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Jill Renee

December 05, 2013  9:38pm

Such an important issue! I believe that our youth are vastly unprepared for life outside of the Christian bubble. So often, we assume that just taking them to church and Sunday school will be enough, and we forget to follow it up with additional education and preparation. True Christian education must begin early and is all about communication and information. Establishing a true faith and understanding as soon as possible will help arm them with the armor of God that they will need to fend off the attacks of this scary secular world. Thank you for addressing this!

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audrey ruth

December 04, 2013  10:13pm

Secular colleges these days condone "occasions to sin" not only for young women, but also for young men. Unfortunately, the great majority of people, including professed Christians, hold to a double standard for men and women, which is one key reason why our society is in the mess it's in. This is why I pointed out the fact that it is wise for parents not to wait until college age to begin to think about this issue. Since, as Marlena pointed out, "Children can recite hyper-sexualized song lyrics, rehearse sexually explicit film dialogue, and even swap porn back and forth like trading cards via social media and their smart phones", parents need to consider the quality of education from preschool up. It is vitally important to establish children's hearts in God's Holy Word from a young age so they will know and understand right from wrong, not as a set of rules, but from God's perspective so they can understand the importance of making wise decisions.

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December 04, 2013  1:00am

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Jim Ricker

December 03, 2013  8:34pm

In order to fore go further discussion (argument) on the issue of college for girls, this article will outline the principal reasons for shunning college for girls....here are the reasons to NOT send your daughter to college: 1. She will attract the wrong types of men. 2. She will be in a near occasion of sin. 3. She will not learn to be a wife and mother. 4. The cost of a degree is becoming more difficult to recoup. 5. You don’t have to prove anything to the world. 6. It could be a near occasion of sin for the parents. 7. She will regret it. 8. It could interfere with a religious vocation. Reading the full post will demonstrate that the idea of not sending your daughter to college is a good idea.

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Jim Ricker

December 03, 2013  8:28pm

Aurdey Ruth - from the original article - "Probably the most controversial and rejected position we have at Fix the Family is that parents should not send their daughters to college. It is even more vehemently opposed than the submission of wives to their husbands. Both of these positions we have are a threat to the trophies of the feminist agenda, so the rejection we receive is always emotionally charged and ends up insulting, since once explained logically, the opposition runs out of substance and is only left to hurl insults and presume and misconstrue this practical wisdom into some chauvinistic evil. But to distinguish these 2 issues, we are NOT saying that sending a girl to college or women working is a sin. But after looking at the issues we raise, we would challenge anyone to convince us that college for girls is not a near occasion of sin. continued

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audrey ruth

December 02, 2013  10:21pm

Melinda, this is why I pointed out the differences between secular colleges which condone virtually everything and faith-based colleges which have Biblical moral standards. But the hyper-sexualization of children begins very early these days, LONG before college. As Marlena stated, "Children can recite hyper-sexualized song lyrics, rehearse sexually explicit film dialogue, and even swap porn back and forth like trading cards via social media and their smart phones." Parents need to consider the quality of education not only at the college level, but the quality of education from preschool up.

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Melinda Lane

December 02, 2013  4:14pm

Audrey Ruth: It's the greater part of the article itself--"I'd like to consider his argument that college is a dangerous place for young women because of its 'near occasion of sin,' particularly sexual sin." The quote is from the third paragraph.

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audrey ruth

December 02, 2013  7:49am

Jim, I haven't seen anyone even suggest not sending their children to college. Parents are free to choose secular colleges, and they are also free to choose colleges which have a Christian emphasis. I attended one of the latter, met my husband there as well, and that was a tremendous blessing in our lives. Students will be students, of course. The difference is in how colleges and universities handle such issues.

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Jim Ricker

December 01, 2013  4:11pm

If parents do their job properly (not perfectly), the child will be ready to defend himself/herself in these situations. This doesn't mean that the kid(s) will be perfect, just able to resist or flee sin. Not sending your kid to college because that kid might fall into sin is shortsighted and sinful. To be well past over-protective and to refuse to prepare your children for life is to do them harm and help them be easy prey for the Adversary. We cannot control another person and even the best parenting job in the world can look to be a failure when a child (who has free will) decides to do what that child wants to do.

