Curt is a big football fan. Watching the Super Bowl is a yearly event. If our favorite team is not in the game, we choose a team to root for and pretend we've been life-long fans. Leading up to the big game Curt gives our family basic pointers about key players and any interesting tidbits about the teams. It makes it more exciting to watch the game if we feel somewhat invested in it.
Throwing a Super Bowl party is also a yearly event. This year was no exception. Our home filled with friends and junk food and we had a blast watching the game and chatting it up through the first half. Then came the Half Time show. Everyone, including the gaggle of kids, gathered around the TV to watch the singing, dancing, and cool lights display. But I was nervous. Beyonce' isn't exactly known for being modest or for promoting good morals. Her shadow emerged in the dark and it appeared like she might be wearing enough clothes to keep the TV on. When the spot light illuminated her scantily clad body, I was not happy. Within seconds she was ripping off clothes revealing pleather fetish wear that most women wouldn't be brave enough to wear in the privacy of their own bedroom. Yet Beyonce' was wearing next to nothing in front of thousands at the game. Millions on national TV. And the twenty or so people gathered in my living room, including my husband and my children.
Her dancing was so provocative and sexual that I averted my eyes. They fell on my three young daughters and middle-school aged son - all who were watching Beyonce's every move with wide eyes. Out of the corner of my eye I spied a handful of young twenty-something kids who were equally uncomfortable. These young men and women are trying to swim against the tide of immorality and free sex that our culture promotes as "normal" and leave a different legacy. But how can they avoid it? Sex is everywhere. Especially at the Half Time show of the Super Bowl.
We turned the TV off within the first sixty seconds. I only wish we'd turned it off sooner. The Stilp Kids spontaneously put on their own Half Time Show for our guests. It included singing and dancing that was wholesome and appropriate. Something that we should be able to expect for a national and global event.
My emotions have run the full gamut of disgust. Outrage. Anger. Disappointment. Sadness. Is this really the world that my kids will inherit? Is it any wonder that children in the U.S. now typically get their first exposure to pornography at age eleven?
How do I raise my son to respect women and remain pure when women don't even respect themselves? I want my son to view women as friends with intellect and charm and not as sexual objects.
How do I expect my husband to not lust after other women when even the commercials use sex to sell their products?
And what about my daughters? How on earth do they navigate growing up in a world that sells sex as the key to success for everything? I want my daughters to respect themselves enough to keep their clothes on and realize they don't have to flaunt their bodies to gain attention or success.
Seriously? These are the role models the world is offering to our children?
We need to wake up and start vigilantly fighting for a different legacy - a different culture - for our children. Our children are exposed to lies and immorality at every check stand, on TV, through the internet and everywhere they turn. Lies and garbage about who they are and what they need to do to be accepted and popular. Lies about what constitutes beauty and self-worth. It's clear that we will have to work overtime to teach them the truth about who they are, where to look for value, and that beauty doesn't mean being a certain size or wearing the skimpiest outfit.
Jesus says, "The thief's purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life." (John 10:10). I don't know how to turn the tide of our culture. I don't even know if it's possible. But I CAN teach my kids how to not let the Enemy rob or destroy them with his lies. And I can point them to Jesus who promises his followers a rich and satisfying life.
May God help us.