I have been given the opportunity, along with a fellow youth worker, to field questions from the boys in our youth group regarding relationships. This will round out a series the youth pastor has been doing on dating, marriage, sex, etc. In thinking about Sunday, I cannot be sure of the questions we will be asked or how we will get the ball rolling on the discussion, so I keep coming back to these questions:
What do I want my daughter to know? How do I want her to behave? How do I want her to treat herself?
What do I want the boys and men in her life to know? How do I want them to behave? How do I want them to treat her?
What did I want?
What do I wish I'd known?
What have I learned from my relationships and experiences?
Is there anything I wish I'd done differently?
There is so much! What follows is but a fraction... I'm writing a book on the subject...or I was. Targeted to girls, of course. In fact, this is the first time I've thought about it in terms of guys because of what I could get asked on Sunday. All we can really do to prepare is pray. God is the one in charge, after all :) I just have a strong desire for these men and women to recognize that God is the author and perfecter of everything good in their lives and they do not need to chase after the world to get what they think they want when God has all they would ever need.
Girls, you are precious in God's sight and His opinion is the only one that truly matters. You can have a healthy, growing relationship with someone that doesn't involve physical contact. Whether you know it or not, you are a temptation to boys in your life. Respect them, respect yourself. You have such power you wield with your words, your looks, your body. Be aware. The words "I love you" are precious and hold more weight when used with care. Your body is the temple of God and He dwells within You. Guard your heart. Don't feel the need to tell everyone everything. The more you grow in your love and knowledge of the Lord and who He has designed you to be, the more you will be ready for life, no matter what that holds for you. Contentment cannot be bought or found in a relationship, it is a choice that is made by placing all of our hopes on the One who can make them reality. No man will fulfill your every wish and dream. They are imperfect. Only God gives you exactly what you need because only He knows exactly what you need.
Boys, you are powerful and hold such potential for harm and for good. You are a son of God and He loves you and His opinion is the only one that matters. Your actions can promise something you never intended. Be aware of how you treat the girls in your life. Those girls will grow up to be wives someday, and they will not all be yours. How do you want your wife to be treated? Girls are emotional beings. The more you ask of them and the more you tell them, the more they feel a part of your life and heart. Physical contact is not necessary, in fact, it is dangerous. Respect yourself. Respect the girls in your life, even if you have to do it by requesting they stop doing something that makes you uncomfortable. God is the source of all you will ever need. He has such plans for you that you cannot even imagine. Give Him the time and energy towards preparing you for His purposes. Guard your eyes. Fill your mind with what is true, pure, right, good.