Perhaps tackling this from the 'best practice viewpoint might be easier, and just reminding everyone of the fundamentals might be a good way to start, then perhaps a few solutions to this perennial problem to follow.
It boils down to the old nursary rhyme about 'For the want of a nail the kingdom was lost'.
In every Society it is the sound structure of the family unit, within the wider context of having Grandparents and Aunts and Uncles on hand to provide a secure structure of inter-related dependancies.
In our current world people are mobile, lose the family structures through moving away to find work, and a 'better life'. Has this better life of material prosperity actually benefitted us in the 'western culture mindset'. I would suggest that it hasn't. I would rather live within my means on a low income, than chase an unrealistic 'dream' life, that is always out of reach.
(I would rather avoid taking on debt, loans, or taking out credit to finance my desire to live in 'a better house', have 'better holidays'. I don't want new clothes, or jewellery, or make-up. I like to make things out of what I already have, and remodel things that aren't usefull to me any longer. I like to use leftovers!)
In every family there are those women who for some reason do not marry, or those women like myself who remain childless. The 'Maiden Aunt', is always the one who takes special pleasure in looking after, and 'spoiling' neices and nephews, and she fills a very important role within the family. Batchelors, (athough have a bad reputation!) have the freedom to persue business, academia, and politics. But these roles in our current world are interchangable!
Women bring a new perspective to any situation, by nature we are critical and spot things that won't work, or are not good solutions. We like solutions that encompass peoples needs, yet allow freedoms within good structural frameworks.
In my opinion, parenting is the most important job we all have in this life. Yet there are no rules or ways of learning to be a good parent. I do like Rob Parsons as a speaker on parenthood, and family values. He just makes good sound sense.
Freedoms or 'Rights'
It strikes me that using the word 'Rights' is a very dangerous route to perdition. I do not see in any spiritual writing the word 'rights' used! This is a very western manifestation that probably has it's roots in the American constitution. It has allowed a very subtle and pernicious, venemous attitude to grow unchecked like bindweed and brambles in an untended back yard.
I object to every group of people that try to impose their 'rights'. I wonder how every manifesto would look, if they were transposed into 'I wish to enjoy the freedom of... ', for instance ... 'choosing an appropriate birth control method, that does not damage my health'.
Frankly as a woman, the only one I am pretty sure fits the description is abstinence!
However, our natural desires and with the modern drugs available, which are still very harmful to women, is to take or use birth control, and give licence to our desires.
The mark of a civilised people is to be able to control, and contain desire.
Which sadly has now become a very old fashioned concept. This comes from the onslaught of advertising and putting sweets at the checkout, at eye level, so that your inner child, or offspring 'sees and wants'.
A child points to what it wants, then throws a screaming hab-dab if it doesn't get it. The moral and structural groundwork for self control, is won or lost at this stage of a person's life.
That this 'western mindset' allows the double standard of sexualising young children and pubescents in media, and puts a false imagery into the minds of the young is henious. That this alludes to the 'hidden face' of child pornography is what makes this so sinister. The adage of not 'putting your child on the stage', is still as valid. To promote the precocious, self centered, undeveloped child at the expense of the 'balanced adult mind and body' is criminal. To use this as a means of cultural persuasion of the young, and the illusion that to be 'famous' is 'the only thing a person could ever want', is a traversty.
That this whole culture is an intolerable manifestation of 'childhood sacrifice' in one form or another is sickening.
As for allowing developing minds to use cybergames that blur reality from fantasy, is another destruction of humanity from the very core of development. Any electromagnetic stuff affects the brain. Giving a child a mobile phone, pretty much ensures brain cancer in later life. Besides, frankly, no-one would have an income problem if they just stopped using their mobile phones, paid for TV channels, and re-negotiated their internet contracts. What on earth was wrong with telling a child it had to be at a particular place or time in order to be collected. Giving children the 'freedom' of having their parents at their beck and call 24/7 seems a little misplaced to me.
