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Dear COA Family,

Happy Mother’s Day in advance to all of our mothers – whether you are a physical or a spiritual mother!

As you faithfully care for your children, know that you are fulfilling God’s will for your lives in a profound
way. This is because God frequently refers his care for his people to a mother caring for her children
(see Isaiah 49:15-16; 66:13 and Luke 13:34).

Yet, Mother’s Day also highlights the important role of parents in bringing up the young in our midst,
especially in the context of our current digitalised and connected society.

A book I am currently reading shines the spotlight on the insidious sexual conditioning of our children
from a young age1.

Sexual conditioning refers to the early exposure of the children to inappropriate sexual behaviour and
pornography by friends or relatives. In today’s world where the mass media is increasingly sexualised
and easily accessible by ever younger children, the teaching of moral defences and the benefits of
chastity has to be done sooner in more consistent and effective ways. This is made all the more urgent
by the presence of unscrupulous marketing techniques targeting children so that they grow up to be
adults with sexual behaviours and norms consistent with a godless society.

Just recently, a mother shared with me the horror story of her son being exposed to pornography at the
tender age of 9. Her son had gone to a friend’s house for a play date, and during their time together,
his friend introduced him to pornographic websites by typing a simple search title in Google. The boy,
being repulsed by what he saw, went back and reported the incident to his mother.

The next day, the mother contacted the mother of her son’s friend to inform her of this incident. What
was shocking was that the mother not only did not react negatively to the news, but she also defended
her son by saying that pornography is normal in society and boys will be exposed to it sooner or later.
In other words, there are very different standards of parenting and morality even among parents.

What can we do about this scourge in our society as a church?

I believe here is where we as parents must step in to take up the responsibility of teaching and training
our children from a young age. This is the only defence against the unrelenting onslaught of the world’s
values on our children. We will not be able to police our children on a 24/7 basis.

The Bible recognises this importance from a very early stage when the people of Israel first organised
themselves as a society. Moses reminded the people specifically:
And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to
your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way,
and when you lie down, and when you rise” Deuteronomy 6:6-7.

Proverbs also tells us about the effectiveness of involved parenting: “Train up a child in the way he
should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it” Proverbs 22:6.

As parents, we cannot abdicate this role of education in God’s ways to the schools or to others. The
school system covers sexuality education from a secular perspective and at a cursory level. Sunday
School lessons take place only once a week for two hours. No one else would also know the needs of
your child nor have the time with or influence over your child like you do.

And we as a church will help you and journey alongside with you in this most important endeavour.
We are working with organisations like Focus on the Family to look into our family life ministry to build it up.

One such tool you can use is a series designed to help parents talk with young children about sex
from a biblical perspective:

Let us pray for one another and trust the Lord to lead and guide us in this endeavour that we may be
fully fruitful and effective in our mission of training up our young.

Revd Ian Chew

1Shen, Bryan. The Unaffirmed Core. Singapore: Armour Publishing, 2022.