I've noticed my middle school students dealing with some stress the last week. That's not quite accurate. I should have said my middle school students of the female persuasion. You know what is coming up in seventy-two hours. That's what's on many of the girls' minds. In class, I mentioned to one of the eighth grade ladies that IT was only six days away. She sort of sighed and told me, "I know." Richard asked, "Coach, what's six days away?" The girls were in disbelief of his ignorance but that's kind of the way it is. I don't remember if the girls I went to school with found this season to be pressure packed but many of them do now. Maybe schools have had some part in it. From kindergarten on, there were always parties and homemade cards and cookies and the like on February 14 so it's sort of institutionalized by society. It's a fun time for schools and the kids have fun but somewhere along the line, the anxiety sneaks in. Well, for one gender at least.
I'm in the process of visiting all our classes and kicking off our collection for orphanages in Honduras and Haiti. Yesterday, I spent time with our sixth grade girls' Bible class. Their teacher, Annette Turner, and I had discussed this Valentine's Day phenomenon so with her permission, I shared about three minutes of insight from a male's perspective. I told them how my folks never kissed until they were engaged and until Dad had bought the ring. I told them that boys in their general age bracket will pretty much kiss anyone who lets them and it doesn't mean they like you. I told them I always knew if I really liked a girl if the kissing stuff was the last thing on my mind when it came to her because I didn't want to mess it up. And I told them the odds are extremely slim that they have yet met the (future) man they will marry. Annette told me they were extremely attentive and that they need to hear it from a guy and someone who is not their parent. I hope they were. This afternoon, as I stood in line at Wal-Mart, there by the checkout line was a display of COSMOPOLITAN magazines. The cover girl this week is Selena Gomez who every little girl in the US knows, either through her singing or her relationship to one J. Bieber. Do you know what the headline is next to Selena's picture?
HOT AND NEW: Fifty Sex Tips
There were several middle school age girls in the various lines and I know they saw the same magazine. It isn't hard to see where kids are getting the idea that sexuality comes with no strings attached and few, if any, restraints. I told my eighth graders this week that God considers marriage sacred and that most of them want to get married in a church setting because they perceive it as being sanctioned by the Lord. And so when I was grading their tests several hours ago, one of those eighth grade girls ended her exam in the following manner:
please pray for everyone who doesn't have a Valentine, for God loves them more than any boy or girl.
Only one way to finish that thought.
Applicable quote of the day:
"Without Valentine's Day, February would be... well, January."
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