My Son, Be Attentive to my Wisdom (just don’t listen to me mumble)

I have 6 daughters and one son. I am a daughter. (duh) I am not nor ever have been a son. Herein lies the dilemma. I do not know how to deal with some of the issues that come about when being the mother of a son.

For instance, how does one lovingly train one’s son to respond to the woman found in Proverbs 5 & 7? I will not mince words here. I have a tall, handsome, charming son. (He takes after his father) He is funny and personable, once he gets past the new people thing. (He takes after his mother…except maybe the funny and personable part…) I am amazed – horrified and shocked at the responses he receives from young ladies. (Did I mention horrified?? How about shocked???)

There is one young lady in particular that is driving me nuts! She is flagrant in her flirting and she is….well, she is nigh on pitiable. The word loose comes to mind, although I don’t suppose I should use it…. rats! She throws herself at one young man after another.

This past summer my son was involved in a summer theatre program (I know, I know, shame on me for letting my home schooled child out of the house, let alone allowing him to participate in something as base as theatre…oh sorry, I read Spunky this morning…she did call all IN homeschoolers to attention, don’t ya know? Just reading the falderal of those in authority brings the caustic to the surface. Gee, what a surprise, I digress.) On the final day, she sidled up to my son and put her hand on his shoulder and leaned in close (did I mention shocked??) and said, “I had to offer sacrifices and today I have paid my vows;”…oh wait, wrong quote.. (did I mention caustic??) she said, “I’m going to sit right beside YOU during the cast party. Everybody, I get to sit by OE during the party!!”

Now, being the kind, thoughtful, subtle mother that I am, if you would have been standing near me, you would have heard, “OH NO you’re not!” So, I turned to Jeff and said, “Honey,can we take the kids to Ritters (it’s a really yummy frozen custard place) instead of having them be a part of the cast party?” Problem eliminated.

Today however, the “problem” has raised its ugly head again – this year, we allowed both OE and BondServant to serve at a local church, while the moms have Bible Study. This same young woman was involved last year and therefore, we did not allow #1 son to participate. This year, he is working directly with his sister only so we allowed him to go. All was fine until the meeting was over and the children were gathering to go home. (cue the “Jaws” music) Just when we thought it was safe to go to the church……HER.

She came up and tried to hug my son (DID I MENTION HORRIFIED???) and said, “Oh, it’s SO good to see you. I’m SO glad you’re working here too.” My son said, “Nice to see you.” Here the report gets muddy. Daughter says he was too nice. Son says “I barely spoke 8 words to her (I did remind him that “Nice to see you” is 4…) and then I walked away to go play with the kids in the hallway.” Then he asked me the BIG question…. “How do I respond to her in a Christlike way?” My response, “RUN! When you see her, run!!!” “But Mom, you’ve always taught us to not run in church – now what??” (Smart Alick kid) 😉 (Side note – although she knows my daughter, she made no effort to even acknowledge her, let alone speak to her.)

SO, wiser (I think I’m the oldest of the bunch, aren’t I??) women, how do I counsel my son to deal with such a young lady? She has been this way for quite some time, as when I was working at the library 8 yrs ago, she would flirt with the men and boys there. When we attended church with them, she still flirted with the men and boys there, as well. This is not a new pattern, but it’s one I don’t care to see showing up in the weave of our family tapestry.

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20 Responses to “My Son, Be Attentive to my Wisdom (just don’t listen to me mumble)”
  1. Katie B. says:

    This is a tough one. Oh, by the way, I’m a recent lurker of your blog, found it from Choosing Home!

