Friday, July 29, 2011

Faithful Friday - "Before You Meet Prince Charming"

My daughter, Joy, came up with the idea of putting Friday aside especially to share our Christian faith in some way to the blogging world. Not that we wouldn’t do it any other day of the week, but a special day, where others could contribute if they’d like, encouraging others in their Christian walk. If you would like to participate, please grab Joy’s button below and go to her blog, Doodlebug, and leave her a comment letting her know that you participated. We’d love to come by and visit and read your post! And if you don’t post, that’s fine too. We just thank you for reading and for comments as well.



Oh, and the subject of Joy’s post today is the same subject as mine. If you’d like to read more, from her point of view, she invites you over to read her Faithful Friday post too.

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It seems girls these days are so preoccupied with boys way too early. I’m talking about girls age nine to twelve, and some even as young as seven and eight. I hear them talking about, “my boyfriend”, and “oh I broke up with him”. It’s really a shame that our society pushes this way too soon to our daughters. More and more grown up styles, trends, and attitudes are aimed at the tweens or pre-teens. They are pressured to be “little teenagers”. I think this is so unhealthy and very harmful to young girls, which brings me to the point I want to make today.

What is the purpose of dating?

Dating is not a word or concept that’s always been around. In earlier days, people courted. It was more like this: A young man was acquainted with a young lady. They would see each other at social gatherings or when their two families got together – more of group gatherings or situations. If a young mad admired a young lady, he asked her dad if he could court her, or get to know her better, in which case they were rarely ever totally unsupervised. The purpose of this courting was to find a wife (or husband).

We’ve drifted so far from the purpose of “dating”. These days, the kids start “dating” way too young. They view dating as a form of entertainment. I doubt very few go into a dating relationship with the question of “Would he (or she) make a good husband (or wife)? So, by the time they get to the point that they’re ready to start looking for a future spouse, they’ve already given so many pieces of themselves away, whether it is physical, or even just emotional.

They go into marriage with emotional scars from giving so many pieces of their heart to this one and that one. How many have given away the best pieces of their heart…..the treasured part that should be a gift to their future husband (or wife).

I did date. I never really considered some of the things I’m suggesting today, but it would have saved me some heartache. I did have a mother that guided me and I was set on being pure for the person I married. Pure, in my definition, meant being pure physically, as far as protecting my virginity. When I did date I always had the intent and outlook of “Would this guy make a good husband and dad”. If he didn’t, that was my red flag and there was no other reason to be dating him. However, I wish that I had kept even more intimate parts of my heart and emotions for my future spouse. I was praying that God was raising up the pure young man that I would marry (as was my mother) and that He would bring us together and give me the wisdom to recognize him. And He did, when the Lord brought Jason into my life.

At the homeschool convention, back in March, Jason, Joy, and I had the privilege of hearing Sarah Mally, author of the book, Before You Meet Prince Charming (and co-author of more books). She reiterated what I knew and believed. I purchased her book and her curriculum, Bright Lights, recognizing it as a gem to be shared between Joy and me. This is a very important subject.



The book, Before You Meet Prince Charming, is written in a princess/castle story style presenting the issues in this fairy tale style. Then Sarah follows it up with scripture, examples, and testimonies on what was read. The entire book encourages and shows young ladies that boys aren’t where their focus should be. These precious years are better spent being “bright lights” for Jesus and finding opportunities to minister, serve, and bless others. This time of singleness can be used to prepare in practical ways for managing a home as well as developing natural talents, God-given desires, and ministry opportunities, instead of looking for a boyfriend (or girlfriend).

To sum it up, trust God with this important issue – don’t give pieces of your heart (or more) to anyone. What better gift than to save the best, a pure heart and body, for your future husband (or wife)?

After we finished reading Before You Meet Prince Charming, we started reading When God Writes Your Love Story, by Eric and Leslie Ludy. It is mostly written for a little older audience than the 9-12 year age. Although these days, maybe not. They’re going to hear other things from other people, so better from a parent that loves them. I am finding it fine for Joy. However, please use your own discernment as a parent before you begin reading it to your daughter or son, or turn it over to them.



This book is written by a husband and wife who both had been living and doing the “dating scene”, knowing enough Christian values to remain pure of body, although compromising going as far as would be okay without jeopardizing the “too far”. It’s a book about how they both (before they ever met each other) realized this wasn’t what God intended and they turned their love life over to Him and gave God the pen to write their love story….waiting on His plan to unfold concerning their future spouse.

Some of my favorite parts and highlights from When God Writes Your Love Story:

Have you ever thought of your heart as a treasure every bit as valuable as your physical purity? Have you ever felt the pain that comes from casually giving away your heart from pouring all of yourself into someone – only to have that precious treasure thrown on to the ground and trampled?

