn to a “rock-and-roll” or disco format today? Because the rating agencies will show that they have the highest “ratings”—that is, the largest listening audience. But who is listening? Nearly altogether just “kids” in the lower or middle teens. But the rating agencies do not show the time-buyer WHO is listening—only how many! Big business and local “little business” consequently spend billions of dollars for radio time on the stations with the “highest ratings.”
But then, they say that these youths pretty well dominate the nation’s consumer spending!
Who determines what is “popular music” today? The “teens.” Even the radio stations who do not go to rock and disco music, in the main, play what is called “popular” music. But is it music? Or is it a moan, a groan, a wail, a dirge, and a screech?
Why did 10-, 12-, and up to 15-year-old little girls go virtually insane, and actually invite demon-possession, over the British “Beatles”? That could never have happened 50 years before.
Adolescents determine dancing trends, motion-picture themes, radio formats, and even advertisements and most fields of entertainment!
What many do not realize is that this teenage influence on the whole society is predominantly sexual influence. There is much more intense preoccupation with sex during these years than in later maturity.
Therefore sex became the basic formula for motion pictures—along with violence and crime, including murder.
In the past 20 or 30 years teenagers have come to recognize that there are advantages in organization and numbers. Actually it started back in the ’20s, with the sheiks, the flappers and the Charlestonites. Then came jitterbugs, bobby-soxers and then actual sex-clubs and gangs. In Britain, there were the Teddy-boys, succeeded by the “Mods” (Moderns), and the “Rockers” (Rock-and-Rollers).
In many communities, police and citizens alike have been shocked at the exposure of existing “non-virgin clubs.” Many disguised themselves as “teenagers’ social clubs.” They played “sexual games.” In some clubs, partners were drawn by lot. Club rules required illicit relations not less frequently than once a week. Girl members were initiated by sacrificing their virginity in a “ceremony” witnessed by all members.
There have been teenage drinking-and-sex parties. Also, marijuana or “pot parties”—where drugs and “free sex” are passed around. There have been hippie rock festivals and “love-ins” where nudity and sex are commonplace.
Teenage morality and respect for decency have plunged to an all-time low. Many youths express the attitude that there is nothing wrong with illicit or promiscuous sex.
Take one typical example. A 19-year-old boy had been in a certain town only six months. He named to police 11 girls with whom he had engaged in illicit sex. Many from “the best” families. “You can ‘make’ almost any girl in town, on your first date,” he said. In this particular scandal, which got into the newspapers, revealed facts were significant.
Of all involved, not one had received any formal sex education—boys or girls. Every boy had engaged in premarital sex before age 15. Not one was close to either father or mother. The police chief exclaimed that it was too bad he was unable to take a horsewhip to the neglectful parents!
One of the mothers whitewashed herself of blame, saying: “You can’t blame me for Janie’s predicament! Why, you can rest assured she never learned a thing about sex in my house. The word was never even so much as mentioned!”
The fast-growing surge of teenage immorality, drugs and violence is worldwide
There are facts and statistics on teenage immorality and juvenile delinquency to fill this entire book many times over.
But why? What is the cause?
The world doesn’t want to hear the true answer!
The world refuses to face the tragic truth!
The true answer is this: Something has been taken away from this Earth that sorely needs to be restored! That “something” is knowledge of, respect for and obedience to the government and the law of God!
But will any like that answer? Most want to go on rebelling against their Maker, trying to find some other solution to their problems. There is no other!
Once there was peace, happiness, orderliness, joy, on this Earth. You don’t have to believe it, but it’s true. Angels inhabited the Earth. The Almighty God had placed a top-ranking archangel, Lucifer, to administer the government of God on the Earth. Lucifer was a brilliant cherub. He sealed the sum total of wisdom and beauty. It went to his head. He became vain. Vanity gripped him. His mind swelled with resentment because he ruled only this Earth—a mere speck in the universe—while God ruled all the universe.
