Charlton Heston, marriage, Moses, parenting, ten commandments

Thou Shalt Not Commit Adultery

The Ten Commandments…with the Coolest, Baddest Moses in cinematic history.

“What’s adultery?” That’s the million chocolate chip cookie question my child asked (very loudly) one nite during Family Home Evening. We were listening to Big Son give a lesson on “The Ten Commandments.” And one of them is (just in case you forgot) – Thou shalt not commit adultery. So how do you explain the finer details of ‘adultery’ to a 7yr old that hasn’t heard that beautiful ‘birds and bees’ talk yet? A 7yr old who still thinks that babies happen when “A mum and a dad love each other sooo much that God sends them the bestest present in the world – a baby like you!” Just like fluffy bunnies and chocolate eggs on Easter! And Santa stockings exploding with magical fun! Joy joy joy…yes, having a baby is just like that. Not.

The 7yr old was waiting for answers. Expectant and trusting. Because of course, we her parents are the fountains of all wisdom and knowledge. (Seeing as how she hasn’t discovered Google yet.)

I looked at the Hot Man. Which was a waste of time because everyone knows that HE never tackles the earth-shattering stuff in this parenting duo. No, I always get stuck with the questions about periods, facial hair, hormones, sex, condoms, STD’s, what does ‘homosexual’ mean?, girlfriends, love, and ‘what should I do if a girl likes me but I don’t like her?’ The Hot Man shrugged his shoulders and gave me that look that said, ‘Answer her! She’s your child. This is what happens when you raise these kids to think they can ask us about everything. This is your fault!‘ No, I was on my own in this adulterous conversation.

I fumbled and stumbled but in a nutshell, I think this is what I said: “Getting married and having a family is very important to God. A mum and a dad need to love each other very much and always be nice. A dad should always make the mum first in everything. He should only ever ummm, hug and kiss the mum – no other girls anywhere. And same for the mum. She should only love the dad and hug and kiss him all the time.”

The child looked puzzled. “But you can hug and kiss me, can’t you?”

“Of course. We can always hug and kiss our children. But very special Big People hugs and kisses and…umm, other stuff, mums and dads have to save for each other, nobody else.”

I was getting a headache trying to navigate these muddy waters of Biblical definitions. And I was wishing that I had just given her the easy, cop-out answer: ‘You’re too little to understand adultery. When you grow big,I’ll tell you what it means.Now go eat a cookie.

But the lights came on in the 7yr old’s inquisitive brain. “Aaah, I see!”

Whew, what a relief. “You do?”

“Yes.” She turned to her father. “Whenever you go somewhere and if you see another lady and you feel like kissing her – then you have to run home really fast and kiss mum. Then you won’t commit adultery.Okay?”

Her father nodded. What else could he do?

As further affirmation that yes, she had understood the evenings lesson, the 7yr old offered to say the closing prayer and included this very important request: ‘Please Heavenly Father, bless my dad so that he will never commit adultery but always remember to run home and kiss mum. Amen.’

Amen, indeed. I was quite pleased with myself and my amazing teaching skills. My ability to dispense spiritual nuggets of deep learning to my child. Damn, I’m clever.

Except the Hot Man was a bit disgruntled. “How come she only prayed for ME not to commit adultery, huh?!”

I smiled sweetly. “Darling, children are more spiritually in tune than we are and know what we need. Now, you just remember, next time you see anyone vaguely attractive – you have to run home and kiss me right away.”

Ha. Damn, I’m clever!

Charlton Heston made Moses hot. Now remember, if you see anyone vaguely attractive, you have to run home and kiss your partner right away.

10 thoughts on “Thou Shalt Not Commit Adultery”

  1. I love the way you explained it and even better when she came up with the plan…reminds me of the classic line from our sharing time yesterday that came from a 7 yr old boy "…its bad if two people want to sleep together and they are not old enough to sleep together…" … and the primary president looked at each other and did our best to stop from bursting out in laughter and the kids around him looked at him as if to say "huh??"….primary never fails to entertain me!!

  2. Haha Paige – yes, that had to be the best part of the whole incident! EVeryone knows that childrens prayers are WAY more powerful than and adults…so basically, the Hot Man doesnt have a chance of straying on the wild side.Anon – too funny. Kids always do manage to whittle things down to the bare basics and it always makes sense!

  3. Awww. Leave it to Mum to keep those inquisitive minds filled! I'm a single mother and the "hot man" turned chilly right around the time my previous bundle of joy entered this world. (Blessing in disguise)As my son was growing up, I found myself in those situations daily. It brought some fun into parenting trying to concoct answers to satisfy myself and my son, while keeping it from being too dramatic and outlandish. Thanks for sharing! It's always a joy to read about the innocence of childhood! Looking forward to reading your new book!

  4. I would love most of all to have seen the expressions of your 16- and 13-year-olds while you were creating this explanation! Love it!

  5. Every time I read one of your posts, I just sit there laughing out loud and my husband walks past and looks at me like I'm a lunatic. This post was seriously hilarious. I don't know how you do it Lani. I think I'd just throw the kid in front of a TV and let them figure it out themselves. Luckily, I don't have any children to mess up yet.

  6. Thanks Aitah – great to have u on Sleepless in Samoa. Youre absolutely right that most of the 'fun' in parenting is dealing with the sticky things like this one…These children certainly keep me on my toes.Spanna and Jeffcoat – I'll have you know that the older children were just blinded with my brilliance and awesome coolness thank you very much! As always…LOL Cringing with shame, horror at their mother is the usual response from these teenagers. Ugh. I look forward to the day they have to deal with such things with their families. Ha. Then I'll be doing the laughing at them.Lan – trust me, most of the time, I do just throw them in front of the TV or distract them with food…so i can dash away and look up the answers to their questions, hoping they will forget they ever asked them LOL. As they get older, its getting more and more difficult to stay one step ahead of these knowitall children. Makes me wonder – did I ever even think of such questions when i was their age? IF i did, I certianly didnt dare ask them of my parents…

  7. Phew that was a close call at least you didn’t have to go into any more details. Love her closing prayer she is hilirious thoroughly enjoyed reading this humorous but extremely informative blog thanks Lani

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