In May, I posted this post that explains a little bit of what I have been wrestling with, in regards to how we talk to our teenagers about sex, specifically teenage girls. We have played the shame game for long enough, and I want to redirect youth ministry to a more loving and honest approach to the “sex talk.”
One of my friends that I grew up with posted on my personal Facebook page this article: My Husband Is Not My Soul Mate
This article is one I have read before and orates really well the myth behind having a “soul mate.” Too often we tell our teenage girls to just “Wait for God to put that perfect man in your life” (which I already ranted about) or to “Pray for your future soulmate.”
We say these things with good intentions, and I think there are good principles here; but what are we implying?
- That they WILL get married. Not necessarily true
- That there is ONE person out there for them. What a tiring search!
- That their self-worth is found in a man. Absolutely not.
So what are a a few ways things we can do?
If it happens, it happens.
I think that teaching our teenagers (especially girls) that relationships are beautiful and that if they happen, they happen, that’s wonderful. But not necessarily promised.
First Love isn’t the Only Love
I think we need to teach them that the first person they date is not the one; in fact, there are many potential possibilities of the one! There have been men in my life who I honestly could have lived a good, long life with. But that doesn’t mean they are my “soul mate.” And:
There are other fish in the sea.
If you pass up a “good opportunity” in pursuit of something (or someone) else, that opportunity is not lost forever. Of course, popular music and movies would teach you different. Like I said, I have passed up some opportunities because:
God may still be preparing you.
I think it’s funny that we pray, “And God, I pray for my future husband that you are preparing for me.“ One day I realized: Maybe it’s me God is preparing for him. Why do we assume it’s the other person who God is working on? It’s pretty audacious for me to think that I’m the one waiting, when in reality there may be a guy who God has in mind to run into my path soon, but I’m the one who’s not prepared. Just. Saying.
Re-define “the perfect mate.”
Bust the bubbles of reality. I used to make lists of what my future husband should be like. I wish I could find the Bible Journal from middle (even high) school that had a points system, including:
- If he loves Jesus +25 points.
- Attends church every Sunday +25
- Nice face +10 points.
- Nice body +10 points.
- Abs +10 points
- Taller than me +15
- Has a sense of humor +15 points.
- Plays guitar +10 points.
- Thinks my parents are stupid too +10 points.
- Smokes -50 points
- Does drugs -100 points
- Must have 90 points in order to date me.
I’m not even kidding.
But as I get older— do I really care that he’s not the best at writing with perfect grammar? Okay, let’s skip that one. But does he HAVE to be over six feet tall? I’m pretty short as it is. Why do I care about things that don’t honestly matter? What do perfect abs have to do with anything; we’re all gonna get fat when we get old anyway.
All I’m sayin’ is:
Let’s be realistic and honest with our teenagers. Let’s not shame them into thinking that they HAVE to date or have relationships with the opposite sex in one, concrete way. Live life with them, let them experience what marriage is like by having married couples invest in them, and let them see that singleness is not for ugly people and creepers who are miserable.
If this stuff isn’t true, then I am one sad, miserable, 23 year old and I should invest in some cats, liposuction, and therapy.