God made man mortal, of material substance. But He gave man mind power. When man chose to disobey God—to do evil, his mind became hostile toward God. He imbibed Satan’s attitude of self and rebellion. This became human nature. Human nature includes the attitude that had become Satan’s (Lucifer’s name now changed to Satan). Human nature is a pull, like the power of gravity, in the direction of vanity, greed, self-love, and spirit of competition, hostility, indifference, resentment or hatred, toward others. That is man’s natural attitude and tendency. It is a constant pull on man in that direction. It is the way that comes naturally. Because a subtile Satan, still on Earth’s throne, begins injecting that attitude during the first year of infant life.
Let’s understand the real basic reason for these present problems. Basically, it is simply human nature.
Yet God endowed man with mind power, capable of recognizing the error of this way, if willing. Adam could have obeyed God, resisted Satan and qualified to replace Satan as Earth ruler, administering the government of God. But Adam disobeyed God, succumbed to Satan. His children have done so ever since.
Jesus Christ obeyed God, kept God’s commandments, resisted Satan, never allowed what we call “human nature” to enter Him. He conquered the devil, and qualified to administer the world-ruling government of God. Then He ascended to heaven to officially receive this world rule. The heavens have received Him UNTIL—notice it, Acts 3:19-21, only “UNTIL the times of restitution of all things”—that is, the restoring of what had been taken away—the government of God!
That time is almost upon us now! This very outburst of universal violence is one of the signs! “As it was in the days of Noah,” said Jesus, “so shall it be,” just before the days of Christ’s return to restore the Kingdom of God, and bring us peace! Just before the Flood, there was illicit sex and violence! It was not thus 60 years ago. It IS a time of illicit sex and violence today!
Can’t we see the handwriting on the wall?
Why all this violence—this immorality?
Here is the cause! Human nature—which is vanity—without any purpose, and absence of parental training and discipline!
There is no sense of purpose today. We are told we must adjust to living in a world of problems with no solutions! Nuclear war—the erasure of human life from the Earth—appears to be just around the corner—liable to strike us any second.
Young people today are given nothing to live for! No hope! No future! They are more prosperous than ever before. They are BORED! They are rebellious. The spirit of revolt is in the air! They resent all authority!
Yet vanity within them seeks to exalt itself!
Why did Lee Oswald shoot and kill President Kennedy? Frustrated vanity! He sought status. He sought it the wrong way. America turned him down. Russia turned him back. He was a little man, incapable of greatness, yet he desperately craved to do something that would make him stand out in history—make the world take notice of him!
Even the Warren Commission could find no other motive!
Why do aimless, purposeless, bored, yet prosperous teenagers resort to violence? Says an article in Reader’s Digest: “Boys explode into violence to prove they are grown up. Some, unable to succeed in school … seek status through hooliganism.”
There it is—“to seek status”—plain vanity, but minus any constructive or healthy purpose!
Their parents have failed!
One father said of his boy in police trouble: “It isn’t my fault! Why, I’ve always given him everything he wanted. I can’t understand why he did this terrible thing!”
Yes, this father gave him money. But he failed to give him right teaching, training, a purpose in life, proper discipline, instilling in this boy a sense of responsibility and respect for authority! And he probably denied him love and true father-son companionship! Also he failed to teach him the truth about sex!
It is not exactly a paradox that millions of teenagers have had considerable sex experience, and yet possess little sexual knowledge. It is largely because of ignorance—or lack of right instruction in the right manner at the right time—that adolescents seek to satisfy curiosity by experience. And, of course, they are “sheep,” and when it becomes a trend—when “it’s being done”—human nature wants “to belong.” So they go with the crowd—and parents know nothing of it.
Even when growing children and adolescents do receive some formal sex education, it is always presented from the physical, the material, and therefore the sensual approach.
If teenagers had been properly taught what they needed to know about sex, from the very first and second years of their lives, by informed and loving parents, the frightful tragedies of teenage and premarital sex would have been reduced to the barest minimum.
