Archives For finding a mate

List of dream mate qualificationsBy Lisa Cherry

Have you ever been to the grocery store and not known what you were shopping for? Have you ever gone to a car lot without first setting your purchasing budget?  As consumers we recognize the foolishness of such activities.

Why, then, would we dare send our precious sons and daughters into the world of romance without advance planning of their selection process?

I'm often asked by parents for tools we can use to assist our children to make selections of godly mates. Today I want to give you two practical tools that we have found helpful in our home.

1. Pray for the Future Mate

Perhaps this one seems obvious. But it is one we can easily neglect. Include your child or teen in some of your prayer times. Pray specific prayers, not just general blessings. Such as…

Father, today we come to You and lift up Micah's future wife. Lord, please protect her from every evil influence of this dark world. Draw her heart close to You so that she would know You personally, trust You and hear Your voice. We pray for her family that their relationships would be strong and healthy. Help her with her education so that she receives everything she needs to be a godly wife and mother. Protect her from every counterfeit relationship with boys that would steal part of her heart or damage her soul.

 Lord, would You prepare Micah to be the strong and sensitive leader that she will need. Help him to be patient as he waits for the day he will meet his wife. Protect him from sexual temptations and emotional traps that could steal from their marriage. Please give his dad and me the wisdom to teach him and lead him so his marriage will be blessed, happy and strategic for the Kingdom of God. Amen.

Can you feel what effect this prayer has? Not only will our God go to work on our requests, but the force of our prayer causes Micah, our 15 year old, to know what he is waiting for! When the counterfeit girls who are not his wife flow through his world, he will more easily recognize that they do not match his long term prayer.

2. Dream and Record a List

Sometimes it feels like we need a crowbar to get inside our teens' hearts on matters related to the opposite sex. But if we build a foundation from an early age of dreaming about and talking about their future husband/wife, we can help keep the communication lines open when the selection is truly being made!

Be willing to hear their dreams of their future mates. Ask them about what they want in a future wife or husband. Begin that conversation as soon as possible. But be aware that the younger you start, the more immature their answers will be! Do not be quick to pass judgment on their ideas.

Remember these are just dreams they are beginning to fashion, not the final qualification list. So if your 12 year old daughter is hung up on needing her mate to be rich, blond-haired, and a guitar player, don't hit the panic button. Time, wisdom, and more conversations will help to shape her priorities. Perhaps even watching some appropriate "chick flicks" together and conversing afterwards will naturally open her eyes to the effect of her immature priorities. Or look around you and discuss concrete examples of women who made either wise or foolish choices.

Our goal is to have a mature, well thought out qualification list ready before they enter officially into the world of romance. For our family, we have chosen that to be when they are of marriageable age and stage. The list needs to be discussed together and held in a safe place so that whenever a prospective marriage partner comes along, the list becomes the "shopping guide."

Obviously, it will be unlikely that any candidate would meet all the criteria on the list perfectly, but this list helps your son or daughter carefully consider the risks and sacrifices they may need God's grace for as they enter into marriage.

For example, if “comes from a strong home life” is on the list, and the prospective life partner being considered was raised in a divorced home, extra prayer and consideration will be needed. Your son or daughter would need to count the cost of managing holidays and consider the effect on their future children before they go on to fall madly in love with this one!

All of us hope that our children’s marriages will succeed and they will escape the pain of divorce.  But we must realize that about half of all prospective marriage partners may be affected by their own parents’ divorce.

This exact situation happened to our son, Nathan. When Nathan who had no personal understanding of divorce became interested in Tara whose family had suffered many pains, he would need to develop extra sensitivity, compassion, and flexibility. That advance consideration of his list has helped him and Tara tremendously as they have established a strong marriage and learned to avoid relationship errors.

A few ideas to consider for your list....

Strong, personal relationship with Jesus
Honest
Hard working
Manages anger well
Honors his/her parents
Virgin
Knows the Bible well
Manages money diligently
Smiles easily
Polite to others
Sensitive to others’ feelings; not harsh
Loves children
Is ready to provide for a wife
Neat in appearance
Attractive
Strong birth family
Has a strong vision to serve in the Kingdom
Has a strong prayer life
Gives tithes and offerings joyfully.......etc.

Do you get the idea?

What would your family put on your qualification lists? I'd love to hear your ideas.   Click here and scroll to the end to comment.

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Gratefully linked to   

Encourage One Another     Hope for the Home     Marital Oneness Mondays  Modest Mondays  Marriage Monday

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Thank you so much to all who commented on Frontline Moms during our contest! We entered your name in our drawing for the free Hot Romance resource. Our winner of the drawing was Jaimie, who commented on The Top Ten Things I Want my Daughters to Know about Boys.   Congratulations Jaime!  I’ll email you today to ask for your mailing address so we can get your DVD to you.

