Disturbed by the Accepted
I admit it, I have watched American Idol since the very first episode. And this year when I had planned not to watch it, but my husband said we should try it out I did and enjoyed it. I love music and I love to see kids grow and develop into the potential they have inside of them. This year the talent was fantastic. Some of the best in the entire group that I think I’ve seen. And it was entertainingly funny.
The rest of this post might contain some things that offend your way of thinking. This is about what I think and see. This is about what I understand on how to live. And, it’s long, so, if you are in the mood to get offended because of the choices you make…JUST STOP READING. Thanks
But, during the last season I have changed or maybe I have become more aware of things. As a mother of two growing boys (and desiring to have more children) I am starting to get into the stage where you start to focus on teaching your kids modesty and respect in regards to the human body. And suddenly I want to move up to the mountains away from all other people or to somewhere like Antarctica where it’s always cold and people are always covered up…J/K…well, maybe. The truth of it is that I don’t really know entirely what to do.
All we have to do is open our front door and my boy’s vision is assaulted by scantily clad neighbor women and girls. A trip to the grocery reveals long bare legs and low, low tops. And here’s my confession…I have often been guilty of wearing too low of tops. A lot of that comes from laziness. Before I had kids I really only thought about it when I was teaching Sunday school, but once I became a nursing mom I found that low-cut tops make for easy access. Ugg…I have fallen into the trap. Regardless of what my past has been, I am working on it. I want to be an example to my children of how a woman should appear…modest and respectful of herself and all those around her.
Back to American Idol… Over this season I have noticed more and more revealing outfits worn by the contestants. Clothing shorter and tighter and words to the songs more and more provocative. I guess maybe I used to think it was just the professional performances (now and then on the show) that really had a lot of scantily clad women, but now my eyes are open to see that it’s pretty much all of them most of the time and all of the contestants. As we watched this season’s finale (after the kids were in bed) last night all I could think was I am so glad we’re not watching this with our kids. Granted, I enjoyed a lot of the performances. Many of those kids have a lot of talent. I was especially bothered by the girls. I kept thinking about how these were not the type women I hope to see my girls (God-willing someday) have as their inspiration. And these are not the type of women I want my sons to desire. Now, I know that these girls didn’t exactly choose those particular outfits, but by agreeing to be on AI, they make some sort of agreement as to what they are willing to do. And the provocative dancing they moved their bodies that way. Now, I’m not saying that these are trashy girls. I’m sure many of them are sweet and fairly innocent. What I’m talking about is the standards in our society. We accept that this is the way women (and men too) have to present themselves to be popular. Everybody has to be a sex symbol. Why? Why is this okay? Why is it okay that as a mom you have a difficult time finding clothes for your daughters that aren’t showing their booties? Why are you an outsider as a parent if you don’t want your kids to watch a scantily clad Katy Perry on Sesame Street or you stop letting yours kids watch Martha Speaks because there is mention of a wet dream in one of the episodes? Shouldn’t we as parents be rising up against this kind of assault on our children? Why do we accept that this is the way people present themselves and they are only doing themselves a disservice? That’s not true. When we allow our society to rot all around us without speaking and acting out we are saying that all of this perversion is okay.
Have you ever gone on the sex offender’s website? The one where they list off where these people live. You might be surprised that many live closer to you than you think. And they are seeing your children…and they are seeing you. How is the presentation in your life? Are you protecting your family or going with the accepted? The thing is, that it doesn’t matter where the sex offenders are. Scantily clad bodies bring about the most ugly kind of thoughts in all of us.
So, am I saying that all women should start donning the clothing choices of the Muslim women? No, I am saying that we need to think about the choices we make as we present ourselves and we need to think about how our choices affect others. As a God-follower we have another thought to think too. How do our presentation decisions reflect and honor our Creator? And I think that is actually one of the most important questions.
Returning to how what to teach our children about this… We all have to make our own decisions as parents. We all have to decide how we want to approach this topic. Do we hide our children away? Do we just let them see everything and not say anything? Do we criticize and complain about others behavior and just assume our kids will know that’s not how they should present themselves? Or do we set an example? Do we teach them how to look away from scantily clad figures? Teaching them to give respect for the human body even when it isn’t asked for. Do we talk about God and how to honor Him with what we do?
I know for our house our desire is to teach our kids the higher way. We want modesty and respect to be ingrained so deeply in our children that it’s what they desire too. ‘Cause we can’t force our grown-up kids to look a certain way. We can’t make them make good choices. We cannot make them desire to live a holy lifestyle. We can open that door up for them. We can help them hunger and thirst to live a lifestyle that reflects the righteousness of God. We can teach them what a gift the human body is. We can teach them dignity which is one thing I feel is far too lacking in our society. We can show them the way or we can let them find it on their own. I believe that when our children are little and young it is our job to protect them. It is our job to be the blinders to the filth. It is our job to say “NO…”.
Wanting a large family, the Duggars are a family that I’m interested in. I like a lot of their principles. I like what they teach the men in their family regarding respecting women too much to look at them when they are presented in a dis-respectful way. I like how they teach the women to present themselves in a way that is honorable. I like the way they do not reject others who have a different way of doing things.
You can’t ignore sex drive in your children. You can teach them how to control themselves. You can teach them how to honor God with their actions in EVERY part of their life. And once you’ve taught them through example and conversation and discipline then you can be confident in God to help them when they step outside of your circle of protection.
So, as I reflect today on what the “ACCEPTED” is I am realizing that it’s not enough to just think things should be different. Perhaps as a women instead of watching shows like What Not to Wear or How Do I Look? and thinking when we get dressed “Is this attractive?” or “Do I look good?” we should change our way of thinking. Perhaps the question we should be asking ourselves is “What kind of an example am I setting in this outfit?” and “Do I have an honorable, modest appearance?”. Maybe we should stop thinking so much on what others might think about how we look and start thinking about what our kids are seeing. And I am not talking about dressing like a slob because you are fully covered or in the fashions of a century gone by. I am talking about respecting yourself enough to dress with consideration toward all.
The Bible says in 2 Timothy 2:21-24
Flee also youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. 23 But avoid foolish and ignorant disputes, knowing that they generate strife. 24 And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient.
Teach your kids to run from the garbage this world offers and straight into the treasure God offers. Don’t get angry at others because they don’t live your lifestyle. Be an example that is an open door for those who wish to find true freedom and a peaceful life. Get disturbed by what has been so easily accepted by our culture and do something about it.
Since I have little guys I am looking for tips and techniques on how to best train them in this area as they grow. I would love to hear from you if you have any lessons you have learned. What are some practical things we as parents can do to protect our babies? Share please…I beg you.