Today, if you tell a teenager that “necking” is wrong—that it ought never to be indulged in—that it is a definite sin—that it robs their future marriage of much of its possible joys, delights and blissful happiness—the young man or woman will probably look at you rather pityingly, wondering how you could be so naive!
He would probably reverse the truth and exclaim: “Oh, you poor, ignorant jerk! Why, where have you been, that you don’t know the facts of life yet
Actually, it is the adolescent who is naive, ignorant and untaught in the truth about the facts of life!
The basic cause of today’s immorality, of course, is human nature. Human nature is the basic cause of all violence, war, crime—all our troubles in this present evil world!
But, as stated in the beginning of this chapter, human nature expresses itself in different ways, and adapts itself to changing times.
Human nature is, simply, the subconscious pull of a definite attitude of mind. It is the attitude that became Satan’s. It is the natural attitude implanted from infancy by the invisible Satan. It is the attitude of vanity—of self-concern—of lust and greed. It is the attitude of hostility to others, and resentment of authority over it. Of course, the self, as explained before, expands into the “empireical self”—which includes those with whom individual self is associated, or connected. This may include one’s family, his club, his gang, his church, his country.
Patriotism is an example of the “empireical self” expanded to include one’s country. But patriotism is expressed in the form of loyalty to country, as opposed to other countries. It includes an automatic hostility toward other countries—either passive or active. The Bible (Moffatt translation) classifies this as “party-spirit” (Galatians 5:20) and one of the “deeds of the flesh”—as opposed to the “fruit of the Spirit.”
The natural tendency to want to belong is merely the expression of this phase of human nature. This leads to the desire to want to go along—with those one accepts as his peer group, team, gang or whatever. This nature expresses itself in young people by the natural pull to want to go along with the teens, as opposed to their elders. If the teens have a new custom, frowned on by their elders, then self associates with the teens, and feels automatic and natural (from human nature) hostility and resentment toward the opposing elders.
Now what about “going steady”? This started several years ago as an American custom. The custom spread. It is a new way started by those in the middle and late teens. But when 18- and 19-year-olds began “going steady,” 16- and 17-year-olds desired to emulate (Galatians 5:20) and to go along. Then 14- and 15-year-olds responded to the pull to go along, and today even the 12- and 13-year-olds are beginning to “go steady.”
This subject has been discussed before in this book. Going steady brings familiarity, and familiarity breeds a certain contempt—in this instance, contempt for chastity, virtue and honor.
This going steady is simply the natural response to the pull of human nature. Human nature is essentially lazy. When a boy or girl goes steady he feels assured of dates. The boy is spared the embarrassment of asking new girls for dates, and the possible humiliation of being turned down. The girl feels a sense of security, knowing she will have dates.
The very familiarity of steady dating makes it easier for the boy to make bolder advances in “necking,” and then going on further into sexual intercourse. It makes it more difficult for the girl to say “no.” It tends to lower bars of resistance, and increases the temptation to carry intimacies to the limit.
The fruits of going steady are definitely not good!
It is one of the most difficult things in the world to convince an adolescent of the wisdom of doing what he ought to do, instead of what he wants to do. But yielding to what one wants to do is surrendering to human nature. It is traveling the road to sin. And sin is man’s greatest enemy, inflicting on him every pain, heartache, suffering and anguish he ever experiences. It inflicts unwanted penalties. But, again, it is hard for people to understand why they can’t put their hands on a red-hot stove and not get burned!
If a parent has not taught his child basic rules of character from infancy, it is a little late, by age 14, 15, or 16 to convince him he ought not to “go steady.” He is now too big and set in his ways to listen readily, and his mind is still too young and immature to recognize truth. But “going steady” is not good—for those who do it!
Now what about “necking”?
To even ask the question, “Is ‘necking’ wrong?” would sound rather silly to the average adolescent today.
Because of ignorance! Because of wrong teaching, and a lack of right teaching! Because there are some of the facts of life they have not yet learned!
