I really love my daughters. They are wonderful Christian girls who love life, love God, and love each other. That does not mean that they don't fight; but they are good girls.
My oldest daughter Rebecca (now 15) blogs at a homeschool site, and even though I don't spy on her too much, I do occasionally read her posts. Here's what she said recently:
Hey girlies! I found this amazing little note on Facebook from my friend Joanna who found it somewhere, and I love it! I'm going to post it for all you beautiful girls right now (and all the guys who are reading, but I don't think there are many.):
Girls are like apples...the best ones are at the top of the trees. The boys don't want to reach for the good ones because they are afraid of falling and getting hurt. Instead, they just get the rotten apples that are on the ground that aren't as good, but easy. So the apples at the top think there is something wrong with them, when, in reality, they are amazing. They just have to wait for the right boy to come along, the one who's brave enough to climb all the way to the top of the tree...
Isn't that encouraging? It made my day to read it. ;)
Now we're going to talk about what it means to be an apple on the top of the tree. I'm going to list some qualities that I think are important:
* Must honour both God and her Christian brothers in what she wears and how she acts * Respects her mother and father * Doesn't put others down by her words, but builds them up so that they can join her at the top of the tree * Is patient when things don't go her way (working on this...) * Understands that her purity is not a thing to give away freely, but a priceless gift addressed only to her future husband * Understands the difference between vanity and looking pretty. * Love the Lord her God with all her mind, heart, soul, and strength, and will not let anything get betwen them.
Isn't that great? I like that part on honouring her parents, too.
Right now this is what Rebecca believes, and she preaches it to every teen she knows. My 12-year-old recently talked another 12-year-old boy out of dating, telling him he was being ridiculous. That little boy now follows her around like a puppy dog, but he swears he doesn't want to date. He just wants to see life a little differently.
I'm not sure I can give you any words of wisdom on how to raise girls who don't want to date until they're old enough, because I think much of the way my girls have turned out is due to God, and not to me. I did give Rebecca Josh Harris' book I Kissed Dating Good-Bye when she was 13, and that has really shaped her thinking. It is a marvelous book; read it first yourself and give it a chance. I didn't believe him at all until I was halfway through, but then he won me over.
One thing that is absolutely crucial, though, is creating a warm and loving family environment so that kids get the affection and time they need from their parents. Then they're less likely to need it from the opposite sex at 15 or 16. Especially for girls, dads are important. Encourage your hubby to take some time every week to connect one-on-one with your teen daughters. They do need that input from another male, and the feeling that they are pretty, valued, and important. The girls that I often see the most worried about guys tend to also be the ones with the worst relationships with their dads (and I know that was the case with me when I was a teenager! I was completely boy crazy!).
Finally, know who their friends are. Make your house the hangout. Volunteer at youth group. Insert yourself into their lives. The more you're there, the more they can talk to you, and the less likely they are to make really bad decisions.
Teach them that God has a plan, and that His plan can't be hurried. Stress, too, that the plan won't include godly romantic relationships until they're older anyway, and able to marry. So spend the teen years loving God and getting to know Him, and you'll do ever so much better later on!
About Me: I'm a Christian author of a bunch of books, and a frequent speaker to women's groups and marriage conferences. Best of all, I love homeschooling my daughters, Rebecca and Katie. And I love to knit. Preferably simultaneously.