Despite appearances, I am still blogging through this book - just a little slower than I planned!
In this chapter Esolen bemoans the fact that our popular culture has lost a sense of the mystery and beauty of love between a man and a woman, reducing everything back to a mechanical, banal loveless view of sex. After quoting some beautiful examples from classic literature, he argues that we are now destroying our children's romantic imagination:
Reduce sex to hygiene, or to mechanics. Reduce eros to the itch of lust or vanity. Reduce the love of man and woman to something private, arbitrary, and socially indifferent. While you are doing these things, soak television and magazines with pictures of people in a state of undress, so that the only mysteries remaining will be in the cruel, the bizarre, and the disgusting." (p. 168)He had some good examples from popular culture, explaining that there were plenty more he could have used. I believe him. It got me thinking about how I can counter this trend with my own kids. Here's what I came up with:
- influencing them with music and books and poetry which show something of what's good and beautiful about love and marriage;
- keep teaching them God's good design for marriage and emphasising what the Bible says about the differences between men and women;
- avoid magazines, TV shows (including ads), music and books which portray romance, sex and marriage in ways that are cheap and shallow;
- talking about my admiration and love for Dave in front of the kids and showing them in my actions that we enjoy something special together. Taking the strength of my marriage seriously for the kids sake, as well as for the sake of the marriage itself.
- talking wtih them now about what to expect when they grow up in terms of love and marriage. Not encouraging 'boyfriends' and 'girlfriends' at such a young age, but encouraging the kids to hold out for the grown up version when they are old enough.
Any other ideas?