Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Okay - on to the response to the comment on courtship.

Dear Anynomous,

First off, I should say that my lovely daughter, who you apparently believe won't have a mind of her own, thinks I should just spam the comments and ignore this altogether. Not really a bad idea, but you almost make a valid point, and nearly asked a reasonable question. Suffice it to say, Ri has more than enough of her own mind, and will most likely be better prepared for her future marital relationship than nearly anyone I've ever met. Also, I will turn these into valid points that all parents could benefit from keeping in mind.

I'd like to address the nearly valid point you made first. You said, "Your daughter will start relying on YOU so much in her relationship that she won't know what to do when she gets married and you're not there every minute!" The reason your point is almost valid is because it is possible for a parent to be so totally in control of a child that the child never really learns to think for themselves.  This happens with all sorts of things - the type of career a person enters, how they handle finances, how they raise their children, and yes, how they deal with their spouses. But, that type of parent makes a child dependent on them their whole lives. I may be a control freak with things that go on in my own home, but I'm very much the type of person who believes that a person should ultimately be responsible for themselves and I work on training my children to think for themselves and to take responsibility for their own actions. I may try to guide them in making good decisions now, but as their parent, that is my job. I never allow them to excuse their actions and I encourage them to think things through on their own before they cause themselves problems. The reason for all this is because one day they will be on their own. Even now, if Ri and Superman need to talk something through, I leave it to them.  My being in the room doesn't mean I'm in control of the conversation.  I'm just there to make sure it stays PG. I've seen plenty of relationships where the couple started out the (ugh) "normal" way, only for their marriage to be constantly derailed by a meddling mother/father-in-law.  If it weren't for my own husband's willingness to stand up to his parents, they would be overbearing and controlling.
The point here would be that every parent should try to raise their children to be mature, independent adults; not to cripple them into being dependent. Part of raising a child to think for themselves is the realization that they may not always agree with you. My children can voice an opinion even now in opposition to one I hold and I will listen to them, as long as they are being respectful. Oftentimes their opinion is over-ruled, but sometimes they make a valid point that I need to think/act on. No parent should be so much of a control freak that they feel they are never wrong, or that they should never have to apologize to their kids. Usually the reason the girls are over-ruled is because they didn't have all the information to begin with. Once I explain things to them, or point out how they could/should look at the other side of things, they usually change their own minds, but if they don't they are at liberty to act on it how they want to once they have their own home.
I do not expect to be able to "run my daughter's home from the house next door", so to speak, nor do I expect her to put up with it if I were to try. The reason your point wasn't really valid is because you don't know me and therefore don't know what my expectations for my children and their future lives are.

The second thing I will address is what you said at the end of one of your comments.  You said you obviously couldn't understand why I would be so strict and you asked me to reply, stating that you would be interested in hearing why I would want to do this. I'm not quite sure what it is you're asking.  Why I'm strict? Why we practice courtship? Or maybe... Why we practice courtship in this manner? So, I'll try to answer all three. For why we practice courtship in general see this post: 'Courtship part 1' . All you really have to do is look at the divorce rate, which runs at around 50%, to see that current dating/relationship practices do not work all that well.  Logic alone will tell you that. But, I don't really think this is your question. If you went all the way back to May's post to read 'Courtship part 2', I would have thought you would have read part 1 already. Plus you said in your comment that "sure, courtship is a great idea.", so one would assume that most likely we just disagree on the "how".
So that leaves us with why I'm strict and why we practice courtship in this particular manner. They are virtually the same question, but I will add here that I'm just fairly strict in general. I'm of the "kids are guilty until proven innocent" camp.  Why?  Because I was once a child and I remember what they are capable of. Which brings us to the other part.  It is because we are all capable of sin.  Children and adults alike. Children misbehave because of sin.  Adults are no different. We practice courtship with all of the rules mentioned in the post you read because we want to reduce the amount of temptation the young couple is likely to encounter. We want them to focus on the lives they will lead once they do get married instead of all the warm fuzzy feelings that people usually get drawn into and that tends to sidetrack them from the more important life issues they will have to face later on. Are they capable of resisting temptation? Some are, sure. But when the bible tells us to resist temptation, it doesn't say put yourself in a situation where you may be tempted and then try to resist it.
As to your comments about invading her privacy, what does she need privacy for? The only things my husband and I need privacy for are the very types of things unmarried people do not need to do.  As an unmarried, young woman, there should be nothing she says, writes in a text, or does that anyone else can't see.  What's very telling is that it's someone totally unconnected with us that objects to this, and not my daughter or the young man who is courting her.
Most importantly, I feel my daughter is a treasure to be guarded and worthy of someone who will think she is as special as I do.When approached by people questioning him on why he would put up with all these rules, Superman tells them that Ri is worth it.  All the rules, the waiting, everything.  What I would want to know is why more people would not want this for their own children.
BTW-Superman and Ri have both previewed this post and totally agree.
In fact, Superman suggests that perhaps salvation would be the key to a new opinion on the subject.  He makes a good point, and if you are not currently saved that would be the best place to start. I would be willing to discuss this further if you want to leave some way to get back in touch with you.
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  1. Thanks for a gracious and intelligent response. Sorry, I didn't read the original question and will have to go looking at posts I've missed while I 've been away.
    I use the term, Roots and Wings, in the raising of children. Keep up the good work and blessings to Ri and her Superman. She definately sounds worth it!

  2. Thanks Ruby. I certainly think she is.
    The original comments have not been published. While there were no "bad" words used in the comments, they were not particularly nice. It sounded as though the writer were a little angry, so I have vacillated on whether or not to publish them. They are still holding in the unmoderated comments section for now.
    Like I mentioned in the post though, there were a couple of points that could use some clarifying, otherwise I never would have bothered with answering.
    Oh, and I love the term Roots and Wings with regard to raising children. How fitting.

  3. BRAVO!! Very well put. I'm glad you did the writing because I know Ri and I wouldn't have done it quite as well...lol.

    love ya!

  4. I'm so sorry someone left such a negative comment. Good for you for writing a clear and logical post, explaining why your this was your choice! It's nice to see Christians standing up for their beliefs.

    Elizabeth Rose

  5. Thank you so much Elizabeth Rose. It's also nice to see that there are people who are appreciative of someone who's trying to take a stand on their Christian beliefs. I think it's God's way of reminding us that we're not really on our own.
    Blessings you you.