She had blue eyes, brown hair, and was the most well-developed girl in the 6th grade...I'll leave it at that. She was the obvious choice. She was pretty and nice, but all I really knew about women I had gleaned from the Playboy magazines me and my buddies stole from our dads and hid away in the neighborhood fort. Every woman I had ever seen in some state of undress was anatomically mutated. I met the Lord in college, married a Christian woman, and embarked on the journey toward parenthood. With the big 0le' steaming pile of wounding experience around the beauty and a desire to rewrite the fractured childhood of my youth, I set out in earnest to be the "perfect" Christian parent. That was a disaster on so many levels, I don't have the time, room, or energy to even talk about here. But one particular way I screwed this up was the are of guy/girl relationships with my kids.
When the girls started sniffing around at my eldest, I dismissed it, rejected it, and best of all, ignored it. Nice job dad! Long story with all that, but God, in his mercy and grace, pierced the veil of the disaster I was writing. While in high school, my son read a book a friend gave him at camp, "When God Writes Your Love Story" by Leslie & Eric Ludy.
Out of an incredible story of two very unique folks who found each other, they crafted an amazing guide for men and women to safely negotiate the passion welling inside them. (I think most of my son's guy and girl friends eventually read the book.) At it's core, it is about embracing all the God-given passion, desire, and romance while holding it captive for the appointed time.
So, my son has one journal he has kept for the last 5 years loaded with the stuff he is supposed to save for the one woman he will spend his life with. Poetry, songs, and every other romantic thought is encased there and held precious for the one. The message here is: Passion, desire, and romance are good...need to be celebrated and not sullied...but all have their appropriate time. Even though he is dating a girl at Auburn, he not only still keeps the journal for "the" one, but has encouraged his girlfriend to keep one for her future spouse...might even be him. What a incredible gift to hand your wife on your wedding night!
(Leslie Ludy, co-author of the book, also has an on-line webzine... http://setapartgirl.com/home.html ...beautifully done and full of incredible stuff for you pre-teen and teenage daughters.)
Our eldest daughter, Hannah, texted me to order 4 copies of that book last week. She and another Sr. friend have decided to work through it with some Jr. girls they are starting to walk alongside. Thank you God! We have had a couple of extra copies on the shelf for years that I have pointed out to my girls and have been praying they would one day dive into. Finally, when they were ready, they are.
Hannah texted me yesterday: "Gray (our 8 year old son) just told me that he has a crush on Lauren in his class...I asked him why he had a crush on her and he said, 'Well, because she is beautiful'." Of course he does and of course, she is. I asked him about it last night and his boyish grin lit up the room...jack-o-lantern smile from the recent assault on his baby teeth...and proudly told me about it as well. His older brother simply responded to the news on the family group text with a simple four letter word, "Stud!".
May I not suppress his desire and force it in to dangerous places. May desire be awakened and appropriately celebrated in its' appointed time in his heart. May he one day pick one of the copies of that book off the shelf (there is couple more there just waiting for him). May his wife one day experience the privilege of a man who loves with the full passion and desire that God set in him...a wild stallion that was carefully bridled and then set free, only for her.