My oldest is only 14... so it's a little early for this flavour of a post...
but some thoughts are starting to take shape in my mind regarding the tender shoots of womanhood that are starting to sprout in our house... so here it is:
i abhor the idea of my girls dating before they're finished high school. Call me naive, call me over protective, tell me knowingly, "you'll see..." & maybe i will - but i can't change the way i feel.
This doesn't have everything to do with my history (though, i'm sure my personal experiences must come into play a little...) it has everything to do with trying to remove from my house & our family the societal pressure to cave to whatever the masses have deemed normal.
So, you can imagine that despite the fact that we haven't come to any hard & fast conclusions as far as dating goes for our small fry, alarm bells went off for me when my oldest informed me as she slipped on her jacket to head out the door, "Aaron (the youth pastor) is giving us the 'dating talk' tonight, mom."
i stopped what i was doing.
i felt a fierce, animal protection for my little girls & i almost didn't want to let them go to youth. Honestly - if they hadn't been so looking forward to being a part of the music for the night, i probably would have suggested keeping them home. That line from Song of Solomon about not arousing or awakening love until it so desires came to mind - & i felt like my girls were still too young and fresh for this particular topic.
i wasn't at their ages.
And this is no disrespect to my mom & dad - or to whatever youth program was happening at the church we went to when i was a girl... but i wished, often, as a young woman that i had been more sheltered, protected, defended - as a child... because at 12 & 14? They're still children... Believe me - i'm not saying this to cast any blame for my bad choices on anyone else, but this feeling of regret has resulted in a fierceness in my desire to protect the children i have... and maybe it's part of what made homeschooling so appealing to me. i didn't want others to offer their opinions or to shape my little one's views of what's acceptable, normal and right. The voices out there in the world? Those voices are loud... they're loud & brash & ignorant of the value of each little person. There are so many of these voices vying for their attention & i'll say it: i wanna shelter them a bit... give them a fighting chance to hear that Still Small Voice above the din, because who better? Who loves them more - who knows the weaknesses and the strengths that each one has?
i told Cai that they could go, listen to the dating talk, but then when she came home, we'd talk some more about what she'd heard.
When we did get the chance to talk about it, i was surprised that i agreed with far more of what she had heard than i disagreed with... i realized too - as she talked a whole lot more than i did in our little debriefing session, that she's a more secure, determined and confident girl than i was at her age & that even though my protectiveness is a God given instinct... my fears aren't.
So speak, Still Small Voice... guide my girls - and my little boys too - in your paths everlasting... & give them ears to hear & tender little hearts that obey.