Understand that we taught our boys these lessons over the course of many years and through many conversations. Along the way, and partly as a result of all the time we spent together through our homeschooling journey, they learned the qualities they should look for in a spouse. We wanted our boys to be men who were imitators of God and who looked beyond the outward appearance and instead looked at the heart.
We were blessed this weekend to share in the joy of the engagement of our son, Ryan, to his wonderful fiance, Kasey. Though everything in our culture tells these kids they should spend their 20s drinking, sleeping around, and enjoying the twerking and hook-up culture, they cannot wait to graduate from Hillsdale College and marry each other next year. Both of them were taught from a young age to look for the qualities that God values when seeking a spouse, including a personal and growing faith in Christ, integrity, and beauty that is more than skin deep — qualities that will endure beyond the honeymoon phase of marriage. We are thrilled that they found those qualities — and so much more — in each other.
Our boys are old enough now (19 and 22) that they make their own media choices. I don’t agree with all of them (I blame their dad for the penchant for Terminator and Matrix movies), and we’ve certainly not been perfect parents and don’t have perfect kids. But despite our shortcomings and missteps along the way, with God’s help, we’ve managed to raise young men who respect women — who cannot find entertainment value in Miley Cyrus’s twerking performance. They pity Miley and other girls like her who obviously lack both modesty and self-respect. Proverbs 11:22 teaches, “Like a gold ring in a pig’s snout is a beautiful woman without discretion.” That verse is as relevant today as when it was written by King Solomon.
I’m proud that our boys — our young men — have strong values and don’t objectify women. Perhaps we’re old-fashioned, maybe bordering on legalistic. But I’m confident that our sons won’t be the guys leering and twerking along with the Miley Cyruses of the world. Real masculinity is not defined by conquering women and treating them like sex objects. Men like Robin Thicke, who went along with the onstage gyrations of a 20-year-old woman (a woman 16 years his junior), don’t understand that real manhood means respecting, valuing — and even protecting — women. If believing that and teaching it to our kids makes us old-fashioned and prudish, then I’ll proudly wear those labels.