No Sex Before Marriage?
Recently my granddaughter, Jordan, came home from school with an assignment to make a poster that said: “No sex before marriage.”
There was just one problem: she didn’t believe that was a valid concept to have to make a poster about. She didn’t object because she was sexually active – she wasn’t, although that was no one’s business.
Her parents also didn’t believe that was a valid concept for her to have to make a poster about either. Her mom thought that the assignment reinforced the idea of kids getting married too early in order to feel like its ok to have sex—a worse problem in her view than premarital sex.
So we thought about ways to twist the words so that valid concepts might be brought out like, “No marriage before sex.” Also, comically, “No sex after marriage.”
Anyway, the point was that her public school teacher had given an assignment that she and her parents were in disagreement with completing. So what were her options?
Not do the assignment.
Do the assignment.
Offer an alternative assignment and/or communicate with the teacher about why the assignment was objectionable.
Jordan had just transferred to this school and didn’t want to just not complete the assignment. She had already decided that option number 2 was unacceptable. So that left her with option 3 and coming up with how to do that.
She went through magazines to get the words she needed to cut out. She put “sex” in the middle and glittered it up. Then she made a collage of the following questions:
“No sex before marriage?”
“No marriage before sex?”
“No sex after marriage?”
“Yes to sex?”
“Yes to marriage?”
This caused enough of a stir that some real discussion occurred in the classroom, to the dismay of the teacher, who wanted a nice, safe, cut and dry approach, consistent with her own upbringing.
Now I’m not advocating that teens become sexually active all over the place, or that serious relationships and even marriage, shouldn’t be encouraged. But what was being pushed here was a value and conclusion which wasn’t consistent with the rights of others to have their own values and interpretations about how they should live their lives.
I love it when I see someone broaden the vision of a person who is applying only narrow thinking to life’s issues. It would be wonderful if schools could do a better job of teaching students how to think critically, using a wide-scope approach which helps them be able to make life’s difficult decisions.