Are you fearful of what might happen as your precious daughter gets older and start showing interest in boys? If so, you are not alone!
I remember my own fear, wondering how my family would maneuver those years. But, now that my daughter is married and my son is engaged, I am so grateful to God! Not only did we find the process to be more enjoyable than we ever imagined it would be, but we can also proclaim that He has been so faithful to guide us and our children.
Over the years, much of what I did as a mom was motivated by fear. Yet God has been so faithful to remind me that even my best efforts as a mom cannot do a work in the heart of my children. That work belongs to the Holy Spirit – and to Him alone – as He draws them to Himself, opens their eyes, and transforms them. He infuses within them the desire to do what is right and gives them the strength to obey. And even if they stumble, His grace is strong enough to carry both them and us through the process. Remembering this truth removes the burden from my shoulders and throws it onto the shoulders of a faithful God.
With this in mind, I’d like to share four things that we prayerfully attempted to implement as we walked our children through this complex season of navigating relationships with the opposite sex.
4 Things to Do When She Starts Noticing Boys
Facilitate conversations. Our goal was to facilitate conversations with them about what they were thinking and feeling. Attempting to make the subject an ongoing dialogue, drawing them out, and even acknowledging their thoughts and attractions as valid, allowed them to talk to us without feeling embarrassment or shame for their feelings. No, we didn’t do this perfectly, and they didn’t always tell us everything they were thinking. But they knew the door was open and that we would try to direct them objectively.
Don’t make another list of rules. Something I observed over the years, and was even tempted to implement in our home early on, was the approach of turning relationships with the opposite sex into a list of rules to follow. More often than not, this approach will have the opposite result of what the well-meaning parents desires. If we enforce this “black and white” approach, we risk causing our children to feel guilty for having natural, God-given attractions.
Don’t talk negatively about young people who are making poor choices in this area. God continues to remind me that we need to be so careful when we observe young people who may be struggling or making poor choices in this area. We cannot judge them and or parents. Not only does this sinful response show a lack of love, but it is another stance that communicates to our children that noticing the opposite sex is a negative thing. If you see teens who are going down a sinful path, make it a teaching opportunity by praying for them. Remind yourself and your kids that we are all are sinful and could all choose the wrong path.
Pray, pray, and pray some more (if you need help knowing how, Pray the Word Journal can help).
There are many excellent resources that we can utilize, but ultimately we need to be on our knees and praying. This season can be confusing because each child is unique and the scriptures don’t give specific instructions for dating. It can be hard to know how to walk this season out. We need divine guidance.
SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT
We need to listen carefully to our children and tune into their thought processes, remembering that each child is different and will mature at different rates. Create an atmosphere of grace so that they know they are loved no matter what choices they make. Cling to God and ask for wisdom. God is so gracious to guide us as we seek Him. He loves our children and knows them better than we ever will. Let’s make it a priority to tune into our children, and to listen to God’s voice more than the many voices and opinions of this day and age.
SOMETHING TO PRAY
Father, help me to be a student of my daughter. Give us opportunities to know each other well so that I can parent her according to Your ways. You know her heart. Help me to know it, too. In Jesus’ Name, amen.
Psalm 37:23 “The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord …”
John 10:27 “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.”
Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.”
Psalm 25:4 “Show me Your ways, O Lord; teach me Your paths. Lead me in Your truth and teach me, for You are the God of my salvation …”