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audrey ruth

November 26, 2013  3:35pm

Marlena, you've hit on a major issue. The early and hyper-sexualization of children can and does cause children to be vulnerable to others who use and abuse them sexually, particularly those who are in positions of authority. Such abuse is vilely evil. I personally know children who were abused very early in life, and the effects are devastating. It is very difficult for such children to go on to live a normal life.

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audrey ruth

November 26, 2013  3:30pm

Liz, my 'kids' are my kids even past college age. :) I understand your points and agree and disagree. I do think that, overall, it was a very bad move to go to coed dorms. Laxity regarding destructive things like epidemic (including underage) drinking and hook-ups with no commitment, which are indeed rampant on secular campuses, and reflect our society's continuing deterioration into amorality, only aids and abets this trend. What I've seen happening over the last couple of decades is a significant change in attitude: Parents (particularly Christian parents) used to set high standards in keeping with God's Word. If their kids chose to breach those standards, they knew their parents did not condone their poor behavior. The difference now is that many parents, even professing Christians, don't bother to set high standards anymore. When I was growing up, lots of NON-Christian parents had higher standards than many professing Christians today. This did/does make a difference.

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Marlena Graves

November 26, 2013  9:55am

Thomas Gary, I agree with what you said. We don't have to talk about sex all of the time. But when we do talk about it, we can't talk and think about it poorly. I do think we can approach it poorly (I tried to cover that in this article). In the near future, I have four articles coming out through CT's Gifted For Leadership on abuse of power, envy, pride, and chasing Christian celebrity. If you scan the Her.meneutics site, you will see that many non-sexual topics are covered. I chose to write about this topic because 1) I thoroughly disagreed with Alleman and thought what he was proposing could be harmful and 2) pornography is very harmful 3) I talked to five women in one week who were sexually abused by leaders in the church 4) sexually abused children may enter our homes and sometimes act out with our own children. I didn't have space to stick this all in, but I wanted to give you the background. All to say, we are in agreement! I hope this was helpful. Blessings to you

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Thomas Gary

November 26, 2013  1:29am

The New Media has been a blessing & curse to our culture, as most inventions are. But have some trust. My son had relationships as a young man & now he would love to be married to a fine woman. He had to go thru his questions about God because he has a brain & heart & now he has a fine spiritual nature. He's not perfect, but who is? Porn is terrible, ugly, but God is Everywhere & He can handle things. I think Alleman obviously has deep problems with female sexuality. His daughters will become women in the fullest sense. I'm glad I had a son because maybe I'd feel that way also, but there's a time for accepting that your kids don't belong to you, they have their own lives & need to work things out with God. God loves them even if they have sex outside of marriage. Will their earthly dad be the same? There are many other sins that people don't talk about on this site much - greed, cruelty, lying, living a false life - but you always have to get back to sex. What the heck, guys?

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Liz T

November 26, 2013  12:00am

Audrey- I am a college student living in a dorm. My dorm this year is all girls, but last year it was Co-ed. At no point did I ever feel that it was a "near occasion of sin". People around me had sex and drank, but I chose not to (GASP! Someone can be around sex and drinking and not take part in it?). I think that living in the dorms makes "kids" (though we are adults according to the law) more independent and able to make their own choices. At some point, it's not your job as a parent to keep us from sinning. If we want to make that choice, we will do it whether you put us in a co-ed dorm or not. You cannot expect your children to be perfectly sin-free, and there is absolutely nothing you can do to prevent them from sinning no matter where you put them. Also, if parents did their job at teaching their children obedience to the Lord from an early age, then they would be able to trust their kids and wouldn't have to worry about whether or not they will sin at college.

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audrey ruth

November 25, 2013  11:39pm

P.S. Children's education doesn't begin in college; it begins in kindergarten (or even earlier in preschool or day care). Yes, it is sadly true that "Children can recite hyper-sexualized song lyrics, rehearse sexually explicit film dialogue, and even swap porn back and forth like trading cards via social media and their smart phones." This is all the more reason for parents to do due diligence from the time their children are small.

