Sowing to the Wind
"For they have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind: it hath no stalk: the bud shall yield no meal: if so be it yield, the strangers s h a 11 swallow it up" (Hos. 8:7). God sent the prophet Hosea to Israel to reprove them for their idolatrous worship, and to warn them of their impending doom if they did not forsake their idols, repent of their sins and return to God. The verse quoted above reminds us of some things that are taking place today both in the world and in the church.
We are sowing to the wind in the use we make of television. Most of us have T. V. sets and spend more time than we should in viewing an assortment of programs. If programs are chosen with discretion our time may be spent profitably; if otherwise, it can result in great damage. Many parents permit their children to watch T. V. many hours each week, paying no attention to the type of programs viewed. What do our children see? They see cigarettes glorified, drinking glamorized, and crime made to seem an accepted way of life. The more sordid the program the better the children and some of their parents like it. What may we expect of children who are permitted to view such programs from infancy to manhood?
Today, America is suffering from a major crime wave. The sadistic programs so much in evidence on T. V. could well be one of the contributing factors. In many cities it is not safe to go out on the streets at night. A recent article in the U. S. News and World Report raises the question: "Is Crime Getting Out of Hand?" In answer to this question the article states: "By every measure, America is on the brink of a major crisis in crime. Rise in crime far outstrips population increase. Crime by youth, increasing fastest of all, promises a new generation of hardened thugs. Police, baffled by the apathetic attitude of most citizens, see little relief in sight. A basic cause: too much worry about he rights of criminals, and too little about be rights of law abiding citizens."
The article points out the following statistics: "Crime in cities of 500,000 to 1 million in 1962 as compared with 1961 is up 0.9 per cent. Bank robberies almost tripled a 6 years. Embezzlements nearly doubled since '56. In 1962, arrests of youth under 18 increased 9 per cent." Truly, we have sown he wind and are reaping the whirlwind.
Lack of discipline in the home and in the school is another contributing factor to the rapid rise in juvenile delinquency. In an article in This Weeks Magazine entitled Nine Words That Can Stop Juvenile Delinquency," Judge Liebowitz, judge of Brooklyn's highest criminal court, says the nine words are: "Put father back at the head of he family."
Having heard that Italy has less juvenile Delinquency than any other nation, the judge decided to visit Italy to learn why. There he consulted judges, lawyers, teachers, school principals and parents. The following excerpts from his article are enlightening. Officials told him: "The young people of Italy respect authority. They have a respect that starts in the home and carries over in the school, the city streets, and the courts." He says: "I found that in the house of the poorest laborer, the father was respected by he wife and the children as the head of the family." A high school principal told him: "The child who respects his father and mother, too, will respect his teacher, the laws of his country, the policeman, the elders around him."
The judge says the American teen-ager is being raised in a home where the word "obey" is a dirty word. So-called "permissive" psychology has produced a confused, rebellious teen-ager who floods our traffic courts, our criminal courts, and later our divorce dockets. Twenty-five percent of all U. S. marriages now end in divorce or legal separation. The judge insists that the child does not want an Undisciplined, do-as-you-please, and "permissive" world. It makes him unhappy, and confuses him. He wants the solid walls of rules and of discipline around him, defining his world, giving him a large area of freedom but telling him exactly how far he can go.
By way of contrast, in America children are not taught to respect their parents in the home; parents will not permit the teachers in school to teach children to respect authority. Consequently, when children go out on the streets they have no respect for the law, nor for the officials who are paid to enforce the law. In our school system today it is too often true that the teachers fear the principal, the principal fears the superintendent, the superintendent fears the school board, the school board fears the parents, and the children do not fear any one. There is a growing tendency on the part of parents to neglect discipline in the home, and to discourage discipline in the school. If we continue to sow to the wind, we will continue to reap the whirlwind.
America is sowing to the wind in the emphasis that is being placed on sex. We are living in a sex-mad world. This emphasis is evidenced by the way women dress, by the type of programs most popular on T. V., and by the type of literature that is so widely read. In an article recently published in the Saturday Evening Post, the author, the wife of a high school principal, shows how many mothers are unconsciously sowing the wind in the way they train their daughters.
The following excerpts from that article should be read and pondered by all mothers. The author says: "Little girls are not little girls at all but full-fledged females, with no time for anything in this life that is not oriented toward sex . . . Thirteen year olds go to drive-ins with 18-year-old boy friendsBlind to consequences, mothers are rushing their daughters into sexuality at an ever earlier age. Mothers allow and sometimes encourage the wearing of lipstick, heavy eye makeup, and tight skirts in the grade school . . .It is a rare school official who does not breathe a sigh of relief when he has managed to get through another school year without any pregnancies among his teen-age pupils . . .Eight-and-nine-year-old girls, very scantily attired, entertain hundreds at ball games as baton twirlers. How can a little female return to a sandbox after the exhilaration of this spectacle? Little girls today are not interested in dolls unless the dolls have a ripe bosom, long shapely legs and, of course, her own boyfriend doll . . . Little girls no longer play grownup, they are grown up, made so by their mothers . . . Our girls once were groomed to be feminine, now they are groomed to be sexy. Today's young women do not understand the difference between sex and femininity . . . We have denied our young females the exquisite joy of being little girls We seem to think it will scar the child to say, 'Look, this heavy makeup and this silly hair style have no place in school. Go home and wash your face and comb your hair and then come back and we will let you in.' If this were said, who would howl the loudest? Mother, of course. Mothers are mainly responsible for the loss of little girls."
The whirlwind that is now being reaped from thus sowing the wind is pointed out in an article in the July 1963 issue of the Reader's Digest entitled "Mothers Without Joy." The article states that in the U. S. there are 250,000 unwed mothers a year; one million illegal abortions; one out of six American brides are pregnant when married; the birth rate has increased 60 percent in the last 25 years, but illegitimacy has tripled; one out of every eighteen babies will be born out of wedlock this year.
In an article in the September issue of McCall's Magazine, after interviewing many girls from 102 colleges, Gad Greene gives some quotes from girls that reveal the evolution of sex on the college campus. What she learned is alarming. What some of the girls said about sex follows:
"There is no right or wrong. What's right is what's right for you." . . . "If we're really emancipated as we like to think we are, why aren't we happier -- I mean, why do we suffer over such dreary self-recrimination?" ... "It was easier when a girl had her taboos all set up for her, the way our mothers did. Making your own decisions is much tougher." "Promiscuity? We don't even use the word. It implies condemnation. There's nothing we condemn on the campus, except getting caught, pregnant, I mean." . . . "Religion and virginity -- that's all we ever seem to talk about around here." The author observes:
"These are college girls talking. These are freshmen) upperclassmen, recent graduates of Bennington, Vassar, Ohio State, the University of Michigan, Wellesley, Marymount College in Tarrytown (N. Y.), Texas Women's University -- 102 colleges and universities throughout the country. They are voicing the slogans and the bewilderment of the quiet revolution -- the evolution of sex on the campus. Not the drastic upheaval wrought by war, automobiles, Freud, or the shedding of Victorian restraint -- this recent transition is subtler. New codes of behavior reflect the emergence of a teen-peer culture; the increase in divorce and public infidelity, collapsing censorship laws, the conflict between sex as an exalted expression of love and sex as Madison Avenue's favorite sales gimmick, the potential of annihilation in a nuclear holocaust -- all these have created the sex climate of the nineteen sixties."
We have sown the wind; we are reaping the whirlwind.
Truth Magazine VIII: 5, pp. 12-14 February 1964