There is a very good reason why God ordained marriage for the procreation of offspring. During a child growing up, there are stages of development that are marked by, (for better words that I can't think of...) Fantasies, role playing, 'projections', and lies.
For instance a girl will have fantasies about her Father. That this is a normal process and has somehow been 'demonised'. The correct form is that the child is able within a loving family unit, to see that sexual projections towards a Father are not correct, and that these are a normal healthy response that will be directed towards her Husband at a later date.
At this point of the woman's development, addressing this instinct so that she then does not misplace this period of 'desire', and become sexually active indiscriminately before reaching an age of Spiritual and Moral maturity requires a very delicate and balanced view from both Parents.
It also means that denying this process, through not having a stable enough marital relationship between Husband and Wife, all maner of psychosis, and the enactment of the 'Electra' complex becomes the norm rather than the exception.
This ultimately pervades the whole of society.
You can probably read all that backwards with the boys, as they go through the 'Oedipal' complex as well.
Please don't keep mixing the two by referring to is as just oedipal. Girls need to know it's an electra complex. Otherwise we then get the desire for gender swaps.
My femininity is not about anything other than my ability to conceive and give birth to a child. And that technically speaking, I need a Male partner to do so. To consider being a single parent, that is unable to offer the child the full panoply of 'Parenting', is unacceptable to me. On this I am able to excercise a freedom of choice.
However in the early days of our 25 years of marriage, I was put under immense pressure to 'start a family'. It was expected of me to 'perform' by everyone that knew my Husband.
I underwent disasterous surgery, and years of heartache, simply because God had 'Not opened' that which He chose to keep closed.
That which God choosed to remain sealed, may not be opened. However I have the sneaky suspicion that when all is 'right with the world', and God thinks it's a good place for me to have a special child, one will come!
I wonder if the truth behind the '666 and mark of the beast', is in fact the 'nothing' that marks us apart. That this 666 is a representation of blindness,deafness,and a speechless aquiescence to the lack of Spiritual,Moral, and 'Lawless' way in which we have degenerated from the ideals that we allegedly base our western society on, namely the Ten Commandments.
I digress, the main reason I am supposedly writing this morning is to consider my response to the magazine article at the top of page.
It is a proven fact that the practices described in Judaic context alleviate a considerable number of issues regarding health and wellbeing of lovemaking, and procreation.
1. Considerably less birth defects in children.
2. Less prevalence of cancer in women, (and men).
3. Less STD.
4. A far better conception rate.
5. Respect for the bodily and spiritual union.
That embrace and holding, without the expectation of sex, allows for the true spiritual nature of lovemaking to be consumated during the time when a woman is at her most fertile, and that both Husband and Wife are consenting to union that transcends the mere act of copulation.
*That a child born of this kind of love, is indeed a blessing and is invested with a Spiritual Quality from God as a gift of love. Not as some indiscriminate 'accident'.
I will come back to this later, as I now have to go and sort out some other mal-practice!
...Well, hopefully a start in the right direction, this problem I am dealing with in another area is huge.
*Back to the metanarrative of this premise. Knowing as a child, and later as an adult, in fact throughout your whole life journey, that you aren't an indiscriminate accident that just happened to manifest itself randomly through some unguarded unvalued act of copulation has a very different starting premise.
You also have a sense of structure, and geneology that reinforces your identity. You know you haven't been genetically enhanced, engineered, or born because your parents decided it was time to start a family, and went to any means possible to procure your appearance on the planet. That indeed you are an act of God in the first instance.
I can speak about this with clarity. I was an unguarded accident. My Mother told me every day that I was unwanted. That I caused every misfortune to her material status, and that her choice was to have undergone an abortion and not marry my Father.
There was never any real truth. There was always inconsistancies about my parent's marriage.
That they married though, because of me, and stayed married is a huge credit to them.
