In the years following my divorce and remarriage, I’ve developed a soft spot in my heart for the family unit and a strongly-held conviction that the family needs to be restored to what God intended it to be. So, while I'm on a roll with my deep thinkin', here's what I've been pondering today regarding family.
I have three teenagers. Each of them has, at one time or another, had a girl friend or boy friend (someone with whom they are “going out,” even though none of them can officially date yet). With our kids pairing off at such young ages, I find myself deeply concerned, and up until now, I’ve not really known what to do about it.
On the one hand, I feel like these “puppy love” relationships are harmless. They are never left alone and unsupervised. On the other, I fear that this kind of relationship sets them up for hardened hearts later on (from break-ups and heartaches experienced before marriage) and a likelihood that they’ll one day look at marriage from the perspective “this probably won’t last either.” Not to mention the fact that teenage relationships like this might very well complicate hormonal issues that are hard enough to deal with when the opposite sex isn’t yet a factor.
A little radical, you think? Maybe. But when you consider the ever prevalent moral decline of our society...maybe not.
Will a relationship that begins at 13, 14, or 15 really last a lifetime in our day and age?
We’ve allowed something that God intended to be beautiful and loving to become perverted to the point that the ideology of a “first and only” love relationship is practically foreign to this generation. With American culture being what it is, our kids don’t really have a chance to experience “true love” the way our parents and grandparents did. They may catch a glimmer of it, but with the sex-saturated nature of our culture, by the time a kid is marrying age, they already know everything there is to know about the opposite sex. They've had plenty of practice with plenty of partners. We need to change that. We need to start teaching our kids, in no uncertain terms and on a daily basis, that love, sex, and marriage are God-given, beautiful blessings to be enjoyed and treasured, and that what the world teaches them about it is fundamentally wrong.
Without some radical changes taking place at home, traditional marriage will surely become obsolete. To a great degree, it already has. I believe the turn-around starts with us, as parents, setting standards for our children that are higher than those of the world. We have to get radical in our child-rearing. We have to stop worrying about whether our kids like us or not and start doing what is necessary to change their future. We have to stop compromising.
We need to take our families back!