Well, without going into the gory details, I was probably a tad "boy crazy" during my teen years. I had various boyfriends in high school, with various degrees of heartbreaks. I had a standard of purity, but it wasn't based on a solid Christian belief--more of a practical one. I was saving myself for the man I would marry. Sex before marriage sounded way too complicated and scary. My Mom talked openly about the topic also, as much as she could. I had a profession of Christian faith in my teen years that was probably more of an emotional response to compelling evangelical messages than a repentance of sin. This weak profession along with my prudish sense of what was practical kept me from a degree of problems, but it did not keep my heart and mind protected and pure.
Essentially, I gave away much of what should be kept in secret, emotionally and physically. I have no one to blame for this except myself. I am thankful for the God-sent ability to thwart the advances of bad boys and literally "slap" those who tried to pinch my hind quarters on occasion. Nevertheless, there has got to be a better way to rear children in a Christian home rather than just reliving your own childhood.
I think many people who have not repented of the sins of their youth are somehow trying to justify their actions by not restraining their children and their lusts. Sometimes it is merely a lack of knowledge, and other times, it is a lack of true conviction and repentance.
Either way, I would like something better for my children.
And when I say "better"; I am not referring to more rules. What I am referring to is discernment, self control, and reliance on God.
I am not referring to arranged marriages or somehow dating the entire family. These are extreme reactions to our out of control culture.
But I really, truly do not know what the answer is for each family. It should be a real, heartfelt, leading from the Holy Spirit. So, to sit down and make rules.. to somehow make it such a legal thing... can this possibly be the right way either? And who am I to talk?? Really. My oldest child is only 18, and as far as I know, girls are a ?? (don't kill me) necessity. I'm sure this will change.. in time. My daughter who is a beautiful 16 year old is also in no frame to be thinking about this either. She is enjoying a beautiful girlhood, though. Boys are toads right now. Sorry, guys. And we ARE a fun-loving family. It's going to take a decision on her part to take an interest in boys, and quite a special guy to lure her away.
I would like to pray with my children, though, as they find a mate. I would like them to be content as single people before they launch into marriage. I would like them to know what their life's calling is before they drag along someone else into their lives. Basic stuff.
And there is the possibility that a young man or woman would have it all together at a fairly young age (like 14 or 16) and know who they are to marry at that age. But it would be more convenient for everyone if they didn't! Nevertheless, it happens. And if God is truly in it, than who are we to squelch the Holy Spirit?
I think my parenting style would lend itself to letting these things remain quiet stirrings rather than an outward expression for as long as possible. Life gets complicated for our young people. And if you are a type A, study nerd like my kids are, they want to get educations before they dive into the next phase of their lives. And my guess is, although I can not confirm this, is that they will probably marry people who are also study nerds also...
And if you are wanting to go to pilot training (like one) and grad school (like another) and law school (like a different kid)..it would highly convenient if God kept this part of their emotions quiet during these years.
Knowing that is the training to fulfill their live's callings, I am also trusting that God will provide spouses for them at the right time. There will be plenty of other Christian young people who are pursuing dreams rather than launching into marriage at such a young age.
So, you know my biases. I apologize. This need not be an issue to divide on. I write to make you ponder.. to hone my own opinions.. to challenge.. and learn.
And, everyone comes out of the woodwork when I write about teens... LOL.
And when I told Jamie that "Writing about teens and dating makes everyone read my blog"
He said, "What!?? What do YOU know about teens and dating?" And I said, "You're right. I know nothing. I have never actually HAD a TEEN who is DATING. So, consider your source.. LOL.