Is the Bible an out-of-date book? If it is, how does it happen that it so accurately foretells today’s world news—so understandingly pinpoints human nature? It says, “The carnal mind is hostile toward God.” And that is certainly true. Where God says, “Remember,” everyone immediately forgets! When Jesus said, “Think not I am come to destroy the law,” everyone proceeded to think He did destroy it! If God, in the Bible, said, “Observe Christmas, New Year’s and Easter,” then nobody would!
God created humankind male and female. God blessed humans with the wonderful God-plane marriage and family relationship. God designed sex, to bring indescribable delights and joys with His blessing, in marriage! In His great wisdom, God created men so that sex arousal and desire often takes place more rapidly than in their wives—and He designed women so that they are not physically or mentally prepared for actual coitus until arousal is brought about by the love embrace—by caressing—by the love-talk and endearing words of the husband! In other words, by “necking” and “petting.”
There was vital purpose in this!
Had God made women to be aroused by the same means and the same quickness as their husbands, sexual intercourse in marriage would seldom—if ever—be that supreme expression of love that God intended—in order to bind and hold together the marriage and the home and family! Marriage would be robbed of its blessings—of its supreme joys!
But when boys and girls engage in premarital love-making, called “necking,” “petting,” and even “heavy petting” (these terms are defined in an earlier chapter), it is not the love that binds more firmly that which God has bound for life. It is mere sensual gratification. It is lust, no matter what you wish to call it! It cheapens, tarnishes, corrodes the entire, wonderful experience God intended as a repeated lifelong experience in marriage! And it detracts from, and robs the participants of the full happiness they might have had in a future marriage!
This lovemaking—this “necking” or “petting”—this caressing—is all a part of, and actually the most important part of, sexual intercourse in marriage!
Therefore, when indulged in prior to marriage—or outside of marriage—IT IS A CAPITAL SIN!
Teenage custom does not determine what is sin!
College-campus practices do not define right and wrong!
Acceptance by society does not decide what is sin
God Almighty has already determined what is sin!
God does not allow humans to decide what is sin—but He forces us to decide WHETHER to sin! He has called me to lift up my voice and show people what is sin. That is what I am doing here. I did not devise that law, or set it in dynamic, living, if invisible motion—GOD DID!
How can you prevent the tragedy of a premarital pregnancy? How can you prevent the disgrace and terrible predicament of venereal disease? By knowing when to stop? NO! By simply not starting the “necking” in the first place!
If it were good for young people, God would have instructed them to engage in it. But sin is not good for people—sin HARMS people!
In an earlier chapter we described how people are drawn into sin. It is explained in James 1:14-15: “[E]very man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.”
The temptation is not a sin. Sin is when the mind harbors the temptation—retains it—keeps thinking of it—keeps desiring it, until the desire conceives into the action of sin. How does one avoid sin? By not retaining the desire! By pushing it out of mind immediately!
But to start in the action of sin, and think you can “draw the line”—that you know “when to stop” is to commit sin!
The time to prevent sin is before it starts!
This world’s society and its customs are based on human nature—which is to say, on Satan’s ways—and are diametrically contrary to God’s ways!
Go along with the crowd, and you are stumbling along with the other dumb sheep to the slaughter! Why be one of the crowd? Why not stand out from the crowd of ignoramuses and weaklings, as one who has knowledge, wisdom and character? Any old dead fish can float downstream but it takes a live one to swim against the current!
This is not prudish talk. It is not “old-fashioned” talk. It is intelligent, rational understanding, based on the instruction of the Creator!
What a shame that the adolescents of today were not taught properly by their parents from babyhood!
It is the God-required DUTY of every parent—a responsibility for which parents will be held accountable in the judgment—to properly teach and inform their children of the facts of sex.
This teaching ought to begin while children are still small.
Has dating become a lost art? It would certainly seem so. Certainly there is no “art” to the manner of dating today.
