These are my beautiful babies! Literally I just blinked and they went from bundles that I snuggled close – to a young woman and young man that stand taller then me. I love my children fiercely. As any mother will attest to – many moments when you just want to lock them up tight and keep them safe from the world.
Since I cannot take control of their lives or this world, I have instead fallen into prayer. Prayer is what I can do. I pray for lots of things: protection, forgiveness, grace, teachers, school, friends, and even future spouses (if that is God’s will). The list of exact prayers is long, but it is exactly what I can do to keep them held up to the Father that loves them more than I. To arm them with the protection they need to fight this world.
This weekend was Homecoming at my teenagers high school. Not just a football game on Friday but a dress up dance on Saturday. If you are familiar with my blog you will notice that my son is in this photo dressed to the tee because he was allowed to ask a friend to go to the dance with him. I will be honest when I say the lead up to this dance has brought me through a river of emotions. Each day that goes by makes me sad that I have that much less time to spend with them. But it also makes me super cognizant of the fact that it is my job to make sure they know how to act and survive in this world.
With this dance, it made me seriously think about my children’s future dating and search for a spouse. I’ve been teaching my teenagers about the virtues of the woman and man that God has planned for them to become. How to treat a perspective partner and what they themselves should be searching for.
Because my daughter went to the dance with a group of girlfriends it is my son I focused intently on this week. I reminded him that God is holding him accountable for his choices and his behavior as a young man and that is NOT to be taken lightly. That this “date” to the dance is not a future spouse necessarily but it will be the start of learning how to maneuver around this part of his life. I told him that he MUST treat his date with respect at ALL times. He should use only kind words, be chivalrous, and ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS ask permission. If he wants to hold her hand, he needs to ask first. If you cannot ask permission you have no right to be moving forward with an action.
I want my son to remember that the girl he is with, is the daughter of our God and must be treated like God would want her to be treated. The most important thing my son could show her is his true love for Jesus. That Jesus is what is first.
Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, and in purity. – 1 Timothy 4:12
Friends – it starts with you and me. We must show our sons and daughter that we ourselves love and care for God first if we want them to do the same. They must see us pray, worship, and study God if we want them to do it. We must show them in our actions with our own loved ones that we respect and care for them as God does. It is our responsibility as parents to teach them what is right and what is wrong.
For my son I must show him and tell him often that:
- He MUST love God above all others
- He MUST live a life for God
- He MUST protect the heart of the person he cares about
- He MUST pray often for himself and that other person
But this isn’t just for my son. My daughter needs to learn the same. She must show respect, kindness, and grace to the person she chooses to spend time with. She must not be manipulative or change her ways. She must be herself and be courageous to stand up for God. To show God’s love and to ALWAYS remember that this other person she is sharing time with is a son of God too. That she needs to treat him just as God would want him to be treated.
For my daughter I must show her and tell her often that:
- She MUST love God above all others
- She MUST live a life for God
- She MUST protect the heart of the person she cares about
- She MUST pray often for herself and that other person
By teaching my children these things, they will learn to look for other men and women of God who are on fire for the Lord. People who don’t just talk about God, but actually live a life daily for God. In this way my children’s hearts and their love will be respected and protected. Most importantly it will ensure that my children’s bodies and their souls will be respected and protected. And they must remember to constantly hold each other up in prayer.
Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. – Colossians 4:2
In 1 Peter, Peter talks about wives, but I really believe this verse goes both ways for males and females. I want my daughters and my son to remember and strive for their true identity in Christ. This identity will not just be treasured by God but will be treasured by their special someone.
Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. – 1 Peter 3:3-4
Happy Homecoming 2018!