Monday, April 14, 2008

Normal Teenage Behavior?

According to one news article, teenagers trading nude pictures and videos of themselves over their cell phones, is now a normal part of teen dating.

From the article I read last night:

"I've seen everything from your basic striptease to sexual acts being performed, You name it, they will do it at their home under this perceived anonymity." - Detective Brian Marvin, a member of the FBI Cyber Crime Task Force of Central Ohio.
Okay. As a Christian, a mom, a wife and a former teenager, everything about this is revolting to me, and yet nothing about it surprises me. This is a generation of young people that has had so many taboos removed from their culture and way of life, that this seems rather tame, actually. Is it wrong? Of course it's wrong - but so is abortion on demand, the age of sexual consent at 14, homosexual lifestyles, same sex-marraige and all the other morally bankrupt choices available and/or being pushed on our kids from the time they enter pre-school. This liberal, "anything goes" attitude about their own privacy and purity is the result of having these social "norms" shoved down their throats through the culture and public schools, from the time they were practically babies.

Another quote from the article:
"This happens a lot," said Kelsey, author of Generation MySpace: Helping Your Teen Survive Online Adolescence. "It crosses every racial socio-economic group. Christian kids are doing it. Jewish kids are doing it."

How do you answer such a charge? Do real Christian kids do things like this? I think it might be just a little too easy to say "no way, real Christians wouldn't do something like that". Well, I know real Christians sin, no question about that. I know a teenage girl who is being raised by Christian parents, is an active and very involved member of her local church, and has at least on one occasion found herself caught up in the whole "but this is the privacy of my own webcam, no one's going to know" mindset. The anonymity idea is truly delusional, since we all know there is no such thing as anonymity with God.

In the scenario above, some legit questions no doubt come up. The parents are Christians but does that mean the teenage daughter is? If she is, what does this say about how she views herself? What does it say about she understands the sovereignty and the holiness of the God she serves? Yes it would be very easy to deny such a charge and say that real Christian teenagers don't do things like this, but I think that would be even more delusional than their idea that no one (except the intended party) will see the pics/videos they send. I'd say it would be more realistic to understand that real Christian kids live in a culture and society that is unlike anything their parents dealt with, and the avenues for sin are just a lot more invasive.

I don't have any new and innovative answers for such a tragic situation. All of my answers are old (timeless, actually) and come straight from the Bible. I confess, I'm completely out of touch with modern culture and the psychobabbly solutions to sin. A young woman's body should be kept to herself, and saved for her husband. End of story. She's not a product on a shelf with a sign that says "try before you buy" and if she is, it will be to her deep sorrow and regret (and her future husband's) later in life. Sadly however, that isn't the message that young women in our culture are hearing. They might hear it in church (I sure hope so) but they hear the louder message of culture that says "do whatever you want". And they do, because it's what everyone else is doing too.

With the advances in technology coming up with newer and faster communication devices all the time, I'm actually rather relieved that we're not in a situation to take advantage of that just now. Its hard enough to raise kids in a godly way in a God hating, immodest, arrogant, flamboyant, in your face culture, without having technology invade and entice them into these things. We have plenty of other things to deal with, and maybe one day we'll have to deal with this too. I sincerely hope not, but if so our answers then will be the same old answers godly parents have been telling their children all along.