Monday, December 17, 2007

A modern day Cassanova

Lechery and Its Fruits

Denny Burk
December 12, 2007

Denny Burk serves as the editor for The Journal for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood and he posts regularly at Denny Burk.

The so-called sexual revolution has given to the culture more than it bargained for. At least that's what I thought recently as I watched Paul Janka being interviewed on NBC's "Today Show."

Janka is a case-study in sexual libertinism gone to seed. He is a self-confessed "Cassanova" who claims over 100 "conquests," and now he's telling other guys how to do the same. Here's how Janka says he approaches "dating":

"Let me say I have a dual aim when I spend time with a woman: to have fun and to maintain my integrity as a man. Maintaining my integrity means honoring what I want in the process and not being manipulated by a woman's agenda. This has to be an active process because I've found that women in the City - consciously or not - operate by a societal script that doesn't incorporate my interests as a man."

Now this is astonishing. Masculine integrity has nothing to do with truth, rightness, or even what one's obligation is to one's fellow man (or in this case woman). Rather, Janka turns his "integrity as a man" into a prop for his own self-centered desires. He does it with a straight face and in a forum that implies his behavior is in the cultural mainstream.

What was remarkable about the interview, however, was the inability of anyone to make a definitive condemnation of Janka's behavior. Meredith Vieira gave hints that she disapproved of his behavior, and a "sex addiction" therapist was brought in to show that Janka's exploits could possibly be hurtful to women. Junka's response was simply to say that he's up-front with his intentions and that the women he "dates" are on board with his lechery.

Janka styled himself as living out authentic manhood, and neither Meredith Vieira nor the therapist could express an ounce of moral outrage, even though it seemed to be simmering beneath the surface. Their secularism and moral neutrality gave them no resources for doing so. In a culture that says that the only moral requirement of human sexuality is that it occur between consenting adults, there really isn't any consistent basis for censuring Janka.

How different all of this is from the ideal of manhood presented in the Bible. The paradigm of masculine integrity in the scriptures is King Jesus, who for love set aside his own rights and privileges in obedience to His Father and who laid down his life for His bride (Philippians 2:5-8; Ephesians 5:25). Likewise God intends marriage as a reenactment of Christ's love for his bride. Just as Christ lays down His life for His wife, so husbands are called to lay down their lives for their wives.

Would that Janka might see another ideal of manhood-the one that was embodied by Jesus Himself, who alone can free men from the enslaving moral confusion of our day.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Informative book on 'tweens...

Parents—Are You Dealing with Terrible 'Tweens?
Parenting author and father Paul Pettit gives parents the must-have tools to survive the tween years.

(Rockwall, TX) Dads play a central role in the lives of their children—especially when children enter the “tween years (typically ages 8–12). Trying to understand what half-child, half-teen sons and daughters are going through can be exasperating, but Scripture has specific instructions for fathers: “Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4 NIV). This can be a demanding position, but author, expert, and five-time dad Paul Pettit has tips for fathers on the essentials for survival. His book Congratulations, You’ve Got Tweens! offers encouragement and help for parents who are trying to find their way through this sensitive time in their child’s life.

There may be fathers who are at a loss as to how to establish good relationships with their tweens. Congratulations, You’ve Got Tweens! has all the information Dad needs to navigate these rocky waters of tween-dome. For more information or to purchase a copy of this book, visit

On any given day, Paul receives a plethora of questions from parents of tweens, asking many questions about how to deal with issues like cell phones, parties, obedience, movies, spirituality, bullying, group activities, allowances, and much more. Recently, we at Kregel asked Paul to answer three of the most common questions he receives, in order to help all parents understand the needs of their tween a bit better, and this is what he had to say:

  • Q: Should we make our children go to youth activities at the church, or allow them to choose on their own whether or not they want to attend?
  • A: Parents should require their own children to attend, at the very least, a normative “worship” service with the family. As long as the children live with the parents and are fully supported by the parents, this is a minimal requirement. However, whether or not the children choose to attend additional church activities is best decided upon by the children themselves. Children who attend a faith-based event, under parental compulsion, are usually no fun to be around and are generally not open to the teaching or activities being offered.

  • Q: When should I expect my child to “obey” without questions, and when should I start discussing things with my kids and allowing them to “bargain” or make some of their own choices?
  • A: Children should be allowed greater amounts of freedom as they display increasing amounts of responsibility. In other words, if a child is not making his own bed, or cleaning his own room, he should not be allowed the freedoms of sleepovers with friends or “bargaining” for an increase in allowance. Increasing levels of freedom and adult types of prerogatives should arrive with increasingly adult-types of behaviors and choices being displayed by the child. The Bible says, “to whom much is given, from him much will be required" (Luke 12:48 NKJV).

  • Q: How do I discourage “bullying” at home or in our neighborhood? How can I teach my child to handle bullies and when do I step in?
  • A: No child should ever be allowed to physically push, hit, or intimidate another. If and when this happens, a responsible person in authority should be notified immediately. All schools, sports teams, and places of worship should practice a "zero tolerance" policy in this regard. When emotional or verbal abuse is recognized, a parent, teacher or other authority figure should call for a meeting between the parties where a fair but firm discussion ensues, with the stated goal of finding a way for the abuse to end. A child displaying abusive patterns needs professional help. Family researchers have demonstrated that this dysfunctional behavior is a cry for help and that anger and/or depression is normally underlying and prompting the acting out.
Dr. Paul Pettit (D.Min., Dallas Theological Seminary) is the president and founder of Dynamic Dads, an organization offering encouragement to fathers. A former sportscaster and youth pastor, he currently serves at Dallas Seminary as director of spiritual formation. Paul enjoys theology, golf, Kansas University basketball, and Texas barbecue.