Thursday, June 16, 2011

I want my teenage self (and my daughters) to know...

“Spin the Bottle” was not a game we planned on having a conversation with our 9-year-old daughter about. When my husband came upon a reference to the game while reading with her, however, we thought it important to seize the opportunity. I inquired of my daughter as to any knowledge of the game. Satisfied that she was clueless, we proceeded with questioning.

“Should you kiss a boy just because of a game?”


“Why not?”

“I don’t know.”

“Why do we kiss someone?”

“I don’t know.”

“Who do you kiss?”


“Who else do you kiss?”

“I don’t know.”

“Who do I kiss?”


“You give a kiss to show someone you love them. What would you say if a boy asked you if he could kiss you?”

“Not right now.”

“That’s actually a really good answer.”

Raising three daughters, I constantly want to instill in them the bigger picture. I want their actions to be rooted in pleasing God. It is important to me that my girls are able to think through situations before they encounter them and make appropriate decisions on their own. Too many times, growing up, I would be faced with situations and have to make a decision on the spot. While I realize this cannot be entirely avoided, I desire for them to have done some premeditating so they can confidently make God-pleasing decisions.

Today is the Hearts at Home blog hop. Feel free to join us! This Third Thursday Thought is “If you could go back in time and tell your teenage self one thing, what would you say?”

If I were to have a conversation with my teenage self, I would stress the importance of purity being more than some line we shouldn’t cross. Purity is more than protecting your body. We also need to guard our hearts and minds. The concept of purity is something we all need to know at an early age and carry throughout our lives. It doesn’t stop when we get married. Purity involves the mind, heart and body.

At an early age, there is a lot of pressure to hook up with a boyfriend/girlfriend. Holding hands and kissing and declaring one’s “love” makes you feel as though you belong. It is difficult to feel accepted when everyone else claims a boyfriend or girlfriend and you stand alone. No one wants to be considered an outcast.

I distinctly remember my friends in fourth and fifth grade who were considered a “couple”. Back then it seemed to be an innocent declaration to be “going out”. These days, the stakes seem to be much higher. It is important to me that my children desire to guard their hearts. I want my girls to confidently and boldly make decisions even if it means they will feel alone.

Thankfully, I had parents who protected my innocence and set boundaries for me. Unfortunately, I still had no idea what to do when the situation was staring me in the face and really no clue that purity was more than just preserving my virginity. Purity involves protecting not only our bodies, but our minds and hearts as well.

As a teenager, I was quick to give my heart away. It left me with a broken heart that took years into my marriage to heal. I didn’t guard my heart or my mind when it came to love. As a 16-year-old, my unguarded thoughts ran off into the future. Declarations were made without a commitment in place and sadly, I was left regretting the parts of me I did give away. I did not guard my heart and I paid the price.

Guarding my heart is a lesson I learned the hard way but still need to apply to my life today. Even as a married woman, we can find our thoughts and daydreams running away. It takes work to keep our hearts and minds pure. Too many marriages are shattered by affairs. I have learned that it starts in our thoughts and affections. We need to protect our marriages. We need to train our hearts and minds not to stray.

I may not have learned the bigger definition of purity until many years into my marriage, but my hope is that my girls will learn it at an early age and be saved from a world of hurt and pain. This year, I have a fourth grader. It is a year I distinctly remember friends “going out”. While I want to avoid destroying my daughter’s innocence with a conversation about the inevitable, I also know the importance of having it now. If I don’t teach my daughter about purity, love and sex, she will learn her lessons somewhere less than ideal. I may not be able to have a conversation with my teenage self, but God is giving me an opportunity to have the conversation with my daughters. I want my children to thrive in life and love.

“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” – Proverbs 4:23

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  1. You were blessed to receive that insight, and your daughters are blessed to have you. Well said.

  2. Oh, I agree with you whole heartedly. I'm also a mom of three girls and pray constantly that they will choose God's amazing road of purity and joy. You have a beautiful family!


  3. I couldn't agree more...purity is SOO "not normal" these days; makes me so sad to know what some of the elementary school kids walking in front of my house before/after school have seen and heard already.

    I hope to instill this importance of purity on my daughters (and son!) at an early age as well.

  4. What an important topic and an important post in this day and age. I think it is awesome that you are instilling this in your children early on, and that is something that I would also like to do with my children as well.

    Well done and well-written, Tristi!