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Love and Marriage: Sounding An Alarm!!

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Faith's Firm Foundation: Love and Marriage: Sounding An Alarm!!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Love and Marriage: Sounding An Alarm!!

There is an alarming new trend among the Godliest young people and families all across this country--those growing up in Bible-believing-and-obeying, conservative, Christian, Homeschooling families.  Godly families are not showing the diligence they once showed, or they are simply allowing the world's ways to infiltrate their thinking, actions and attitudes. I am alarmed to see the effects of this in many areas of life! This alarming trend is now influencing love and marriage in Godly homes across America (and perhaps the world).  These are families who have chosen courtship as the road they will take to marriage.  They have protected their children throughout their childhood from negative outside influences, and from harmful activities and they were careful about their children's companions.  They have carefully taught them the principles of God's Word.  They have taught them to love and obey the Lord and the parents' marriages and families are strong!  Or, they have been.  After many, many years of diligent work to raise up Godly children, resulting in beautiful Godly marriages of their oldest ones, and careful attention to keeping the boundaries clearly defined and the fences strong and without breach, and after communicating the Truth and passing it down faithfully...Now, apparently, these same families are allowing, either intentionally or through negligence, boundaries to be moved and fences to be torn down and trampled, the road of courtship redefined, the boundaries belittled as being archaic or unnecessary.  The young people misjudge the danger.  They underestimate it.  They think, "The consequences aren't really that bad--my parents are overreacting."  Or, "My parents are deceived." Or, "It will never happen to me." There is the threat of a stampede over the broken fences already down, resulting in damaged lives, ruined reputations and God's Name being blasphemed.

I have spoken vaguely up to now.  These fences protected young people from going too near the edge of the cliff and falling over, but they are fences which many in the world and even in Christian circles have long ago taken down. I will risk your scorn, contempt, and ridicule and you may think me terribly old-fashioned. I am sorry if you do, but, I have seen the fruit! And I am speaking to those of you who are ready to rise up, hear the alarm and answer the call to build up the broken fences!
The Fences
  • Protective Fence:  Boys and girls--young people--met only in group settings, as families or with parental supervision. No "boy/girl parties".
  • Broken Fence:  Girls and boys not in courtship with one another text each other, talk on the phone, talk alone or in small groups unsupervised.
  • Protective Fence:  Girls dressed modestly, acted discreetly and behaved themselves in a seemly manner.  They focused on inward beauty, and tried not to think or talk about boys until one initiated a courtship through their father.
  • Broken Fence:  Those who once dressed in modest dresses, now wear tight pants, short skirts, short flirty or tight-fitting dresses, tight tops with low necklines and/or walk and act in a provocative manner with a flirtatious look in their eye, a toss of the hips, a sophistication replacing Godliness and purity of demeanor.  Some wear too much makeup, copy the styles of the world in some part and call boys' attention to themselves by clothes, appearance or actions.  Girls and boys as young as 10-12 and on up think and talk about the opposite sex openly, talk about "liking" so-and-so, and girls openly try to attract attention from boys. (I must remind you that these are families committed to courtship and building the protective fences, who have seen the benefits of their diligence and those fences in their older children's blessed marriages.)
  • Protective Fence:  Interaction between girls and boys which allowed them to get to know each other was carried on in the context of family gatherings or in opportunities to serve together publicly (e.g. teaching a team of younger children for a week).  Interaction was in the context of purposeful activities which allowed the boys and girls to evaluate and demonstrate character and which had eternal value.  Girls and boys treated one another with respect--they had fun together, but they treated one another as a brother or sister.
  • Broken Fence: Activities of purpose and ministry were replaced with playing, hanging around, and doing sports activities away from the parents at large gatherings.  Mixed groups went off by themselves to play volleyball, or ultimate frisbee, where no parent was supervising and flirting became the norm.
  • The Largest and Strongest Protective Fence:  Courtship is the largest and strongest fence which protects, and in it there is an implied or stated intention--there is a goal of marriage, a readiness for marriage, an approval on the part of both sets of parents, as far as they are able to see thus far, if marriage should result.  There is a reasonable expectation that, unless the courtship ends, it will lead to engagement and marriage in a given amount of time.  It is purposeful, and carefully and intentionally managed to protect the virtue of the couple and to uphold the Name of Christ.
  • Broken Fence:  The most distressing breakdown is that of the protective fence of courtship. The attitudes of boys and girls, young men and women, is one that "there's nothing wrong with it"!  "It" includes:  texting someone of the opposite sex who you are not courting.  Talking one-on-one (in person or on the phone) without supervision or permission--obviously paired off, or alone and close, or with that "air" of excitement two people have when they "like" each other, though not necessarily standing close to each other (and whether in a group or not)--without the authorization, permission or official approval (perhaps even the knowledge!) of the father of the girl! But what's worse, sometimes with the knowledge and acquiescence of the father, though this is not what he wants.  Hearts are given away, affections displayed before courtship begins.  "Courting" is taking place (no, it is really more like dating or sometimes just hanging out together), but without the protection of an official courtship.  The father of the girl, responsible to protect her virtue, is not consulted; the girl flirts, the boy responds, (or maybe he flirts or just hangs around).  Pieces of their hearts are given to multiple recipients when one tires of "liking" the other.  This is preparation for divorce!
  •  Protective Fence:  A "no-touch courtship" protected the couple, and honored and elevated the elements of oneness--linking them inextricably to the union of marriage.  There is only one "first time".  The first kiss on the wedding day, the first time a couple holds hands, hugs, embraces being after engagement or marriage, or at least after courtship.  These are strong fences and immovable building blocks of a strong, Godly marriage.
  • Broken Fence:  The couple holds hands, touches, embraces, sometimes even before courtship begins.  There is no honor to the beliefs and wisdom of the parents and regard for the fences protecting them.  The young people let their emotions lead them, trampling down the protective fences built by loving parents and grandparents.  In some cases the parents just move the boundaries they have worked so diligently to put into place.  They disregard the fruit of holy lives and the glory which the Father received from the placement of those boundaries and what resulted from their being there.  Other times the parents grieve and work to rebuild the fences.