    I would continue to talk to your son about why she makes you uncomfortable, that is truly something I wish my parents had done with me when I was younger. Encourage him to avoid anything other than a barely polite hello with her. I think as Christians we often receive mixed messages about being nice and loving, and as a result we unintentionally encourage flirty behavior from others because we are afraid to come off as unfriendly. This might be hard for a young man, but I would encourage him to politely ask her not to hug him or touch him as he doesn’t hug or touch girls that aren’t members of his family. I can almost guarantee that comment alone will send her the message that she needs to hear- stay away! Also- we should pray for this young woman- it sounds like she needs some guidance in guarding her heart and the hearts of others. 😦

  2. molleth says:

    Ooooh. Tough one…

  3. Dawn – Wow, I wish I had some great advice here. Being I have a boy to contend with, too, I’ll be filng away the responses for the future. I thought of suggesting that you speak to her or possibly her parents, but I really don’t know what to say…”hey, you little floozy, God doesn’t like it when you act that way”? Somehow that doesn’t come out right…

  4. javadawn says:

    Hmmmm, so do you think that teaching him to throw up on command and then having his do so at her feet whenever she comes up to talk is a bit over the top??!!

    Katie, I’m so glad you stopped lurking. It’s nice to have you here – are you going to be able to join us in our book discussion? Thank you too for reminding me that I need to pray for this young lady. I’ve spent so many years watching she (and her mom’s approval and encouragement of her behavior) that I forget to pray first and wig second. 😕

  5. deborah says:

    gee dawn, that’s hard. my son is only 5 so i have a few years before this hits. but, we did have company on monday and i saw a girl, about 14, do this with my nephew. she had on a super tight shirt, would always be sitting next to him, sticking her chest out (as if we couldn’t see it well enough already..), being coy, etc. and this is a christian girl that goes to a christian school!! all the while, my nephew looked clueless (he’s 14 also). but there has to be something registering in that little pea brain of his!

    i think a time ago on the forum, someone said that men/boys have an innate desire to marvel at the female and the women/girls have an innate desire to be marvelled at! it is only holy in the context of marriage so your girlie’s situation makes it obviously wrong. the sad thing is that her mom isn’t keyed in to her daughter’s behavior. either that, or she’s vicariously living through her daughter’s actions. i think that was the case with our company on monday. anyway, like katie said up above–pray that the girl would be convicted of her actions/heart (ok, not ‘convicted’ as in jail time :))but that the scales would be taken off her eyes and she would ‘see’ what she is doing. gee, this IS tough one. my oldest dd doesn’t do the flirty thing so i don’t see it in action too often to have formed an opinion. but certainly, this girl’s true heart issues need to be addressed. where is her father?

  6. Michelle says:

    O.K. Dawn, I make NO claim to wisdom here since my oldest is only 12; but my advice would be to help your son to see this young woman through the lenses of scripture. Here is a situation which came up at our house. After we allowed the kids to watch Shrek (which was several years after receiving it as a Christmas present from a relative, but I digress) they started singing “Livin’ La Vida Loca” (song at the end of movie) over and over again. It was the closest thing to “radio music” and they were having fun with it. After it had crossed the line from fun to concern over what they were imprinting on their brains we sat down one morning for devotions and we played the song line by line, pausing after each line. After each pause from this song describing a woman who drives men to kill themselves (loveley fodder for a children’s movie) we read a line of Proverbs 31. We talked about what God wants for them in a mate and how God always has their best interest at heart. We talked about whether or not this woman would be a good choice for a mate for them in light of what Proverbs 31 teaches. Would she bring them good and not harm all the days of their lives?

    Another verse which comes to mind is 1 Pet. 3:3-4. Does your son think this accurately describes this girl or not? Joseph’s example to young men faced with sexual temptation is a good one. Your son doesn’t have to literally run away when he sees her (although a subtle walking in the opposite direction wouldn’t hurt I suppose) but I think if she’s going to throw herself all over him, he’s well within the boundaries of good manners to gently push himself away from her and take a couple of steps back to finish the conversation.

    The fact that this young lady is only interested in flirting with him and has shown no interest in being friendly to BondServant speaks VOLUMES. Does your son think that someone who loved him in an agape sort of way would treat his sister like that? IM(never to be)HO, she’s using him for something. Gratify her own needs, make someone else jealous, I don’t know, but she does not have his best interests at heart.