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audrey ruth

November 25, 2013  11:29pm

When someone told Bill Cosby that "it takes a village to raise a child", he pointed out the fact that there are idiots in the village. One prime example is the the guy quoted in this article who used to make big bucks off porn until he had a son of his own and then realized how destructive it really is. Trouble is, the horse is out of the barn now, and there's no getting it back. What then should parents do? IMHO, it makes good sense not to send daughters (or sons either; the Lord doesn't have a double standard) to colleges with coed dorms. Common sense should tell anyone what a destructive step that was. Ditto for epidemic (including underage) drinking and hook-ups with no commitment, which are rampant on secular campuses. No, we can't put children in bubbles, but that doesn't mean we have to throw them to the wolves either. There's a healthy balance. Many parents, even professed Christians, aren't serious about obeying and honoring the Lord as they rear their children.

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Marlena Graves

November 25, 2013  3:37pm

Lori Faye, Again, I am so grateful to have this conversation going. My article was in response to Alleman's and Daubney's articles. Alleman doesn't believe in sending his daughters to college. Among the reasons he offers is that he'd be putting them "in a near occasion to sin." If I were to endorse his view, I'd say that we'd also be putting our sons in a "near occasion to sin." I don't endorse his views. These things apply to both our daughters *and* sons. Girls are also viewing pornography at increasing rates. Her.meneutics has run articles covering that, I believe. So yes, you are correct; this is for our daughters and sons. Thanks for pointing that out.

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Lori Faye

November 25, 2013  11:10am

I connect with the belief that we prove ourselves & our faith& ability to resist temptation when we're actually tested. I believe a mixture of both filtration (akin to isolation) and putting our training to the test is the most reasonable approach. Our children should be isolated from certain content until we've(parents) taught them what it means to respect & obey God 1st, live lives that please HIM & they're mature enough to understand consequences of actions (grow from isolation 2 filtration where less is filtered as we mature) As a mother of boys. i want to protect my sons purity as much as i would were they girls. The article seems to put girls at greater risk of being victims & boys as perpertrators. In my experience girls are becoming the perpertrators more often. Our boys should be raised to value themselves & their female counterparts & our girls raised to value themselves & their male counterparts; boys & girls raised equally to value purity & the sanctitiy of the body.

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Wit D

November 25, 2013  11:01am

Hi Marlena, thanks for your comment; I am a proponent for mothers to prioritize the nurturing and raising of children for God's Glory. No one can take the place of MotherHood. Our society donot place value on that function. Value (tax credit/tax refunds) is on the child care industry. I know of many mothers of young children like you ,whose Hearts and Souls are torn just to reluctantly give up their babies to someone else to raise. We need to re-construct the social system to give mothers a choice between work and child rearing... Keep in mind, it is easier to solve the family issue than it is to solve the community. It is made up of a diverse set of people. It is not to say that we do not have good godly people in churches, we do, but the primary role is for parents not community. What if you donot find a good church or community worker? There are numerous problems with Day Care, one is competition with a really good loving nanny and mothers... Good to have this article written.

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Marlena Graves

November 24, 2013  8:43pm

Chris S, You also make a good point. "Many" refers to many college students I worked with at a Christian university. We can be Christians but immature. I hope I didn't imply that we shouldn't protect our children or shelter them in some ways (see last paragraph). We of course have to. I am not going to send my 18 month old across Main St. on her own. But, overprotection may allow kids to abide by the rules while they're under a watchful eye. My concern is what happens when they are no longer under the watchful eye. I desire that our children learn what it means to be a disciple of Jesus. What it truly means to love God and our neighbor and even ourselves (sin harms us and separates us from God and others). Our commitment to him will be tested. Our kids commitment to what they say they believe will be tested. But we have to allow our kids to practice making right decisions on their own and not always be making decisions for them. They have to grow spiritual & emotional muscles.

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Marlena Graves

November 24, 2013  8:31pm

Wit D, Thanks for your comments. I am vigilant with my daughters (six and well 18 months). I agree that parents have to raise their children. But not alone. Consider this. My husband and I were youth leaders for 5 years. The kids told us things they didn't tell their parents. I believe we were Jesus to them, teaching them about what it means to love him and obey him. I pray to God my daughters have other people in the church in whom they can confide-solid people, godly people, with good hearts and minds. I would be naive to think they'll tell me everything. So I want them to have other mentors, good ones. When I think of the broader context of love, I think about what it means to specifically love God and our neighbors. Obedience falls under love. If you're not obeying God then you are not loving him or others as you should. And what does he say in John 14:15? "If you love me, you obey my commandments." You're right; obedience & love go together & parents have to be responsible.

