Sex and Purity: A Cool Dad Perspective

(Photo by Selma Komisky)

Sex and Purity: A Cool Dad Perspective

By Iain Dick

In many ways, I’m a typical millennial. Born in the late ‘80s, grew up in the ’90s, teenager in the early 2000’s. If you ask a millennial about the music from when they grew up, they’ll probably tell you about the incredible pop music of the ‘90s – it was like a golden age of pop, seriously.

Fast forward 20 years (gosh, that sounds crazy), and here we millennials are; anywhere between age 25 and 40, and many of us are parents to the latest generation who will grow up and flourish on the wisdom we impart to them. Our music taste will be a big part of that.

To adopt a “Mean Girls” reference, Me; I’m “Not like a regular Dad, I’m a cool Dad.”At least, I tell myself I’m a cool Dad. I guess I’ll find out in the next 10 years whether or not my then-teenage kids agree. Music is a big deal for us here, and I tend to latch on to music from movies to play in the car. I sometimes also listen to some heavy/symphonic metal music with the kids around, and they love that too, no really.

But I keep thinking about how today’s generation is growing up without cassette tapes, Walkmans or CDs; it’s all Spotify, Amazon Music, and iTunes; our digital world makes listening to music insanely easy. I also keep thinking about the lyrical content of the songs I let the kids listen to. I mean, sure, many streaming platforms have a warning or an ‘E’ for explicit (for curse words), but what about the subjects? Some of the best songs out there, the songs that my kids really enjoy, are about subjects that are too mature for them, and I don’t want my kids singing them. So, I go back to the good old days of 90’s pop, and conclude one thing: I don’t remember music being so sex-focused in the 90s!

Maybe it was. Maybe I just wasn’t aware of it, which I guess is good in one hand, that I didn’t realize, but also kind of terrible. As a child, when I sang along, I’d be singing sexual lyrics, and didn’t even know it! This is the part when you see an Instagram reel or Tiktok video where an adult finally realizes the overtly sexual lyrics that they used to sing along to in childhood.

My daughter is 7 years old, she’s starting to love music, and she especially loves Little Mix. First off, I have no objections to Little Mix; their music is fun, catchy, and positive. But I do take issue with one thing; when they sing about sex. I know, as I’m writing this, I’m gambling with my “cool Dad” status, but I think this is an area where my parental discomfort is warranted.

2 Corinthians 1:12 says “For our boast is this, the testimony of our conscience, that we behaved in the world with simplicity and godly sincerity, not by earthly wisdom but by the grace of God, and supremely so toward you.”

I previously wrote about purity being “Pure & Simple”. So, will some songs improve that simplicity, or will it complicate and confuse us?

We must use discernment in what we take in, whether it’s movies, TV, music, etc. Romans 12:2 says “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”

But then, there’s also the point made in John 17:15: “I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.”

Honestly, there is no real solid conclusion with this one.

But as a parent, here are some suggestions to minimize the quantity of gratuitous sexual language/euphemisms contained in the music we play in around your kids:

  • Find cleaner/family-friendly alternatives (Kidz Bop)
  • Create your own playlists with varied, but vetted songs.
  • If in doubt, resort to worship music.

We can’t keep the next generation from being affected by the world completely, but we can expose our kids to a wealth of varied, wholesome music. We can also keep the conversation going with our kids on why some music isn’t glorifying God.