Innocence

Suggestive (or even explicit) humor is definitely not foreign to our culture. It seems imbedded into our very existence. Perhaps it’s simply my generation; cleverness is determined by who can make the most creative sexual connotations in a statement. The more suggestive, the better the joke. It may be all for fun, but this paves the way for a new interpretation of sex. The topic is no longer off limits; say what you want, as long as you make it sound clever. The seriousness, the near sanctity of sex is lost.

Honestly, I’m often mocked for my lack of information regarding sex. I don’t understand many jokes, though I certainly have made a few myself. I don’t know terminology, and I take the actual act of sex seriously. I grew up in an environment where sex just never came up in conversation. My father certainly never mentioned it, and the only conversations with my mother I can recall involved me bringing up the topic. And even then, we sidestepped the actual issues, making only veiled, slightly embarrassed comments.

School certainly didn’t help anything. Sex was for marriage. Sex outside of marriage is wrong. Suggestive jokes are inappropriate. So, in our acts of “rebellion,” we became “perverted.” Our jokes were dirty, starting out in the “that’s what she said” sense. They gradually escalated, but still, we were good Christian kids at a good Christian school.

I feel that the gradual degradation of our thought processes reflect a general degradation of morality itself. I find myself valuing wit over purity, intelligence over true wisdom. In the college environment, it seems as though the people who really know this world, who’ve experienced “real life,” are the ones who are looked up to. Innocence has lost its value; instead, the innocent are viewed as pitifully naïve, unable to fend for themselves.

I believe that innocence has value. The “sheltered” life isn’t for everyone. Most people hate the stereotype. “You went to a private Christian school. You’re sheltered. You haven’t experienced the real world.” It’s insulting. Apparently, we live in an alternate dimension simply because we were raised in a nurturing environment, both in our educational and in our spiritual needs. We were not totally isolated. It’s not like we don’t see the news. We live in the same neighborhoods as other people, shop in the same stores, see the same movies.

What’s so wrong with retaining a little innocence? Why must we rush into the “real world,” as horrifying as that reality is? Is there something so wrong with wanting to protect children from the anger, violence, and perversion of the culture? At least give them a base to stand on; they need some strength in order to withstand the strong undertow of American culture. Perhaps I truly am naïve, but I know for a fact that I miss the days when my mind, and my world, was innocent. I have some things to work on, too. A certain verse pricks my conscience occasionally, warning me to mind my thoughts.

Philippians 4:8
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

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