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Help! Girls like my boys!!!!
Since the day my children were born, I always knew in the back of my mind there would come a day when they would grow up, fall in love and marry….someone else.
Jasmine always insisted that she was going to marry her daddy. Each of the boys one by one had proposed to me, declaring their undying love for mom and their repulsion of all other girls. I loved it! They were so cute and sincere. I would always explain to them they couldn’t marry us because we were already married…but it sure felt good to know where we ranked!
Some time later we were at the beach. As I sat visiting with my girlfriends, I began noticing this one girl in particular had her eye on one of my sons. She even went so far as to ask for his phone number. That was it, enough was enough! I had to intervene; after all last I heard I was his one true love. I marched over and interrupted their conversation, demanding to know where her mother was. She said with a bit of a lisp, “My Mom isn’t here but my daycare worker is over there”, pointing to a young man about 16 years old by the water. Yes, that made sense; Austin was only 4 at the time! “Oh,” I said, “I’ll just have to have word with him, why don’t you just find someone else to play with?” I went back to my chair with a gut-wrenching feeling that this was only the beginning.
I began facing the fact that my kids WOULD eventually grow up, fall in love and marry someone else and that this IS a good thing. Call me too attached and I won’t deny it. I am glad to say however that I have progressed to the point that now I am looking forward to that day. How else am I to get grandbabies out of this deal?!
Yes our sweet darlings grow up and begin relating with the opposite sex. This can be an exciting time and yet scary for us as parents. We know all the roadside bombs out there that that could be potentially fatal. Here's some help to for parents to navigate this crazy time.
I feel that THE most important part of parenting our teens through to marriage is prayer. We have to rely on God to help guide and direct our teens.
‘And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.’ Eph 6:18. I believe that our teens fall under the category of saints, at least I am speaking that over my own! This verse encourages us to pray all kinds of prayers all the time. God and His wonderful convicting Holy Spirit can be there when you are not. I pray very strongly for all 4 of my children that they would stay pure at all times and that if they are being tempted, I would know of it to be able to help them. So far, to my knowledge, it has worked. It has worked so well that my daughter has commented that she is afraid to do anything wrong because somehow I always find out!
We pray also for every relationship that they find themselves in, whether it is a friendship or perhaps a little bit more than friendship. Every relationship has the potential to help prepare our teens for future relationships. Either through seeing what they DON’T want or getting a feel for what they DO want. Also, let’s not forget to pray for their future spouse. Pray that they are able to stay pure and protected as they prepare themselves to meet our children.
Secondly, we have to be strong in the communication suit. Any of you with elementary children - it is time to start talking! If you are open with your children, they will feel more open with you. Start by telling your stories. Everything from how you felt around the opposite sex at whatever age your son or daughter may be, to some of the funny things you did. I love telling most embarrassing moments. They can laugh at you while at the same time relate to your awkwardness. There may come a time depending on the situation, your teens find themselves in need of your personal, Godly advice. May you take the opportunity to tell of your own experiences, positive and negative and even pray about sharing some of your sexual failures. I say this with great care. I believe that even our failures can be our greatest assets when turned into testimonies. ‘They overcame him by the blood of the lamb and by the word of their testimony’; Revelation 12:11NIV They, the saints (you and me) overcame Satan and his plans through the forgiveness of sins through the blood of Jesus AND by the professing of their testimony! The sharing of the struggle, the failure, the repercussions and the following restoration can be very powerful in our teens’ lives. We have to be sure however that our failures don’t turn into “If mom did it and got away with it, maybe I can too.”
Finally, we, as parents need to set our teens up for success with the opposite sex. I could write a whole book on this subject. Success takes on many facets. In my opinion, a major foundation for success is that our teens would not be so emotionally needy that they compromise their beliefs for acceptance. We can do this a number of different ways. One way to strengthen them emotionally is to reinforce a positive self-image by loving them for who they are. If mothers affirm and begin to respect their sons as young men and fathers affirm and love their daughters as young women then they won’t be looking for this affirmation so much from their peers. Another important aspect is that they find success in who they are. We have always done everything possible to help our teens feel confident about themselves. All the way from helping my daughter feel good about her make-up to being sure our sons have what they need to lead in their peer group. Also, it seems that teens who are busy succeeding have less time to worry about their standing with their peers. Help them find their niche or talent and keep your teens pressing towards those goals. Whether it is athletics, academics, music or any other interest, keep ‘em busy!
Success also means that they do not enter into the relationship arena prematurely or too deeply that they are overcome with temptations. We do not necessarily encourage relationships at our house. I have been around parents (especially mothers) who are actually pressing their teens into relationships, planning dates for them and giving them advice. This is crazy and leads to far too much involvement way too early.
As parents, we have an incredible opportunity to assist our teens as they enter into the realm of relationships and future marriage. At the same time please don’t forget that our teens do have a will of their own and sometimes they make wrong choices regardless of proactive parenting. This leads me back to my first point….PRAY! God’s grace and sustaining, keeping power is vital in this adventure! Cover your teen with prayer, love, affirmation, wisdom, guidance and help. In doing this our teens have a great platform to stand on to succeed relationally.
Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. NIV®. Copyright© 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.
Author: The daughter of Guatemalan missionaries, Joel Wolfe became her father’s namesake after he was killed in an airplane accident while on the mission field. With a B.A. in Biblical Studies, she and her husband, Dwain, with whom she has four children, pastor the church they pioneered in Fife, Washington, where she leads the fine arts department and women’s ministries.