A new YouTube video featuring a California father’s response to his son’s choice of doll has gone viral, with millions of views to date. If one is to believe the comments attached to this self-promoting clip, this man is in line for the next Father-of-the-Century award. What does he say to his son that is so amazingly wise? Well, in case you haven’t seen it yet, let’s set the stage first: The father and son go to the store to return a duplicate toy the boy received for his birthday. So, what does the boy choose? A little mermaid doll! This unusual choice provokes the following response from dad: “Yeah, Woo Hoo!” He was thrilled that his son had made such a bold toy choice! Then, dear old dad goes on to share his parenting philosophy with the watching world: He will support any and every choice his children make. He will love them no matter what. And, he will even cheer them on as they make choices regarding their sexuality. In other words, if his son wants to choose “girl things” or even become a woman one day, this father is all for it. Thank you, Bruce Jenner!
Sure, this mentality has existed (especially in California) for decades. But back in the good old days, this father would have been scoffed at and labeled a weirdo by most Americans. Today, he is thought of as cute, compassionate, open-minded, and courageous–even a real man. So, in him and his message, we have a convergence of two Satanic deceptions regarding parenting: (1) That love means supporting all of our children’s decisions, and (2) That our children are inherently good, so they know what’s best for themselves. Let’s look at these two myths separately…
First, this generation of parents tends to define “love” as never having to say “no” to their children. The worst sin is for our children to be unhappy, or even worse, dislike us! So we let our children choose their foods, their clothes, their activities, their schedules–and now, their sexuality. Forty years ago, parents were taught that their main priority was to build up their child’s self-esteem. Well, that misguided advice has evolved and morphed into the drive to destroy any obstacle a child’s happiness.
Second, today’s parents appear to have thoroughly embraced the belief that their children are essentially good. Rather than consider the truth of original sin and total depravity, children are often given myriad excuses for their bad choices and wrong behavior. If I had a nickel for every time I’ve heard, “You know, he’s basically a good kid” (even from Christians), I’d have a ton of nickels. So, if our children are good and know what’s best for them, they also know what form of sexuality is best for them, right? After all, who can tell someone else whom or what he is to love? That would be akin to child abuse! If my son wants a Little Mermaid doll, good for him, because he (not father) knows best.
On a related note, the “open-minded” and progressive ones among us are about to run into a huge logical dilemma. For years, we have been told that we cannot choose our sexuality–we are born either heterosexual, homosexual, or something else. But all of a sudden, people can not only choose their sexual preference, but their own gender as well. Which is it? If it is a choice, then can we now tell homosexuals they can choose to be heterosexuals? (I know, they will try to wiggle out of this dilemma by saying that we can only choose what we already are…)
I hope you understand that this is much bigger than just telling our boys that they shouldn’t play with dolls. We are way past that. Instead, as Christian parents, we must actively and thoroughly teach our children what God’s Word says regarding gender and sexuality. They must learn that God made man and woman in His own image. They must learn that God alone dictates whom we are to love and marry, as well as the boundaries of sexual behavior. It is not good enough to assume that they will learn all of this on their own. The culture is so saturated with lies about gender and sexuality–and it is shouting to them, loud and clear.
Ultimately, our children must be taught often and always that they are sinners with foolish hearts. It is not loving to leave our children to make their own choices about gender and sexuality–it is the dictionary definition of parental neglect. Our children need parents who will lovingly instruct them (as well as provide examples of) God’s gracious design for men and women!
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