19: Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own;
20: you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.
Last night was the Dad's Ring Ceremony at Fellowship Church, where we attend. There were a 130 teenagers that, of their own choosing, accepted a ring promising their parents, themselves and God, that they would keep themselves sexually pure for marriage. Casey chose to participate. He actually told me that he'd made this decision last year and wanted to do it at last years ceremony, but didn't get signed up for it in time. * I should make it clear that the 'Dad' in Dad's Ring Ceremony is God the Father.
There were over 300 people there last night to celebrate their child's, grandchild's and friend's choice. They started it off with the band (I love this band, Christian Rock) singing the old Beatles song 'Revolution' and everyone was singing. I'm sure many parents were remembering how different we were from the kids we were standing next to when this song was new. Then there was a video of the teens from the church being interviewed regarding sex. I love the way the church brought the subject of sex into real world understanding. They asked kids if they thought sex was "dirty" in the video. This brought back a lot of memories for me that I'd forgotten, because that's exactly what my mom use to say that sex was. It was something you didn't talk or think about. How realistic is that?
What the church was stressing to the kids was that sex is something that God created, it's an expression of love and it is a beautiful thing. One way they described it last night was that it's similar to when it's near Christmas, and the tree is surrounded by beautifully wrapped presents...and like we all did as kids, you beg to open them up before Christmas morning. If we were allowed to open one up whenever we wanted, when Christmas morning came, it wouldn't be as special. There wouldn't be anything waiting for us under the tree, no excitement of opening anything up. I, for one, could relate to this because I'd opened everything up and rewrapped it before Christmas morning so that no one knew what I'd done, and Christmas morning was never anything special for me. It was pretty much the same as the morning before and like all the mornings to come. This is, also, the view I came to have about sex through my life. It never really meant anything special.
They didn't pressure the kids at all to participate, they wanted them to know it's a personal choice and that it's between you and God. Casey chose to do it, Charlie didn't. The ceremony was a huge celebration. It reminded me of a graduation. The child's name was called and they and their parent would walk on stage, the parent put the ring on their child's wedding ring finger and then walk off stage. Every time someone walked on stage, kids in the seats were whooping and hollering, clapping and shouting. It was a celebration. I cried, and I was just one of many that did. When we were on stage and I put the ring on Casey's finger, he hugged me and told me he loved me. I cried. I held him and told him that he was a better person than I've ever been, that I loved him with all my heart and that I was so proud of him. Then we walked off stage. When kids walked off stage there were friends waiting to hug them, letting them know they weren't alone in this (or in life) and how happy they were for the choice they'd made. It was one of the coolest things I've done with my kids.
After the ceremony, the band started playing and the kids all went to the front of the stage and danced like they were at a punk rock concert. Kids were jumping up and down, pumping their fists in the air and some had tears rolling down their faces. I saw parents with tears in their eyes too.
Casey and I had our picture taken afterwards and I'll post that when we get it. We went to On the Border to celebrate (Casey's choice). I love this little family of ours. We are blessed beyond words, and I am so thankful for these amazing kids that God has given me.
I do have pictures from the church and of Casey's ring, but blogger isn't cooperating. The ring is gorgeous, a gift from the church. It's silver with black shading. There is engraving on the outside of the ring, in Greek or Hebrew, don't know for sure. On the inside it's engraved '1 Cor 6:19' which is: Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; and I loved this.
It was a very special night for us, for all of us.