Something I was challenged with when I was young.......to never date anyone I could not see myself marrying. (I had already made a decision that divorce would not be an option, so I better pick well the first time!) Do we challenge our kids to look at this perspective early on when they are 13, 14, and 15?
This commitment helped me stay on my toes with all senses engaged through my teen and college days! (If I had to pick well then I was seriously examining each guy that came my way and weeding them out pretty quick.) Of course I had my moments of questioning whether I had set my eyes too high when many of my friends were dating and I was not. I had moments of questioning what was wrong with me and then I realized I chose it this way and maybe because they weren't asking me out this was God's way of answering my prayer! (praying for protection)
Choosing this path also kept me from being too insecure (I already had enough insecurity I sure didn't need a guy's rejection to help in that process!) I learned to be confident in who God made me to be. (Part of making it in a relationship is learning who you are so you can serve your spouse it isn't just a one way road of them pleasing me!) I learned and observed other relationships and knew what I did and didn't want in one. And having emotional-break downs because of break-ups was one I was glad to miss out on!
Are we challenging our kids to set some standards and commitments on marriage?
I think there is no surprise that so many marriages are falling apart. We never learned what the purpose of marriage was to be. It is so easy to walk into a marriage believing it is for my happiness, my joy, my wants and needs. Do they/we know the purpose of marriage?
I am thankful for parents that walked with their daughter and helped us to learn these things prior to a failed marriage, prior to engagement, and prior to dating. I am thankful for a church that had conferences, seminars, and classes on marriage, parenting, and finances so I could learn biblical truths early in life to guide me in the choices that would surely come in my future. I am thankful for a cousin who took my sister and I aside and challenged us prior to his own marriage. His challenge was to 'know a guy' before we ever date them. He was about to marry and realized that they approached Christianity two different ways. He shared it is easier to not date that person than to go out, fall in love and then discover your differences. (I don't think he will ever know how much 'his' words impacted us.) His words meant something. His words were coming from someone other than our parents. His words were the words of a man that desired to help encourage us to choose well.
As parents I don't think we aren't teaching these things as much as I just think we wait too long to teach them. (Yes, I have teens I see how EASILY this happens!) I am surely not condemning anyone because we right here ourselves! It seemed like one day we were rocking our little girl and watching her play dress up and the next thing we know she has gone to prom and dates!
If you are a young person…seek your parents out and ask them questions...this is your future. Be wise and seek counsel! There is nobody that desires you to succeed more than your parents!!! I know it doesn't seem that way...but it is TRUTH! If your parents aren't around then seek other couples that are walking a sound marriage and ask them to hold you accountable. To setting a high standard.
If you are a parent…proactively look for ways to help your children learn Biblical Truths on marriage. Help them have a solid foundation to which to build a home. If they aren't eager to hear your opinion (which sometimes I wonder if mine are) then surround them with other ways of hearing Biblical Truth!
What are we lining our beliefs up too? How do we know if we are hitting the mark if we have not set a line? We challenged our children to look to God, set your standards, let your parents walk with you, and then you can live out the convictions. If they just let mom and dad set the boundary then it becomes a law they want to fight against(our selfish side comes out strong!). When they understand that God is their God and they don't have to go through mom and dad to seek His word, they begin to own their salvation and learn that when mom and dad aren't around I can still discover what right is through God's word.
Who knew that at those same conferences, classes, and seminars my future husband was sitting right there hearing the same Biblical Truths I was hearing. We should be invested in our kids and their friends you never know who is near you that might one day be your son-in-law or daughter-in-law.
How did I know who to date and who not to date? stay tuned.....