And for everyone else, click here to purchase Hot Romance through our store.

 

Hot romance front

God bless you and your family. Be watching for another giveaway that we will announce next week on Frontline Moms!

 

This post is part of my series Will Your Kids Find the Right Mate? Here are the rest of the posts in this series:

Will Your Kids Find the Right Mate?
Two of Our Kids Found Romance!
Can We Divorce-proof Our Kids? Ten Strategies for Parents
The Word that Makes Us Bristle: Can We Divorce-Proof Our Kids, Part 2
Should Finding a Mate Be Like Buying a Pair of Shoes?
Ten Things I Teach My Sons about Girls
You Can’t Make Me!  Teens, Romance, and Rules
The Top Ten Things I Want My Daughters to Know about Boys
When Romance Hurts: 10 Truths for our Sons and Daughters to Consider

yin yang
By Lisa Cherry

Romance is often imaged by a bed of roses. And I think I know why. In romance, sweetness is often mixed with thorns!

Because we strive to lead our children toward God honoring marriages that are built to last, we need to ponder the reality of pain in the relationship process. As parents, we hate to see our own children suffer.

But as we realize that suffering is what often produces the most dynamic growth, we are forced once again to do the hard but right thing. Allow them to learn like we did!

1. Finding a Godly mate involves risk. Risk of rejection. Risk of mistakes, and risk of failure.

2. A prudent person seeking a Godly relationship will maximize the chance for success, while minimizing the risk of failure/hurt. Find your family's method that allows agape love (1 Corinthians 13:4-7) to lead your heart and not Eros (erotic desires.)

3. Adolescence is a season in our lives when everything feels like it revolves around us and our self-identified flaws. Building a relationship on a foundation of two people's insecurity and self-seeking needs is a recipe for pain. That's one reason why waiting until adolescence passes and young adulthood comes before entering into courtship/dating makes the greatest sense. If your need for someone exceeds your desire to give to someone, you are not ready for your mate!

4. Getting hurt is no fun. But hurting another person is torturous. Ask the Lord to help you walk in His principles so you will live a life without regrets for your own behaviors toward others.

5. Every method for finding a spouse—including courtship—involves some risk for disappointment and pain.
Learning to handle disappointment and pain is good training for the reality of married life that has its shares of bumps and scrapes.

6. New relationships always go through an "awkward" stage. In courtship, we can call it "friending" where no one is ready to make a commitment just yet and each person must learn to guard their own hearts. But let's get real. Who enjoys awkward when it is unclear whether the relationship will last?

7. Giving your heart, your relationships, and your future decisions to the Lord and then expecting Him to direct your steps is prudent. Trust Him to guide and be willing to receive His wise answers through the voice of your parents and other authorities. He might say "no" when your heart screams "yes."  Or He might say "yes" when your heart says "I don't want to risk getting hurt." He is your best matchmaker!

8. Forgive freely. When others make mistakes or when we ourselves hurt another, the healing will only come when we release the offense and allow our hearts to be made clean and whole again. (Ephesians 4:32)

9. When you enter a relationship with the intent to find God's choice of a spouse for you, you will either be building a lifetime foundation with your future marriage partner.....or playing around with the emotions of someone else's future husband or wife. Set your heart to honor them just as you would want someone else to guard your spouse's feelings.

10. Learning to hear your Daddy's voice is your highest priority for Godly romance
. Your Heavenly Father reveals Himself as the healer of broken hearts. (Psalm 147:3). Run to Him—not your friends or another romance—to do what only He can do best.

These 10 keys are best shared BEFORE they are needed in the lives of our kids!

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The photo at the top of this post, “Yin Yang” is copyright (c) 2004 by Macrophile and made available under an Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

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I’ve extended our Valentine’s Day contest until Friday, February 22.  There’s still time for you to win a copy of Hot Romance.  Read more about it here.  To enter leave a comment on any post dated February 10 through 22.

But you don’t have to wait for the drawing.  Hot Romance is on sale!

It's only $10.00, which is half price.  Now through February 22 at our store.

God yearns to pour out His blessing of love to all who will receive it, and the Hot Romance DVD will give you the tools to start this discussion with your teens.

