The birthday festivities continued into the weekend. We danced, we dined-- it was marvelous. Afterward Brady and I headed to my parents for yet another game night. I stayed downstairs with the high schoolers reveling in their teenage drama and the fact that they'll look back one day and have a face palm moment.
Was I really ever so naive to believe that I knew everything?
I know that when I was 16 I whole heartedly believed that I was ready for adult responsibility. That I could get married, settle down, start a family-- and I could have. But I'm glad I didn't. I was still figuring out who I was at 16 I don't know how I intended to contribute anything meaningful (other than feelings) to a relationship.
My parents got married when they were young and unestablished. For so long I believed that was how you were supposed to do it. By the time I was 18 I felt like an old maid--it depressed me because I felt like I was supposed to have my life all pieced together by then... much like my parents. What I failed to take into account was my parents relationship in their first 6 years of marriage. It was terribly hard. Divorce was contemplated. Two kids that hadn't even figured themselves out entered into an adult union.
Growing up was forced instead of gradual.
God inevitably intervened and my parents are still together but if he hadn't. Things were headed downhill fast. There is no telling where we'd all be today. There probably wouldn't be seven of us. I know I wouldn't have the same view of marriage that I do today.
My point-- there is so much pressure, when you're a girl in high school, to date, to be in a relationship, to find your "soul mate". My perspective--the perspective of a former teenager-- I don't think it's smart to date in high school-- if you're looking for a spouse. I think it is best to wait until your hormones have calmed down and your brain is running the show instead of your heart (Jeremiah 17:9).
Sure. There are people who meet in high school, get married, and spend the rest of their lives together. I'm not saying it doesn't work. I just think it makes it harder in the beginning. It absolutely makes it harder to stay pure. If you meet the love of your life when you're a freshman you better be walking pretty close to Jesus because the next four years are going to be rough and at 14 you don't really have the option to marry instead of burn with passion (1 Corinthians 7:9). At 14 there is pretty much only burning.
When I was 16 I had a boyfriend who I wanted to marry. It would have been awful if we did. We were two completely different people-- though we sure did love each other a lot. Love is not enough to make it work. If there are no common goals or interests-- if Christ is not the center of your relationship and life. It doesn't work. Don't even let your heart go there (Proverbs 4:23).
"In whatever man does without God, he must fail miserably or succeed even more miserably." *George McDonald
There was a four year period of time where I struggled to move on. The heart is really a deceitful, wicked, thing (Jeremiah 17:9). I almost missed out on the best thing that has ever happened to me because of it. I was still talking to my ex when I met Brady. I very quickly realized that if I wanted to be in a healthy relationship with anyone I had to permanently sever ties.
It wasn't easy and that is why I love speaking to the younger generation about these things. Because I've been there. Because my parents have been there. Because history loves to repeat itself. Because no matter how much that 14 year old boy tells you he loves you--you are still not ready to marry him and he is still not ready to marry you. And if neither one of you are in a position to get married-- why are you dating?