They depend on my husband and me for guidance, moral training and love. These two fine young boys of ours, aged 13 and 12, are always watching, always seeking, always being influenced.
Every day we work at instilling in them values like honesty, integrity, compassion, commitment, dependability, patriotism and respect for others. Our friends are families who share our values. We stretch our budget to send them to a private Christian school. They are active in the church youth group. They are members of the Boy Scouts, and my husband is the Scout Master.
We carefully screen the movies they go to, the video games they play and the television they watch. Our computer sits in the living room in full-view where Internet access can be monitored. Keenly aware that children usually model their future marriages after their parents’ relationships, my husband and I often show our warm affection for each other. We also try our very best to live our faith.
Nearly every weekend our home is filled with six or seven teen-aged boys, their stinky socks and sleeping bags, pizza boxes, innocent “pranks” and laughter. We have created a safe and nurturing environment for our sons and their friends. We have a three-story tree house in the back yard (which my husband and boys designed and built together), a fire pit for weekend campfires, and a swinging bridge that hangs between two towering oaks (I
fondly refer to this as “the bridge to nowhere”).
But we still struggle every day with the negative influence of our culture. Funny thing is, it’s not Hollywood that presents the biggest threat to our boys anymore – the most ominous threat these days comes from many of the male “leaders” in our nation’s capital.
How sad that men like Gary Condit and his many vocal supporters in Congress have forgotten the tremendous influence they have on our country’s sons. How dreadful that the nightly news must be filled with stories of illicit affairs, family betrayal, deceit, lies and graphic sexual encounters. How sickening that the political pundits try to spin these destructive forces as issues of “privacy” and “free will” and “personal choice.” If I hear one more time that a “politician’s personal life is no one else’s business” I’m going to scream. Unfortunately, you’ll probably hear me within the hour.
One particular pillar of democracy we frequently discuss is the importance of a news industry that holds government accountable, turns over every rock to find the truth, and reports the facts as they are. We teach our children to read the newspapers and newssites critically and to watch the news on television with a certain amount of skepticism. We point to the Fox News Channel and WND.com as the best examples of the media our founding fathers envisioned. We discuss what is reported by these outlets versus others, and what our leaders are doing. It’s been a raunchy, painful job these past few weeks – just like it was a couple of years ago when we had to tell our boys that they should not view the sitting president of the United States as a role model. Just like it was when we had to explain why the media in general, and Congress, in particular, had failed in their roles.
I remember almost nightly discussions of why Clinton was the exact opposite of the type of husband, father and moral leader we would like for them to be. It brought my heart to my throat and butterflies to my stomach as I looked into their confused and inquisitive faces. It seemed so very wrong to have to say such things.
And then it got worse: The president got away with it. The “spin” machine won over decency. The pundits and mass media cared more about their politics than an entire generation of young men. Hillary smiled and waved (but that’s the basis of another column later on America’s daughters), Bill joked with reporters and the Democrats shook hands with “their man.”
And it’s happening all over again – but this time, in addition to the seedy sex, betrayal and lies, a young woman is probably dead.
Yet, still the pundits “spin” and most congressmen refuse to “judge” their colleague on his “personal life.” Gary Condit still goes to work every day, still saunters with arrogance, and still refuses to answer basic questions about his role in the disappearance of a young woman. How can this be? It’s agony to try and make sense of it for my boys, because it is senseless. A congressman who feels no obligation to society? A leader who holds no regard for his influence on our nation’s sons? The democratic spin machine is too busy twisting the issues for the sake of politics to stop and look into the seeking eyes of America’s young men.
When I survey the past two years and look to the future, I wonder what in the world we’ll have to explain to our boys next. My prayer is that America will have had enough, that the mass media will assume its proper role as the seekers of truth and exposers of abuse, and that our political parties will only promote people of strong moral integrity.
My sons are watching … and so are yours.
“I Love America”: Teach your children about America’s history, heritage and freedoms with this child-geared book, available in WorldNetDaily’s online store.