Friday, August 27, 2004

i shouldn't, but i'm going to.

i had second thoughts about posting this but what the hey, i don't care really and i doubt my dad does either. last night, my brother destry (who goes to a christian school) got an assigment from his new, young, christian history teacher that involved interviewing a parent and finding all sorts of spiritual stats on their life. so as my dad and i sat in the den, waiting to watch a movie together, destry sat at the computer ready to ask questions.

"When did you become a Christian?" My dad answered promptly. "When I was four."...and so on; the usual questions you know. Then, one came that took my brother aback. "What did you struggle with most in high school?" My dad thought for two seconds and then answered. "Masturbation." He looked at me, i looked at destry, destry was gasping and laughing and i looked back at my dad smiling. After this, we got to talking about how the church has really been in denial on this issue for so long and it was good to hear my dad get a little frustrated about thinking how back when he grew up, it was unheard of to even mention such a thing. he thought he was abnormal and terrible and remembers feeling so ashamed at times for struggling like he did. He also told my brother he struggled with insecurity and the follow-up question to that provided an even more interesting discussion. "How did you overcome these struggles?" Destry asked my dad. (Here, my dad and I exchanged glances, and I knew he was thinking what i was thinking---christians must overcome everything otherwise we don't like to talk about it b/c we look weak and vulnerable and just like the rest of the world)

As we sat there, my dad and i mainly talking about such things and talking about how this new young teacher will probably read over many standard, reprocessed "parentalized" responses, i got a little upset with myself and christians in general. I vowed that there wouldn't be more than 2 other parents (dads) that would say what my father said but that would probably be a struggle for the majority of teenage guys in the world. sad? yes. true? i think so. however, maybe our generation will be different. i hope we have the integrity and character to not live in denial while raising our kids and not pretend that we did everything right growing up either. i just hope we can be vulnerable and honest and open and merciful toward them. that's what's been missing for so long in the "christian family."


Chalupa said...

That's cool that your dad can even talk to you about that kind of stuff. I think the most meaningful thing my dad ever said was, "don't do drugs" when I was 16 or so.

Wesley said...

Perhaps our generation will come out with a line of T-shirts that read "I struggle with masterbation." Tasteless? Certainly, but it sure beats 99% of the Christian T-shirts out there. (See to see what I mean)