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Standing up for your beliefs

October 17th, 2008 / 4 Comments

A female caller to the radio talk show today asked the host, “I’m a virgin and I’m 24 years old. I’m probably the only one! Should I continue to hold out?”

The host answered facetiously, ” Yes, you’re probably the only one.” Then she added seriously, “And Yes, you should hold out.”

Even if the caller was the only girl in the world keeping her virginity, should that affect her moral decision to remain a virgin?

Standing up as a minority with your moral values is no easy thing. It’s easier to go along with the politically correct behavior – everyone’s doing it, why not?

My daughter’s science teacher has this poster on her wall:

What is right is not always popular; what is popular is not always right.

When I was in the 6th grade, my “cool friends” decided to take the day off. Even though I knew it was wrong, I went along with them and ditched class that day. If my friends went off the cliff…yes, I would follow!

Peer pressure to do wrong has not lessened since we were kids. There are more dangerous cliffs than ever.

How can we teach our children to stand up for the right thing even when it’s unpopular?

Here are a few suggestions:

1. Do not teach them to be a conformist. When my daughter was a toddler, she insisted on picking her own clothes to wear. I seriously thought she was color-blind! Purple and green, stripes and plaid, it didn’t matter. She simply wore what she liked. At first, I corrected her. Afterall, I didn’t want people to think I was the one with bad taste. Then I caught myself with my wrong attitude. Who was I trying to please? Why am I worried about what people think? If my daughter is an individualist, why am I teaching her to conform?

We inadvertently pass on subtle messages to our children when we ourselves are worried about what people say.

2. You are not the only one. It is daunting to the best of us to stand alone. But we are never alone. (I would’ve like to tell that girl that I was a virgin at 24.) Surround your children with friends who share your same values. Knowing there are others will give them courage to stand up when they need to.

3. Have good reasons for taking a minority stand. The host of the radio show assured the caller, “You will have benefits that none of the slutty girls will have – self-respect, no fear of diseases, a clear conscience on your wedding day. You will never feel you’ve been used.”  She wasn’t just being old-fashioned. She had good reasons to stick to her values.

In a culture of changes, let’s teach our children that there is still a right and wrong, and sometimes, you have to stand alone.

Photo by GregHickman

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  1. We had a little bit of this come up when choosing which foreign language to take. All of my son’s friends were taking Spanish, he wanted to take French. Spanish would be more practical, but in the end, he decided he was going to take French because he’d enjoy it, and not because he temporarily lives in an area abundant with Hispanics.

    His friends gave him a hard time but he gave them his reasons and stood strong. I was so proud of him. 🙂

  2. MammaDawg: Very nice! And you didn’t push him to do what everyone else was doing.

  3. That’s a great set of principles to teach kids. Thanks Katy.

    “Follow the crowd” just isn’t the right way to approach life. Not that we should always avoid the crowd … but more so that we should try to do what we feel is right regardless of what the crowd says or does.

  4. […] I know many teenage couples who has made the decision to act like the second example, and yes, abstinence is realistic. […]


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