by Jennifer Dyer
This morning my daughter mentioned a boy, just in passing. It wasn’t in an I-like-him manner, but it gave me an opening to talk about boys and romance. “Isn’t he that nice boy who used to smile at you when we were at the pool?”
She giggled and ducked behind her chair. At only ten, boys are still strange creatures to her, but the interest is budding among her peers and will be in full swing in the coming years. It’s coming.
I thought about many of our past conversations regarding boys. Most of them included something dogmatic like: “Let’s not think about boys and marriage until you finish your education.”
But in a world where romance is at the forefront of so many minds, is that kind of blanket advice helpful? Does it make her comfortable talking to me? I’m not saying it’s not a good idea to help her set goals, but I also want her to know I understand love and romance are real human needs.
So, I kept up the conversation. “He was a nice boy.”
She shrugged and peeked over the chair back. “I guess, but he’s still wild.”
“Yes, that is true, but … “–my sense of humor took over–”you don’t have to worry about him anyway. I have already arranged for you to marry my friend’s son. He’s a few years older than you so he’ll be finished with college and ready to get married once you’re older. He’s a really great boy. He’s cute too.” I finished the sentence by batting my eyelashes.
She fell off her chair and tried to dive under the couch, but I kept going. “He’s athletic like you, but he also has a sensitive side that you would like. He even plays the violin. He’s very talented. And most important, he really loves Jesus. He is very serious about his faith.”
“MOM!!!!!” came the voice under the couch.
“Just thought you’d want to know. His mom and I have it all planned out. It will be sooooo much fun.”
She peeked over the couch, eyes wide. “Did… did you really?”
I laughed. “No, of course not, well, not seriously. Maybe… Whomever you chose, I hope he’s nice. I know you are going to start liking boys at some point. That’s normal. God created us with those kinds of feelings, but I want you to make a good decision when the time is right.”
She nodded, her white knuckles gripping the cushion.
I still had her attention, so I went on. “Aunt Liz was just saying yesterday that young people desire the things in marriage around age 16, but aren’t ready to get married until later. It takes a lot of wisdom to make it through those times. Daddy and I want to help you get through all that.”
“And Aunt Liz has a really cute son, too. He would also be a great–”
“Mom!!!” She kicked up dust running away, but I smiled to myself. I had planted some good seeds about how much I care for her future and what kinds of qualities she might like in a person. Plus, it was fun.
On a more serious note, I also just purchased Praying for your Future Husband. Though she is still young, I plan to read it with her in the coming years. I hope help her navigate the muddy waters of romance and the opposite sex, and I want her to know she can depend on us to be there. And, okay, I like to tease her just a bit. She protests, but she loves it.
How about you? What are some ways you were able to bring up the opposite sex in a conversation?