Thursday, August 29, 2013

A Father's Hope (Letter to Selah)

I guess I’m a little late to the game but last night I finally got around to watching Miley Cyrus’ performance at the VMA’s. I thought ‘How bad could it be?’ I mean maybe the media is over-reacting….boy was I wrong. Oh Miley, where have you gone?  You have proven once again that “women use sex in order to get love, and men use love in order to get sex”. Here’s a link in case you missed it. I hope you’ve already eaten dinner.

How fitting that Miley was dancing to a song called “Blurred Lines”. Is that not what some of these “artists” are trying so hard to do? Blur all the lines between what is right and wrong, tasteful and distasteful, truth and lies. I mean where else can you mix teddy-bear innocence with foam-finger sex and try to pawn it off as art? Sorry Miley. Whatever it is you're selling - I’m not buying it. 

I guess we shouldn’t be surprised. Miley is no different from Brittney or Justin – a couple other Mickey Mouse Club renegades who broke free from their Disney mold while America was treated to a front-row seat of their sexual “coming of age”. Well, as she stood their bent over, gyrating her hips with the RPM of a jackrabbit on a hamster wheel, I felt like I was watching Madonna 2.0. And then I remembered this poignant quote from Madonna who was no stranger to sexual exploration in her own career:
“Sometimes I was being overtly sexual for the sake of showing off when I didn’t need to. I think I hurt myself. I hurt other people by confusing them. One minute I was saying “Believe in yourself” and the next minute I was saying, ‘Just be sexually provocative for the sake of it!’ Now that’s confusing. I was just not thinking. I let myself be tricked – tricked by the physical world…”  (“Lady’s Home Journal”  interview in July 2005)
Kudos to Madonna for being honest with herself and for realizing the harm she caused others by confusing them about what sex is and is not. Better late than never I guess.

All of this hits close to home for me because I have a 5 year old daughter who is growing up too fast. One who has already expressed insecurity in the way she looks, who seeks attention from others (not surprising for a youngest child) and one who has already noticed that the most beloved Disney princesses have large round eyes and long blonde hair. Nothing like the eyes and hair her genetically-challenged father has endowed to her. So what would she think if one of her future “role models” went off the deep end?  And what do I want my little girl to learn from all this when she “comes of age”.

Pretty simple actually…

I want her to know that God is love and that God loves her. And the God whose love gives her innate beauty and infinite worth is the same God who created sex and the same God who created marriage.

I want her to know that sex is not something we should be ashamed of or afraid to discuss. It’s beautiful. It’s precious. It’s special and for someone special.

I want her to know that God designed sex to be one of the most supreme expressions of love. And though this world tries so hard to separate the two - God never intended the two to be separated. This is proven by His mandate that sex only be enjoyed under the most profound kind of love – a love that is committed to the end because it is under the protection and promise of an enduring covenant. (i.e. marriage)

I want her to know that sex tells us more about God than anything it can say about us because it’s a powerful picture of His covenant love for us and our supreme joy in Him.

I was looking at some pictures on my computer yesterday and I ran across this video I took two years ago. It was my first “official date” with my little girl. She was only three at the time and I took her to a live concert of her favorite singer - Jackie Evancho. I never noticed this before because it was so subtle but watch what happens when Jackie begins to sing (0:20 marker). Selah has an “awakening”. Prior to that moment, she had heard Jackie sing on CD and even watched her in concert on DVD but now she was experiencing it live for the first time - in person - and it was more beautiful and glorious then she had imagined. She takes it in and then she gives me this “look” (before she swoons). A look that says this is far more beautiful than your words could describe. Far more glorious than audio could transmit. Far more vivid than video could display…and waiting for it made it all the more sweeter.

I love that look.

Dear Selah,

One day I hope you read this post and I hope you remember that moment because I’ll never forget that look. I hope you remember in the same way, sex is beautiful and glorious - more than I can describe and more than you could imagine. I hope you will wait and by waiting I hope you will find it all the more sweeter. And if I only get that “look” from you once more in my lifetime I pray that you'll be wearing a white dress again and it will be on your wedding night.

This world will tell you that it’s impossible to wait, but don’t believe that lie. Your future teachers will probably give you condoms (assuming you’re not home-schooled). Your future friends will probably give you grief. But wait…and in waiting I trust that you’ll eventually find a man that does not use “love” in order to get sex. A man who is willing to commit his life to you before you commit your body to him. A man who faithfully reflects the One who loves you most – Jesus.

I don’t know his name but your heavenly Father does and if you’re waiting for him, he’s waiting for you too.  I’m sure of it.

p.s. Due to overflow parking I had to walk 2 miles with you on my shoulders to get to the concert. So don't ever say I didn't love you. =)

Love always,

Your Dad


  1. Your letter to Selah is beautiful and has brought tears to my eyes. Oh, that every Christian father in America would have the heart and the conviction that you do, Peter. Selah is blessed beyond all measure to have a father and a Heavenly Father who loves her as you both do.