Our pastor said something on Sunday during his sermon that really wanted to make me shout out Amen and Hallelujah and all that good stuff.
He said that in his house he fully expects to guide the marriage process for his children. He also said that his children would not participate in the popular ‘recreational dating’ scene. His oldest is a teenager and, like our teenager, understands and agrees with this philosophy because of proper heart training.
Ryan and I have high hopes for our children’s futures. We want them to be happy, content, and have easy lives and a terrific relationship with their spouse. We desire for them to come by this relationship easily without happening into the turmoil that most people go through in their search for that perfect relationship.
We want them to have what we have. A Christian marriage with priority given to God by both my husband and myself. An agreeance on the raising of our children. A joy in being around each other every day.
I don’t want my daughter dating a ‘bad boy’ who has no respect or fear of God. However, the dangers in this are obvious and easy to avoid when your daughter has a well trained heart for God.
I also don’t want my daughter dating a nice boy who comes from a good Christian family. The dangers here are numerous and very hidden. Nice boys get nice girls pregnant. I know a girl who lost her virginity during a youth group outing with a nice boy. Nobody suspected this upstanding teenage couple to be the type to end up pregnant at 16. Both families were devastated to learn the truth about their good kids and the entire community was shocked.
I have heard of this happening with churched teens all over the place.
I know, I know. You are laughing at me right now thinking I am an eccentric parent whose ideas will never hold true as my children grow. That may be true in a family who just pushes rules without ever training the heart. However, we take a very different approach with our kids, especially our oldest who is 13.
We have asked Kait what kind of husband and life she expects to have. Not her profession or what she wants to be when she grows up, but specifics about her home life, her marriage, and her relationship with her husband. Without much thought about my question, which leads me to believe she thinks on it often, she said wants a husband whose first focus is God. She wants a man who will lay down his life for her without a second thought. She wants the father of her children to be one who desires to take care of his family and works hard to give them a good life. She wants a man who will dote on her and make her laugh. She wants to marry somebody who knows how to have fun but won’t fail to be the strong leader every successful marriage needs. She wants to marry somebody like her daddy.
At first this may seem like quite the tall order, but when Kait informed me of her high expectations my heart soared. I knew I would be able to help her find this future and I knew that I could start in that moment to train her heart to only accept God’s best plans for her.
Contrary to popular belief, these types of men are out there. Perhaps you are married to one yourself. The problem is, while most girls want a similar picture of the man Kait described, they don’t know the first thing about attracting one and in the process of growing up they make decision that lead to a completely opposite sort of life they had originally dreamed of.
When you really think about it this isn’t all that hard of an idea to grab on to. Simply put, present yourself in a way that will attract the kind of person you want for your future. This has been a brand new concept in the last year for Kait but once I explained it it made perfect sense to her and her attitude towards the opposite sex has done a 180.
Kait is a social butterfly. She is extremely outgoing and talkative (did somebody tell me that homeschoolers weren’t socialized well???) and at one point I was concerned for the way she was beginning to come off around boys because around them she was going a bit overboard. I knew I should be teaching her better ways to present herself. So, this is what I told her and we discuss it often.
Decide what kind of man you want to attract and then start acting in a way that
will attract that sort of person.
A silly, flirty girl will attract a boy who isn’t very serious and just wants a silly girl to have fun with. A silly, flirty girl will appear fickle and senseless. Boys won’t take her seriously – but they will take her.
However, a girl who does not act like a ridiculous, insignificant fool, who is sure of herself and what she wants, who isn’t silly or flirty, who has a down-to-earth head on her shoulders, and who is respectful of herself and others around her will attract a young man who longs for a steady, permanent young lady who holds a high standard for herself. She will draw in those who hold high expectations for themselves and the kind of lives they live. Young men will see her as a future, not just for today. They will get to know her by visiting and getting to know her family. A man who wants her will court her by devoting special attention to her in order to win her affection.
I am not saying that a girl shouldn’t have fun and laugh. If you have ever read this blog you know how I feel about being childlike in spirit and heart, but there is a very dark defining line between having fun and just being a silly flirt. A girl who blurs that line will appear senseless while a girl who has a sense of humor while portraying herself as a sensible young lady will attract flocks of godly young men. She may even attract some flies too, but, with the help of her wise parents, will be able to sort out the two without consequence.
Recreational dating is painful. There are always expectations and pressures. I was there, I know all about it.
Even the most grounded person can be pushed into doing something they ought not do in order to keep the person they love hanging around. We all want to be liked.
I don’t have fond memories of boys, flirting, and dating from my teenage years. I remember being liked, then disliked, pressured, then dumped. I remember the drama of it all and how I was ill equipped to handle such grown-up situations.
Do I really want this for my daughter? Do you want it for yours? Pain in the name of fun? Heartache in the name of growing up? How does that glorify God? Let’s teach our girls how to attract the right guy first so they don’t have to learn the hard way through painful consequence and life-altering mistakes.
Patience can bring rewards that have no end to their bounty. What a great lesson to teach our daughters.