I checked in to Facebook today to find something discouraging.
There on my screen was one of those "bathroom mirror with my cell phone" pictures of a 17 or 18 year old girl with whom I am acquainted.
Well...the picture was actually of her, her belly button, her lower (much lower) abdomen, and the majority of one of her shoulders and upper chest area, and her "male friend" (who is apparently allowed to be alone in the bathroom with her).
Based on his comment on the picture, her father had seen it. And..it was still there.
I have a myriad of reactions, but the primary ones are, how does a parent fail a child that way? How does a child get to that place? How does a child feel when dad allows a boy to be alone with her in a bathroom with the door closed? How does she feel when dad knows that she chooses to dress that way, and allows it? Does she feel free? Lucky? Unloved? Unprotected? I'm going with the last two, even if she is not aware of it yet.
Purity begins with purity of dress. Purity of dress begins with purity of heart. Purity of heart begins in the cradle, and it is birthed of loving, actively involved parents who "train up a child in the way (she) should go".
Parents with young children may think that this is not an issue for them yet.
Parents may think that guidelines for godly behavior with the opposite gender do not need to be addressed before the preteens.
Parents may think that a daughter does not like dad involved in her courtship activities.
Parents have a responsibility to guide and protect their children. Protecting their purity and giving them the tools that they need to enter into, and maintain, a successful marriage is just as important as protecting them from falling off the playground equipment or running out into the street.
Coming in at year 18 and saying, "Wow, that's a lot of skin" is not the answer. Coming in from the beginning and saying: "God has made you special. He loves you and values you. He wants you to have a happy, healthy marriage. Happy, healthy marriages are built on purity and godliness. A young man who loves you will want to guard that purity." is.
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