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Posts Tagged ‘dating’

IMG_1288.JPGGood morning to my greatest works!
of art, of creativity, of heart, soul, mind and breath.

The other day, one of you asked what was my favorite age of you three. That was an easy question to answer! I love the stage each of you is at today.

Another of you asked me to read an article about courting and dating and then asked me to tell you what I thought. That was not an easy question to answer.

When each of you was born, I contemplated the wisdom of pre-arranged marriages … I was so fearful that you, lacking in life experience, would make a wrong and disastrous choice.

Now, after twenty-five years of marriage, and nearly as many years as a parent, I am seeing things differently.

I no longer see myself as the better judge of your future spouse. You see, I am wholly and completely human … sin-filled, flawed, and my preferences as changing as the wind (as if my moving of plants in our garden does not confirm that reality).

The only area where I have an advantage is life experience, and age is no guarantee that I would not make mistakes.

Now, let me tell you about dating, the mom version …

As a teen, I did what everyone else was doing, in regards to dating. ‘Normal’ was to date, exclusively, to be as physical as possible without ‘it’ happening. To date meant trying someone out, until it fizzled. Heartbreak ensued. Then we (I) would move on to the next experimental guinea pig. And the cycle continued.

All of this happening as our minds and bodies were developing, our education being pursued, our futures dreamed, and our dear friendships taken too much for granted.

Marriage was still the aimed for end result, but exclusive relationships, one after another, resulted in many heartbreaks.

Suffice it to say that my own high school dating experience is foundational in the ‘motivational’ offer by your dad and I, of a car after high school, if you choose to not date until after graduating high school.

As a parent, I feel I have gone through a few paradigm shifts.
-I have appreciated the courtship model (loosely)
-I have discouraged dating
-I have even encouraged you to not expect marriage as a sure thing for your future

At this juncture, as I look at my parents, and I am thankful for something they did.

I am thankful that they let me make my own choices and mistakes. They entrusted me to make my own mistakes and good choices. And I am thankful for that.

What I hope that we, as parents, have done is give you all of the foundational love and instruction you will need to make the important choices in your life, regarding dating

I hope we have taught you all:

  • to love yourselves
  • to love and respect others
  • to respect your heart, mind and body
  • to not ‘settle’
  • to not say ‘I love you’, just because someone tells you they love you
  • seek Gods will for your individual life, before seeking a life with another
  • consider who you date as whether they are marriable
  • to not look for the perfect person … there is no perfect person, not even the one in the mirror

I hope that God is number one in your life, and I hope you only choose to date people who think the same. Know that there is more to being ‘evenly yoked‘ than just being married to a Christ follower. Christians come in many different experiences of Gods spirit … if you are charismatic in your beliefs and expressions, a lover of liturgy, robes and choral music could make church and family-related choices, in the future, almost as painful as being with one who doesn’t love God at all.

My grown and growing kids,

these things you NEED to know, about dating (and life) …
You’re gonna make mistakes,
have your heart broken,
and wonder (years, weeks, minutes) in your marriage if you made a mistake.

And there is no formula or guarantee that will ensure that you got it right.

I wish that your dad and I could be a better example of perfect, like Christ and the church, sort of love …
But wait, that is the model we have given, because we as husband and wife are like the church …
We are sin filled, flawed, selfish
We mess up, we want to leave, we hurt each other

And here we are, still, 25 years into the adventure

We are still as messed up as we were as single individuals,
but aiming for the same grand finale … NOT on Earth, but in heaven.

And that’s it.

No, that’s not it …

And we will be praying for you until our last breath.

Love,

Mom

“If love is what you’re looking for
The old roads lead to an open door
And you’ll find your way”
Andrew Peterson

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A number of weeks back I read an article titled, as this post is titled, “It Matters Who You Marry,” and as I read it I I found my head nodding in agreement with the message it presented.

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Working in a high school I see the budding of ‘love’ down every hallway I walk. I see girls admiring the guys who can entertain a crowd, who have fancy cars and fancy clothes, the guys who are amazing athletes and who are ‘cute.’ As an older ‘girl’ with a few more years life (and fat cells) under my belt, I find myself shaking my head as I view the sights. I wish that there were some way of communicating to these girls that the pattern of their interest in guys now, will create a template for their life partner choice later down the road.