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Wit D

November 23, 2013  11:31pm

I appreciate the article bringing up this subject; it is real scary out there for our daughters, but this is the era of the Liberated Feminist Christian mind set.(not much difference with secular Feminist). I am hearing it in the writings of the author; what we need is, "re-education of Love", "broader Theological context of Love." I think this culture is "Loved" out.What we really need is a returning to the ,"Fear of God and obedience to God's Word. It did work before... we have lost a sense of shame.We should not rely on this community to raise our children. That's the Parent's Job... too many are delegating that function. It will require sacrifice and many Christian Mothers are not willing to do that.The community that the African Elders spoke about is nothing like this sin sick,sex driven, feminism culture we are living in. Love must be properly understand to be Sacrificial and if parents aren't willing to demonstrate it to our children, they will have a hard time learning it.

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Pop Seal

November 23, 2013  9:30pm

I am a retired minister who for years watched children "stolen" from their parents by the entertainment industry and public so-called education. Without real believers for parents, kids don't have a chance. The level of slander against the Gospel and God's Word is now worse than I've ever seen it. Shallow and unchallenging religion is another more subtle enemy. Yet, I remain confident in the designs of God and the ultimate deliverance of His flock. God's people have always been outnumbered and surrounded, but never defeated. Pardon my 'preach', but the only Christians that lose in the end are the ones that quit in the middle.

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Nancy Lee

November 23, 2013  3:42pm

As a mom of two middle schoolers, I agree with other commenters that we need to be vigilant at much younger ages. By age 11, one of my sons had clicked on an innocent-looking ad that led to some nasty sites, and the other had been told words to look up on the internet by other boys during an extracurricular activity. Thank heaven we have Covenant Eyes and saw that our kids had seen some things they shouldn't -- they were too confused and ashamed to confess. We absolutely need to "get there first" with our kids. In our conversations with our older kids about sex and God's best for us, we never used the word "pornography" or described what the "bad things" on the internet were. We made that mistake with our first two, but we won't with our younger ones (who are girls). I hate the thought that we are introducing 9- or 10-year-olds to ideas that I didn't know about until high school, but we must be the first to talk about it. Or others certainly will.

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Chris S

November 23, 2013  9:18am

For some time after the advent of TV and movie popular culture, it remained generally safe for children to be connected at least tangentially to the popular culture. With the advent of the internet and the hyper-sexualization of young people, I believe that Christian parents, on behalf of their children, will be forced to draw a much more distinct line between Christian and non-Christian. The Harlem Shake meme was a good example of this. The original shake was lewd while not all the imitations were. Many Christians joined the meme and so many teens went online to view their youth group's or church's Harlem Shake. When they went online, Youtube suggested not just the clean Harlem Shake videos but the dirty ones too. I do not think the issue is so much college, but what we expose them to in middle school that determines how they behave in college. If boys know they can view porn on a cell phone in the seventh grade, we know how college will go for them.

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Chris S

November 23, 2013  9:10am

Readers should notice that the strength of this piece rests on one unproven anecdotal sentence. "I've noticed that many who step out of overprotective environments lack the interpersonal skills necessary to live well once they leave the nest, at least initially." "Many" is a vague term. While the article is thought provoking, if we are to take a serious look at the issue, we cannot simply conclude that children should not be "sheltered" because "many" have initial struggles when leaving the nest.

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Liz T

November 22, 2013  10:03pm

The commenter Robert Puharic has a point. Could it be that children rebel when parents are overprotective? Is it your parental duty to protect your child? How do you do so without becoming too protective?

