"I trust MY children ... they would never be involved in anything like that! I" "How dare you insult me by suggesting something like that could happen to MY children!" "I think it's better just to let them find out these things, for themselves, than to try and discipline them, and have them rebel against us." "Well, I could see Mrs. ________s children involved in that, but certainly not mine!"
The above quotes are just a sample of what many parents believe, and are persuaded to believe in connection with their children and the rearing and behavior of them. I am sure all parents want to think of their children as "above reproach" but unfortunately this is not always the case. Some parents say, "Well, I do the best I can, and now it's up to them." Just how much do parents teach their children about important matters such as marriage, divorce, petting, diseases, etc.?
I am not claiming to be an authority on the subject of children, the rearing of them, nor trying to tell you specifically how to rear your own. I am, however, saying that parents, as well as children, need to open their eyes to some startling statistics.
The following figures were given recently in the Cincinnati Enquirer. For parents who are often "too trustworthy" and to children who are often "uneducated in sexual matters," please note the following statistics concerning venereal disease:
The American Social Health Association estimates 1.5 million new cases each year, a figure which includes:
1 in every 200 teenage boys
1 in every 400 teenage girls
1 in every 90 persons tested for marriage
1 in every 113 pregnant women
I in every 100 service men
Not only is the above startling, but in 1966 some 4,448 children aged 10 to 14 were stricken with this disease.
Some will undoubtedly think that the preacher and the church have no right to speak of information such as this. Too many fail to realize that the Bible speaks and condemns unsanctified relationships. Let someone ask the question, "How do we start solving such a problem?" First, we must realize that the "worldly" are not going to be able to solve it. The solution, therefore, must begin with parents and children in the "Christian home." If these two parties (the parents and the children), can only learn to realize how essential "talking things over" is -- important questions like marriage, divorce, disease, etc. can be solved.
From the beginning of time God has sanctified only the husband and wife relationship:
(1) Eve was called Adam's wife (Gen. 2:25). They were to, ". . . multiply and replenish the earth (Gen. 1: 28).
(2) Sarah, and not her handmaid, Hagar, received the promise of the seed. Sarah was Abraham's wife (Gen. 21:9-12).
(3) Paul said if the unmarried and widows could not contain (I Cor. 7:8-9), it would be " better to marry than to burn."
On the other hand, individuals involved in adultery and fornication are condemned by the Word of God:
(1) The commandment was delivered to Moses (Exo. 20:14), that adultery was condemned and punishable by death (Lev. 20:10).
(2) Christ says that not only is adultery the overt act, but also may include adulterous thoughts and emotions (Mt. 5:27-28).
(3) Fornication is the only scriptural ground for divorce (Mt. 5:32).
If you are a Christian, and a parent, you should meet your responsibility to your children, "Train them up in the way that they should go" (Prov. 22:6). And children, young people, you who are still living at home, ". . . obey your parents in the Lord; for this is right" (Eph. 6: 1). Parents and children, it is up to you. Trust in one another, talk things over, and place your faith in the Lord.
TRUTH MAGAZINE, XV: 11, pp. 10a-11