How much of your treasure will be left if you continue to give it away piece by piece in one relationship after another?

Our purity is a treasure.

One of the greatest ways we can love our future husbands (or wives) with unconditional, self-sacrificing love is by carefully protecting that precious gift we possess – our inward and outward purity.

Carefully guard your heart, emotions, physical purity – everything you are for the man (or woman) you will one day marry.

A young man should have to “win” your heart.


Here’s something that hit me like a brick. Why did I not see this before? The Bible tells us in Proverbs 31 what a godly woman and wife looks like. In Proverbs 31:12 NIV, it says, “She (the wife of godly character) does him (her husband) good and not evil all the days of her life.

Did you get that…….all the days of her life? Do you know any women that have been married all the days of their life? So what does that mean? That would mean that we are to do our (future) husband good all the days of our life. That means before we even meet him we are to be doing him good. Wow! We aren’t doing him good if we’re giving away pieces of ourselves that belong to him.

And for the guys: The secret to heavenly romance is to begin practicing purity for a woman, and cherishing her with your thoughts, actions and words, long before you meet her. Think about beginning to live as if she could see you now…..what you’re doing with who you’re with now.
Would she be pleased? Same with the girls…….would your future husband be pleased if he could see what you were doing and with whom? Would he rather have that piece of your heart?

Think about it like this. This was also taken word for word from When God Writes Your Love Story:

Just imagine that inside your heart there is a place where only one person can ever enter, other than God. It’s a combination between a mini-kingdom where you store up your finest treasures, and a dazzling meadow where your sweetest flowers bloom. In this mini kingdom, you store up the most extravagant love, and in this dazzling meadow, you nurture your most tender affections. The longer this sanctuary is faithfully guarded, cultivated, beautified, the more enchanting it will become!

Recently, a close friend of mine went to a wedding of a young man and woman who followed this path of “courting” and keeping themselves pure in every way for their future spouse. They were saving their first kiss for their wedding day. I wasn’t at that wedding, but my friend told me what a beautiful wedding it was. I can only imagine. It gives me goose bumps thinking of it. And at the reception, the young groom stood every time his young beautiful bride got up or came to sit down. He showed so much respect, admiration, and adoration that it was just a beautiful thing to behold. And their first dance was like there was no one else in the room for these two. They were so in love, the passion held back for each other until this day was so obvious. They were floating on clouds.

I highly recommend both of these books. I loved them both. Both are gems. Before You Meet Prince Charming is a wonderful mother/daughter book to share first. If your daughter is ready, I highly recommend following it with When God Writes Your Love Story. If not, save it until you think she is, but I recommend reading it together!

To all young girls out there (and guys too) and for moms to share with your daughters (or sons): Before you meet Prince Charming (or your princess), spend time cultivating a pure heart, your treasure of a gift for your future spouse. Give God the pen to write your love story. When God writes your love story, it’s a beautiful thing.


I’m going to leave with you a beautiful story, about a beautiful love, a God-written love story. (This excerpt was taken from When God Writes Your Love Story.)


Lt. John Blanchard was in New York City at Grand Central Station, and he looked up at the big clock. It said five till six. His heart was racing. At exactly six o’clock he was going to meet the girl whom he thought he was in love with, but had never met. This is what had happened….He had been in Florida for pilot training during World War II, and while he was there he happened to go to a library and check out a book. As he flipped through the pages, he noticed that someone had made notes in the margins. Reading the insightful observations in beautiful handwriting, he said to himself, “I would love to meet whoever wrote these note – they seem so kind, gentle, and wise.”

He looked in the front of the book and saw a name, Harlyss Maynell, New York City. He decided to try to find her. With the help of a New York City phone book, he found her address and wrote her a letter. The day after he wrote her, he was shipped back overseas to fight in the war.

Surprisingly, Harlyss answered John’s letter. They soon began to correspond back and forth throughout the war. “Her letters were just like the marvelous notes she had written in that book,” John recalled. “She was so comforting and so helping.”

One time John had confessed in a letter that he had been scared to death when they flew over Germany. Harlyss had encouraged him, “All brave men are afraid at times. Next time you are afraid, just say “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for Thou art with me.”

As they continued to write, John began to realize that he was having romantic feelings toward Harlyss. He wrote, “Send me a picture,” and she replied, “No, I won’t. Relationships are not built on what people look like.”

