The Prom

For most of my life I thought high school proms were the epitome of evil. I had never seen one of the scary things, but from what I heard from the pulpit I knew they must be awful. So I did not go when I was in school and I did not send my children to the schools that sponsored and promoted proms.

Children sometimes have sex in schools. Only recently the news reported the story of two sixth-graders who had sex in the room while the teacher wasn’t looking. If it’s happening in grade schools we know it is happening in high schools and colleges. Yes, even in “Christian” colleges (I’ve heard the stories).

Schools have a room full of boys and girls learning together, and the girls dress far more provocatively at school than they ever would at a prom. Most girls, all dressed up as they are at the prom, are not going to let some hormone driven boy ruin their special night with sex. Not for the first time anyway or not unless that was their plan–to “do it” on prom night. Either way, it wasn’t the prom that caused the sex.

The world is full of evil. It’s all around us. I was so protective of my own girls that not only did they not go to the prom or attend public schools but they also did not spend the night anywhere. If you don’t know how dangerous THAT is, you’re just not in touch with reality. (Many young people get their first sexual experience with a cousin or a good friend–or even a brother or sister.)

The only place my girls ever got to spend the night was at their dad’s. I trusted him. Bad as he was to me, I knew he would never hurt our girls. (Besides, he was their father and had a right to spend time with them.) I did NOT let them spend the night with any other person, young or old. I learned the hard way about how foolish it is for young girls to spend the night at a friend’s house.

I have said it before and I will say it again: you cannot trust ANYONE with your children. How many times have we heard about how Grandpa molested several of his little granddaughters when his own child trusted him to care for her precious babies? And, yes, even so-called Christian grandfathers have been caught doing this. I saw a preview of a Dr. Phil show where the grandpa said, “I was just trying to make her feel good. I thought she would like it.”

But back to the prom. My younger son spent his nineteenth year living with his father. He met a young girl who was a senior and took him to the prom with her. I happened to be in town the night of her prom because I had a meeting in a building on the same lot as the prom site. I don’t remember why I was searching for my son that night. Maybe I was going to tell him good-bye before I drove the three hours back home.

Anyway, I went into the prom expecting–well, I don’t know what I was expecting, I guess that the  chaperones would have horns and be giving prizes for the best pickup line. But the place was lit up like a Christmas tree (no sex was going to happen there, I’m telling you). A few kids were out on the floor dancing quite innocently, but most were at the tables in the corner of the room, a whole bunch of them just sitting there talking. My son saw me from where he was sitting and came over and talked to me (no, he wasn’t embarrassed that his mom was there), and I went away wondering what all the sermons had been about all those years.

Is it wrong to go to the prom? Is it wrong to go to public school? Is it wrong to go to the pool?  Is it wrong to go to the beach (I’m sure more sex happens there than at the prom)? Is it wrong to go to the water parks? One man said to avoid the prom he and a friend took two girls out on a date in a car in the dark. That sounds far more dangerous and provocative than a prom! Those girls didn’t even have a chaperone. In a million years my mother wouldn’t have allowed that!

So what am I saying? That sin is likely to happen anywhere, so we should withdraw into a cave? That sin is likely to happen anywhere, so we should open the doors wide and have a c’est la vie attitude about it? I am not saying either. What I am saying is that life is full of danger and we need to be conscientious to do what we feel is best for our children.

And the main thing we need to do is know our children and train them to love God and respect themselves. If a girl has her heart set on God, she can sleep in the same bed with a boy and not succumb to his advances. That is not to say she should do that–just that she could. Parents generally know what their children can handle. If they cannot handle the prom, then they should not be allowed to go.

Song of Solomon 8:8-9: We have a little sister, and she hath no breasts: what shall we do for our sister in the day when she shall be spoken for? If she [be] a wall, we will build upon her a palace of silver: and if she [be] a door, we will enclose her with boards of cedar.

We need to talk to our children and find out where their hearts are. If our daughter is a wall, we can probably decorate her and send her to the prom and she will do just fine. But if she is a door, we had better shut her up and teach her some self-respect before we send her off to Florida College. We also need to remember that the thing that entices one girl is not the thing that entices another. One girl will be enticed by the intimacy of prayer with a young man while another will succumb to a man who entices her with romantic words.

No preacher can stand in the pulpit and tell parents what to do with their children. Fornication is sin. Lasciviousness is sin. But they can happen in many and varied circumstances. The prom, the beach, the swimming pool, the bowling alley, the movies, the school, the church bus (I’ve watched it with my own eyes)–they are all places of enticement. We need to teach our children to love God and to love themselves and others. If we do that we won’t have to worry because they will take God with them wherever they go.

We reason in a strange fashion. Covetousness is a sin; therefore gambling is a sin; therefore taking a chance on a quilt that the PTA is raffling off is a sin. Lasciviousness is a sin; therefore dancing is a sin; therefore going to the prom (maybe even just to take a picture and eat a meal!) is a sin.

We need to quit straining out gnats and swallowing camels. I am afraid we are raising a bunch of people who will “touch not; taste not; handle not”; but their hearts will be far from God. And what is more, they won’t have their own faith because nothing makes any sense about their faith. They will have their father’s faith. And that won’t hold up for them on the church bus any more than it will hold up for them on the dance floor.

Luke 10:27: …Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.

THAT is what we need to be teaching our children. If they have that down, they’ll have it all.