Monday, June 12, 2006

Raising our young ladies and gentlemen

Michelle at This One's for the Girls has an interesting post this morning about teaching your girls to be ladies and your boys to be gentlemen. It's more than just a good way to control your little children. It's God's design. And it works.

I had an awesome growing up, with parents who modeled God's design for marriage. Watching them (though at the time I rolled my eyes when they were kissing in the corner) made me want what they had, even though I didn't have a clue that God even had a design.

As a kid, my parents talked openly about the kind of women God made my sister and me to be, and the kind of men God had in mind for us some day. It was understood, not preached, that we would wait for marriage. We had very few rules (I never even had a curfew) but we didn't need them, really. Somehow, through this mixture of love, trust, communication and the reality of living out God's Word, the desire to remain pure until marriage was instilled in me.

So now the tables are turned, and my husband and I are the parents. We are trying to do the same thing with our own children. Is it as easy as it looks? NO! It does not just happen by osmosis. Let me tell you, in today's culture, it is like swimming upstream against a churning, flood-swollen river. But we are determined to keep at it, loving, building trust, talking, and staying involved in their lives no matter what.

Maybe you didn't have the kind of example I did growing up, but you want your children's lives to be different. I firmly believe this is part of the meaning and purpose God gives to us as mothers. We are not just bottom-wipers and chauffeurs (although some may try to convince us that we can be replaced easily for those services by a paid worker).

We are here to guide and direct our little ones so that when the day comes, they will be prepared to stand strong against the culture that so wants them to fail.

So what do you want for your children? Do you have some convictions that guide your parenting, or are you going with the flow and hoping for the best? But my kids are little, you say. Great! This is the time to be thinking ahead, not just about what you're doing, but why you're doing it.

Some great resources to help you determine your convictions are found at Family Life (a Campus Crusade ministry) and at Focus on the Family.

I invite you to parent, by God's grace, along with me. Let's raise our sons and daughters to shape their generation, not be shaped by it.


Laura said...

Thank you for such an encouraging post! My only daughter is 18 months old and I've been thinking on this lately as her "personality" continues to come out more and more. And I had one of those painful, poor example childhoods so I feel even more so at a disadvantage somedays. I don't know how to do practical things to teach my daughter much less parenting with grace and spiritual wisdom. I love the Family Life site and I've been reading "future" books about when Lou is 3, 4 and older. Somehow the teenage years don't scare me. It's all the years leading up to that age which do, because you're right, it doesn't happen by osmosis. But just exactly how it happens is my question.

So very thankful for all the Blogging Titus 2 women such as you that are helping along the way!

Michelle- This One's for the Girls said...

Hi Katherine! Thanks for the very nice plug. It's so nice to "meet" others who are on the same page. From the looks of your family photo, looks like our families could be fast friends. :)

TLB said...

My daughter is 13 YEARS old. I must be doing something wrong. She's beginning to question everything. Of course, I felt that way when she was 3 and it turned out to just be a stage.

Okay, so I'm neurotic.

Katherine@Raising Five said...

You are not neurotic! And we certainly make no claims to being out of the woods raising our kids. We've got one that was BORN questioning! We just pray every day that we will somehow by God's grace figure out how to do that delicate dance between rules (not compromising a high standard of moral conduct)and relationship. I think if anything, we tend to err on the side of relationship. But it is a daily battle. I'm with ya!

Joy @ SAH Missionary said...

I LOVE the new design!! Susie really is amazing, isn't she?? Well, I have to say I agree with you whole heartedly about needing to be proactive in raising our children to be ladies and gentlemen. It's a full time job, but so worth it in the end!!

Code Yellow Mom said...

One of the most integral teachings of my childhood is summed up in Romans 8:16. The knowledge of being a child of God changed my whole response to peer pressure and any other questioning that I did as a child, teenager and even now as a parent. If there is one thing I hope to pass to my kids, it would be that same understanding. There is divinity in each one of us, and if my kids can catch a glimpse of what they are as His children, then all of the moral decisions are already made. (But that definitely doesn't come by osmosis either!) As a parent, knowing that I am His and that my boys are His, makes parenting a joint venture in which I know that He will tell me exactly what to do with and for each one of them.

owlhaven said...

Great post! And thanks for commenting on my post at larger families!

Mary, mom to many