Thursday, April 23, 2009

passport2purity

This weekend I'm taking my preteen on a special getaway. I've booked a chic condo in a nearby city and have planned some activities that my daughter enjoys (shopping for new clothes!) I'm really looking forward to having some dedicated 1:1 time with her to celebrate who she is, who God created her to be and share with her the amazing gifts He has in store for her.

In other words, we'll be having "the talk." :-)

When I was younger, most of the kids I knew were handed a book and told to ask their parents if they had any questions. Talk about uncomfortable! One of my close friends, however, shared with me that her mom actually took her to the beach for a celebratory weekend, which included "the talk." The idea stuck with me because it seemed like such a personal way to learn about something so important.

Several of my friends have done Passport2Purity with their kids and shared with me how beneficial they felt it was not only to their preteen, but also to their relationship with them.

Family Life's website describes the programs this way:

"Get away with your preteen or teenager for a one-on-one adventure of a lifetime! Passport2Purity® will guide you and your son or daughter through biblical principles for life's most difficult challenges; including dating and those other difficult topics to discuss. Let Dennis and Barbara Rainey lead you through an encouraging do-it-yourself retreat full of discovery, communication and fun."

Our weekend will begin on Friday evening. We'll have dinner at one of my daughter's favorite restaurants and I'll present her with her "passport." Inside, Geoff and I will have written personal notes to her. After dinner, we'll drive to our condo, settle in and start our first session. I'm preparing some object lessons that will really help her to understand the incredible gift God has given us and why it is important to protect and cherish that gift until we are married.

On Saturday, we'll have more sessions to complete, but we'll also spend a good portion of the day shopping. (She already has her list ready!) On Sunday morning, we'll pack up and head to the beach for hopefully a day in the sun (or more shopping!) and then wrap up our weekend with a special dinner.

I can't wait. I'm really looking forward to being able to teach my oldest how important purity is from a Biblical standpoint. Growing up, unfortunately, I didn't understand most of what I will be teaching her. I was taught that s*x was bad and should be saved for marriage. Of course, the world gave me conflicting views on all of that.

I truly didn't understand that it was a gift my Creator had given me. Nor did I understand that waiting until the time He had intended it for (marriage) was to my benefit. Outside of marriage it is a sin, yes. But I think it's crucial that we are able to internalize not only why it's harmful to us outside of marriage; but also, why it's such a blessing within the marriage relationship.

I know that a large percentage of the population believes that "Well, they're going to do it any way. So, I'll let the school teach them about it and then I'll make sure they have the proper protection to keep them safe." I guess that's one option. Unfortunately, while in the best of situations it may protect the body, it doesn't protect the heart. Nor does it protect the spirit.

Although Geoff and I aren't able to choose the paths our children take, it doesn't mean that we should hand them the keys to the car without first teaching them how to drive and the rules of the road. I think parents often feel that because we can't control our children's ultimate choices our only option is to throw in the towel. "Temptation is temptation and eventually they'll give into it?" Right?

Wrong. We can't control our children or make their choices for them. But we can do everything in our power to instill within them the extraordinary value they have as God's children--and the blessings and responsibilities that come with that. Even if we, ourselves, were left to figure things out on our own when we were their age.

I want to give my children the very best I can give them. I want to share with them the very best that God has for them. I love being able to invest myself, my time, my resources and my attention into them. The more I pour out on their behalf, the more blessed I am in return. Of course that's never my motivation, but over time, God has helped me really experience that "in giving, we receive."

I am eternally grateful that God has allowed me the privilege (and responsibility) of being a parent. I may not get it perfect and I may make a lot of mistakes (daily), but I truly want to do the very best I can. For my children and for my God.

What a joy it is to dig into Scripture with my children and help them to understand that because God is love, He has our very best interest at hand. By instructing us to wait, He's not trying to deprive us of pleasure, He's trying to protect us from a lifetime of pain, confusion, devastation, disease, addictions, and much, much worse.

Can you tell how passionate I am about this subject?!? And to think, I used to worry about when this day would come. Now, I can't wait. :-)

Investing myself fully into my children, and their futures, is most definitely a part of LIVING A BLESSED LIFE!

Off to go attend to some birds (and bees)...


3 comments:

Becky Ryder said...

Awesome! Thankfully I'm not there yet:) Hope your weekend is great. I know (from experience with my mom) its really good for a teen daughter to have a mom who you can talk to about EVERYTHING!!

Dawn said...

Amy, that is so amazing!!! Thank you for sharing. you are a gift to your children and husband! I never got anything like that from my parents, it will be so special for her! Enjoy!!

sara said...

What a great idea; I have heard of organized retreats, but never thought I could do it on y own - our oldest in almost 10; time to start thinking about it!