Confession: I find it incredibly difficult to write this post. The guy/girl teenage thing is coming to our house. We see it on the horizon. We have been prepping for this season and now it is about to happen.
My goal with the next few posts is to share ideology and hopes and dreams we have for this season of our life. We haven’t tested these methods. We can’t even claim we have had success. There isn’t anything to back up our ideas, but we will share them and you can do what you wish with them. Maybe, someday, people will look back on these posts and laugh at our wide eyed optimism. Or maybe, just maybe, we will have done something worth repeating. Enough with my procrastinating, let’s do this thing.
John and I grew up with the six inch rule, leave room for the holy ghost, true love waits, and purity drives. The idea behind those things was “Abstinence until marriage” unfortunately what seemed to get translated was “sex will get you sent to hell”. Truth be told, I don’t think that is what our parents or church leaders were trying to tell us. I really don’t. However, I do think it is easy for kids to get messages we don’t send, especially when it is an incredibly difficult and sensitive topic. John and I spent too much time not talking to our parents about some of the hardest topics we will face. We don’t want this to happen with our kids. So we’ve come up with some goals for this season of life.
PLAN AHEAD FOR THE HARD CONVERSATIONS, FLY BY CONVERSATIONS ARE DANGEROUS.
One thing we have learned in our parenting is that hard topics are easier to talk about when you’ve put some thought to them. “Mommy what happens to me when you die?” “Mommy, are the dogs playing leap frog?” “Mommy, why doesn’t Susie have a daddy?” These conversations need thought, because kids will put things together in random wrong ways if you give them answers that don’t make sense. We have found that talking through these issues give us some clarity and perspective. It gives us time to talk through our thoughts on the matter, discuss our differences, and hopefully come to an agreement on how we BOTH want to face the issue. As we talk topics through, we ask the following questions:
How will we reflect God’s love for our child in this situation?
How will we point the kids back to God?
What truth about God can we teach the kids with this situation?
When we don’t ask those kinds of questions ahead of time, chaos just seems to happen. We go to default responses we saw modeled as children. We say and do things we don’t mean. We hurt our kids with our responses because we didn’t think them through.
I typically respond out of fear. Fear of what my kids will do, fear of how I will wreck their lives, fear of what others will think or say, fear of the damage that will be done….FEAR that God will not be faithful to me or my kids. Never a good response. Someone once told me that the only way I could remove the power fear had over me was to turn the lights on, stare fear in the face, and examine it. What I learned was fear becomes smaller in the light of God’s truth. It is still there, but I face it more readily knowing that God will be faithful to me.
We then pray. We pray like crazy! Pray for the words to say. Pray that we would give only the information God would have us give (sometimes in our effort to inform we go way too far and create more questions for our kids). Pray that we would trust Him to be the hero in our kids story.