TOBI BENTON

Give My Son a Rose

Give My Son a Rose

Give My Son a Rose

Dear Son,

What did you say they called it at church – Sexruary?

When they presented the young women with roses and told them they were so valuable and no man could ever honor and love them like God.

When they intimated men were less valuable for holiness, purity, and beauty and were the cause behind women’s identities being sullied. Or rather, men’s lust was what tainted a woman’s image.

When they presented you with wet wipes, to wipe the sweat from your face so a woman would even want to look at you. The wet sheen on your brow because of your lust.

Roses and wet wipes, an entire auditorium of youth listening to the affirmation that guys only and ever and always think of one thing – sex.

Dear Son, you know me well enough to know what I think, but just to be clear.

What a load of crap wrapped and packaged in christianese.

I actually loathe the way this mentality and world-view diminishes the sanctity of God-given sexuality, the beauty of God-made gender and identity, the holiness of value-based pursuit of love in relationship.

Yes, you and your fellow young men have sex drives. Surprise! So do all the young women who received a rose. If leaders want to help women and men understand their intrinsic value and beauty in the eyes of a most amazing creator, they will stop mirroring modern culture with shallow ideas of bodies and physical natures. To limit sex talk from the pulpit with cultural norms or opposition to them is weak and lazy.

Dear Son, I spoke with you after attending your Broadway and Desserts night a couple weeks ago. I sat there a little undone, while beautiful young women and men sang about coming awake after sexual relationships, while a line of junior high young men sang about not being held accountable for the thoughts in their heads about a pretty lady walking by, and your friend sang through tears about being left wanting now that she’d been abandoned. I wondered how these young people could take art from Broadway and sing to a packed house of parents in this period of #metoo and how any of us could sit there in the presence of such contradictions – innocence and youth and the child pretending to be a woman disheveled from the sheets. 

Dear Son, you should have a rose as well.

Every precious youth there needed a message that doesn’t separate, elevate, shame, or diminish the truth of the Gospel. You are a beautiful creation, of highest value to our God, and worthy of honesty, protection, and a straight path to walk towards relationship wholeness. No fractured views of emotional, physical, spiritual, and mental integrity, because God made male and female, and said everything about his design is good, including our sexuality. Sexruary – what a dumb proposition.

Dear Son, LOVE!

Love with complete submission, compassion, honesty, vulnerability, passion, and JOY! Look for this kind of love. Wait for this kind of love. Wait, until this kind of love can be accomplished in your life. Because this only happens when a firm foundation is laid and then laboriously built upon, laboriously but with excitement and anticipation for what is and is to come. Raising walls, and a roof, and a lifetime of interior finish work. My son, sex is really good this way. The blessing it was intended to be.

Love,

Mom

One thought on “Give My Son a Rose

  1. Shelley Conine

    Wow! Can’t believe that was the message delivered to those young people. I agree with you that both girls and boys are responsible for their decisions and choosing purity. It makes me think of my middle son eagerly anticipating his wedding day a few weeks from now. Although not pure, as he made decisions as a younger man that he can not take back, he has since committed his life to God and chosen a life of purity while waiting to find a bride. And find her he did! God blessed him with a beautiful young woman who has always remained pure while waiting for her groom. I know I will not be able to withhold the tears as I get to witness their very first kiss on their wedding day. I know it will have been worth the wait for them to celebrate their love and union before God on that day!

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