I’m supposed to be putting the finishing touches on my lesson for tonight, but I got a little sidetracked with a thought that I just had to get written. One of my last points for this evening’s lesson is to challenge the girls to include their parents in their love life. Sounds kind of weird and hokey huh? However, this really got me pondering my own motherhood and wondering what some other moms thought about this.
It’s a little late in the day to get the feedback I suppose, but if you have a minute please do give me a comment or email me, or FB me, or something. If you find yourself reading this later than today Feb. 29, then I’d still love, love, love to hear your thoughts.
So, here’s my question for Moms of daughters; What would you say would be your response if your teenage or college age daughter came to you confessing that she had messed up morally?
Ok, I know what the pat answer would be, but I challenge you to actually put yourself in that position for a minute or two and really ponder this. Not just what you hope you’d do or what you picture yourself doing…what do you really think your response would be? I ask because I’m quite sure from the past fourteen plus years of working with teen girls, that many of them don’t know or worse, they expect a terrible response.
Thankfully, this doesn’t include all of the girls I’ve ever worked with, or even really a majority of them. I praise God for having come across some very engaged parents that keep an open line of communication in this area. Some parents who are able to reassure their kids that God loves them unconditionally and so do they as parents. Of course there would be disappointment to deal with and heartbreak involved as well. We all (I’m taking liberties here I know) want what is best for our children. We desire their happiness, and I’m hoping we desire their holiness just as much.
“So, why are you even asking this question then?” you may want to know. Well, I’ve also talked with many girls through the years that simply won’t talk to their mom’s about such thing. This includes of course girls that have gone through our youth department, as well as girls I’ve met while volunteering at a crisis pregnancy center. When I do encourage these girls to go to their mothers, they look at me as if they’d rather take an ad out in a newspaper confessing their faults than to actually talk to their mom!
As a mom, of two daughters, this leaves me absolutely confounded. My girls are only just now on the brink of “teenagedom” and I’m feverishly working to open new lines of communication, as well as keep old ones clear. I’m constantly asking myself if I’ve shut them down in some way and how can I correct that if I have. My oldest and I have had a few talks so far about the changes coming her way. So far she doesn’t seem too traumatized by it. However, when her Doctor asked if I’d given her any “talks” yet; I responded with, “yes, well, some talks just prepping her.” He then proceeded to encourage her to save sex for marriage. “I guess I should have been more specific with him,” I thought to myself as my wide-eyed 11year old sat staring at him without blinking. Needless to say, we had an impromptu talk on the way home from that appointment. Don’t get me wrong; I’m so very appreciative to have a Christian doctor who would care enough to talk to her as both a doctor and a daddy himself. However, we hadn’t gotten to the part of the talk about WHY the changes would be happening.
Anyway, this morning I came across a book we’ve had for a while called “Stay in the Castle” and decided to use it in place of Bible time for school. It led to good discussion on how their dad and I pray that they would trust us to help guide them through their single years to find not just a good guy, or even a great guy, but the right guy for them. (if any, as my middle daughter is still declaring her vow to singleness so as to be just like Amy Carmichael).
Truthfully I’m full of thoughts and apprehensions of how these two very different personalities could go astray. I’m a perfectionist, so at the first sign of bad attitude – I have a tendency to picture my sweet, beautiful, innocent daughter in a gutter somewhere having thrown her life away. I try not to let this show through, but the tendency itself frightens me because I don’t want them to sense any fears that might creep into my unguarded mind. I want them to see me as confident that God will take them and do something wonderful and beautiful with them. I know this is true, if they will stay under Gods guidance and ours. However, I also want to be prepared to handle any missteps in a godly way. I want them to feel confident in coming to me with confessions or questions. I want them to be confident that I’m not going to totally flip out on them (even if I’m flipping out in my head). So I’m striving now to build the bridges and to keep my responses appropriate to the “little” things. Who knew that raising kids would mean so much work on ME!? I rest in the assurance that as long as I follow God and strive to honor and please him in my parenting; he will help take up the slack of my blind spots and reveal them to me as needed. It’s a humbling position in which to be.
I’m positive that those reading this, who are part of our church, have already seen holes in my parenting and/or flaws in each of my children. You’ll never hear me claim to be doing it flawlessly. However, my aim is to do it humbly and godly with sprinkles of praise and blessing along the way. (I love sprinkles!)
So, there’s my challenging question for the day; any thoughts or advice on the matter?