I certainly did not have an 'ideal' upbringing. However as I pointed out to my Husband the other day, the upbringing I got certainly fitted me for the life I have. That in every respect I have risen above the disadvantages of severe mental and physical cruelty and psychological trauma within the home, and have made the effort with God's help throughout to completely restructure who I am, as a 'being made in God's image'. I am sure he has plenty more work to do on me, and I am happy to allow his hand on the matter.
The point of this, is that in order to arrive right at this point, I chose to take the burden of responsibility for myself on my own self. Then realised this was impossible.
Then found that Jesus promised to carry this burden of responsibility, if I am prepared to let him guide me during a process of redemption. That this redemption is immediate on making the promise to Him, and outworking from a central spiritual core until it manifests itself into the World so powerfully that it can effect change.
To allow Him to save me, no hold's barred to completely and utterly redeem me to be His Equal. As His Sister, and unashamed to call me so before His Father. Pretty amazing life then!
This is why I do not accept the current ideology of excusing personal responsibility; That I had no advantage of an emotionally secure, meaningful, honoured, uncomplicated familial structure, and that my early years were the 'natural product' of my environment and society narrative. A complete and utterly messed up, morally corrupted, wreck of a human being.
Then I made a choice, in the freedom of my own mind, to make radical changes to the premise of my existance through accepting a 'Divine Tutelage'; it is not reasonably beyond the capacity of any person on this planet to follow this pattern.
That this is indeed the better way. That with these 'tools' now in the 'box', I would be a capable parent.
My attitude to all these 'self help' manuals that have flooded the bookshelves in recent years, is that they may be interesting genre, but a very poor substitute to the 'God Help' on offer through his Divine plan for our lives.
I am unashamed to point to my Brother, Jesus Christ, born of Mary, and by Divine plan, reconstituted and renewed the narrative of redemption for Humanity, and sealed the bond of Divine Love through spilling his own blood on the Mercy Seat of God's Presence.
That in every foundation of this moment, every twist and turn of the narrative of Life, God's presence is a perennial vine, weaving the narrative of lives into histories of peoples. That the direction of our future depends on how far back we are going to allow God to go with the pruning
shears, because without some serious God given pruning right now, Humanity is not 'bearing fruit'. The fruit that grows is rotting on the vine before it matures, and there are some serious issues with Botrytis to deal with.
If I remember, it was bromide that was used in at least World War One, to keep the men steady.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Potassium_bromide However I would agree this was an urban myth! Hilarious though!
As a woman, I think it's about time the Men had to have something to 'calm' their passions! I do not think any form of sterilisation is acceptable for either Men or Women. A solution perhaps, but not acceptable.
Ladies, our silent revolution 'under the veil' may need some similar (safe) compound to put in the sugar bowl! There must be something to calm down this lust problem, until we get a grip on how to deal with it mentally and spiritually.
Let me add, since My Beloved had complete heart failure about 12 years ago, and lives on a cocktail of drugs, we have a 'celibate' relationship. However it is the richest and most beautiful relationship I can imagine.
Girls, there is an old saying, 'What you don't have, you don't miss' (about sex!)
The fundamental right for a woman, is to enjoy the freedom not to have sex, or to be an object of sexual desire if she so chooses!
If you are 'putting your wares on show' you may as well start charging! Don't expect the double standards of walking around looking like the shorts you are wearing may as well be knickers and not expect every red blooded male not to lust. And Lycra doesn't help either, the poor lambs can't control their eyes.
This does not mean we have the right to a perverse counter attack on male patriarchal attitudes.
Just wear proper clothes that are not overtly provocative, and cover things like hair if it is your custom to do so.
(God preserved my Husbands life... so rich a treasure that I count nothing as loss; but see a pretty girl walking down the street with anything hanging out, and we are likely to have a car crash if He is behind the wheel!).
I am glad It's 'Mummy and Daddy- God' who knows what to do!