Over the last few weeks, we’ve been studying God’s plan for the family. In a world where there are so many definitions of family, it’s been a challenge at times to focus in on God’s original design for this pivotal structure in society.
Many couples begin their relationships at a very young age – even their early teens. Some relationships don’t start until the couple is much older. Either way, there is a pattern in how the relationship develops.
E is for encounter. Boy meets girl. The very first level.
F is for fall into infatuation. There is an unmistakable chemistry that happens begin male and female. Looks, sounds, smells, pheramones and hormones all work together to attract a boy and girl to one another. Unfortunately, F also often stands for Fervent lust. In this culture of instant gratification the old process of boy meets girl, boy meets girl’s parents and older brothers, boy and girl get to know each other under parents’ supervision and chaperonage has become virtually obsolete. The evolution of today’s relationships often look more like this: Boy meets girl. Girl comes on to boy. Girl and boy are intimate. Boy and girl get tired of each other and start again with new girl or boy.
G is for grow in love together. The boy and girl/man and woman who are following God’s plan for purity and oneness in marriage know that there is a lot of work to be done to maintain a relationship. This hard work needs to begin even before marriage. I’ve often heard people say that marriage is a 50/50 relationship. I submit, however, that it is better described as a 100/100 relationship. Each partner has to be 100% committed to loving the other and working together to lift the other up.
Jeff and I don’t have a perfect marriage – you’re all shocked, I know. I’m a type A get things done kind of gal. Jeff is a ponderer. He wants it to be just right – even if it means not doing it at all. As you can imagine, this has led to some conflict for us over the years.
Jeff grew up in a solid Christian home. I grew up desperately looking for someone to love me as I was. We had totally different backgrounds and perspectives. Growing up, I didn’t know the Lord and made choices that reflected that lack in my life. Once we got married, Jeff and I needed to reconcile our pasts and how they impacted our future. Areas where I would be very compassionate (although not condoning) for someone who was choosing to pursue sin, Jeff would, having had no exposure to that kind of world, be very critical. I needed to learn to take a stronger stand for the Lord and he needed to learn that we are all fallible and God’s grace is sufficient for all.
This may seem like a lot of rambling but I do have a point. I have teenagers. These young people are beginning to explore the idea of relationships. As parents, we have a huge responsibility to help our children understand God’s perfect plan for marriage and fidelity. By letting our children think that it is ok to bounce from partner to partner in dating relationships, we are telling them to keep looking until they get what they want. Once a part of the heart is given away, it can never be recaptured. There can never be a second “First Kiss” or “First Partner” or “First….”.
I don’t often do this, but I would like to recommend a book by Joshua Harris called, I Kissed Dating Goodbye. You can watch a clip of Joshua talking about the book on YouTube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IVJqlaNJRnw&feature=player_embedded#at=43
Moms and Dads, take the time to talk to your teens on the value of treasuring this growing time. Time when they can discover who they are and who they are going to be with God. If they are fully trusting Him, He will provide the spouse that He has for them – if He has that for them at all.
Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.