I have four boys ages six through thirteen so it may seem a bit premature to be discussing “girlfriends,” but I assure you it’s not. In fact, ever since my first was in preschool, he would come home telling me about his female classmates and their intentions of marrying him one day. I remember being in shock and simply stating, “stay away from those girls!” Year after school year, the same conversations would take place at our dinner table and I kept my answers kurt and short, hoping they would go away. How silly of me, because you know they didn’t. The truth is I just wanted my sons to have fun and the talk of girlfriends and wives was way too serious for this old fashioned mama. My plans involved our sons developing their character through their primary years and sloooooowly become exposed to the good and not so good girls in the world. If you’re a Christian, those two words, “My Plans,” made the hairs on the back of your neck stand up, as we are taught to surrender and honor “God’s Plans” but for the sake of me being real with ya, please keep on reading with some added grace. “My plans” involved our boys excelling in school and extracurricular activities and completing their formal education before even thinking about involving someone of the opposite sex into their sphere of influence.
Well, thankfully I am married to a very honorable AND practical man who reminds me of the reality that God made boys and girls to be attracted to one another, as we model ourselves with our marriage every day. It makes perfect sense that our boys would want something similar as our marriage (or their Grandparents, who we just celebrated their 50th Wedding Anniversary in New York) to look forward to one day.
So in recent years I have become less rigid with the dinner conversation about girls and I’ve been so surprised to hear what our boys have to say! I realize they are still very young but my little nuggets of Godly wisdom has not left their minds when they face new people a long the way. I have always said, “There will be many beautiful young women that will catch your eye but her heart needs to be equally as radiant for the Lord. If she loves and honors God, she will love and honor you. Try to never forget this.” Well my son was eating cereal this morning with his brothers and he said, “Mom, a girl at camp said she liked me a lot! I asked her if she believed in God. She looked at me strangely and said that she lived near a church but that she felt everyone can believe whatever they want. I said, ‘that’s cool,’ but I knew she wasn’t the one for me.” This is my nine year old! Of course I wanted to say an earful in response to his conversation like, “the One for you won’t come for a looooooong time honey” but I stopped and realized that wasn’t the point. My son realized that this young lady wasn’t the one for him BECAUSE she didn’t love God, now or in the future! Of course we pray that all young girls seek Christ and commit to a relationship with Him but I was so proud that my son had a standard that not every woman wants to live up to but that my nine year old has the right to expect in his future spouse. I am like any other praying mom who prays that her boys be spared the heart ache of relationships but they are HIS not mine and God has a plan for them that is designed to develop their relationship with Him more than anything else the world can offer and we all know that sometimes it’s the most painful stuff that bring us to our knees, so I surrender “My Plans” to His Plans.
One more silly thing, we took our boys to a Long Island barber shop to get a proper Italian hair cut (did I mention my hubby’s Grandpa was one of the first Italian Long Island barbers) and as my boys sat waiting for their haircut, a cute, old Italian man, dressed to the nines, as all barbers are in Long Island usually are, came up to them and said, “Do you boys have any girlfriends?” My boys stared nervously and shook their heads, “No.” The barber replied in his thick accent, “Good! But one day, you meet a girl, you bring her to Mommy…..Mommy don’t like your girlfriend? You get a new girlfriend!” Our boys nodded quickly with a “Yes Sir!” From your lips, to God’s ears!