She is now thirteen, and she is totally beautiful... inside and out.
I watch her life unfold, and her life challenges me to be a better Christian and a better mom. Modesty, grace, compassion, gentleness, and discretion shine in her. She reminds me of Christ. She is my daughter.
Our relationship is close, open, and honest. I love being her mom. That role takes priority in our relationship at this time, but I also love that our relationship has bloomed into a beautiful friendship. I love being around her. I love that she values my counsel immensely and trusts me. That is part of the reason that our recent, special trip was such a treasure.
It was time for a special mother/daughter talk. (You know, the talk that is really uncomfortable, but a mom has to do it.) She is maturing, changing, and growing. It's my privilege to guide her through these changes. I want to do my job right. My heart aches with a longing to do it right!
So she and I scheduled an overnight trip. We wanted to go somewhere that would be fun and memorable. I certainly didn't want it to be all seriousness! I had chosen to save this special time for when we were in the States on furlough. We wanted to go to Pigeon Forge in Tennessee. Early Thursday morning, we set off on our adventure. I let her choose all the restaurants. For breakfast, she chose Krispy Kreme donuts. One of her donuts was a snowman!
The drive to Pigeon Forge was stunning. Some of the fall leaves were still hanging on to the trees. It was two hours of beautiful scenery. For the first hour, we just enjoyed each other's company. Then it was time for the first session of our talk. I had divided our talk into five small sections so it would be easier to digest and not so overwhelming.
Set Your Goals
Set Your Standards
Set Your Standards
Set Your Boundaries
Set Your Affections
Set Your Life
Set Your Goals
I waited until the transition into the new topic was natural and easy. When I told her it was time for the first part of our talk, she reached in her bag and grabbed a notebook and pen. She was ready and eager! (This is so much like her. To her, if it's worth her time for listening, it's worth the time for writing down to remember!)
I told her to grab the book I had tucked between the seats. It was a book of hers that she had read many times and loved called The Princess and the Kiss by Jennie Bishop.
It's a beautiful story of a princess and a special gift... her first kiss.
Many would-be suitors come to try to sweep her off her feet by offering her different things: romance, riches, etc. The story shows the value of letting wisdom guide instead of letting the heart take the lead. It encourages treasuring purity as well as listening to the counsel and wisdom of parents. It was a great launching point for our first session. I knew the book well, so as she read it out loud I was able to follow along while driving.
We talked about purity and how purity wasn't just "until marriage." It's life-long!
We talked about how it was also OK if God called her to a life of being single.
We talked about her not just WAITING for the right one, but learning to BE the right one, and trusting God to handle the rest. We talked about focusing on her relationship with the Lord instead of obsessing over a relationship with a boy. We talked about how girls are very easily led by emotion, how the heart is deceitful and wicked (Jeremiah 17:9), and how we have to learn to be led of the Spirit and through Biblical wisdom instead of our hearts. We talked about how the spiritual relationship is the strongest link in a marriage and how the emotional and physical relationships are the weakest. I explained the marriage triangle. The closer the husband and wife grow to the Lord, the closer they get to each other. So she needs to seek and pray for a spiritual relationship when she begins seeking the mate God has for her.
Then we talked about what she would look for in a husband. The book gives several different scenarios of dangerous, would-be suitors as well as a great example of a godly young man. From that example, she began thinking about the godly traits that she would be looking for in a potential mate. She wrote the list down in her notebook. It wasn't a list of perfectionist demands, but a wise list of godly character traits. Her list was more focused on the condition of the heart than simply behaviors. Bible verses were flying! Verses about being unequally yoked, slothfulness, etc. She had learned these verses throughout her life.
It was things like: he must be saved, respect authority, respect the God-given role of the parents in his life as well as hers, hardworking, faithful, love God and His Word, be teachable. She thought carefully about each thing she wrote down. Does he love God and is he pursuing a closer walk with Him? Is he hungry for God's Word? She set her goals.
Ultimate goal: To glorify God
Purity for Life
Make her relationship with the Lord priority at all times
What to look for in a potential mate
And session one was complete in 40 minutes.
It was time for less seriousness! We arrived in Pigeon Forge. Our hotel was very close to the Christmas Store, so we went shopping! We found crazy ornaments, including these donuts! We decided not to buy the donuts. Staring at those everyday certainly wouldn't help our diet!
After shopping at the Christmas Store area shops, we grabbed some lunch and then went to WonderWorks.
It was a perfect place for adventure and fun! We loved it! We spent hours there. And when we were finished, it was time for dinner. She picked the next restaurant.
After dinner we went back to the hotel. The hotel room was fantastic. My husband had made the reservations and made sure it was a room worthy of such a special trip. There was a king size bed and a very comfortable couch... the couch was perfect for talking!
Time for session 2: Setting Your Standards!
(To be continued)
Set Your Goals
I. The Princess and the Kiss
II. Setting goals
A. Glorify God
B. Purity for Life
C. Following God's lead
1. God's Word
2. Parental guidance and authority
3. Counsel from other godly leaders
D. Strong marriage foundation
1. Spiritual relationship vs. physical or emotional relationship
2. Led of the Spirit, not of the heart
E. What am I looking for in a husband?
1. Dangerous temptations (Looks, personality, money, romance, attention)
2. Godly character traits
3. Wisdom versus Pharisaical demands
F. Singleness is OK
III. Write down goals
*Let the conversation be very conversational as opposed to a deep study.
*Let the daughter come up with her own list. Guidance is ok, but if it is Mom's list the daughter will not value it in the long run.
*If you choose to do a special trip (which I highly recommend,) make it a special time and filled with fun. It should be a relationship building time just as much as a teaching time.