Still, he was intrigued by her and longed to meet her in person. Finally the day came when he was to return to the States on leave. He mentioned in one of his letters that he was coming home and would like to take her to dinner. She had arranged to meet him in New York City’s Grand Central Station at six P.M. under the big clock. “You’ll know who I am because I’ll be wearing a red rose,” she told him.

At last the day had come. John waited nervously to finally meet the girl he thought he loved. Here is how John described his first meeting with Harlyss Maynell:

“A young woman was coming toward me, her figure long and slim. She had blonde hair that lay back in curls from her delicate ears. Her eyes were as blue as flowers. Her lips and chin had a gentle firmness, and in a pale green suit she looked like spring-time come alive!”

Excitedly, I started toward her, entirely forgetting to notice that she was not wearing a red rose. As I moved her way, she noticed me. A small provocative smile curled her lips.

“Going my way, soldier?” she asked coyly. I took another step closer to her. It was then that I saw….Harlyss Maynell with the red rose in her coat, directly behind the girl in green. My heart sank. She was a woman well past forty. She was plump. She had graying hair tucked under a worn hat. Her thick ankles were thrust into low shoes. The girl in the green suit was walking quickly away. I had to make a choice. Should I follow after the beauty who had just spoken to me? Or stay and face poor Harlyss Maynell?

I made my decision and I did not hesitate. Turning toward the woman, I smiled. Even as I began to speak, I felt choked by bitter disappointment. “You must be Miss Maynell,” I said extending my hand. “I’m so glad you could meet me. Will you join me for dinner?”

The older woman’s face then broadened into a smile. “I don’t know what this is all about, son,” she replied, “but you know that young woman in the green suit who just went by? I met her on the train. She begged me to wear this rose in my coat. She said that if you should ask me to dinner, to tell you she’s waiting for you in that big restaurant across the street. She said it was some kind of a test.”


The amazing and romantic story of John Blanchard and Harlyss Maynell is an incredible example of a young woman who was willing to wait for a man with true integrity – and a man who was rewarded because he did not follow his fleshly desires, but responded with the character of Christ.

Blessings,
Tammy

7 comments:

Sharon said...

A totally beautiful post.
It is sad to see the way young girls dress and act today.
Thanks for sharing.
Hugs

Football and Fried Rice said...

Ahhhhhh!! I got goosebumps from reading that story!!!

Loved this post!! And I agree completely, why is dating considered entertainment?

The was a story in Dobson's "Bringing Up Girls" about parents that gave their daughter a charm bracelet for their daughter's 13th (?) birthday. Each charm stood for something and increased in value and beauty for what they stood for: one charm for the first time she held a boys hand. One charm for her first kiss. One time for her first time she said i love you. One for when she got married. But the catch was, she had to give away the charm when she gave away the "gift". Well, as the young lady grew and had relationships, she realized how precious those gems were and how precious the "gifts" were that were attached to it.

On that young girl's wedding day, she had the blessing to be able give the charm bracelet to her husband - in it's entirety!!!

Now that is an amazing testimony that I hope my kids can look back on one day and tell their children about themselves....

Hugs!
Sara

Shelley said...

A beautiful post and one that I very much agree with....I would love to share that book with my granddaughters whom are altogether to interested in boys at such a young age....it hurts me to hear them comment on such things and to feel ashamed to speak of dolls,and tea parties as if they are to old for such things...they are only 7 and 11...so sad....And yet there are adults in their lives that push them to leave their dolls,toys behind and grow up much to soon....I wish the world wasn't in such a state....but,I am thankful for mothers such as yourself whom are teaching their daughters and sons to slow down,wait...save their treasure for the one God puts in their life. The kids around here say they are going out with this one or that one....such a silly thing to me...I always ask them where are you going?...they just grin at me....like I am really ancient and have no idea of such things :)

Blessings on your weekend.

Karen said...

I loved, loved, loved this post. I am going to try and get "When God Writes Your Love Story" for Amber and I to read together. Thanks, Tammy!

Joy ~ Doodlebug ~ said...

Mama,

Great post!

I love both of those books!

I WILL wait for the man God is preparing for me.

I love that story...so sweet!

I love you! 8!

God bless you!
Love,
Joy :D

jennifer768 said...

Wonderful post! I completely agree,it is sad that our society no longer allows a child to be a kid.There is just way to much pressure to grow up .Dating is and should be considered serious but to many young people make it a game.I really enjoyed reading your post.Have a great weekend,Jen

Mandy @ Creekside Creations said...

Wonderful post, Tammy! I just saw the author of that book on 19 Kids and counting - she came to the Duggar's house.

I feel the Lord leading us in this direction with our kids as well. We will definitely be praying about this.

I hear girls at church talking about their "boyfriends" all the time and it saddens me!