When Shame was a Good Thing
Warning: My thoughts below will likely offend or “trigger” many. Rather than taking your anger out on me, why not direct that emotion and energy toward the real problem?
I’m in that weird stage of life where I’m not “old,” but I’m not “young” anymore either. I am still young enough to know what’s going on in popular culture today (probably thanks to my children), but I’m also old enough to remember a different time in our nation.
For instance, there was a time in our nation where a bride wearing white was a symbol of her purity. Today, women walk down the aisle for their second or third marriage wearing white. I don’t think most brides even think about whether or not they are “candidates” for wearing white for a wedding. I’m old enough to remember when it was shameful for young ladies to give birth to children without being married. Today, out of wedlock births are not really a big deal. In fact, 43% of children born in America today come home to just one parent. Let that sink in for just a moment—almost one-half of all children born are born out-of-wedlock. Simply put, we are no longer ashamed. Our conscience has been seared with a hot iron.
Instead of feeling shame, young people today lash out at those who might “judge” them. High schools open up nurseries to accommodate the expanding population of students who have babies. Parents get mad at the church for not having baby showers for their daughter who is pregnant out of wedlock. And society keeps convincing us we should be tolerant of everything.
Shame is defined as a painful feeling of humiliation or distress caused by the consciousness of wrong or foolish behavior. But parents don’t want their children to feel humiliation or distress. So instead of instilling strong conscience about things like sexual purity, we relax our morals and values. As a result, our nation has successfully altered what is viewed as acceptable or normal behavior when it comes to sex outside of marriage.
However, God does not change—He is immutable (Malachi 3:6). Whatever He has deemed as good and right is not subject to the whims of our culture. Just because a large percentage of the population is doing something does not make it right or good. Good is what God wills!
God Himself formed the institution of marriage and the family (Genesis 2). The Bible says that he who finds a wife finds a good thing (Proverbs 18:22). The Bible speaks clearly about the sin of fornication (1 Corinthians 6:18-20; Galatians 5:19-21) and keeping the marriage bed pure (Hebrews 13:4). Sexual immorality is something that can keep someone from spending eternity with God in heaven (Revelation 21:8)—it’s a serious subject in the eyes of God.
Why? Because there are huge consequences when a child is raised in a home without a father. (I’m not saying it can’t be done or that it is a sin…I’m saying there are serious consequences). For instance, fatherless homes account for:
53% of teen mothers
63% of youth suicides
71% high school dropouts
85% of youths in prison
90% of homeless/runaway children
And these are just a few of the consequences the child will face.
This also means that guys do not get a free pass. As the saying goes, “It takes two to tango.” How many guys are walking down the aisle pure? How many guys are “manning up” and being father’s to the children they produce? How many young men are setting aside their video game controller and actually assuming the role of spiritual leader?
Rather than Christians getting comfortable with out of wedlock births maybe we should bring back shame. I know that sounds harsh and judgmental given our politically correct climate. But maybe we should develop a Christian atmosphere where anything that God disapproves of is looked at as wrong and sinful. Maybe as a Christian family we should not be supportive of behavior that the Bible says will lead someone to a lake of fire. Maybe we should not throw celebrations for sin. (This doesn’t mean we don’t love children born into those situations. It simply means we don’t celebrate the sinful behavior.)
Instead, maybe we should hold our children and ourselves accountable to God. Maybe we should stop allowing our culture to dictate what is okay or acceptable. Maybe we should raise children who desire to be holy instead of desiring to live like the world. Maybe we should raise children who don’t want to feel shame and displease their heavenly father. Maybe we should raise our children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord…