Keeping The Child Pure

by Pastor Jack Hyles (1926-2001)

(Chapter 17 from Dr. Hyle's excellent book, How To Rear Children)

Satan has pointed every weapon in his arsenal at our young people. Promiscuous petting, Hollywood movies, secular magazines, the new morality, lewdness in dress, television, popular songs, and the permissive society have all joined hands to try to corrupt the morals of our youth. If a child reaches the marriage altar retaining his purity in our generation, it certainly will be on purpose and not by accident. It will be the result of prayer, training, and discipline as administered by loving parents. This chapter is dedicated to helping us to rear clean, chaste, and moral young people.

1. The child should attend a fundamental church that takes a stand against the permissive society, indecent dress, improper exposure of the body, and unwise association between the sexes. He should hear a man of God thunder against sin and for righteousness. He should be taught the "thou shalt nots" of the Bible. He should get the idea from early childhood that he is to keep his body pure and clean and save it for the one God has for him.

He should be taught the Scriptures which deal with virtue and chastity. There is absolutely no substitute for a child growing up at the feet of a prophet of God, a man who rains wrath upon evil and warns men of evil deeds.

2. The wise parent will have definite rules about a boy and girl not being in a car alone together. Becky is now married. She was never allowed to be alone in a car with a boy. More sin is committed in automobiles than in motel rooms and red-light districts. The wise parent will never say such thing as "I trust my daughter." The truth is he should not even trust himself in a circumstance that would lead to wrong. The Apostle Paul was always conscious of the possibility of his turning back. He warned the Galatian church if he himself returned and preached any gospel other than the one they had heard, he should be accursed. The child who does not spend hours and hours alone with a member of the opposite sex in a car certainly has not missed anything that he shouldn't miss.

3. A child should obey strict rules concerning his hours out of the house. Eleven o'clock has always been curfew at our house, and it is late enough for any child or teenager to be out. When Becky and her fianc‚', Tim, were planning their wedding with me in my office, we were discussing the time of the wedding. Tim suggested a certain hour and Becky looked at him with a startled expression and said, "Tim, we can't have it that late; we couldn't get in by eleven!" All those years of being in by eleven had impressed her and subconsciously she felt she should be in by eleven o'clock even on her wedding night.

Not only should these rules be set, but they should be rigidly enforced. When I was a boy I was always in by eleven, but at the age of 17 one night I was with the wrong crowd and I stayed out until one o'clock. At one o'clock the wine bottle was passed around in the car. There were six of us present. Five took a drink. The bottle was in my hand and I lifted it to my mouth when suddenly conviction like an arrow pierced my heart. I threw the bottle down and spilled it on the floor of the car and shouted, "TAKE ME HOME!" They laughed and made fun, but they took me home. When I got home I saw a beautiful sight. My mother was kneeling in front of the old wood stove praying for me. She was praying something like this: "Dear Lord, bless Jack. Keep him pure, keep him clean. He has always been a good boy. You know, dear Lord, I have had to be both a mother and father to Jack. I have done my best. Please take care of him and help him to be a good boy."

I then said, "Mama."

She looked up and jumped into my arms and said, "Son, I knew you wouldn't do anything wrong." That was the last time I ever got home late. Let us teach our boys and girls to have strict hours.

4. The parent should teach the child the sanctity of the body. Girls should be taught that their bodies are very sacred and should be treated as such. A boy should be taught of the sanctity of his own body and of how sacred is the body of little girls. Children should be reminded that the body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. Each child should be taught to keep his own body dedicated an pure and to observe the sanctity of the opposite sex.

5. The child should be taught to be disciplined in his eating habits. This may seem strange in a chapter on purity, but children who have not restraint in the feeding of their bodies will likely have little or no restraint in resisting other temptations that come to the body. If leaving off stimulating food such as sauces, highly seasoned food, and other foods hard to digest does nothing else, it at least teaches the child to say "no" to the appetites of the body. This discipline can be transferred to the temptation of immorality and misbehavior toward the opposite sex. One discipline helps another.

6. Proper clothing should be worn. Tight clothing should be discouraged. Clothing that needlessly irritates the body should not be worn. Clothing that exposes too much of the body should be avoided.

7. The child should have the proper physical exercise. Active, muscular exercise utilizes a viral force that is a powerful moral factor. It is best that a child have plenty of physical exercise.

8. The parent should see to it that the child is very busy. Somebody has said that the only men free from bad habits were those whose paths kept them so everlastingly busy that they never had any time to go loafing. The parent should help create hobbies that will tend to fill the idle hours as well as keep boys and girls apart much of the time. Seize every opportunity to use a child's interests toward a proper hobby.

Along this line it is wise for a child not to develop hobbies that are quiet and cause him to be alone. Too many hours of listening to stereo music is not good. Too many hours of playing alone is not good. Hours spent behind locked doors are dangerous. Outdoor games are better than indoor games. Active games are better than quiet games. Group games are better than games played alone.

9. The child should not be allowed to attend Hollywood movies or read questionable literature. Plenty of good literature should be provided, especially novels of adventure, heroic action, etc.

10. When a child reaches the teen years he should be challenged by his parents to set a goal of staying pure until he give himself to the one of God's choice. This should be stressed over and over again so that he will work and point toward such a goal. It should be one of the biggest goals in his life and should be constantly kept before him.

11. The child should never be allowed to see his parents unclothed. Modern psychologists and counselors seem to think they know more than God along this line. The simple truth is that the Lord frowns on children being able to see the body of the parent. Such things as bathing together, undressing together, etc. should be taboo! It is unscriptural.

12. Little boys should play with little boys and little girls with little girls. Becky, Linda, and Cindy have never been allowed to play with little boys, and David has never been allowed to play with little girls. So many of our children have drifted toward homosexuality because of boys developing feminine tendencies and girls developing masculine tendencies.

13. The child should never be allowed to be alone unclothed or scantily clothed. After bathing he should be required to clothe himself completely. This eliminates presenting unnecessary opportunities for a child fondling his own body or becoming overly interested in himself and his body.

14. A girl should do girl's work and a boy should do boy's work. In an effort to make ladies of girls and men of boys the parent should see to it that the girl does not mow the yard, prune the trees, chop the garden, etc. These are boy's tasks. The boys should not wash the dishes, iron, etc. These are the girl's tasks. The boy should mow the yard, clean the garage, clean the basement, do repair work around the house, etc., and by all means he should be taught to sweat. This is vital, not only in making him normal, but also in keeping him pure.

15. The mother should counsel with the daughter and the father with the son. In some cases the order may have to be reversed because of parents being unwilling to cooperate, but children should be taught as they grow older about reproduction, etc. All writers on the subject of sexual immorality agree that it is largely due to ignorance. Because this is true, this does not give the school teacher a license to train someone else's child about such delicate and sacred subjects. There comes a time in the life of a young lady when she need to have a talk with her mother. It may be explained to her that for long months she was a part of her mother's life and after long days of pain, suffering, and discomfort, she actually came from her mother's body. With tender words, nothing but the holiest feeling can be aroused from such a conversation. Children, should be taught to talk on these subjects with no one but their mothers and fathers. It should be explained that this is too sacred a field to discuss with others and that God has made this so sacred that the discussion should be within the family circle.

A girl has a right to instruction concerning the hygiene of menstruation, the function and sacredness of motherhood, and care of infants. The time when this should be taught is up to the individual mother, but is should always be done very privately, sweetly, tenderly, and with prayerful and godly atmosphere.

Boys and girls should be taught of proper hygiene. They should be warned about venereal diseases and should in general be instructed by those who love them most and those whom God gave them to instruct them concerning life.

Stress should be given to the fact that no joke should ever be told about something so sacred. Girls should be taught to shrink from every touch and to resent any approach to familiarity upon the part of a boy. Again, let it be emphasized that the parent should decide when these subjects are approached. They alone should teach them. When young people decide to marry, the wise parent will have a long talk with the young person giving him proper books to read and advising him to seek medical advice concerning marriage, love, reproduction, etc. Let there be much charity given as we think of when and how the aforementioned should be done, but let us leave it to the parents and not shove the responsibility off to some public school teacher whom we hardly know, if at all. The modern sex education program in our public schools is certainly unwise, unscriptural, and oftentimes immoral. Let us keep something so sacred in the confines of the family circle or at best within the confines of the pastor, doctor, and parents.


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"I am an old-fashioned preacher of the old-time religion, that has warmed this cold world's heart for two thousand years." —Billy Sunday