At the point of writing this, my girls are not even 10 yet. Some would say if I was thinking about how to protect them sexually at this age, I’m thinking way too far in advance. I would say others don’t think about it early enough.
Before we get into that though, let me say there is grace and forgiveness for those who have failed their daughters. Now, every daughter who was sexually promiscuous at an early age is not a direct result of parenting choices. There are children who are raised properly, but do not follow their parents’ ways. We need to be careful of misconstruing verses like Proverbs 22:6, because training up a child correctly is not a guarantee .
As a father especially, or any parent reading this who may feel that you are partially responsible for the sexual demise of your daughter – know this: 1 John 1:9 promises God will forgive you if you ask His forgiveness. There is grace at the cross for those who seek Him.
First, many studies have been shown that the first time a child encounters pornography, intentional or accidental, is at the average age of 10. If this is remotely close to true, we need to prepare our children at an early age what constitutes as appropriateness of sexuality.
Second, so many young women are vulnerable to unwanted sexual advances. Many women report that they were touched sexually without permission at a young age. We want to help protect these women from this – molestation is a crime.
Third, we know that teenage pregnancy is still a problem in 2018. It also is one of the major causes of poverty. Data on this can be found all over the Internet, but I have specifically addressed this in a previous writing: **(three things poverty high schooler link).
So how do we protect our daughters from premarital sex? Is it something that we still want to do? Should we treat different daughters different ways? A Scripture passage that I want us to contemplate on your song of Solomon 8:8-9 It says, “We have a little sister, and she has no breasts. What shall we do for our sister on the day when she is spoken for? If she is a wall, we will build on her a battlement of silver, but if she is a door, we will enclose her with boards of cedar.”
We need to understand that much of the (wisdom literature) in Scripture is written poetically, and there are some disadvantages and some advantages to understanding this genre. A simple disadvantage is that this is not black-and-white for us. (We can’t simply go to the passage and say, “Don’t murder or do you love your neighbor. It doesn’t give specific application of how we are to do this.)
,Here’s the benefit or purpose of poetry in the Bible. First, it is written poetically so that a child reading this book of the Bible, which is on sex, could do so without having their minds introduced to mature themes. The entire book is full of innuendos. The child does not understand, but married adults derive pleasure from it as God intended.
The second thing that we take away from it being written in poetic form is that it causes us to think. It makes us contemplate how we are going to fulfill the idea of this passage. Poetic Scripture is not giving us commands, but is to be contemplated.
I think the first thing we see in these two simple versus is that there are two kinds of young pre-marriage-age girls. There are those who are bent towards abstinence. The first verse talks about the young lady who is on a wall. In other words no one will sexually penetrate her. Although I must take a minute to state that penetration is not the only form of sexuality that a young girl should avoid.The other young lady is described as a door. Many are sexually coming in and out of her and they’re only using her as a passageway to their own desires.
These verses give different responses depending on which child you have. The one who’s built toward abstinence until marriage; fathers and brothers can build her a “battlement of silver.“ We really don’t use that word “battlement” today, but most of us would you know one if we saw one. A battlement is the top of a castle where there are square blocks staggered around the edge. It’s a place where soldiers could shoot arrows between in battle.
If I’m thinking about this the right way, I think it means that the young female who is bent toward premarital abstinence, should receive even more to support to help her stay abstinent. Not only are we gonna give her the tools, we are going to give her the best tools. We are going to make the battlement out of silver, not just rock. In other words, just because you have a daughter who makes the right decisions sexually, doesn’t mean you can completely ignore her. You still make plans to watch out for her.
She is doing well sexually in a defensive manner, but we want to help her be offensive. Her gate is protected, but we want her to be able to swing arrows down on the enemy if need be. We want her to be able to attack the young lads who would attempt to take her virginity before they even get near her.
Now what do we do with the daughter who is a door? The one who is bent toward being sexually promiscuous? That daughter we build cedar walls around. In other words we are building a protection around her. Men, notice that we are doing the job, not the daughter. We are not giving her the tools, we are the tools. She is too young, and not wise enough to protect herself, and God is calling us to protect her.
