When I was in the world of dating (thanking the good Lord He saw fit to bring Big Daddy into my life and I am no longer dating!)….my theory was “go out and get as many free meals/movies as I can.” How stupid was that? By having that mentality, bad things happened….really bad things happened by a guy I was “in love” with. He was a master manipulator and I was young and naive…I loved the idea of being in love. I would have walked over hot coals for him and, in a sense, I did. Now, I have forgiven him for his choices and I have moved on. The things that happened have made me who I am and it has allowed me to minister to women/young girls who are in mentally abusive relationships. Would I have chosen that path for myself? No. Did my parents choose that for me? No. They didn’t even know until I was well into my 30s. Did the Lord choose that path for me? No….but there is freewill and this man was not a believer.
I was blessed with Big Daddy in that we caught each others eye immediately. We met in January 1993, started dating in May, engaged in September, married in June and a family soon followed as I was pregnant within 7 months of our marriage. Most people didn’t even know we were dating and we came up engaged! I brought A LOT of baggage into my relationship with him, whereas, he had never dated anyone 🙂 He didn’t deserve that baggage. Had I been patient and waited on the Lord and followed that “lamp unto my feet” (Ps. 119:105), I would have been spared severe trauma. My marriage would have been different, I would imagine. The Lord knew who I needed and He provided him. He has blessed me with 21 years with a man that I adore though drives me bonkers (keeping it real)!
I remember looking at him and giving him a list of things I would NOT do (I will cut my hair if I want, I will wear what I want, I will wear or not wear make up if I want, I will not be submission, I will not be a doormat, I will not walk behind you, I will speak my mind and if you don’t like my opinion you can Hit. The. Road.) Bless his sweet heart. He would just stand there and stare at me. I’m pretty certain he was waiting for my head to start spinning and pop off. I guess the mental/emotional abuse had just come to a head, in me. My mama always said that I kept it all in until my belly got full and then people needed to look out because I was gonna explode and it was gonna lack all kinds of tact or grace. I do that…I keep things in. I try to handle things myself without letting the outside world in. I keep my emotions in check and I lack tear ducts, so crying is rare for me. When I do cry…it is U.G.L.Y. it ain’t got no alibi its UGLY!
For my kids….I want different for them. I want them to know themselves. I want them to be solid in who they are in Christ. I want to keep them from physical and mental harm. I want to hold the keys to their hearts until that one day, that the Lord brings a person to them….a person who is their forever. That person, however, has to earn the key to their hearts. Big Daddy and I will hold this boy (or girl’s) feet to the fire and we will ask the tough questions. We will give them impromptu life lessons. We will make sure they have a relationship with the Lord. In the end…whether a potential suitor is here for a bit or for a lifetime…the most important thing is the assurance of this person’s salvation. I want my kids to know that emotions come from the Lord and Jesus, Himself, experienced emotions (another post to follow on this subject).
If a potential suitor is not willing to follow some rules, then they are not the person for my child. If they can’t handle the fire, then get out of the kitchen. We are talking about the heart of my children. The single most important thing my children will ever decide is to whether or not to follow Christ. The second biggest decision of their lives is who they will spend the rest of their days with (or they may choose the blessing of single life). I am not going to mess around with either one of these decisions. Our job, as parents, is to guide and to instruct. We have to teach and be an example. I fail every single day. Big Daddy fails every single day, but we can admit our failures and we can move on and learn from them.
We have rules, as parents, and our children should have their own personal convictions on certain issues. These convictions rise from how they were brought up and their relationship with the Lord, but some come from life experiences that they may not want to repeat. Thankfully, I only have one child in the “courting” realm and another wanting to be in the “courting” realm. The other 4….they are too young 🙂 Bug is okay with some stuff (ie hand holding or side hugs)…she isn’t okay with kissing, tickling, prolonged hugs, or any sort of intimacy (which should be held off till marriage). This ideal may change for her. We are not telling her DO NOT do this this and this…we do, however, remind her that she must look to Jesus to fill any emptiness and that any amount of physical touch is giving a part of her heart to this boy and it can open herself (and him) to certain things that can never be taken back. If he is NOT the one the Lord has in mind for her future, then she is holding hands, etc with someone else’s husband. Dramatic? Maybe. Truth? Absolutely.
So much of what I wanted to save for my husband was taken from me. It was not voluntary. I didn’t just come to him with small pieces removed from my heart…I came to him with giant chunks missing and parts of my heart just blackened and dead. The wounds of these things have healed, but there are still scars that I must contend with…eventually those scars fade. I am thankful that Bart came to me with his whole heart…fully intact. I am also thankful that that the Lord extended a tremendous amount of patience and love for me.
Once your purity is taken (in my case) or given (in most cases)…..you can’t get that back, but the Lord can restore your choices. You can re-commit to the Lord to remain pure until He sees fit to bring you the one that He chose for you. Love yourself enough to make that commitment, but be prepared to struggle with it. That pandora’s box has been opened and satan will use that to tempt you on every level. Whether that temptation is through a new boy/girlfriend, pornography, graphic photos in magazines, sex scenes that show up on your favorite shows…he will remind you of how good it feels and that there is nothing wrong with “feeling” good. That, my friends, is a lie straight from the pit of hell. God meant for sex to occur between people who have committed their lives to each other and to God. It is meant for the marriage bed, not for the backseat of a car with a stranger. When you do that latter….it messes with your head….it chips away at your heart….it leaves you constantly trying to fill that void.
I hope and pray that my children are patient and wait on the Lord. Will I love them if they choose differently or make mistakes? Uhm, yes! There is not question about that. God will still love them too, plus He has already forgiven them for past, present and future sins when He died on that cross because my children all have accepted Jesus in their sweet little hearts (all except for one and he is young 🙂 )! It will grieve His heart and it will grieve our hearts but that grief doesn’t replace the tremendous amount of love I have for my children. Sex isn’t just about getting pregnant, nowadays. There are lifelong diseases that can occur or even death if those diseases go untreated. I certainly don’t want that for my kids. Oh, I wish the Lord would just return and we could all live in the new Heaven….then this whole point would be moot.