It’s summer time! And with that comes the season of weddings, and summer crushes, and summer love, and all that gushy mushy stuff. I decided to take a break from my Musings From Abroad series (that will return in the fall) and talk about something a little more relevant for the summer. This one is sure to get a lot of wheels spinning and probably a lot of tongues wagging, but I think it will certainly give you cause to pause and reflect! Let’s jump right in!
PARENTS need to do a better job of teaching their children how to respect and honor each other as friends and in relationships with their peers of the opposite gender. I find that my generation, and perhaps every generation, has done a deplorable job with that. The stereotype of a bitter/angry black woman and the accepted player/rolling stone are proof that something has gone wrong in the dating/courting/whatever you want to call it arena.
We as parents need to teach our daughters how to guard their heart. We as parents need to teach our sons to respect girls. Boys and girls need to be shown the importance of honoring each other by being intentional and honest with their words, actions, and inactions rather than stringing people along. Any guy deriving pleasure from stringing girls along shows how immature and unreformed his mind is. Any lady falling for any dude that crosses her path shows her immature and insensitive character and her inability to know her worth, set up boundaries, and standards.
Some guys want to have their cake and eat it too. In fact, some guys want to have someone else’s cake and eat theirs too! The games people play and the lies people tell and live only cause damage. The truth of the matter is that some people are only as strong as glass. Some people cannot/will not/are unable to move on from the bleeding heart they’ve been left with to nurse back to life, while the would be love interest happily moves on, sometimes leaving a trail of hearts in their wake, and never looking back to pick up the pieces. (Phew! That was a mouthful!) No wonder some people become bitter, jaded, hateful, or even vindictive. Do we really want to live with the thought that the actions of our children are what caused the heartache and sorrow of someone else? I know I surely do not.
What’s sadder is that this epidemic is even found in the church. You would think that people claiming to be holy and righteous would get their act together. Nope! It’s Act Like a Woman, But Think Like a Man, but without all the sex… I hope. It’s quite pathetic.
Christians have the example of Jesus who was intentional with His every action and His every word. I’m not sure if people do this anymore, but it’s kind of like when a guy sends his cousin or friend to a lady his cousin knows but he doesn’t know. The cousin (if he’s loyal) tells the girl about his cousin that likes her and tries to get them together. The cousin tells her how great this guy is. The cousin prepares the girl to meet the guy. Jesus did this but knew precisely what He wanted. He pursued the church, his bride, not His bride and His side chic, not His option #1 and backup plan. He pursued His one and only to the point of lambasting his friends for her, getting bruised for her, dying for her, fighting for her, and now presently purifying her, bringing her closer to God, showing her how to be holy and righteous, and protecting her. He doesn’t get bored with her nor does He get rid of her when she suddenly acts out of character. He doesn’t arouse passions that He does not intend to match. He doesn’t get squeamish nor does he deny ever being interested in her when she tries to form a stronger bond by getting to know Him more. He doesn’t expect her to stay in her place as a friend and desire nothing more from Him. He gives her a promise, He intends to keep it, and He delivers.
It is important that parents instill values of honor, care, and wisdom in their children from an early age. How children are treated impacts how they will behave in adulthood and what they will believe about adulthood. Children observe and pick up on the silent language of their parents and take in those behaviors and manifest them when they grow up. What they see their parents do, and what is permitted in the home, is what they will imitate and expect from the world outside their home. So how do we foster an intentional generation? It begins with the way a father treats the mother of his children and with how a mother allows the father of her children to treat her. After all, people treat us the way we allow them to treat us. – LRB.
It begins with how fathers speak to and treat their daughters. “Fathers be good to your daughters.” It begins with mothers not allowing their sons to treat them or other women disrespectfully. It begins with parents being open with their children and creating a safe space for their children to comfortably and gladly discuss relationships/crushes/love interests with them. We should not assume that because they are children their feelings and emotions do not matter or are nonexistent. They’re not too young to know what love is. The desire to love and be loved is the most common shared human trait. More so, we should also be frank with our children by helping them understand that there is such a thing as unrequited love. We should help them understand the importance of moving on from such an experience and the strength and grace it takes to choose to love and move on joyfully from that experience.
It begins with the way brothers talk to their sisters. It begins with the way brothers treat their sisters. It begins with the way brothers protect their sisters. It begins with the way brothers converse with their sisters about their love interest. It begins with how sisters respond to those conversations by correcting, coaching, and admonishing their brothers to act honorably. It begins with the way brothers advise their sisters about boys. It starts with siblings thinking about whether how they are treating someone would still be fair and acceptable if someone else was treating their sibling in that same manner. If not, then that behavior is unacceptable.
Essentially, it starts in the home, and not with the TV. Our daughters should be taught to believe that they are priceless and our sons should be taught that acknowledging, appreciating, and protecting a woman’s worth will make them men of standard and men of honor.
Your love is devoted like a ring of solid gold, like a vow that is tested, like a covenant of old. Your love is enduring through the winter rain and beyond the horizon with mercy for today. Faithful You have been and faithful You will be. You pledge Yourself to me. #EverBe #Bethel