Nathan and I were on a little anniversary trip a while back and he asked me an unexpected question. “So, shall we start coming up with a list of dating rules for our girls?” He was only kind of joking. I’m glad that his protective Daddy instincts are already pretty strong even though our girls are only 5 and 3! And I think it’s a good idea to put some thought into something like this before you’re in the middle of it.
My reply to his question was this, “I want the girls to make up their own rules for dating.” And I wasn’t joking.
The more I’ve pondered on this, the more I feel the weight of its truth so heavily. I see more and more that parenting isn’t dealing with surface issues. It’s dealing with the heart. I want to do the job with the fewest regrets possible. When our kids are in their upper teens and are making more serious decisions, do we want them to have to depend on us to know right from wrong? Will they need us to explain to them which are the wise choices? Please don’t take this the wrong way. I believe that communicating, talking, and getting wise counsel about the situations we find ourselves in is essential, especially for a young, inexperienced person. I also realize I’m the mother of a 5 and 3 year old and I’ve eaten words before! But hear my heart! My DESIRE, MY GOAL, is to raise these girls into women who KNOW GOD. And this relationship with Him will guard their hearts as they are led by His Spirit. I don’t want to teach them how to be good. I want to teach them how to be Godly.
So, back to that Lion. Think about it. This is the system we use entirely too often. Especially in families and churches. We take the claws out of our Lions. We bind the mouths so they can’t possibly bite because it seems safer. We are capable of bringing those Lions into submission. On the outside. But inside? IT’S A LION. And a Lion wants to do what a Lion wants to do. Consider this. What if you could change the INSIDE, the heart, of that Lion? That’s the kind of Lion I that I want living in my house.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation, old things have passed away;
behold, all things have become new.