My husband and I were both Christians when we became involved with each other but our life did not bear the fruit of it in many ways. We broke up, but then I found out I was pregnant. My now sister in law told him I was pregnant (because I refused to) and after a few weeks of fighting about it we were married.
I loved Mike very much but I knew he had cold feet for a reason. I didn’t want him to feel like he had to marry me, but I also didn’t want to feel like I was second choice either. Nearly 18 years later, we are both the wiser and each of us have a deep and intimate relationship with Christ. We are part of a very rare group who got married and stayed married. We owe it all to God and we thank him daily for blessing us!
Because of our own sinful actions in our early years, we are now very open and vocal with our children. We don’t just tell them not to have sex before marriage but we take them to scripture and show them what Gods desire is for them. We make it a point to talk constantly about these things in our home so that our children never have a question as to what our stance is. We also have not hidden the fact from our children that we were expecting our first child when we made our marriage vows before God. We are greatly saddened by parents who avoid or outright lie to their children about this issue, as if the children are not one day going to be old enough to count and figure it out. Truth, rather than excuses to why you hid this fact, is always the best route to take.
We don’t allow our children to have boy/girlfriends and they are not allowed to date, even in group settings. We used to think early on in our marriage that maybe at 16 we would let our children date in groups but, thankfully, we never really put any set rule into place about it. As our whole family matured together, my husband and I realized that even group dating was still not an option in our minds.
When God created Adam in the garden and found that there wasn’t a partner for him, scripture doesn’t tell us that God created several women for Adam to take his pick from. God created one woman, Eve. Hebrews 13:4 tells us to “Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous.” Marriage is considered a sacrifice that is pleasing to God!
We began teaching our children that God has a specific person picked out for them and that our job as parents, and their jobs as a future spouse, is to be patient and wait on the Lords timing while always being in prayer. As a family we all began praying for each other for wisdom and guidance and the same for each others future spouse. I won’t lie and say that this has been a perfectly easy path for us, as we are all born with a sinful nature that likes to rebel. We have however stayed the course, and our family is stronger because of the choices we have made.
Our daughter, the oldest, is 17 and she has become a mentor to several younger, teen-aged ladies in our neighborhood. These young ladies are not churched, in general, and can only on occasion get permission to attend with our family, and yet they look up to my daughter and ask her for advice. They tell her that they see she is different and they trust what she is saying to them. There have been many good conversations between my daughter and her friends about why she covers up at the pool even though she only wears a one-piece suit, why she doesn’t have a boyfriend, why she won’t take the birth control pill to help get rid of acne, what Jesus Christ means to her, and more. Several of the parents have told me what a sweetheart Victoria is and how glad they are that their younger daughters have someone to talk to other than the kids at school.
On the other end of the spectrum, though, in our youth group at church some of the choices my daughter has made (and our family in general I suppose) have been met with ridicule, even from the adults. For example, last fall the youth took a trip out of town and while riding in the car with two of the adults and a few girls the topic of boyfriends came up. My daughter stated that she was waiting for the right person that God has picked for her and then she would follow the pattern of courtship in getting to know him. She stood her ground well but was faced with laughter and an attitude of “you don’t know what you are talking about” from the ADULTS riding in the car with her. They told her she was too naive and to just wait until she got to college and had all the temptations there. She told me she didn’t mind the direction of the conversation (she’s had debate classes and likes a good argument) and didn’t take it personally, except that it seemed to tell the other girls in the car with them that the adults thought waiting on God was useless, or at the very least you could have fun while you waited. She also felt like they left the impression that trying to hold out against temptation was useless and you have no choice but to give in. I have to tell you, my daughters expression of continued love and grace has been a good example for me in talking with these adults later on because my sinful human nature wanted to ring a few necks when I first heard the recounting of the conversation!
Parents, leaders in our churches, youth leaders, we MUST get back to telling our kids the truth about what God wants for them and how He expects them to act. We have to get over our own guilt about not doing things right, accept His forgiveness for those sins, and not let our kids use US as an excuse for their own failings. It is no wonder that we have as many unplanned pregnancies, pornography addictions, and divorces in our churches as we do. What example, as a whole, are we setting for the world around us? Never mind the world, what example are we setting for EACH OTHER? We are failing our children in this area, but worse than that we are failing God.
Be sober minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. (1 Peter 5:8)
Folks, let me tell ya, the devil doesn’t need to search for the lost of the world because he already has them. He wants to devour our children and we are letting him do it on a daily basis. We have to make better choices, godly choices, in teaching our children about sex, relationships, and marriage. Don’t just talk about it once and leave it at that. Make it a living lesson taught daily within your home! Look at the world around you. Do you really think you can afford NOT to teach your children these lessons? I don’t think so.