    One last thing before I get booted for taking up too much space…my boys have been involved in a local swim team for the past few summers (and you thought theatre was bad)…teen and preteen girls in less than modest swimwear, teen and preteen boys doing such chivalrous things as shoving cheetos down the girls’ fronts, you get the picture. I’ve always told the boys that no matter how the girls behave, their job as young men of God was to treat the girls/women with honor, even if they weren’t treating themselves very honorably.

    Just my .02, keep us posted.

  7. Java JR says:

    *Wonders if I can put MY .02 in* (Hmmmmm, probably not…) Did you mention Horrified??? Especially the innocent bystanders… Namely ‘Sisters’. 😛

  8. javadawn says:

    Thank you Ladies, (You too Java JR) We have discussed this AT LENGTH and will continue to. I admitted to him that I took him out of the cast party – and why. We continue to discuss her inappropriate behavior and how it is so easy to be caught off guard by her. (I have continued to bring Proverbs 5 & 7 before him regarding her responses to young men.)

    You know, Michelle, his chivalrous behavior got us in SO much trouble this summer in the theatre program. He made a point of opening doors for the (ALL) the women involved and pulling out their chairs. (This is what he has been taught….he (thankfully?)just continued it beyond our doors.) This just made the young lady THROW herself at him all the more. The other girls just made fun of him for the first few times. By the end of the program, they were looking at the other boys and saying, “Why aren’t YOU doing this??” 😕

    Deborah you asked where her father is – he has been present while she is flirting with young men. He appears to be an attentive father – but I do think that mom IS living vicariously through her daughter. Either that or mom is oblivious….which is quite possible. (Mom isn’t quite the brightest bulb in the 4 pack.)

  9. Crystal says:

    I totally laughed out loud at this post Dawn not at your problem but the way you describe it!! I think I laughed the most when you had to tell your son he spoke 4 words and not 8!!!

    Anyhoo my boy is almost 9 and other than my best friend’s 4 year old daughter insisting that she is going to marry Frank (for the last 2 years) we haven’t ran into this problem yet. I know that we will though because my boy is such a ham! He is so sweet and sensitive and smart and considerate and amazing in all ways thank you. 😉

    We have had this sort of thing happen with our 9 year old daughter though (Emily). Once we were at a pool at a hotel we were staying at and this boy was chasing her all over. She started to feel uncomfortable about it and asked the boy to please stop chasing her. He wouldn’t. So she marched right up to the boy’s father and told him to tell his son to stop chasing her!!! I was so proud of this girl she nearly knocked my socks off!! These people were total strangers too!

    And now there’s a boy that pulls her hair EVERY week at church and I am fairly certain it’s because he likes her. She just tells him to stop.

    Anyhoo, I’m just wondering what does DH thinks about this situation?

    My DH and I haven’t really talked about how we are going to handle this stuff. I think we better start to talk about it though.

  10. javadawn says:

    Jeff & I have done a lot of talking about this young lady – sigh…. DO get started, as I find it very difficult to teach our children to go from being kind to almost perceptibly rude, if need be, in order to put a young man/woman at bay. (I can not tell you how amazed I am at the hutzpah of young people with one another these days. We get QUITE an eyeful from watching the young ladies come lay about our neighbor’s yard, waiting for him to come and talk to them. 🙄 I guess I need to go tell them what my mom told me….”Ain’t no body paying for the cow when the milk comes pouring out for free.”) 😉 😉

  11. Lynn says:

    This is Jim Bay, not Lynn.
    I am a homeschooling son who is a junior. You may have guessed that I am Lynn’s son. Anything said hereafter should be attributed to me, not her. I don’t want you to stone her, she’s kinda’ nice. Anyway, I thought I might have a different perspective than all y’alls, being a guy and being roughly the same age as the party in question (Your son, not her). I think it’s pretty clear that this certain flirtatious individual is not thinking of a long-term relationship here. (Otherwise she would have been more courteous to a potential in-law, besides other obvious reasons.) So saying, I would suggest that your son tell her the cold, hard, truth. Simply say, “I don’t have feelings for you and you’re making me uncomfortable when you act like that.” Of course he’ll need to be less blunt and explain exactly what makes him uncomfortable, and it will be way more difficult than just saying it in his head, but if he says it right, she might just respect his wishes and leave him alone. If that fails I don’t suppose that an innocent bystanding sister could knock said individuals block off. (Her, not him.)
    Nevermind, I forgot I was a Christian. Many apologies.

