When Your Children See Half-Naked Women On The Cover Of A Magazine

“Don’t let Hollywood have a monopoly on what our children learn about sex” Dr. Peter Tanchi

20140210-160807.jpg (image from twentytwowords.com)

Our children don’t learn about purity today. They learn about immorality. Just turn on the TV or surf the net or heck, drive down Edsa. It’s hard NOT to be assaulted by the sexually charged environment we are in.

The other day, my ten year old, said, “Mom, they have pictures of half-naked women over there.” This happened at the grocery and Elijah came up to me looking disturbed as he made this statement. He was referring to the magazine rack display which was positioned in full view of everyone who was exiting the store. The most scandalous of them all were at his eye level.

Edan was over there too but he was looking at something else. When Elijah asked him if he saw the magazine covers, he was like, “Huh?! What pictures?! I didn’t see anything.” He was telling the truth. He didn’t notice them at all. Elijah, on the other hand, is getting older and more cognizant of what is inappropriate in women’s dressing. All the visible skin was shocking for him.

We talked about how women are not supposed to show off their bodies that way, that it is not pleasing to God. I also told him that he shouldn’t marry a woman that projects herself in that manner. I don’t even know why I added that, but he very emphatically responded, “I will never ever ever marry a woman like that!” GOOD. I hope he feels the same way ten years from now.

I know we cannot keep our children in a bubble. In fact, Elijah told me he has seen similar photos of women on billboards. Of course it upsets me that society doesn’t care at all that children are continually exposed to lewd and provocative pictures of women and even men. There may be some sanctions imposed on marketing and media companies but still, our children’s innocence is threatened so often.

I was upset about the magazines in the store, but it was my mom that went the extra mile. My mom was with us doing her grocery shopping, too. Immediately, she called the manager and said very nicely but with conviction, “You shouldn’t display magazines like these the way you do. Please find a way to cover them. It doesn’t speak well of your store and it’s not good for children.” And one by one she flipped over the magazines. No one stopped her and the manager acknowledged what she had to say.

I didn’t know if the store would do anything about it. But I was proud of my mom. (Elijah was, too.) I thought to myself, yah, you tell them, mom!

The good news is just today my mom dropped by the same grocery and she informed me that there was paper pasted across the bodies of the cover models. You can still see the names of the magazines that are being sold but no more half naked women visible to the public. She commended the manager for taking action on her request.

When Elijah and I found out that the grocery had “censored” the magazines, we were both thrilled. It was encouraging to know that people (represented by this grocery) still respect convictions. There are still people out there who know, deep inside, that it’s not okay for young women to be posing with a tiny strip of fabric to cover their private parts. Elijah, in his candid manner, just called it out and it was like, oh, right, hello, these women are not partially clothed, they are pretty much naked.

This is not an attempt to go out into the streets with a sign that says, death to all who let themselves be photographed wearing nothing but a tiny strip of fabric, death to all those who photograph them, death to all those who buy these photos, and death to all those who sell them. I am not so guiltless, not about the above, but about feeding my carnal appetite for immorality. There are times when I switch on the TV and get intrigued by the plot of a movie or show that outrightly condones sleeping around. And occasionally, I will surf the net and look up some Hollywood gossip and find it entertaining. I am ashamed to admit that there’s something interesting about all the garbage that goes on in the lives of famous people. By God’s grace, I don’t have much time to do any of the above these days. But it doesn’t mean that I don’t have the curiosity for it…a curiosity that needs to come under the control of the Holy Spirit.

I am writing this entry because I want to challenge all of us to practice and model holiness no matter how hostile the moral climate is today. I told Elijah, “We must never be ashamed to have high standards when it comes to purity. We don’t have to be like everyone else and think, well this is just the way it is.”

Flee immorality. Every other sin that a man commits is outside the body, but the immoral man sins against his own body. (1 Corinthians 6:18 NASB)

Personally, I need to be more aware of how easy it is to buy into the unbiblical standards that are becoming more and more “accepted” in our country. But God’s word says, As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance, but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; because it is written, “Y ou shall be holy, for I am holy.” (1 Peter 1:14-16 NASB)

If my mom had not said anything about the magazine rack, I probably wouldn’t have. I would have just let it go and thought, well, that’s just the nature of things. But because my mom spoke to the manager, I was blessed by her desire to protect my kids and every other person that comes in and out of that grocery store.

Society may continue to head in the wrong direction by promoting and celebrating immorality but we don’t have to become a causality of this inertia. We can say something when there is opportunity to do so. We can take a stand when necessary. We can hazard being ridiculed as outdated and boringly conservative. We can hold on to the belief that purity is God’s design, that sex is supposed to happen in marriage, between a husband and wife. Why? Because our children are watching and others, too. They want to know what to believe, what to value, what to uphold. If we guard, protect, and live out what is good, true, and holy, and if we are a testament to the blessings of doing so, then our children and others will have the courage to do the same.


10 thoughts on “When Your Children See Half-Naked Women On The Cover Of A Magazine

  1. Joy, is this the grocery in Eastwood? We were there Saturday night, and I was actually glad someone did something about those magazines. Saw them covered with paper.

  2. Hi joy! I’m a follower of your blog but I can’t help to ask you this question. Don’t you think your approach to nudity whether it’s in a magazine or mass media, will just plant malice into the minds of your kids? I know we all have different parenting philosophies but don’t you think you’re teaching your kids to be judgmental and overly self-righteous this early?

    1. Malice is not planted, they are the weeds that needs to be cut down. Respect for one’s body – that is what Joy planted 🙂

  3. Wow, your mother is brave! Good on her! (“,) And, I believe, part of the reason they listened to her is because she is American and blonde and beautiful at that… I believe she did the right thing (“,)

  4. I praise God for people who boldly stand up for what is right! May her tribe multiply! That chorus “…and I was made by You, and I was made for You, and I was made to worship You…” plays on my mind right now as I write..
    Oh. and I too am guilty of reading up on famous people’s lives sometimes.. thanks for the reminder that that too needs to be kept under the Holy Spirit’s guarding..

  5. Praise God for your mom joy! I would never forget what she taught me and other girls on one of the retreats i’ve attended back when I was still single about projecting ourselves properly, modestly. Now that I have kids ( and I’ve been blessed with 2 boys ) , I would never ever want them to marry women who project themselves in such manner. I would never want them to think that being like that is normal. I would want them to value purity and be pure themselves even if they live in a corrupted world. The Bible is clear that we should be excellent of what is good and innocent of evil;That we should flee immorality and as a parent, that’s one thing I will teach my kids once they are old enough to understand ( they’re still babies. Lol ) to protect them from what the world teaches us.

    Oh, and I thank the Lord for your blogs. They serve as a reminder and encourager for me!

  6. Joy, Faith was bothered by the fashion magazines that my sister had in her room. Typical fashion mags to help us keep in step with fashion. I’m so glad she was bothered by it. She even questioned why my sister read them. And she said that she doesn’t understand why women wear clothes that show so much flesh. So it reminded me to be aware of my clothes and magazines that we think are already normal and part of society.

  7. Thank you for posting this. I have struggled with purity (and may I never do again, by God’s grace), and I remember my sexuality being “awakened” at a young age when, while watching a movie (with adults, at home!), the movie started showing sexual scenes. I wish I said something like what Elijah did (I was much younger, may be 5 or 6 years old), but moreso, the adults didn’t do anything! That scene plagued me, and I felt truly uncomfortable! Never underestimate children, instead, listen to them.

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