...something about this just creeps me out.
Surely those of us with Biblical standards concerning sexual morality want to teach these standards to our children. We want them, boys and girls, to present their bodies as living sacrifices to God, and to live lives of physical, mental, and spiritual purity. We do not want them to regard sexuality as something to be exploited, as something that is less than the beautiful thing that God intended it to be.
But, well-meaning as the "Father-Daughter Purity Ball" movement may seem to be, it just doesn't sit right with me. In fact, to put it mildly, it seems disturbing.
Maybe it's the idea of having little girls, some as young as 4 years old, reciting pledges such as "I pledge to remain sexually pure...until the day I give myself as a wedding gift to my husband. ... I know that God requires this of me.. that he loves me and that he will reward me for my faithfulness". That, apparently, is what the little girl is reading from the card. Frankly --- and I know that I am dating myself as one from the dark ages --- I am thankful that I was allowed by my parents to enjoy being a little girl, without having to worry about what "sexual" meant, or without having to ponder what sort of wedding gift I was going to be giving to my husband.
Maybe it's just the whole weirdly romantic prom date atmosphere. Yes, there is a lot of talk about dressing up as "princesses", but too many of the pictures remind me of prom pictures...except that one of the "dates" is way too old and the other is sometimes way too young.
Also disturbing to me is that the mothers are strangely missing from this event, and that there is no corresponding event to urge sons to pledge their purity to their mothers. Doesn't it seem odd that purity is pledged to the opposite sex parent, rather than to both parents? Also, since the mother is usually the one who is the primary caretaker and educator, especially in all things feminine, wouldn't it make more sense to have daughters make this pledge, privately and without all the hooplah, to their mothers?
Maybe it's the public spectacle of the whole thing, as if fathers are showing off their daughter's purity.
I would have found this sort of pseudo-prom horribly odd at any age. Thank God my parents never would have fallen for this sort of nonsense. When I was too young to understand --- or want to understand --- sexual temptation, the whole idea would have been one that would have annoyed me to no end. Why were my parents already worrying about my purity when all the boys in school still ran around screaming shrilly that girls had cooties? Why couldn't I live out some sort of princess fantasy with both of my parents (after all, every king needs a queen) and without the bizarre and icky sexual overtones? When I was old enough to understand, it would have seemed quite uncomfortable and embarrassing to make such a public display of a very private matter. Plus, the "romantic date with Daddy" concept would have been weird beyond words.
When I was in high school, I'll never forget a horrid mistake I made by attending some sort of Christian gathering about helping kids avoid sexual temptation. It was at this Christian meeting where I first heard of the most shocking perversions and deviate behavior. I was furious. These Christian leaders, it seemed, were far more filthy-minded than the worst gutter-mouthed sleazy guy at school. I really had no desire to know what depraved and twisted individuals did. I felt as if I had been tossed into a cesspool.
But then again, maybe I'm just odd. I think that my purity would have been best protected by not having me confronted with things that I had no desire to know, nor any reason to know. My parents were wonderful about answering all my questions and about not keeping me in dangerous or unnecessary ignorance. However, they didn't push stuff on me either. They let me be a child. When I was a little girl, they let me revel in being young, in being innocent and pure, in being unfettered by worries about sex. They let me play princess, happily and in various settings, without having to worry about making lifelong pledges about things that I really didn't want to know yet.
Here are a few links:
Focus on the Family: May I Have This Dance?
Generations of Light: Purity Ball