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M Fox

November 22, 2013  2:55pm

I'm a mother of two young girls, and I am horrified at how impossible it will be to protect them from anything media-related. When I was a kid, my parents kept television out of our house, and encouraged play dates at parks/the zoo/musuems to keep us from watching television at our friends' houses. I never saw any of, say, Britney Spear's music videos, because MTV was really the only places to watch them. Now, all it takes is a kid whipping out their smart phone to see the latest music videos, where women are turned into props right along with ball gags and riding crops. And those are just what's linked to the average news site. There is literally nothing a parent can do to prevent our children from seeing this stuff, besides doing our best to instill in them a strong moral compass and the will to say "no" in front of the entire classroom, not just a friend at a play date. Sorry, Mr. Alleman. By the time these children get to college, the damage will have been done a decade ago.

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Barbara Brooks

November 22, 2013  12:43pm

The author makes the mistake of focusing on daughters. It's essential that parents keep their young boys away from porn and suggestive movies and television. Society's current mentality is that sex is a consumer item, to be tried out in all its forms, as long as its legal. Young people need to be exposed to the victims of this mentality and the many bad consequences of porn and sexual promiscuity, from sex trafficking to boredom to disease etc. Churches need to have a covenant among the members, "I will set before my eyes no unclean thing." If everyone agrees not to have television, worldly movies etc. in the house and uses the best screening technology, it will help a lot. Secondly, sendng young people to college to have their first burst of freedom is foolish. It's better for them to live with other families who can be role models and work for a few years first. Then if they want to go to college, better to go as a disciplined, focused young couple.

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Jeff Rudloff

November 21, 2013  10:47pm

I think Katheryn comes closest to the right perspective here. Protection is certainly warranted - but not for those of college age. The protection and "isolation" (as much as possible) needs to take place during childhood and early adolescence. It is impossible to take an "adult" view of sexuality at those ages, and exposure to sexually explicit material will bring a response characteristic of the age group. Pornography has the same effects as movies and video games on young minds. It desensitizes them to the reality of the actions - and the consequences thereof - they are viewing, and leaves them with a skewed understanding of what sexuality was meant to be. To try and correct that later in life is much more difficult than preventing it when such prevention is more likely to be achieved.

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Matthew Haller

November 21, 2013  10:05pm

Good perspective here. I think about these questions a bit, and wonder exactly how I'd approach this stuff if I am blessed enough to have kids some day. I've learned some things in life the hard way, and would like to spare my children from that if possible, while still allowing them to [at a healthy pace] make their own decisions & become their own person.

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Katheryn Magill

November 21, 2013  3:41pm

For the first question, I think there is a danger in expecting children or teenagers to be more deeply influenced by discussion than what they see. Learning to prioritize higher thinking over sensual experience is a skill that takes many years to develop. Every parent needs to know and evaluate their child's abilities in this area before they cautiously allow them to be exposed to the things adults normally encounter. I find the second question very difficult to navigate as a parent. Ideally, one would not have to sacrifice anything in keeping one's child protected from evils they are unable to process yet. But because the world is so not-ideal, I think it is possible that sometimes it may be worth it to sacrifice a degree of social adept-ness in a child for the sake of protecting their hearts.

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Katheryn Magill

November 21, 2013  3:34pm

I think most parents would have to agree though that some isolation and protection is necessary. To take an extreme example, I can't think of many responsible parents who are ok with a 5 year old walking into a strip club. No amount of talking sensibly about the correct theology of sex afterward is going to undo the damage that may be done there. Disagreement among Christian parents I think comes from two questions: 1) At what age can protection begin to be relaxed in favor of discussion? 2) What am I willing to sacrifice in the life of my child for their protection in the area of sexualization?

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Tim Fall

November 21, 2013  1:30pm

Marlena, I have a son and daughter in their 20s. If I'd followed Alleman's suggestion for either of them, they'd be nowhere near as able to handle adult life as they are now. Thanks for drawing out the correct view here. Cheers, Tim (Thanks for writing that guest post for my blog last week too, Marlena! http://wp.me/p2EmLc-1rR )

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Marlena Graves

November 21, 2013  1:02pm

Dianne, I wholeheartedly agree with you. It's not the angle I took in this piece, but Alleman fails to point that out in his own article. If it's a near occasion for sin for his daughters, it's also a near occasion for sin for his sons.

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Dianne Adams

November 21, 2013  12:52pm

Why is college for boys not a near occasion of sin? I don't think I understand the distinction, here, unless it's just plain old sexism, again. Purity is important for girls, but boys will be boys?

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