It seems young people no longer know what to do with themselves on dates. Perhaps most dates today are spent either in a car, parked by the roadside in a dark and secluded spot, where the time is spent in “necking,” or in sexual intercourse, or else in a darkened motion picture theater letting their minds drift with a ready-made daydream.
Dating is no longer stimulating mentally, upbuilding socially and intellectually beneficial. It tends not to build but to destroy character.
Some dating, of course, is spent at various kinds of dances. Some of these may be invigorating physically and at least somewhat mentally. Some are downgrading and morally and mentally harmful—depending on environment and character and quality of participants.
In my dating days, I had a “system.” I was unconverted, and the motive undoubtedly, in part at least, was vanity. But I did try to date only top-level girls. Of course we sometimes went to the theater, occasionally to the motion pictures (it was during the “silent” days), occasionally to a dance—but never to a public dance. Public dances, then, were not in good repute.
But usually our date involved a walk, a scintillating and enlightening conversation, and possibly a soda or sundae at an ice cream parlor. I devoted considerable time in public libraries, in the philosophical, or travel, or biography departments, acquiring knowledge for interesting conversation.
On a first date I analyzed and sized up the girl. I didn’t know how a fellow “fell in love,” but I supposed it might happen unexpectedly in some mysterious way. And I didn’t want it to happen to me in the case of an unqualified girl. If my first-date appraisal of the girl indicated definitely that, should I “fall” for her, she would be unsuitable as a wife and the mother of my children, there was never a second date.
I was taking no chances on “falling” overboard with the wrong girl to the point I might be so blinded by love I would be unable to see it!
I remember one girl, pretty, attractive, good conversationalist. She got a second date. But then I discovered she was lazy, would not help her mother with dishes, making beds and housework. I never dated her again.
I dated two or three girls, frequently but not regularly or like “going steady” in any sense, who had absolutely no “sex appeal” for me whatsoever. There would have been no temptation to “neck” as teens call it today. Of one I said I would as soon have my arms around a cold iron lamp post. Yet I dated her on occasion because she was an unusually fine girl whom I respected highly and an interesting conversationalist.
Dating can, and ought to be made a real art. Some thinking and planning ought to go into the preparation for a date. A date should be an event which adds to the mental, social, moral and spiritual character development of both boy and girl. Such a date is so much more rewarding, and leaves a far more palatable feeling afterward. In today’s warped and perverted thinking I suppose that suggestion seems very old-fashioned and naive. But for those who have a little sense and understanding, it would be wise to heed it.
Dating should be made interesting. But a date can be both interesting and at the same time stimulating, uplifting and a contribution to the very purpose of life—character-building.
If my “system” did nothing better, it protected me until the Eternal God brought the finest little woman in the world and me together. Our dates were stimulating, challenging, dynamically interesting. They still were, more than 49 years later!
Sex instruction should begin as early as little minds begin to show curiosity about little bodies—and that might be as early as age 2 or 3.
The “birds and the bees” method has been ridiculed—but it is a sensible way, nevertheless. To little children, explain first about God. Explain about creation. Explain how God created the plants, the flowers, the birds, the bees and the animals.
Then explain how God is a Spirit Being, who looks like a man—who has a face, eyes, ears, nose, mouth—who has a body, and hands and feet—only God is composed of spirit, and His eyes are like flames of fire; and His face shines as brightly as the sun—so bright no human could look at Him without having his eyes blinded by the great light. God has all power, and so He caused all these things to come into being.
Then explain how God decided to make man in His very own likeness—not like animals, or birds, or plants—and to give us minds like His—only He made us out of matter, and so we do not know as much as He, or have as much power. But, just as all plants and animals were created to be male and female, and to reproduce their own kind, so God made humans male and female so we could have little babies who become children and grow up to be just like Daddy and Mommie.
Then explain how wonderful it is that even a little baby starts from a tiny “seed” or “egg” which is kept, as it grows, where the mother can best protect and watch over and nourish, as it develops. You’ll be able to fill in the details—I won’t attempt it here. And show how humans can be a loving family, like God—and how a baby has a home, and a mother and father to love it—and not have to be out all by itself, like baby animals. Connect it all with God, and with love, and with family relationship.
