Do you mind if I teach my sons to respect your daughters?

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To my four sons I've vowed to be an example of a Godly woman. Their dad and I have promised to teach them how to respect and adore members of the opposite sex. We have repeatedly trained them to think of others first and put aside their normal selfish tendencies. We've done this because one day our sons will find a young lady who catches their eye. Their curiosity and desire to get to know her will likely put him on autopilot unless he has been trained otherwise. I don't want any of my sons to look upon your daughters as objects of pleasure or bragging rights. I don't want them to forget that they will have to answer not only to us as their parents but to their heavenly father as well.

We've discussed this in depth with them since they were very young. The conversations were always age appropriate and serious. We used the real names of body parts (yes, it took me a while to actually say the word) and spoke candidly about God's design for sex. We also educated them on the world's view of sex and why we believed it to be a harmful. We keep the conversation open and engaging by bringing it up at various times as they are maturing.

We've tried to train them to point ladies, young or older, to God when they express insecurity through conversation, the covert shout for attention, or by the way she presents herself. Even if it is mom. Yes, I still have days like that and my sons have all, at one time or another, come to me and said, "Mom, can I pray for you? I see you need God to make himself known to you today." Proud? Yes. Humbled? Even bigger yes.

We've taught them that abstinence is the only way to honor God, prevent pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, and the emotional turmoil that tends to come with pre-marital sex. We want them to love their future wife enough to wait. We pray with them for their future wives and when they do things that we find questionable, we ask them if they would approve if a guy was doing that very thing, right now, with their future wife.

We try to make reality as real to them as we can. We try to reinforce that God is their provider and savior and he alone can help them to overcome certain temptations.

Why share this today? Because this is a difficult subject. It's tough to battle teenage hormones and a loud, obnoxious world that says abstinence is for fools and I should just give my kid a condom. I want my boys to stand for more than they fall for. I want them to learn to love not only their future wives but love every woman enough to not steal from her what isn't theirs to take.

And I don't think we talk about it enough. I think we should have open, non-judgmental, helpful, compassionate discussions about how to get our teens through these years. Have you been there? If so, what worked for you? What didn't? Are you almost there and want some advice? If so, what do you want to know? We have to stick together in this. I want our sons to respect your daughters and I hope you'll teach your daughters to respect our sons.

Blessings,

Amy Bayliss, amybayliss.com