    -JB-

  12. javadawn says:

    Dear JB – I ASSURE YOU, said sister has repeated BEGGED….I mean asked to knock this individual in question’s block off. (This young lady hit on the young man that JavaJR worked with last year. JavaJR is QUITE weary of this behavior.)  :/

    I confess JB, Katie’s (& Michelle’s & Violet’s) counsel to pray for her is hard for me. One wouldn’t think that would be the case, as I joyfully take up prayer for many a cause – but this girl just….irks me. She is voracious when it comes to young men and her mother has been confronted with it and yet does nothing. (Although, by this point, when it’s been tolerated for so long, really, short of breaking her legs how would she stop her? And even I would pause at breaking her legs….pause.) 😉

    Today my son asked if it wouldn’t be easier to find an essential oil that she thinks stinks and wear it like bug repellent. I’m thinking he’s on to something. 😀 This idea holds potential.

    Thank you for your input.  I appreciate it very much.

    Hey JB, pray for us re: this, would ya??  Pray for us to respond in a way that brooks no question as to my son’s opinion of this behavior and yet honors the Lord ….most of all pray for me to be submitted to the Lord and pray for this girl…whether I want to or not. (That goes for anyone who is willing to take up that call.  Something tells me I’m going to need it – the ministry position at the church goes until late spring.  Every week….week in and week out.  I am quite certain my flesh is going to be chastened in this process.) 😕

  13. deborah says:

    you never know, dawn. YOU could be the only one praying for this girl. your prayers could be the key to unlock her from this binding way of life, from the bondages of sin. i guess i second (and third, and fourth) the comments to pray for her and her family. she obviously needs to be free to be who God has called her to be. it may be that she can’t ‘help’ but be this way. she is a slave to sin and her way is chosen for her unless someone draws the blood of jesus across her path–pointing her in the Godward direction. could that someone be you? and quite possible your children? what a great way to exercise faith in the healing power of God to move in someone’s life.

  14. Michelle says:

    Another thing for you to ponder, dearest friend…I don’t know what your church is like, so I’m just taking a stab in the dark, but this girl reminds me (uncomfortably so) of myself at this age. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t have a string of conquests (or even one date to speak of) but I was embarrassingly flirtatious with the boys I had crushes on at the time.

    I did not grow up in a believing household, our church did not address godly manhood/womanhood (so the whole quiet spirit thing never came up), no one gave one thought to the admonition to mentor younger women much less a second one, and being a baby Christian (saved at 16) I was still having a difficult time reading, much less applying my Bible on a consistent basis. In short, I was young, stupid, and WORLDLY. (O, Lord thank you once again for saving me from myself.)

    So I guess my question is, who is there in this young girl’s life to tell her any differently than the way she is behaving? Is there room at your church for instruction in godly manhood/womanhood for the teenagers? Is it a case where Jeff should talk to her father? What about (gulp this one hurts) a mother/daughter Bible study? Who is there to model God’s love/grace/wisdom if not the spiritually mature? If you would look at her through Father’s eyes and remember what He did for her, because He’s crazy about her, would it be such a stretch to think that her behavior hurts Him because He knows how much she’s hurting herself? Mightn’t the Lord consider anything you do to help her out of this miry pit as service unto Himself?

    Please understand that 1.It’s really late here, 2. I’m really tired and 3. I’m just thinking out loud so to speak, so don’t take this as gospel truth or anything, just something to consider and pray about. I know you’re really good at that. I’ll be praying for you too.