And above all, explain to your child that YOU will answer all his questions, and instruct him to come to you with all questions, but never to talk about this very wonderful but private subject with other children.
Of course you cannot tell a 2- or 3-year-old more than a small part of sex knowledge. But as the child grows older, explain more from time to time. Keep ahead of the “gutter.”
One of the greatest sins, crimes, tragedies of this world’s society, is that great sin of omission—the neglect of parents to teach their children.
Not only about sex. Most parents neglect to teach their children—period!
But first, before you attempt to teach your children—especially about sex—educate yourself! To enable parents to do that is a major purpose of this book. After you have finished it, go back and read it all again!
Always give your children an abundance of love. Show your affection. Then, from tiniest infancy, by loving but unquestionable insistence, bring your child to absolute recognition of your authority—and before he reaches the end of his first year! If spanking is necessary, use it—always being careful not to injure the child, yet making it smart enough to get results. Most mothers spank too lightly—that may do harm rather than good—especially psychologically.
Some fathers spank, beat or paddle too hard. Make it hurt—enough to accomplish the purpose—but without injury. The main point in spanking is to apply the principle of the adage that “the stitch in time saves nine.” Do not spank your child into obeying you.
One mother couldn’t understand why her spanking never got results—she spanked only in final desperation—to force the child to do what he was told. She told her 4-year-old boy it was time to go to bed. He didn’t want to. She threatened to spank. That was her first mistake. She should immediately have spanked him for disobedience. Instead, she threatened. He was accustomed to the threats, and knew by experience she probably would neglect to carry it out. Ten minutes later, she threatened again, a little impatient—a little angry. Then, another 10 minutes and it was repeated. Finally, half an hour after her first command, she forcibly spanked him into bed. And wondered why this spanking had to be repeated so often!
Never spank in anger. Always be sure your child understands your command or instruction. If this is made sure, then spank—crisply enough that the child doesn’t want it repeated!—for disobedience to authority. The parent who hesitates is lost! Do it immediately! First be sure the child understood! Second, be sure you teach—get in the lesson—make plain, and in love, why you are spanking! Third, spank without delay!
Don’t say, “This is going to hurt me more than it will you.” Make it hurt him enough (without injury) that he won’t want to disobey again—but make him understand he made you do it—not because you wanted to, but because he made you. Don’t be afraid of what the crackpot child psychologists fear—to make him feel “guilty.” When a child disobeys, he is guilty, and must be made to realize it!
When we disobey God, He tells us plainly, in the Bible, that we are guilty! Yet God loved us enough to give Christ to die for us, that the sin may be forgiven, upon repentance.
So let the child know he is guilty—but he can be forgiven upon repentance—which means to change from the spirit of rebellion to an attitude of willing obedience.
But, don’t humiliate your child—especially before others! The most cruel thing one person can do to another is to make him feel whipped, or to cause him to lose all confidence, or induce an inferiority complex. True humility is required for right godly character—but one can be humble and still properly confident. True confidence is not self-confidence, but faith in God.
Space does not allow more along this line in this work.
Never lie to your child. Never refuse to answer questions about sex. Never say, “You’re not old enough to know that yet.” Always find a way to give a right explanation in a right manner, and within the understanding and capacity of your child.
Never reproach your child for asking questions about sex, by accusing him of interest in “indecent” things. Be sure you represent sex, as God ordained its right uses, as decent, good and actually something sacred and pure—and to be kept that way! Make your child understand, early enough, that good things may be put to sinful uses.
When the little child asks his mother, “Where did I come from?” tell him the truth. Let the mother say, “You grew into a baby inside of me, here under my heart,” and she can point.
In teaching little children to keep pubic regions covered, never talk about it being “indecent,” in a way to give the impression sex is indecent. But explain it is not proper to be exposed to others—sex is something God wants kept private. If a little boy and his little sister ask about sex differences, it’s certainly time to begin instruction about sex, and why God made it so.
