God's Word brings order into the chaos of a sin-filled world.
When a young Christian mother named Laeta asked how she could raise
her daughter to purity, the Church father Jerome answered in this way:
First teach the rules of life from Proverbs,
the patience and virtue of Job, the Epistles, and the prophets.
Only then, and at a more mature age, is there wisdom in directing a young woman
to read about marriage and the spiritual bride in Song of Songs.
Appreciation to Rev. Dr. Christopher W. Mitchell
letters & suggestions from pastors to parents
To the parents of confirmation students ~
This summer I read a new book by a Missouri Synod author. Linda Bartlett has written a most helpful volume called The Failure of Sex Education in the Church: Mistaken Identity, Compromised Purity. This book discusses the origins of the modern notions of “sex education,” the consequences of those notions being taught in the public schools since the 1960s, and a plea to Christian parents and churches not to repeat the secular “sex ed” model among children and teenagers in the local congregation.
On the basis of what I have learned, I make the following request. I encourage you to opt [your child] out of sex education.
I make this request of you knowing that some may be concerned that their child will “stand out” from their peers by not attending the sex ed class. I understand. Permit me to suggest you look at things this way.
On the day your child is confirmed, I will ask this question: “Do you intend to continue steadfast in this confession and Church and to suffer all, even death, rather than fall away from it?” (Lutheran Service Book 273) Being hassled for not attending the sex ed class may be seen in terms of the “suffer all” wording from the Rite of Confirmation. Long before we suffer death for being Christians in these United States of America, there will be all kinds of smaller “sufferings” that we may endure for the sake of our faith and convictions. Not attending the sex ed class may be one of them. But we take heart in the words of St. Paul:
Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.”(Romans 5:1-5) (Rev. M.L.F. Freiberg, Sr.)
From a young pastor, husband and father at a book presentation ~
I am about half way through Linda Bartlett's book and finding it to be very sound and disturbing at the same time. It is a real eye opener to say the least. It all the more strengthens our resolve to home school. I am also trying to grasp the depths at which my own life and family's life have been affected by our "sexualized" culture. I love how Linda keeps bringing it back to our identity in Christ in Holy Baptism. That is very comforting and, well, true! Thanks be to God for this wonderful gift to His Church. This is a much needed book and conference. May the Lord continue His gracious work among us.
When asked, "What are the consequences of decades of sex education
in public schools and in Christian homes," a Lutheran pastor responded:
There is much work to be done in perpetuating the correct Christian sexual ethic among church workers and laity. Right now, in the parish I serve, there is a new out-of-wedlock birth mother, a gal who questions our synod's position on abortion, several couples living together without being married, a school teacher who thinks that abortion is okay for rape and incest, and an ever present apathy and disengagement on the matter of sexual immorality in general. Many folks think it is a given, don't care, and don't want to hear about it. It is awkward trying to teach several of my catechism class students about the 6th Commandment when three of them have parents living together out of marriage or are apart and never were married. As I was told by a college-age student, "My parents lived together and didn't get married until after my sibling and I were born." The spiritual welfare of our children is at stake.
From a pastor, husband, father, and grandfather ~
This book weaves together the author's personal experiences with material gathered from a multitude of sources. Seldom do I pay much attention to footnotes, but the personal asides included and the other explanations offered along with credible citations helped me glean a wealth of information. The book itself offers one excellent point after another. The style is informative and helpful, but not preachy.
I wish parents, grandparents, pastors and other church workers would take the time to read it. There is a high regard for sacramental theology and the Law and Gospel distinctions make it a perfect book for those of us in the Missouri Synod Lutheran Church, but there is nothing in the book that would in any way keep it from being a tremendously valuable read for leaders and lay people in any denomination. I am thankful to the author of this book for helping us to dialogue on an issue crucial to our time and our children's future.
From a young pastor, husband, and father at a book presentation ~
So-called "experts" in the field of sexology and promoters of sex education tell us that we need to teach our children the "yeses" and beauty of sex in marriage, and stop with the negatives and "nos." Isn't this dangling a carrot at the same time that we are encouraging our sons and daughters to delay marriage until after graduation from college, securing a good job, and getting the educational debt paid off?
I must confess that I went against my parents' wishes. My wife and I married young and started our family. I do not regret it. This conference offers me a resource to help other parents defend instruction in purity which is God's Word and avoid sex education which is grounded in secular humanism.
For what should a parent pray?
Dear God of all creation,
Grant that in all matters of faith and conduct we do not ask our reason, our heart, our desires, or the spiritually blind world for advice. Let Your Word be a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path, the basis of our judgment, and the final answer to every question.
Experience has taught us innumerable times that, if we would be our own guides, we shall be misled; if we do what others advise us to do, that we easily go astray. You are not only Truth and Faithfulness; You are Love, Goodness, Grace, and Compassion. Let us therefore not depart from You, neither to the right nor to the left, until we shall finally see You face-to-face to abide in Your presence forever and ever. Amen.
"God's own child I gladly say it: I am baptized into Christ!"
What can a parent do?
Daily remind children of who and Whose they are. Help sons and daughters live as men and women who wear the clothing of Baptism.
See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ (Colossians 2:8).
THERE IS HOPE FOR THE CHILD OF GOD.
Letting go of a sexualized identity,
we can see ourselves and our children the way God sees us.
makes us sons and
daughters of God
in Jesus Christ!
no matter our maleness,
age, health, or
circumstances in life.