Sex and Spaghetti?

I’m not a prude.

My engine runs like most red-blooded, testosterone charged men. By God’s design, we are driven by a natural attraction to the opposite sex. And, we are biologically and emotionally compelled by sensual and sexual content. For those reasons, there is no denying that sex sells.

But why are we allowing strangers to sell sex to our kids?

Natural sexual appetite is being exploited and abused like never before by the media and marketing industries, and our children are increasingly becoming the victims.

As a desensitized culture, every day we are accepting a depraved and anti-biblical paradigm of human sexuality and a not-so-subtle assault on the definition of marriage and family - not to mention propagandistic views that promote and celebrate a “new normal” - even when the vast majority of our nation’s citizens neither agree or nor embrace lascivious lifestyles and the proclaimed falsehoods.

Fathers, I ask you: Are we burned out, clueless, or just plain naïve about what is happening under our watch?

Take for example this small sampling of recent atrocities that range from highly inappropriate to downright homosexual propaganda:

• Radio ads for the fast food chain Jack in the Box play verbal ping pong with double entendre, the spokesperson, “Jack,” describing a super-sized food item while the counterpart character instead references engorged male genitalia – a blatant referral even my 11-year old son caught. No better are Carl's Jr. ads that objectify women and feature hyper-sexual situations... to sell burgers.

• In a television commercial promoting Ragu spaghetti sauce, a pre-teen boy comes home from school early to walk-in on his Mom engaged in “afternoon delight,” (with whom we do not know, presumably Dad would be at work,), traumatizing the young lad. The solution? Feed him spaghetti because “his day has been rough enough.”

• Airing at 7PM, a prime time courtroom drama television program featured two attractive female attorneys who can’t resist the need to “make out” back in the judge’s chambers between legal cases, a gratuitous scene that was absolutely non-relevant to the story.

• The national big-box retailer Target recently featured a periodical advertisement picturing two gay men intimately holding hands while gazing into each other’s eyes, stating that Target was the home of “their” wedding and (dare I say bridal) registry.

• And don’t even get me started on NBC’s new sitcom, The New Normal, described on the network’s website as, “Two gay dads and a baby mama create a totally new kind of family comedy.” This entertainment vomit attempts to push off what should be viewed for what it is –a social collapse- as funny.

We are accepting this decimation of family values and dilution of righteous sexuality by not refusing it and objecting as relentlessly and loudly as others are thrusting this garbage upon our innocent children.

I’m telling you, parents. Satan is on a tear, using our biological drives and the downward spiral of our culture’s moral conviction to devour our children’s innocence, to confuse them about sexuality, and to erode the wholesome lessons and biblical worldview taught at home.

If you agree with me I hope you’ll also opt-out of supporting any organization that is directly peddling filth and therefore hurting our kids. Personally,

• I will not watch TV programs that bait-and-switch content and cave to a perceived demand for lust-driven scenes.

• I will not eat at Jack in the Box or Carl’s Jr.

• I will not buy Ragu spaghetti sauce.

• I will not set foot into a Target store or buy online from them.

• I will monitor the TV programs that my sons watch in our home and disallow those that set out to poison their minds.

What are you seeing and hearing? What do you cringe at when knowing your children are also being exposed? What will you do… or NOT do?

Finally, Rebecca Hagelin recently wrote an article worth reading, citing a study that shows teens imitate the risky sex of films and TV. Check out: Culture challenge of the week: Movies “selling” sex to children. Rebecca Hagelin is the author of 30 Ways in 30 Days to Save Your Family. To find her book and reach her directly, visit

Other Resources:

• You can register your dissatisfaction with organizations and media campaigns with the National Consumer Complaint Forum.

• File a complaint with the Federal Communications Commission in Washington, DC: Obscene, Profane, and/or Indecent Material Complaint Form

• Has the media already trapped your kid in a seductive web? What to Do if My Child is Looking at Porn: 5 Critical Steps.

They’ll Always Need Us - Whether They Know It Or Not.

It’s one of the great struggles of parenting – providing unconditional love and nurturing care to our child at all growth stages while simultaneously developing independence and survival skills.
So often in our culture we see the debris left by young adults for whom the pendulum of balance swung too far one way or the other. It is the adult adolescent who’s entitled worldview started at home while his mom and dad handled nearly all of life’s blocking and tackling. It’s the lost 20-something who is already exhausted and disenfranchised from battling through trials and errors, largely alone, while desperately trying to figure out “the system” as her self-absorbed parents perpetuate their absentee legacy.

Ultimately, we seek to provide tools and training for our child to become healthy, happy, and saved - as well as - the personal security that having the lifelong emotional support of parents can provide.

As our kids grow into young adults, so too does the challenge of being allowed to provide that balanced support.

My eldest son is in his second year at an engineering-focused college. Clearly, the kid is bright. Like the advanced environmental challenges and theoretical models that he and his fellow students reverse engineer (for fun), he has much of life “figured out.” I’m tickled when I see him take charge, doing research about things both large and small and weighing his life’s options - even when a little disappointed when I hear about important decisions he’s made, after the fact. Such is the price of letting go.

Recently, as my son prepared for an upcoming job fair, I was taught something important about the ongoing challenge of being a balanced and supportive father to an increasingly self-reliant young man. He came to my wife and I for help in securing a suit for the fair. He wasn’t (initially) asking for advice on how to present himself or how to succeed at the event. However, being there for him with the small thing provided us the time together to sneak in a little real experience and wisdom – the much larger thing. Too often have I provided the answers to the “more important questions,” without first answering the question asked!

I suggested that my son borrow one of my suits. In fact, he could have the pick of the litter. If I’d simply told him to borrow someone else’s suit or just transferred a few bucks into his bank account, I would not have had the canvas (or his attention) to share with him the benefits of my experience and what will really outfit and serve him well at his job fair. As I was cinching up his tie, I’m pretty sure we were both thinking, “This worked out OK. How do we do more of this?”

Many parents preemptively mourn the day that their child will not need them anymore. I believe that day should never come. By looking for invitations to “be there” for our maturing kids, we will continue to prove to them that they can rely upon us, even as their independence grows. What greater testimony to relationship than to be wanted in our child’s life once they run it for themselves.

At any age, our babies won’t care how much we know unless they know how much we care.

Challenge: What is one way you can solicit the invitation to “be there” for your child this week?

Admonitions to good parenting abound in Scripture. We are to “train a child in the way he should go” (Proverbs 22:6), giving him good gifts (Matthew 7:11), loving and disciplining him for his sakes (Proverbs 13:24), and providing for his needs (1 Timothy 5:8).