The bottle started spinning.
The group had gathered while the parents were busy doing other things. They found a quiet spot and now sat there cross-legged, hormone infused, and anxious as the emptied bottle spun around and around. Billy had spun the bottle and desperately hoped that it would fall on Amy. He, with his shaggy hair, strong chin, and tanned skin after the Summer spent at the lake and she with her long auburn hair, green eyes, and sweet…lips. This was all he could think about! How sweet her lips appeared. He wanted to kiss those lips. He wanted to touch her body.
The bottle kept spinning.
The group was seated boy/girl/boy/girl so that it created fairness in play. Palms were sweaty, the room was humid, and everyone was nervous. To whom would the bottle point? Who would go in the closet with Billy? They had no defined any rules. They were no boundaries spoken, though surely there were unspoken ones.
The bottle stopped.
Many of us might remember playing “Spin the Bottle” or “7 in Heaven” growing up. It seems these days there is not even that pretense. The most we might ever do, because we did not really know better is a heavy make-out session. Today, I hear of Junior High kids sneaking off before school, during lunch, and after school for casual sex. I wish they knew there is, and never was, anything casual about sex. Apart from the obvious, why is there such desire? I am not saying desires have changed. I was young…once. I remember. Reports today suggest that half of the High School population has engaged in sexual activity, which does not include anything outside of intercourse. Strikingly, 1 of 5 14 year olds are engaged!
A broken bottle.
Casual sex, whether in the classroom, playground, car, or bedroom leads to broken bottles. The term “casual sex” is being used to denote an all-encompassing understanding. I believe whether vaginal or oral, sex is sex. A president might not want to believe this, but it is true. While hooking up may be overplayed in the media as I suspect it is, there are still high numbers of children engaging inactivity for which they are ill-prepared. Having knowledge of a subject does not mean you should act. Broken psyches and lives are a constant result of unpreparedness and improper orders of events. God has brought light and power into the fragile bottles of our lives. As the father of a teen and tween, I am daily praying that the bottles in my care stay intact.
Kids are curious creatures! Out of this curiosity, they explore. Exploration can lead to infatuation that can lead to involvement. How can we curb their enthusiasm?
Talk. Parents tend to talk to their girls more than boys. Both need education, awareness, and boundaries. Also, twice as many parents feel they have talked with their kids than claimed by the kids. We must make sure we are heard and understood. Helping them see the reasons why waiting is healthy and encouraging them to discuss options with you will certainly help.
Honesty. Parents who believe their children are saints need to have a reality check. Everyone knows mine are the only two angels still living on the Earth! 😉 Being honest means to accept that our kids are not the angels we want them to be. Being honest also means, in careful measures, sharing your life story too.
Openness. Parents must work very hard to keep lines open for kids to approach them. We, as parents, say we are open, but we must present that way too. Our body language ALWAYS says more than we think it does. If we cringe, faint, scream, or judge we are closing off the doors of communication. Once the door is closed, they WILL find someone else to be an influence.
Boundaries. Mediums such as phones and tablets are providing vast arrays of access to our kids. From image searches to Snap-chat we must stay on the offensive. Setting boundaries for kids on their web time and TV time is critical. Confiscating electronics after a certain time of night is tough but healthy. Taking time off from electronics will also be of value from time to time.
Modesty. Teaching our children, both boys and girls, to dress and relate modestly will assist. It is not just the clothes someone wears that is the problem. Often the way we talk to each other is immodest and creates a culture of disrespect. If we can teach our kids modesty we raise self-respect and self-esteem both of which are pillars of strength that undergird their spirit, mind, and body.
We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed. For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.