My husband was talking to one of his co-workers a while back. I forget how the subject came up, but this man was telling John how all of his kids waited to have a boyfriend or girlfriend until they were out of high school. This really intrigued John and so he inquired further and found out that this man had began telling his children around the age that they were getting interested in the opposite sex, that school work and God needed to come first and that there would be plenty of time for relationships later. Having casual friends was okay but absolutely no dating until they graduated. I'm sure that there is so much more to the story, but after John shared the story with me, we were both left with more questions about how something like this could actually really work.
We really love the idea since we both wish that we had only been with each other, but to actually relay this to our children and get them to fully understand and embrace our same desires is probably going to be a full time job if not next to impossible. With all of the outside influences that my children are faced with everyday, they have a lot of peer pressure to stand up against.
Now I could probably take them out of the public school system and home school and have a good amount of control over who they get crushes on and so forth. But because John and I believe that our children are learning how to stand up against many of these pressures in school, thus preparing them for the real world, and that they are salting the path for their fellow classmates, public school is and will remain the best option for our family.
My strong desire for my kids to protect their hearts and wait until they are out of high school before they get serious with a boy or girl is going to have to be explained to them in a way that makes them think that I have their best interest at heart, which I do, and I am not just being some strict, controlling, old-fashioned, uncool, battle axe of a mom.
That is where I was truly blessed through my friend Denise who happened to bring up this subject the last time we were sipping coffee at Starbucks late one night. She put my thoughts and feelings into words that I had been searching for to share with some of my older kids. I listened and was able to later share with my two older boys.
Of course we want our kids to wait to have sex until they are married, but honestly, I want so much more for them which means them having to wait to do so much more too. I want them to wait to get seriously involved with someone. I want them to wait fall in love. I even want them to wait before they start focusing on looks to the point of infatuation. Basically, I don't even want them to have crushes because they think someone is cute.
Sounds ridiculous, I'm sure. But let me share why I want them to wait.
As it is, I'm already late coming to my two older boys who in their minds believe that they have already had a girlfriend. If you ask them, they have both had the boy-girl relationship where they think a girl is cute, they find that that girl likes them back, they have a friend ask if she wants to be go around, she says yes, they flirt with each other but never even hold hands or sit by each other, then they find out that she thinks some other guy is cute, so they break up after two weeks. Can you picture it?
I want my kids to avoid even this scenario in the future.
First off, marriage is a one time commitment, or at least we are teaching our kids that it is. So if marriage is a one time thing, why is it okay to have numerous, frivolous boy-girl relationships leading up to it?
Second, if marriage is such a special thing and your spouse is supposed to be the one that you save yourself for, why would you want to have had numerous other people in your past that you had essentially given a piece of your heart to by getting involved with them first? Each time you fall head over heels for someone because you think they are pretty and it doesn't work out, they have taken a piece of your heart that you can no longer give to your wife.
"Don't you want to give your whole heart to your wife? Don't you want her to be your first true love? Or do you want to risk having your mind cluttered with other girls from your past? Or better yet, don't you want to be their first and only love or would you prefer wondering if she is thinking of some other guy when she kisses you because your kiss reminds her of him?"
"Or would you rather know that your wife had numerous boy-girl relationships before you?"
"Your body and mind is a special gift that you give to your spouse when you get married and all I am saying is that I think you would have an even awesomer marriage if you saved as much of both as you can for her."
As I explained this to Adam and Caleb in more detail, they really seemed to get it and even went as far as to agree to not give pieces of their heart away. As I expressed what great choices they were making, I also let them know that their decision did not mean that they could not have friends of the opposite sex or couldn't dance with a girl at a prom, or couldn't go out for pizza with a group of girls and boys. It simply meant that they were saving serious relationship stuff till they were ready to get into a serious relationship that could end in marriage... like after they are out of school.