How do we practically do these things? Like I said earlier this is poetic so we were not given the answers. We have to think through in our modern time, how ancient Scripture practically applies today. We have to use some basic common sense and understanding of humanity to do so. Let me give a couple ideas.
TALK TO YOUR DAUGHTER ABOUT SEX AT A YOUNG AGE
First, start talking to your daughter about sex at a very young age. No, I’m not saying that we have to talk about the birds and the bees at the age of four. We can do simple things that are age-appropriate. At a very young age my wife and I told our daughters that they can’t be naked in front of me as their father. We also taught them that no one is allowed to touch their private body parts, other than when they were very young and mom had to help them in the bathroom. Of course, a parent-supervised doctor visit would be the only other exception.
Kids are oblivious to the world around them; in some ways this is great. They are sheltered from many of the evils in life and therefore not as fearful as they would be if they knew the horrors that exist. That being said, because of their innocence, they don’t always understand what the big deal is at age five to be around Dad naked or see parents nude. Much like Adam and Eve before sin came into the world were unaware of their nakedness. So at a young age we made sure the girls knew this was not acceptable.
TALK TO YOUR DAUGHTER ABOUT SEX BEFORE SHE MATURES
Second, we must talk to our daughter about sexuality before she comes to the age when she would be able to have sex. Many parents wait too long to have these discussion with their children. First they come from a point of embarrassment, which is understandable. Second, many of them think they’re going to tell their children something they don’t want them to know. Let me say as a former youth pastor – your children find these things out much earlier than you think.
DON’T LET YOUR DAUGHTERS IN BEDROOMS WITH BOYS
Third, don’t allow your daughters to play with boys alone in bedrooms at any young age. Now the question is what age is too a young? There’s no hard and fast rule, but we started this around the age of six or seven. The girls were upset because they were visiting cousins and we would not allow them to be in their male cousins’ bedrooms without an adult.
In doing this, we are attempting to help them understand boundaries at early age. If these things are practiced when they are young, it will not be hard to enforce when they are older. But if the first time you wait to come up with such rules is when they turn 16 and bring some testosterone-laden teenage boy home, you may have a big fight on your hands.
FOCUS ON THE RELATIONSHIP WITH YOUR WIFE
Fourth, focus on the relationship with your wife. This seems like it’s a curve-ball, but it’s really practical. We can’t just tell our children how to behave, we have to show them. A strong, loving and healthy relationship between Mom and Dad is the best example for daughters know what they should seek out in a future husband.
DATE YOUR DAUGHTERS
Fifth, date your daughters. I’ve written on how to do this (**link why date three women at one time). Dating your daughters can be a great lesson in how your daughter should be expected to be treated by a date.
Sixth, avoid sleepovers. Now if you did not think I was old-fashion by now, you probably will judge me greatly here. In some ways I may be jaded because I spent several years working with sexual deviant teens through a counseling center. While I don’t think everyone is out to harm young girls, I know it’s a lot more prevalent than the public realizes.
Many people I worked with over the years were too trusting of almost everyone. Most people are not like this, but this simple rule could save a child from lifelong scars. At this point our line in the sand has been to only let our girls sleep overnight with grandparents. When they’re older this may change. Maybe when they are in their later teenage years they would be wise enough to know if one of their friends’ brothers was perpetrating them and how to handle it. At this point, we don’t plan to change our stance.
Of course these six ways are not the only ways you protect your daughter sexually. I am only scratching the surface, but wanted to share with you some basic ways I think will help. What other ways do you think would help protect your daughter sexually so that she can be the young woman that God has called her to be?
Thanks for taking time to read this Maddening Theology post. If you enjoyed this content you can find Pastor Tim’s sermons at www.cornerstoneforestcity.org. You can also join us at 520 Marion St. Browndale, PA 18421 on Sundays at 10:45 AM. To make following the blog easier you can also register. You can also join us on Facebook at Cornerstone Forest City. Also, don’t forget to download our APP on iTunes or Googleplay.