If I told you these were broken fences--a trend I'd observed--in non-Christian homes, or in homes where dating was the accepted norm, you would be right not to be surprised.  We have seen the failure of the dating "experiment" in this last century.  It is preparation for divorce, and like lighting a match amongst dry kindling.  It would be no surprise to find these fences broken in that case.  These are families committed to courtship, to a different way, and who've seen that it works!  What a naive and foolish generation we are, and we are raising, if we don't realize that the next fences that will be broken will be those protecting our children from premarital sex, pregnancy before marriage, and marriages ending in divorce!

I want to rebuild the protective fences, to strengthen them!  I want to honor marriage and look at the successes in young people's marriages! And the beauty and safety we've enjoyed! And then look at what we're throwing away!!  Young people, parents--Wake Up!!  It's time to sound the alarm before it's too late.
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Anonymous Phyllis said...

Well said Wendy! Phyllis

August 4, 2010 at 11:20 AM  
Blogger Wendy said...

Thank you so much, Phyllis.
Bless you,

August 4, 2010 at 12:44 PM  
Blogger Redeemed1 said...

Very well said and so very true. Making tiny concessions as a parent can lead to huge problems for our children. Giving in - even just a little- to make our kid happy is not in their best interest.

August 4, 2010 at 1:32 PM  
Blogger Denise said...

I appreciate everything you share.

August 4, 2010 at 9:34 PM  
Blogger Lena said...

It is sad how our young girls and boys behave, and with parents standing by not really doing anything about it. I believe our pastors should preach about it at church, I believe it should be preached to many parents who are letting their children fall into sin, or building their life on such shacky are right it could be a cause for many divorces.

August 4, 2010 at 11:09 PM  
Blogger Wendy said...

Many parents are afraid to "displease" their children for fear of losing their love. Others just don't want to know what their kids are doing, then they might have to do something about it, and they don't want to face it. Others have just gotten so busy that they can't even think about it. But I am praying for the parents, especially the dads, to see, and act, and take back their families before it's too late. As I said, these are Godly leaders who are influencing a great many, many others.
I pray, too, for the young people, for there are sad consequences, and many wonderful blessings which they are throwing away.
Thanks for your comment,

August 5, 2010 at 7:11 AM  
Blogger Wendy said...

Lena, Yes, pastors preaching might help. Books written also. Probably just being bold enough to stand up and say something, also. This has been going on long enough! Pray for me to know when to speak and what to say, and to always speak the truth in love.

August 5, 2010 at 7:13 AM  

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