When your first child is about two or three years old, it seems like most of your day is spent in correction. In our house, it was the “terrible three’s”. I remember calling my dad during a particularly “no” filled day and asking if I would still have to punish her this often when she was older. He promised me if I were diligent at three, then the rest of her childhood would seem easy in comparison. He was right. After those crazy few months, our daughter has been delightful and punishments have had to be given only rarely.
At some point after the year fondly known as “establishing who the parents are”, we tend to go into more of a maintenance, correction mode. Most parenting books will tell you this is a result of establishing firm but loving boundaries when your children are young (for the most part!). Because rebellion becomes less common in our homes, we sometimes forget to train our children how to avoid sin and deal with ongoing temptations.
One of my favorite musicals is My Fair Lady. I particularly love the character Henry Higgins. Here was an extremely well-educated, wealthy man who didn’t have a clue about women. He looked upon Eliza with derision for the better part of the movie, only to realize he couldn’t live without her.The truth is, we women don’t understand men much better than they understand us. Oh, like Professor Higgins, we think we do. Yet, if our husbands were painfully honest, we would realize we don’t understand them as much as we believe. Those misunderstandings can lead to spats, fights and even divorce if we aren’t careful.
I was curious when offered a chance to review For Women Only (revised and updated version) by Shaunti Feldhahn. Upon first glance, my inner Henry Higgins surfaced. What woman didn’t know about the eight subjects she was covering in her book? As I continued to read though, I realized most women don’t understand as much as we think we do about how the male mind works.
Growing up, I had a younger brother and lots of guy neighbors and friends. I wasn’t exactly a tomboy, but I could kick a football barefooted and knew enough about sports to impress my buddies. I was very comfortable hanging out with guys and imagined if I ever had a son, raising him would be somewhat intuitive.
Having a daughter has kept me immersed in the world of tea parties, dress buying and girl things for the last sixteen years. I have hesitated to comment much on raising boys in case things have changed since my childhood. Until recently, my search for solid books on raising boys has not been very successful.
Let’s face it. To dedicate your children to God means you have to be radically different from the people in your community. Sadly, you may very well have to be willing to be radically different from the people in your Church. The very idea of standing out from the crowd and perhaps even challenging the crowd, makes most Christians settle for living a life that is ordinary.
Somewhere along the line, we have lost the willingness to be different and put everything on the line for God. We are afraid of being teased, unpopular or having people gossip about our unusual behavior and choices. Frankly, I am not even sure we would know what putting everything on the line for God would look like in our comfortable American lives.
I’ll admit, I was a bit boy crazy as a teenager. Thankfully, no acting out was involved, but I feel like I wasted a lot of time and energy worrying about when and whom I would marry. Eventually, I totally turned it over to God and of course met my wonderful, Christian husband shortly thereafter. Since then, I have been exposed to scores of teen girls – some boy crazy, some not as much – but all with lots of questions and confusion when it comes to the subject of “boys”.
I was thrilled when I was offered a chance to review Dannah Gresh’s new book, Get Lost. When my daughter was much younger, we loved Ms. Gresh’s Secret Keeper series. If you have young daughters, it is a “must” in my book for introducing your daughter to the idea of modesty in fun ways. I was curious to see if Ms. Gresh handled the ideas of purity, dating and marriage for teen girls with the same flair. She didn’t disappoint.