I want my children to be in love– deeply in love. I want their hearts and minds so consumed by its power that nothing else matters. I want them to feel beautiful, wanted, and unique. I want them to hunger for its nourishment. I want my children to be badly broken by love. I want them to be submerged in its embrace before they start dating or courting. I want their first love to be their most important love, and I want them to share this love with others, and let it radiate through them with every word, action, and thought.
This week, we have taken a look at Christian dating, and steps to take to make the process as pure and holy as it should be. The weeks before that, we looked at courting, and the advantages that it gives. Today, I want to go further back, and look at what needs to take place before the date/courtship begins… before the necessary maturity level has been reached… before the desirable mate has come along… before the parents’ approval. I want to look at what I want for my own young children now. Let’s face it ladies, if our children’s hearts are not consumed by the Lord, then it really does not matter how many restrictions, boundaries, and expectations we as parents place on them. They will give into fleshly desires and go behind our backs (oh yes, if they want something bad enough, they will rebel) and they will make huge mistakes in the “love” department. It will not matter if we talk to them freely and openly about sex, hormones, God, and how they are to choose a mate if they are not rooted in their first love. I am afraid we get so caught up in keeping our children pure by steps and precautions that we forget to help them develop their faith in the One who makes them pure. We forget the foundation of why they are to behave properly in the dating/courting scene. Without their own faith in God, I am afraid these well-meant guidelines will just leave parents grasping at the wind.
So how do we secure the hearts of our young? We give them room to develop their own faith and relationship in God by revealing His truths to them daily. We go further than reciting memory verses and learning Bible facts. We reach further than being able to name all the books of the Bible and teaching them all of the stories contained within it. We need to engrave conviction in them. We need to bring God to life in their eyes, and show them that the Bible isn’t just moral guidelines; it is alive. I truly feel that if we do this, our children will have a deep love and admiration for their Creator and the guidelines that we as parents make for them will have more meaning because of their own faith.
I am still undecided about the route my husband and I will take when it comes to courtship or dating. We feel as if the logistics do not need to be worked out until we get there because we have more pressing matters to attend to.
I want my children to have a deep love for the Father and for their Savior. I want them to find truths in His Word. I want them to be pure because of their love for God, and not because I am hounding them about it. Below, I have compiled a list of scripture that I hope to truly convict my children of as they grow. I feel that if they believe in these passages it will give birth to action in following the rest. If you are reading this as a single woman, or teen, I hope that you will take a deep look at your faith and in His Word and ask yourself if you are truly founded in faith. Is your self-worth rooted in your Creator? If not, I urge you to fill your heart with Christ before you step out into the dating or courting scene. An empty heart gives room to vulnerability and desire to feel appreciated. Fill your cup with Christ until it runs over and in doing this, the love for Him will far outweigh any physical desires.
- “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1)— This passage should be examined and studied to understand how amazing God truly is and the infinite power He has. We can show our Creator to them in everything.
- “All scripture is breathed out by God…” (2 Timothy 3:16)— What are you doing to prove this fact to your children? Are you teaching apologetics to them? Are you instilling the authority of the Word into them? Without a good conviction of this verse, The Word becomes just words.
- “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself” (Luke 10:27)— This love will begin as a tiny seed in our children’s hearts and as they continue to seek His truths their love for Him and for everyone He created will flourish.
- Psalm 139— This Psalm teaches that God is omnipotent and personal, that God personally knitted each of us together and He is always near, and always watching. This passage gives us self-worth and makes us feel beautiful. If our children feel beautiful, especially our girls, they will not give themselves up physically to feel wanted and desirable.
- “She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21)— We must bear witness to this fact to our children as we prepare their hearts to take Him in.
- “But he was wounded by our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes, we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned-every one- to his own way; and the LORD has laid upon him the iniquity of us all” (Isaiah 53:5-6)— I want my children to be utterly broken by this very fact. I want honest remorse and pain to fill their beings so that they may be rebuilt and renewed by Christ when they give themselves to Him in baptism.
By Ashley Hudson
Ashley Hudson serves as Come Fill Your Cup’s Marketing & Publicity Manager. She and her family worship at the Madill church of Christ in Madill, OK where her husband, Jake, is the pulpit minister. She is a stay-at-home-mom with three children who enjoys photography as well as speaking and writing. Be sure to check out her blog at www.hudsonfive.wordpress.com