    Much love,
    M.

  15. Michelle says:

    Dawn,

    I hope I didn’t step too far over the line last night! Please forgive me if I did. Sometimes I think I need a parental control on my computer which locks me out after 10:00 p.m.

  16. javadawn says:

    Michelle, my sweet, I’m on the fly but you’d have to have said a lot more than you did to over step the line. 🙂 I’m not the least offended or upset. You gave me something to think/pray about. I did try to pray for this young lady and her family this morning – I won’t lie – it was hollow and without any…Heart, for lack of a better word. Who cares, ya know? We don’t have to “feel it” to pray it. 😕

    This family isn’t currently a part of our church – I’m not even certain which church they are a part of right now. (If at all.) I’d have to hear from the Lord clearly – as in writing on the dining room wall – complete with hands and all 😉 as to having a Bible study with this mom and her daughters. I want to say I’m willing, but I’m not at this point. I have tried for a season to befriend this mom. It is a FULL TIME job. She is a cling-on to the nth degree. (ie: she called and asked if she could drop something off – 4 hrs later, she left. Even though I was telling her I needed to attend to school with the kids. I even tried the “Let’s plan another time to get together, as I really need to finish up school with the kids.” routine – to no avail. Her daughters were both home while she was here – she too homeschools. Her oldest at that time would have been 11!!) 😯 I’ve done that – I’ve had people who just hang out here and do not leave, no matter what…. it is exhausting and frustrating. (The last time, my husband had to call the woman’s husband and ask him to keep her home during our school hours. That too, was to no avail.)

    All that to say – IF the Lord is going to call me to that, I’m going to need 24/7 prayer coverage! (Uh, that would be 24 months, 7 days a wk until I’m willing.) 😉 By all means, DO pray that my heart would be willing, if that is what He is calling me to.

  17. Michelle says:

    Sort of a different subject here, but why is your church leadership allowing this young girl to be a part of the ministry when they don’t even know if she’s regenerate? This ministry is not a teen hang-out and the church is not a pick-up club. If she’s ministering there, she is representing your church to the outside world. Is everybody O.K. with that? Deep breath…just went back and reread the post. You said a “local church” not your church. Is this church known for holding to a Biblical standard? Another question(I told you John says I talk things to death :o), Are your children serving in this capacity because they want to or because they really feel God is asking them to? Is this really the place for them to be?

    You have my complete sympathy about “cling-on” relationships…they suck the life right out of you.

    I’ll still keep praying for you…and your son.

  18. molleth says:

    One more thing, to help in the prayer department, I find that most of the time, overtly sexual teen girls are that way NOT because of mom, but because of dad.
    😦

    It either signals some sort of abuse from a male person at some point, or just that dad was so uninvolved that the girl never got the message from a Daddy (a needed message!) that she was good, of value, and worth something.

    She was born wired to need that message. If she didn’t get it, she’s going to try and find it through other male figures. And once she discovers she’s sexual, it doesn’t take long to figure out that’s the easiest way to get a guy to tell you how much he likes you and needs you, how worthy you are to him (even if it’s only for a moment, that’s at least SOMETHING as compared to the nothing she’s got in her heart before then).

    I know all this stuff because I was a girl like that. No daddy who said he loved me…and a very lonely little girl who wished there was…and then, one day, I discovered there was another way to have a man want me and need me. You get what you need at great cost, but at least you get something. That’s better than nothing.

    …If that helps you any in the praying process. 😦

  19. deborah says:

    i could have written molly’s post. thanks, molly, for speaking. you say the father is there and does nothing. could this be the key? she wants her actions to cue her father to say “stop!! you are worth more than this! you are worth waiting for!” but he does/says nothing and she interprets that as “you’re not worth saying anything….go ahead and waste yourself.”

    it hurts.

  20. javadawn says:

    Ladies, thank you for the challenge to hold this family up in prayer – it was easier this morning. 😕 Hopefully it will continue to get easier.

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