TEENS HIDING THEIR SEXUAL REALITY FROM PARENTS
By Kenny Luck
Sexual revelations about their children shake most parents to the core.
Let’s face it – “our little Katie” getting naked with a boy or “our little Kevin” guzzling porn on his smart phone and chronically masturbating is an exercise that – again – most parents can’t mentally engage or never want to imagine. However, to personally witness the shock, awe, shame, and personal disappointment in themselves as they deal with a teenage sexual revelation after the fact is even more painful. Their face says it all:
- What happened?
- How did we miss this?
- Why didn’t they come to me?
- Have I failed to pass on my values?
- Am I such a bad parent?
These are the questions parents around the country are asking themselves in the wake of deeply held moral and spiritual expectations colliding with what are, for parents, unexpected sexual revelations about their children.
- Thu Jul 23, 2015
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Our world has fallen head-over-heals in love with love – an idealized version of it that swallows massive amounts of our mental, emotional, social, and financial resources. “We all” pursue it. Chick flicks, romance novels, music and newsstand magazines all depict it. Advertisers appeal to it. Some brokenhearted people avoid it. And we download the sentiment of it with 90% of music selections.
And yet, God designed it. Love is a matter of the heart, and biblically, the heart is the center of our emotions and will. Oh, and by the way, since God has designed it…. The enemy is after it.
Our hearts are under fire by a culture that romanticizes, fantasizes, and strives to realize love its’ own way apart from God. It’s a brilliant tactic by “pseudo-love’s” main sponsor – Satan. Think about it. The more distracted we can become by it, the less we can connect with the true purpose for it.
When Jesus was asked to rank the most important commandment in Mark 12, I imagine if He had a microphone He would have turned up the volume and shouted:
- “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” --Mark 12:29-31
It’s silly not to talk about the number one issue, the number one temptation, the number one economic engine in culture for men — and that’s sex.
Testosterone never goes away; your sex life isn’t just a physical thing. God knows where your sex life really is - on the inside. There is so much sexual confusion, so much brokenness. I have never met a man who hasn’t, in some way, been impacted or broken in the area of sex in one form or another.
God’s mind on sex is very positive. Sex is a gift. That’s how He created you. Sex is a good thing. He wants you to use that aspect of your life for positive things, not to misuse or abuse it.
God hates sexual sin, not because He hates sex, but because He loves life. Our identity as God’s men, our energy and expression sexually is to honor, worship and glorify God.
Whether God’s man likes it or not, we live in “glass houses,” meaning people are watching our behavior to see if we live consistent with our words, beliefs and reputations. A little Google search will lead you to find several “Christian” men giving our faith a bad name because they were involved in scandals and doing mental and theological gymnastics to justify what they were doing with the Bible. Evil loves that kind of self deception and encourages it.
Just like in war where you learn from the classic strategic blunders in history so your side doesn’t repeat them, I think there’s a lesson here for God’s man. It’s this: God’s plan to have Jesus sacrificed on the cross for our sin and rise again sets you and me “free” from sin. But just like a prisoner who has his sentence commuted must learn to live as a free man and not return to his old life so must God’s man. We too have to learn how to live in our spiritual freedom.
If a prisoner has not been ‘rehabilitated’ (or know how to live like a free man), then he will be tempted to make bad decisions, reunite with old friends, re-engage in old habits, and ultimately cause even more damage to himself and loved ones. He may, in fact, prefer to end up back to jail, where there’s safety in the boundaries, parameters and limited freedom.
As children move though the teen years they desire to pole vault into independence. This, mixed with a bubbling set of hormones and an ever-expanding understanding of society, can make fathering teens one of the hardest, emotionally charged tasks for God’s man. Yet, it’s critical to “lean into” these years versus withdraw and not allow the pace of life or teenage attitudes to create detachment. Here’s why: this is when your children are in the “red zone” of identity and it is your responsibility to bring them into the end zone of adulthood.
Unfortunately, reading between the lines of the following news reports, many teens suffer from a lack of fathers leaning in and taking their roles seriously resulting in unintended but very real suffering. Check out these national headlines from the last year, along with “My between the lines” take:
Teen charged, second sought in beating death of WWII vet, 88, in Spokane
-- My between the lines -- Two young men unleashed pent up anger to express machismo, perhaps copying what they experienced at home by their own fathers.
Teens charged after allegedly killing Australian student in Oklahoma for the 'fun of it'
-- My between the lines -- Fatherlessness is creating these types of boys by the millions with multiplied billions of their social interactions creating a titanic wave of injustice for innocent people. Emotionally unaware and socially detached, these boys cannot connect their actions with the feelings of others.
Father and son behind bars for shooting near Purdue North Central
-- My between the lines -- Sadly, the teenage son is following the example set by his drug-dealing father, learning how to execute “justice” when a deal goes wrong.
While these examples don’t paint fatherhood masterpieces, teenagers can also be wonderful, loving -- even surprising -- young men and women who grow by leaps and bounds right in front of our eyes. Fathering a teen can be challenging, but equally rewarding. Here are a few tips I’ve used and picked up over the years from experts: