Thursday, February 02, 2006

Ladies in Waiting

Visiting friends in the blogosphere, I came across Radical One's request for encouragement for her teen-aged daughters who are finding most of the young men in their circles too passive to initiate a relationship, and generally unpromising as future mates. They are feeling lonely and isolated. They are wondering if they should initiate things or???

I, too, have two teen-age daughters who have struggled in many of the same ways as yours have. They are no strangers to feeling isolated by their resolve to remain fully who they are and fully feminine. And there are several things that I think they would say have helped them.

1) Stay away from church youth groups that center on entertaining the young people and/or are full of teens couple-ing up and changing partners frequently. This just brings the romantic stuff to the fore before its time. None of these kids are ready for marriage. They are playing with fire. And it makes young people who are centered on preparation for real life look and feel so terribly isolated.

2) Seek to get acquainted with young men in the context of working on a project that your daughters are passionate about. Work normalizes a relationship. There is a common goal, something beyond merely looking into one another's eyes and sighing. Work gives both young people a glimpse into the ordinary exercise of their strengths and weaknesses. Work often involves families, which allows everyone concerned to see each other in their natural settings without the pressure of courtship or dating. Work gives everyone the freedom to complement and to enjoy one another without a romantic context.

3) Find friends both male and female who will strengthen your resolve to wait. Check out the wonderful teens who make up the community centered on the Rebelution website.

4) Remember that there are worse things than being lonely. Namely, being surrounded by people who mock your resolve or encourage self-centered foolishness. And there are far worse things than being single. Namely, being married to a man who is uncomfortable with his masculinity or with your femininity.

5) Resist the temptation to view the time before marriage as primarily a time of waiting or of being warehoused. There are vitally important things that young women need to be doing while they have no pressing responsibilities to a husband and children. There is no waiting for life to begin. There are only ever-widening spheres of influence. This is a concentrated time of preparation and productivity.

What are your secrets to raising powerful, contented and feminine girls?


Radical One said...

thank you so much for your wonderful words of wisdom. i love your place here and if it's alright i'd love to add you to my link of friends.

anyway, i think the thing that really hits home is this... "Resist the temptation to view the time before marriage as primarily a time of waiting or of being warehoused. There are vitally important things that young women need to be doing while they have no pressing responsibilities to a husband and children." great thougts!

again, love your place here and will be back soon!


Gordon Cloud said...

This is incredibly sound advice. God has given you some wonderful insight into this matter.

Kim Anderson said...

Thanks, both of you! Lisa, certainly we are friends!

Valerie Benavidez said...

Kim, I love your suggestions about "Ladies in Waiting". I'd add to them to suggest cultivating your delight in the Lord. When I was a young lady, I wrongly thought that my heart's desire was for a godly (handsome) man to come and sweep me off my feet. From the vantage point of someone who's been happily married for 24 years to a godly handsome man, I now know that knowing and learning to implicitly trust Jesus is my true heart's desire, and the pursuit of which is the only one that will bring me true contentment and satisfaction. Practice making Him your heart's desire.
Thank you for your post and your site. It's beautiful!

Kim Anderson said...

I agree, Valerie. Men are just men, but God is the One who will be our truest Hero.

Bev (in NM) said...

As usual, the wise words I expect from my friend. There's a young lady here in NM, a home school graduate, Aprill Brunson, who is addressing this very issue at her website ( someone who is in the midst of living a productive life as a single woman. She's also written a book, Life in the Single Lane, that may be helpful to Lisa's girls and other young women asking what to do with their lives as singles.

One review had this to say:
"…Entertaining and heart-warming, inspiring and honest, sometimes painful and sometimes too funny, Life In the Single Lane should be recommended reading for everyone wrestling with yieldedness in any season of life. Another important point Aprill makes is the extraordinary power of God to transform and use ordinary people with apparently ordinary lives. Her chapter on being a Single of Service is a particular favorite. If she can persuade this generation of believing singles to harness their energy for purposeful service, it will transform the world as we know it."

- Susan Tsyitee
Christian Association of Parent Educators of New Mexico board member

One other point I would add, as the mother of two young single women: A strong relationship with their father makes a great difference in being willing to wait for the man God may choose to bring into their lives. Their dad provides the protection they need and desire, as well as a male perspective on daily life.

Thanks again!

Kim Anderson said...

Thank you for the links, Bev.

Point well taken about a good relationship with a father

Naomi Joy said...

My family of four unmarried girls has a website that might encourage your daughters. It's

American Maven Lady said...

I love this painting and everythng you said about waiting for the best man.


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