05 Jul Fathers, Sons and Virginity
Submitted by Guest Blogger, Avon Bellamy
It’s a given that most men want their daughters to remain virgins until marriage. There are very practical and logical reasons for this, not the least of which is that every man knows what it’s like to be a boy and what boys are capable of doing to girls. This is not to say that boys are malicious, but they are often clueless, oblivious and destructively adventurous. No man wants his daughter broken by carelessness; however many men don’t have that same protective view of their sons.
Now, before we get too far along and I give the impression that I am a perfect parent or an “expert”let’s get a little clarity. Any knowledge I have on this subject comes from direct engagement. I have read many books and devised many plans, but one thing that has remained true (as paraphrased by the preeminent war philosopher, Mike Tyson), “Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.”
My knowledge on this particular topic comes from being punched in the mouth by life. Of course this doesn’t mean that I discourage strategic planning. I’m just advising that you be prepared to watch your child team up with life and tag team your plans. My son is seventeen and the average age that the American male loses his virginity is 16.9. Do the math. As they say…pray my strength in the Lord!
Let’s start off by asking why more men don’t have the same view of their sons regarding virginity that they have of their daughters? In a word: consistency.
Consistency is the stuff of trust. If you sing the virtues of celibacy to your daughter and then sexually objectify women with your son, you are sending two confusing messages. Which message will he adopt? How can he trust your counsel if you don’t live it? When my son asked about what sort of girlfriend he should choose, I didn’t play along. I questioned the entire boyfriend/girlfriend dynamic. Why do you need a girlfriend? Better yet, why do want one? When he asked when it would be OK for him to kiss a girl, I asked when he thought it would be OK for him to have his first kid?
Obviously, he knows that kisses aren’t what makes babies (we’ve had that talk), what he didn’t realize was the concept of the slippery slope. Ask what happens when the kiss isn’t enough; Explain the power of the feminine presence. Disabuse him of any ridiculous idea that he will stop himself once he has triggered the sex drive that has been programmed into his genes to propel him into hers. He’s better off pushing a semi over the crest of a steep hill and then trying to stop it from rolling downhill with just his bare hands. You ain’t gonna win that one, kid.
Lay each and every consequence (those you suffered and those you avoided) out for him indetail. Hold him accountable to the legacy you are building for him and let him know that you expect him to hold his sons accountable to that same legacy. By doing this, you will be doing two things: (1) giving him a concrete goal to attain that starts with him and continues on through his sons and (2) giving him the gift of your humility through transparency.
Confess your sins and their consequences to him completely with no reservations as an act of love. Explain that your love for him is exactly why you don’t want him to have to deal with the dark side of a beautiful thing as maybe you did, which leads me to the most important and final reminder…Love. Try with all that you can muster to let love guide you in all that you say and do. Sometimes our sons will scare us with the breathtaking chances that they don’t even know they are taking and our fear may cause us to respond quickly and harshly. Learn to recognize your fear and give yourself time to settle down before you talk. Use your love to cast out the fear. And, to be clear, I may not have directly mentioned prayer but that is because I view it as a given. If you parent, you have prayed at some point during this journey. You may have learned about praying BECAUSE of it.
Ask for wisdom. Beg for humility. Be consistent. Match words and deeds. Ask questions. Make him listen to his own thoughts as he answers. Openly and vocally respect and value women. Love your son and then love him some more and then…let him go. It won’t be easy, but just trust that as a Father, you did your very best.
Avon Bellamy is a husband, father and community activist. Be on the lookout for great things from this leader!