Tuesday, September 3, 2013

You Can Keep Your Scarlet Letter

My Facebook feed is all awash in the sharing of a blogpost-of-the-moment from the mother of teenage sons to teenage girls whose posts make their way to the sons' Facebook or Instagram or Twitter feed.

Please imagine the scene as she describes it: the family sits around a computer screen and looks at pictures of teenage girls then decides to hide them based on the way the young lady is dressed, or posed, or ??? Because they care about their sons. They also care about you, teenage girl, and don't want their boys to only think of you in sexual poses. They make sure the young ladies know that there are no second chances if they would post anything like that. Very nice of them, letting the girls know that up front. As she says, "men of integrity don't linger over pictures of scantily clad high-school girls." 

(Unless they are the dads of men of integrity, then I'm guessing there might be some lingering as they point out just what, exactly, is wrong with this pose...but let's not dwell on that awkward thought.)

I realize what I am about to say will ruffle some feathers, but this is what I really see happening around the dinner table in this scenario: the boys are being taught to identify the bad girls, the ones who are not going to be welcome as a future wife no matter how their maturity level may have changed because "there are no second chances". These sons are being taught how to spot a girl with self-esteem issues from twenty paces, but not how to treat them as image bearers of Christ.

"Every day I pray for the women my boys will love." 

I hope that is true. But...coming on the heels of a rather lengthy diatribe against (while pretending in the most surface way possible to be FOR) the girls who don't make the single-elimination cut...it rings hollow, sounds like she is praying for not just a woman, but the right kind of woman, one with no Scarlet A applied by a member of her own gender, for crying out loud.

Why do I even bother writing this? I was the type of girl she dreams of for her sons, after all. And come on, Jill, be honest...are you saying you want your sons to bring home one of THOSE girls?

The thing is, I have so many friends who were, in fact, THOSE girls. And now they are grown. And smarter. And able to give second and third and fourth chances. (It's called grace.) Some of them had babies awfully young and made fantastic mothers, often doing the work of two because those sons, the ones who were taught that some girls are for sex and some girls are for marrying, left them high and dry. 

I write it because my girls, modest to a fault, might still attract your son outside of social media, in real life. And as sometimes happens, even to the girls who aren't supposed to be THOSE girls, they might find themselves in a situation that would only be compounded by thinking our house wasn't one of second chances, of grace, of love. And I want to see my grandchildren...all of them. I've been dreaming of them for so long. 

Above all, love one another deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. 1 Peter 4:8


Ruth Roose said...

Oh my. I love this post! Thank you for your honesty! I am definitely thankful for second chances, and fifth, and tenth, and lots more chances. And God's grace.

Sabrina said...

Good food for thought. With grown up children and teens, modesty has been a hot topic at our house. It's so important to remember that people come first. Love...respect...grace. Good stuff.

Robin said...

Love you. Love this.

Tricia said...

Shortly after I read 'That Post' I read Ann Voskamp's blog post, and these 3 sentences jumped right out and smacked me in the face.

'Your sins aren't enough to keep you from God and your strengths aren't enough to get you to God.

Your sins aren't enough to separate you – and your strengths aren't enough to save you.

Grace is the only thing that is ever enough.'

Our sin is not enough to keep us from Him, but neither is our righteousness enough to get us to Him! Only GRACE! Please Lord, let me never forget that.

Rachel said...

I couldn't agree more. That post really bothered me but I couldn't put it into words. So glad that you could!

JanieS said...

....then there is Rahab.....a checkered past, indeed. A prostitute in Jericho, saved some spies from Israel, was saved when Jericho fell. Finally married a man who, with Rahab became the ancestors of King David.....and his lineage included Jesus of Nazareth. Some second chance, right? I'm a grandmom, and I have some hindsight. We all have sinned and fell short, but GRACE, GRACE, GRACE!!!!! Thank God for His grace!