But, I know that for most of us, it is experience that is the best teacher. And so I just hope that they learn it young, and that the experience does not break them totally. I hope too that for each one, there might be a person who will speak into their lives with love, and grace, and gentleness … and honesty.

I encourage you to click on the link, following a portion of the article, written by Rebecca VanDoodewaard (RVD). Maybe it will encourage you to be that person in the life of a young woman, who helps her through the minefield of choosing who to date … and why.

“My husband and I were once with a youth group. There were three kids sitting across from us at a meal: two guys and a girl. The one guy was a computer geek with glasses. The other one was a college student with slightly cooler hair and no glasses. The girl was obviously with him. But while the computer geek was busy serving everyone at the meal, clearing plates and garbage, the college student got angry with the girl for a small accident and poured red juice over her leather jacket and white shirt. She picked the wrong guy, and the juice didn’t seem to change her mind. She is in for some grief if that relationship continues and especially if it leads to marriage.
 
So to all the young, unmarried Christian girls out there, listen up: who you marry matters. You might think that the way he treats you isn’t so bad. It’s not going to get better after the wedding. You might think that he’ll change. It’s possible, but most don’t. You might think that you’ll be able to minister to him and help him. Possibly, but if you can’t now, you won’t then, and you will be at risk yourself. A husband should lead and cherish you, not need your counsel for basic personality or behavior issues.
 
Unless someone married is very frank with you, you can’t understand how much a husband will impact your entire life. Next to salvation there is no other long term event that will change so many areas of your life so deeply. Here are just some of the ways that marriage will impact every aspect of living.”
 

Click on The Christian Pundit to keep reading.

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To my Copper Knob,

I remember a dear old Scottish lady (who made the BEST shortbread, in the world, hands down … but I digress) looking at you, the first Sunday after your birth, and saying in her strong Scottish brogue, “oh, look at that beautiful copper knob.” From that moment on, there is rarely a time when I look at your bright copper hair, and do not hear the echo of her voice.

As you awaken today to a new day, to your fifteenth birthday, I will flashback, while you will flash forward.

You, as a brand new fifteen year old, will be thinking of your future. You will be hoping that your parents will fulfill their promise of a cell phone when you are in grade nine, TODAY (no comment on that one). You will be thinking about how it is only one more year until you are old enough for your driving ‘learners’. You will be thinking about three more years until high school graduation (and that means, your own car, IF you have decided not to date in high school … so you will probably also be looking forward to the freedom of having your own car AND the freedom to date … but, I digress). You will be looking forward to the future you desire most (and I will not share here, because that is YOUR hearts desire).

For myself, as the mother of a brand new fifteen year old, I will be thinking of your past. I will be thinking of how I was not with you, last year, for your fourteenth birthday. I will be thinking your thirteenth birthday party, when you CONVINCED me to allow you to invite EVERY GIRL IN YOUR CLASS to your sleepover party (really, you should consider a future as a lawyer). I will remember your emotional struggles through adolescents, relationships, and math (and how I paid you, YES I PAID MY CHILD to have her ‘let’ me help her with her math homework … again, a career in law might be worth considering). I will remember your first day of school, your first steps, your first words. I will remember how you never saw differences in people, and that some of your best friends were fifty years or more older than you (especially that next door neighbor who you loved so much that, if you saw he was outside, you were out of your car seat before our vehicle came to a stop in the driveway). I will remember the day you were born, and what seemed like forever before you took your first breath.

You look ahead.

I look back.

Each day of your life, my influence on you decreases. Each day of your life, you grow up, and apart from me (and your father). Each day of your life, you become more independent in your thoughts, your actions and your choices and plans for the future. That is how it is supposed to be. And, it IS good … even if sometimes it feels as though a limb is being torn from MY being.

There is a portion of a wedding ceremony, that your dad reads when he is performing a marriage that states, “you are giving your children to life’s adventure, and not merely away from yourselves. This is what you raise your children for, to let them go their way. And in their going they come back again to share their discoveries.” It is this that gives me joy in anticipating the future with you, that you come back to us, to share your discoveries and joys, with us.

I am proud of who you are choosing to become. Do not forget that who you become is YOUR choosing. The most important choices in your life are ones that your father and I cannot make for you. There are many that I wish for you, but they, and how you choose to life your life, are in your hands.

I love you, my Copper Knob, my favorite red-haired daughter. Continue to put your life in the hand of your Creator, and you will never walk this life alone.

Your favorite mom.

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