My oh my…..parenting is SO hard….when you are in the bliss of baby making you don’t think about the teen years and all the drama that is going to ensue because you want a large family and you want your kids to be close in age. You can take super cute pictures of them all dressed alike…march them out of the mini van, forming a line behind daddy and trailing him like little ducks. It is such a sweet sweet image.
Then, the image shatters.
Puberty has hit.
Run for cover.
Call your parents and apologize for being born.
Jump in the storm cellar.
Batten down the hatches.
Arm yourself with lots of coke, cheese, and bags upon bags of cheese flavored items.
Push the button that not only keeps you in the cellar…but more importantly, keeps your psycho kids out!
Then, in 5-6-7 years when the locks move and the door opens…light will hit your face and you will see images of those sweet children, now grown, looking back at you.
You will be sitting in a corner, on a sugar high from all the coke, with permanently orange fingers and face….you will be clutching your last bag of Doritos. Your tongue will be raw from licking all the cheese off and surrounding you will be empty coke cans and lots and lots of cheeseless chips.
That is sort of where I’m heading. My oldest, who will be 19 next week (good gracious) is branching into her own. She is odd, quirky, laughs at herself, trips up stairs, coffee loving, oven burning, mission minded precious being. Then, there is that boy that just won’t leave. The kid will not leave. I have done everything I know to do besides yelling GO AWAY! I DON’T LIKE CHANGE! That would be rude 😉
They are approaching a time when tough questions need to be asked and answered. Let me tell you right now, we are not the Duggars. I do like them. I do watch them. I want to be a fly on their wall because it can’t always be lollipops and unicorns at their house. If it is….I need a piece of whatever it is they are eating!
We have rules. We court more than date because I want as much of my daughter’s heart, to go to the man that she is going to marry, as humanly possible. I want her to guard herself and to follow in what the Lord says about dating and marriage. I don’t want her to give away more than she needs to with a person that may not be in her future. I pray that the Lord gives each of them a clear direction and vision because hearts are getting vested and before anymore “vesting” happens…they need to know where each other stands on certain things. Important life issues.
Big Daddy and I didn’t do that…heck…most people didn’t even know we were dating before we were engaged….We met in January, dated in May, engaged in September, married the following June, pregnant the following February…we moved fast. We learned the answers to all these great life questions AFTER we were married. That probably wasn’t a wise choice. That is where I admire the Duggars because they do talk about the tough stuff and if you don’t have the same views on things and can’t compromise on the things that you differ on…then you need to move on down the road. The Lord has someone better prepared for you.
You can’t stake your whole life and your whole happiness and your whole joy on one person. That person will disappoint you. That person will fail you. That person will upset you and let you down. That person is fallible…not perfect…the only Person to find your joy and happiness in is the Lord…that’s it.
How is your walk?
What are you studying?
What has the Lord revealed to you?
Who is holding you accountable…because it really doesn’t need to always be your significant other?
This person needs to be one step ahead of you, Spiritually, and of the same gender.
Do you have a mentor? Who is older than you that you can talk too and learn from. My mentor is 80 years old and she will put me in my place faster than I can blink my eye, but she also ALWAYS points me towards the Lord.
Who are your friends?
Are they believers?
Do they lift you up and edify you?
What are you watching/listening too? Is it edifying because crap in is crap out.
If that person were to say “this is too much too fast” will you go down into a swirly twirly depression that you can’t get out of? If that answer is yes…you need to back off and look to Jesus.
Do you edify your “other” person?
Do you talk about Scripture?
Do you pray over and with that person?
Do you study the Word alone and then do a couples Bible study with that person?
Are you the Spiritual leader of this relationship?
These are all very important questions that need to be answered as individuals and as a couple. I may post some other “dating/relationship/courting” types of questions that really get you thinking about what you want out of life and what you want out of a potential mate. I’m not saying have your daughter (or son) hand this list over to any/everyone they are interested in…but if the talking continues and you see hearts moving then it may not be a bad idea. I would rather my kids take this list, answer it immediately, then take their answers and compare it with what Scripture says to see what matches up and what needs to be prayed over and know themselves before jumping into a relationship. I would also like to see their suitors (male or female) do the same and then they need to come together to see where Scripture lines up with their answers. If you don’t agree or can’t compromise, then let it go gracefully and remain friends. There is no harm or foul in that. If the answers do line up or compromising can happen, then this might be the person the Lord has for you!
Be wise and discerning.
Know who you are in Christ and what He has done for you.
Look to God to fill your emptiness.
Know, love, and accept yourself.
Be firm in your faith.
Be willing to grow.
Let God be the head of you.
Know your role in a relationship.
Hold each other accountable and then have your own accountability partner.
Say you are sorry.
Be willing to let go.
Make sure the hole in your heart is filled by the only One who can fill it and do not look towards your mate to fill it.