Hot romance front

 

This post is part of my series Will Your Kids Find the Right Mate? Here are the rest of the posts in this series:

 

Will Your Kids Find the Right Mate?
Two of Our Kids Found Romance!
Can We Divorce-proof Our Kids? Ten Strategies for Parents
The Word that Makes Us Bristle: Can We Divorce-Proof Our Kids, Part 2
Should Finding a Mate Be Like Buying a Pair of Shoes?
Ten Things I Teach My Sons about Girls
You Can’t Make Me!  Teens, Romance, and Rules
The Top Ten Things I Want My Daughters to Know about Boys

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Gratefully linked to

Top Ten Tuesday    Works for Me Wednesday    Encourage One Another      Titus 2sdays    Wholehearted Home Wednesday   Wifey Wednesday  Thriving Thursday  Titus 2 Tuesdays    Loving our Children Tuesday

Hot romance frontBy Lisa Cherry

This week we will be giving away a free copy of Hot Romance, our DVD family guide for teens and parents. Did you know that God is the inventor of hot romance?  You can watch the trailer here

Enter our drawing by commenting on one of our posts this week.   I’ve been blogging on the topic of romance and how our children can find a godly mate.  Yesterday, my husband Doug guest posted on The Top Ten Things I Want my Daughters to Know about Boys

And watch for my next post When Romance Hurts.

Just click on the comment box at the bottom of the post on Frontlinemoms.com. Thanks to all those who have already commented this week.  You are already entered in the drawing.  I love reading your comments! 

We will draw our winner on Friday, February 22 and contact you through the comment box.

But you don’t have to wait for the drawing. Our sale on Hot Romance runs through this Saturday!  

It's now only $10.00, which is half price.  Now through February 22 at our store.

God yearns to pour out His blessing of love to all who will receive it, and the Hot Romance DVD will give you the tools to start this discussion with your teens.

 

Hot romance front

 

Doug and four daughtersGuest post by Doug Cherry

When it comes to even thinking about any of my daughters in another man’s arms it sends shivers down my spine. How could there be a man in the whole earth worthy to be the mate of any of my four daughters, my mind queries. Surely only “Jesus Jr.” could possibly fill the bill!

Somehow, by God’s grace, my oldest daughter, Kalyn, did find an amazing man whom she married 2 ½ years ago.  I must say that I put him “through the ringer” before I released my daughter to his care!

A father’s standard IS high.   It should be.   Because it is such a hugely important decision in a young lady’s life (husband pickin’ that is), a dad really must begin to communicate with his daughters early about men. 

After Lisa blogged last week on Ten Things I Teach My Sons about Girls, she asked me to post my thoughts on teaching our daughters.  So… here comes my list! 

 

The Top Ten Things

I Want my Daughters to Know about Boys

1. ONE!  There is one specially picked man out there that God has designed for you. He will be amazingly prepared for you and together you will complete the call of God on your lives! Preparing yourself to be ready for him should be a top priority in this season of your life.  You will find him not by trial and error, but by prayer, waiting, and listening.

2. NONE! No man will be able to fill your greatest longings.  Continue to find your life in Christ before looking for your delight in a man.  Your best tool in finding God’s mate is seeking God’s faceAs you draw nearer to Him, you will be able to recognize who to allow near and who to push away.

3. MANY! Many boys will be drawn toward you.  They have multiple methods to try to capture your interest.  Their motives are very often driven by the flesh and not the spirit.  So learn to guard your heart and not be wooed by their actions toward you.

4. GOD! God has made man in His image.  He put some of His characteristics in men and some (different ones) in women.  Understanding the differences will give you a great head start for future relationships.

5. HEART! Though you may be tempted to look at the outside, make sure that you focus on what is inside the heart of a young man.  Listen carefully to the words that he says for “out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks.”  And…watch how he acts, for “you can tell a tree by its fruit.”

6.  WILD! Boys are wild at heart.  They like to take risks, do anything possible for a thrill, win at all costs, go fast, run hard and impress the girls!  Enjoy watching their crazy ways but be cautious of riding in their cars, jumping from their cliffs, getting involved in their “dares” and going with their gangs.

7. LIKEMINDED! Since you were a very young child, our focus as well as yours has been to develop your life into a surrendered servant of the Lord.  Develop a passion to find a young man with a heart and with a family that has a similar vision.

8. LEARN! Study the boys and men that you know well: Your Dad, your brothers, your grandfathers, and your family mentors.  Honor the traits you see in them and look carefully for those same traits in the boys or men you associate with.

9. SOBER! Boys are looking for a “sign.” Be sober and sensitive about how you dress and how you talk.  If you are not cautious you can send a wrong message and make them think you are “interested” when you are not.  Avoid the temptation to “tease” them with flirtatious actions.  Once they sense an open door it is often difficult to get them back out.

10. CONTENT! Do not rush your young life into adulthood. Be content. You will never be in this season again.  Enjoy it while you are here and gain what you need for the next season.

Doug Cherry is co-founder of Frontline Family Ministries and POTTS with his wife of almost 32 years Lisa Cherry. He’s the author of STICK! Making the Handoff to the Next Generation.  Doug is also the pastor of Victory Dream Center and a financial planner. Contact Doug at frontlinefamilies.org.

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This post is part of the series Will Your Kids Find the Right Mate? Here are the rest of the posts in this series:

Will Your Kids Find the Right Mate?
Two of Our Kids Found Romance!
Can We Divorce-proof Our Kids? Ten Strategies for Parents
The Word that Makes Us Bristle: Can We Divorce-Proof Our Kids, Part 2
Should Finding a Mate Be Like Buying a Pair of Shoes?
Ten Things I Teach My Sons about Girls
You Can’t Make Me!  Teens, Romance, and Rules

*     *     *     *     *     *

Don’t miss this special sale on our Hot Romance DVD:

It's now only $10.00, which is half price.  Now through February 14 at our store.

Hot romance front

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Gratefully linked to  Hope for the Home  The Better Mom    Marital Oneness Mondays     Welcome Home    Modest Mondays  Marriage Monday

Hear it on Sunday, Use it on Monday  Mama Moments Mondays   Soli Deo Gloria    Mondays with Countrified Hicks   True Stories

 Top Ten Tuesday    Titus 2sdays     Titus 2 Tuesdays    Homemaking Linkup   Tuesday Tips    Encourage One Another     Works for Me Wednesday


 

 





 

 

Teen girl defiant 5144866156_0313991928

By Lisa Cherry

“How can I get my teen to make godly choices in relationships?” This is the question I am asked over and over again from desperate, discouraged parents.  I heard it again just last week.

It was a tragic story of a Christian family with a crisis pregnancy.  Their circumstances caught my attention because of our series this month on Hot Romance.

It seems this family had done more than the average to develop a God-honoring vision for their son. No casual teen dating allowed. Waiting for the "right one" to come along. Sexual purity exhortations. Commands to treat young women as sisters.

"So what went wrong, Lisa?" the mother's heart questioned.  I wondered the same thing! So I gently began to probe a bit deeper. And I think together we unveiled some of the roots of their problem.

Parents’ rules that do not penetrate deeper than rules will not hold over time. Their son's heart roamed when hormones mixed with anger, resentment, and immaturity.

As I shared this mother's pain, I was drawn back in time when we faced a similar problem in our house. A time when our own daughter would shout back at us, "You can't make me!"

Kalyn's story of teenage disaster filled with sexual abuse and its resultant rebellion and wrong relationships is a story I have posted on before.  But today let's explore the tough question that many are surely asking...

How can I make my teen/young adult child make wise, godly choices in relationships when they are enamored with the cheap cultural counterfeits of casual dating with its loose sexual morals?

My humble answer is....we can't.

Wow, that is not a very encouraging answer, is it?

Only our God can change a human heart.
We, as parents, can work in partnership with Him as His agent, but we must have His grace to see true lasting impact.

We can't yell
                            or force
                                                or punish
                                                                        our way to success.

For something about the area of "passion" in the human heart somehow defies the control of another.

However, we are not permitted to “do an Eli” (See 1 Samuel 3: 18) and park our head in the sand and let the kids choose whatever they wilt even if their behaviors dishonors the Lord.

Tricky, huh? Compel but not drive. Encourage but not provoke. Command but not dictate.

I think the only answer is to seek something deeper from our God. We must ask Him for revelation knowledge of His ways to be made real in the hearts of our kids:  a personal conviction that causes THEM to run toward our discipling counsel and not away!

And then, while we are at it, also ask Him for supernaturally empowered leadership skills to be birthed in us as parents that will successfully guide our children into the pathway of light.

Surely our God would respond to such humble prayers!

He certainly did for us!

If you have never read the full story of Kalyn's testimony, check out our book, Unmask the Predators.

Image by Werner Kunz "Angry Little Girl"
License: Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

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This post is part of my series Will Your Kids Find the Right Mate? Here are the rest of the posts in this series:

Will Your Kids Find the Right Mate?
Two of Our Kids Found Romance!
Can We Divorce-proof Our Kids? Ten Strategies for Parents
The Word that Makes Us Bristle: Can We Divorce-Proof Our Kids, Part 2
Should Finding a Mate Be Like Buying a Pair of Shoes?
Ten Things I Teach My Sons about Girls
The Top Ten Things I Want My Daughters to Know about Boys

Don’t miss this special sale on our Hot Romance DVD:

It's now only $10.00, which is half price.  Now through February 14 at our store.

Hot romance front

Gratefully linked to  Encourage One Another       Legacy Leaver      Thriving Thursday

Women With Purpose