My beautiful 17 year old daughter who is a Junior in high school has this way about her...A gentle, loving, kind, free spirited, and feisty kind of way about her. She's both delicate and tough...Has a soft heart but can handle the trials God hands her with such strength. I am often in awe of her...Just watching who she is...Since she was just an infant cradled in my arms nursing away, to a rambunctious toddler in princess dresses and boots climbing trees, to my little ballerina dancing her heart out as if no one else were there, to a shy and timid 12 year old wanting to rather hide away than have to look into someone's eyes or to speak out loud (unless you were a good friend or family member and then you'd know a girl who could yack your ear off and give you a pretty good arm wrestling match), to the lovely young lady she is today...So precious and yet so ferocious at the very same time!
This girl of mine has attracted the attention of a couple young men, also in high school...That of course turns this normally quiet Mama (Haha...Ok, I laughed pretty hard at that too...But, let's all just play along for fun anyway), into a raging protective Mama Bear...on steroids! Now, at first it was kinda cute...only just a little kinda. Because I mean she is pretty stinkin' adorable...But, then it just got annoying. See, her Daddy and I have a rule...No dating in high school. I know that may seem harsh, extreme and maybe even a bit mean to some...But honestly, dating in high school is totally unnecessary and just asking for drama that no one at this age needs. We have all seen it, heard about it, or experienced it ourselves. We don't want that for our daughter...or any of our other children...or even your children for that matter. Now I'm not saying parents are wrong for allowing their children to date...It's just our personal convictions to not allow it. As we say...While we may be convicted of "something", that doesn't necessarily make that "something" a sin for someone else. This is just a personal thing that has been placed on our own hearts, parenting our own children.
Has this been easy? Nope. Her friends have all been dating since middle school...That occasionally makes her feel out of the loop and sometimes like a "baby". It does make me feel a tad smidge sorta kinda sad-ish for her...But, actually not really. To be completely honest, I don't really care too much that she hasn't had a real boyfriend...She has though been allowed a "special friend"...Which turned out to be pretty much a mistake and her dad and I learned some tough lessons through all that...Long story...We won't go there...Today...
No, I'm not sad that she hasn't experienced that thrill of someone telling you that they'll be with you for always and then experience the heartache of seeing him with someone new. I'm not disappointed for her that because she won't go far enough, she will then feel not good enough. I'm not too bummed out that she won't know what it's like to have her heart skip a beat when she's told I love you just to make some choices she shouldn't and then experience what it's like to be alone and have that feeling of regret, shame and loneliness. I'm ok with her not experiencing jealousy, rage, hate, unworthiness, self loathing, etc...All while in high school. High school is hard enough for goodness sakes, without all the unnecessary drama of dating another teenager also going through all the same hard growing up stuff! Why would you want to add to the already tough stuff?
Most of the time my daughter is completely fine with not dating. She gets an ear full and an eye full on a daily basis from her peers. And although she is very caring, kind, compassionate and attentive to their heartaches...She does not envy them. But, sometimes she still wonders what it would be like to be a "pair"...She fancies romance. Now, I am all for romance...Just not in high school. She is such a loving girl...She desires to love and be loved! This is perfectly fine for me...Not so much dad though. God created us to love. I want her to love and be loved too...Just not in high school. Sometimes she gets hurt because of our rule. She'll meet a young man who will always compliment "just how different she is than any other girl" and "how she has this special thing about her that makes you want to be different too". This will usually only last a couple months until they get bored and move on...Making her feel rejected. Sometimes she blames Mom and Dad. I know sometimes she thinks it's our fault...But honestly, I think we are doing her a favor. See, the good guys will show her that they respect her by respecting her parents views and wishes.They will befriend her and wait patiently to see what the future holds because they know deep in their hearts, she's worth it...And the other guys? Well, the impatient ones get weeded out. And, I'm sure that's an added gift from God.
She is well aware that the ones who move on, weren't really her's to begin with anyway...and God has graciously showed her this through their own choice of walking away without any fault of her's.
Now I wouldn't say that my husband and I believe in courting versus dating...Although, we do feel like dating should include the parents. It just helps keep things out in the open and helps keep both parties accountable. And, when our children are graduated from high school if they so choose to date...That's between them, the one whom they chose, and God. We can only pray and hope for the best...and trust in the Lord.
My girl is now at a place where she wants to trust in God and also trust that we are making parenting decisions that will bless her. She wants to patiently wait upon the Lord...Although, it's tough when you're a girl with a romantic heart. She wants to meet her "Prince Charming". But, right now she belongs to this Mama Bear.