Answer! Don’t tell your child the “stork” lie.
One little fellow said to another little boy: “I found out that all that stuff about the stork bringing my little sister, and about Santa Claus, isn’t true—and so now I’m going to look into this Jesus Christ story, too!”
Doctors report cases of 12- and 13-year-old girls being brought to them by distraught parents, on the occasion of their first menstruation. The parents didn’t know how to explain. And it was too embarrassing!
This should never be! If children have been properly instructed about sex, gradually as they grow up, all girls should have been fully instructed about menstruation before they reach the age of puberty.
Any mother can and should completely explain what is found in the early and last portions of Chapter 9 in this book, in a manner to cause her daughter to consider with reverence and awe how wonderfully God has designed her body and its functions—especially of the marvelous “laboratories,” the ovaries. If the mother is dead, the father should have no difficulty in explaining this with the help of Chapter 9, and other portions of this book.
Every boy should be completely instructed before he reaches the age of puberty. And the proper explanation is found in Chapter 9—especially the middle portion.
Nearly all books about sex—produced by the medical doctors, psychiatrists and others from the purely physical approach—assert that masturbation is not harmful. They ARE WRONG!
WHY must humans—even the “professionals”—always go to one or the other extreme, as far from truth as possible?
On the one hand, many boys have been told, falsely, that masturbation causes insanity, loss of virility, sterility, pimples, etc., etc. This is not true. Scaring boys with lies is not the thing to do!
On the other hand, masturbation is a form of perversion. It is a sin! It does harm the boy—or the man—physically, over a period of 12 to 24 hours by dulling the mind, even causing a partial blurring of sight, and acting as a partial anesthetic to the memory. Often a boy will experience absent-minded proclivities following masturbation.
It is harmful psychologically! The mind is on self—on sex—not on a lovely wife. Invariably it produces a guilty conscience, and destroys normal confidence. Sex experience belongs in marriage! The mental attitude is the all-important factor. God intended it to be that sacred and wonderful relationship of expressing love in that most intimate and personal of all human physical and psychological experiences, which binds husband and wife together truly as one flesh! When sex is expressed in any other way, it robs one of a portion of that blissful, delightful and truly wonderful God-ordained experience! Remember love is giving—an outgoing concern—as well as sharing. Masturbation is neither.
Masturbation is either plain lust, or else a desire for relief. But God provided for relief, through the means of nocturnal emissions during sleep. If such natural relief is needed, the boy or man may induce it by sleeping on his back.
Most boys and many girls get into the habit of masturbation at an age so young they simply cannot remember its beginning after growing up. It is a nasty habit, often almost impossible to break. There is no greater plague!
Even a baby may discover a pleasurable sex sensation. It could and often does happen accidentally. Even before 1 year old, some babies may discover this and start masturbating. The parent should be constantly on guard. Treat it, in infancy, in the same category as thumb-sucking, or putting a finger in his nose. Teach the child that he should not play with parts of the body. Do not frighten him. Do not lie to him. Just tell him his thumb, or his penis, or his nose, was given him for a different purpose—and he must not misuse it. And back up your teaching with discipline—and punishment if necessary!
And don’t assume that only boys and men masturbate. It is a perversion practiced by girls—and grown women—also. The difference in sex is only relative. A higher percentage of males practice it, but more females are guilty of it than commonly realized.
This will require constant vigilance! Don’t neglect it! It is a serious parental responsibility!
The matter of circumcision was treated in an earlier chapter. At cost of repetition, it should be mentioned in this connection.
As a religious rite, as the Apostle Paul explained, circumcision under the New Testament is spiritual—of the heart and not of the flesh. Although it is not today a religious rite, nevertheless, it is urgently recommended for all male babies, for purely physical reasons. Check the index, turn back and reread what was written before on the subject. Circumcision will greatly lessen the danger of masturbation.Continue Reading: Chapter 13: The Best Age for Marriage