My daughter plays in a summer league that often has her on the golf course with young people her age. For the past couple of weeks, her match play event paired her with young men from other teams. Now you have to understand that she has been out on the “links” since she was very young and is familiar with how some people verbally handle their frustrations on the course. She learned from an early age that taking the Lord’s name in vain or using disgusting language is unacceptable and behavior she must not imitate. She has also been taught that when men talk in a crude and disgusting fashion in front of women, they are dishonoring them, and opening the door for worse behavior.
I wish I could explain away the behavior and disgusting speech of the young men she has played with during the past weekends by saying they came from low-income, single-parent households, or that they were products of public school education. However, in both cases, they came from well-to-do, intact families, and were students or graduates of some of “best” Catholic schools in the area. In spite of the fact that my daughter made it quite clear that she was disgusted by their behavior, they reacted as though she was a relic from a distant past.
How many young women either laugh at dirty jokes, or remain quiet in the midst of regular perversion? How many women fail to realize that when they laugh or remain in these situations, they are encouraging and silently affirming the dishonoring of God, themselves, and all women?
At first, my daughter wanted to verbally spar back at these crude young men, using sarcasm or ridicule to silence them, but she recalled our many discussions about answering a fool according to his folly and becoming just like him. As we discussed the situation further with her, my husband made it clear that in the future, she should just walk off the course – that there was no reason to continue to expose herself to abusive speech. However, my husband felt that more needed to be done and contacted those who supervised these teams to express his outrage. Although seemingly shocked by the behavior and very apologetic, there was a sense of resignation—this is how kids act these days.
One of the most important realizations my daughter and I have had was just how much we have taken for granted all these years with the Christian young men we have been around in our homeschooling circles. There is nothing like a dose of the unsanctified world to make one appreciate what a godly upbringing produces. Not all the young men she has known through golf have been crude and vulgar, but, very few are untainted from the cultural influences that glorify sexual perversion and “R” rated speech.
This serves as a reminder to parents that the most important aspect of Christian education is character formation. Reclaiming the culture for Jesus Christ will include instructing our sons to think, speak, and act in a godly respectful way toward women, and teaching our daughters to recognize the difference between those who will reap God’s blessing and those who will receive His cursing.