Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Birth Control or Self-Control

In the midst of 24 hour news cycles, with a cacophony of news stories, it is easy to overlook a very real battle that is going on right under our noses. There is a frontal assault against abstinence based education programs. These efforts to provide our children with a positive, affirming, and life-respecting option to modern sex indoctrination programs are welcomed by most parents. A recent Zogby poll of 1,000 parents indicated that 83% want their children to save sex until marriage. Who wouldn't want their child to receive the same life affirming message at school that they are given at home? What parent would rather their teenager play games with inflated condoms in school that promote methods of sexual experimentation?

In Deuteronomy 6, the Bible makes it clear that parents, fathers in particular, are to instruct their children in the commandments of the Lord. One of those commandments is that we shall not commit adultery. The Bible then commands fathers to conduct an ongoing, age appropriate conversation about God's law and the benefits of following God's law. This ongoing conversation sets the stage for one of the most powerful tools in the human experience: the conscience. When we treat children as animals and affirm the lie that they cannot delay or postpone urges, we demean them and set them up for a life of lower expectations and we make failure a certainty.

Obviously, not every person who has been prepared by godly, loving parents makes perfect choices. That reality does not diminish the need for loving leadership and that encourages our children to make wise and good choices in life. Deuteronomy 6:6 says, "These commandments that I give today are to be upon your hearts." In other words, a parent must have a vital conviction about the sexual ethics presented in scripture. Most parents today grew up in the sexually permissive 70's and 80's. I was not a math major in college, but I know that these years followed the 60's. This was a period of sexual revolution against the restraints of morality. If we are going to teach God's sexual ethic to our young, we must believe in that ethic with all of our hearts.

Regardless of your past failures, you still have a strong moral ground on which to stand. Stand firm in the truth of God and give your children the tools of self-control. A positive, affirming abstinence based message aids parents in their efforts to help their children mature by making choices based on moral convictions and not biological impulses.

The forces that are attacking abstinence programs are serious, because the idea of trusting kids to make wise choices is a threat to their agenda. That is why Rep. Henry Waxman (D-California) and others are openly attacking abstinence programs and making their goal clear: to take the funding for such programs and hand them over to Planned Parenthood, the largest provider of abortion services in the country. Their push for birth control over self-control demeans young people, as incapable of making moral choices. This message is echoed in the entertainment media, as well as the prevailing press. We must encourage our congressmen to uphold abstinence based programs that promote healthy and self-respecting futures for our chlldren.

Ed Litton