Purty Petals

Today, while recovering from a strange bout with the flu – I’ve asked a “guest blogger” to come and share their thoughts.  (read: What they’ve already posted at their own blog.)   🙂
I burst through the front door out onto the cement porch of our old 1925 brick house. The sun was shining, and the sky was BRIGHT blue with fluffy white clouds, a perfect spring day! I was probably the happiest 8 year old there was. (Or at least I liked to think so)

My mother had bought new flowers to plant throughout the yard, like she always did. Mum was out in the side yard on her hands and knees digging up dirt and planting the little buds of flowers in the ground. I was excited to help her.
This year was different, this year I was a ‘big girl’ and Mum was giving me my own flower to take care of by myself! She had given me a small peony plant to grow in my little garden.
Mum looked up at me, patted the ground next to her and asked “Come help me, Sis?”.

She showed me how to get the little roots into the ground, gently cover them with dirt, and pat the dirt down firmly around it. My little peony was now getting used to it’s new ‘home’.
I was thrilled!  (You can’t blame me! “Your own little flower” is a big deal to an 8 year old! *laughs* )
I went into the big old white wood garage to fetch my watering can. I filled it up from the nearest garden hose, and took it over to give ‘my little flower’ a drink.

For weeks I babied my little flower. I named it “Lucy” after my favorite character from the Snoopy comic.
I loved to watch it grow day by day, bugger and bigger. First from a small baby bud, then ever so slowly into a mostly full bloomed flower!
I would proudly show Grandma and all my friends my flower, and they would “ooh” and “ahh” accordingly. I was a proud parent.  😉

As it would get bigger, I could slowly start to see the petals start to peek out and show their true beauty. One by one they would unfold and bloom into this exquisite flower.

My little neighbor boy, Mitchell, loved to tease me. He was a large 7 year old who thought it was fun to torment kids. He used to have his buddies around and come over to my yard when I had a neighbor girl over, they would gang up on us and tell us that they were going to kiss us whether we liked it or not, and would chase us around the block trying to catch us.
I don’t know what was appealing about tormenting us girls, especially since some of us had (have) decent right hooks.

One day Mitchell was feeling quite mischievous and was threatening to hit me with a baseball bat if I didn’t let him play on my swing. (*sighs* What is it that makes boys think that they can solve everything by physical force?)  I was rather mad, and told him “No he still couldn’t play on my swing set today” and ran into the house to keep from being creamed by his bat. He was a boy of his word, and I knew he’d probably hit me if he felt like it.

He was mad, and I knew it. But I was a stubborn little girl, and when I said no I mean it!
Twenty minutes later I felt it was probably safe to go back outside, since his dad was now home and had called him into supper.
I went back outside to play again, and go see if Ashley (my favorite neighbor) could come out and play with me.
When I found out that Ashley was not done with dinner yet, I went over to check on my flower to water it again.

As I rounded the edge of the house, I stopped dead in my tracks. There it was… my flower! It had been plucked, petal by petal. Dozens of its precious petals all scattered around it. It hadn’t even fully bloomed yet!
My dear peony robbed of its beauty and thrown aside as if it was garbage.

To say the least, I was not so nice to Mitchell after that. I was rather quick tempered back then (… still am. But mercifully, God has given me the self-control to keep from loosing my cool. *winks*),  (Mom’s note: USUALLY)  😉  and I didn’t have much grace for Mitchell’s cruelty towards my little flower.

The reason, ladies (and gentlemen) that I am telling you all this story is to explain to you that our purity is like my peony. (I know that sounds like a bad analogy, but hear me out on this please. *laughs*)
We are each given a ‘flower’ of purity to take care of, protect and watch grow in beauty.

But, if we are not careful with it our culture’s views on “romance” will, like my neighbor boy, pluck our flower one petal at a time, until the beauty of it is scattered into the wind.
Even now it threatens to destroy your flower….
-Romance movies that tell us how a “romance” should be in Hollywood’s opinion. (*plucks one petal*)
-Ads on the television that promote a woman in a sexual way. (*plucks another petal*)
-We allow ourselves to fall into a crush and start to like someone in a romantic way without focusing it on Christ. (*plucks another petal*)
-“Drooling” over an actor over his looks. (*plucks another petal*)
-Allowing our eye to be caught by a girl in skimpy clothing on the street. (*plucks yet another petal*)

Slowly, one by one, our petals are being plucked…

Someone asked me “If it’s just for fun and not permanent, why can’t we just have little romances? Just have a boyfriend for a while, don’t kiss or have sex, just be boyfriend and girlfriend for a while… there’s no harm in it!”
But the truth is, yes, there IS harm in it.
By allowing ourselves to be involved in that, WE are the ones plucking our own petals off our flowers of purity. Soon, we won’t have anything left of our flower but stems and leaves.

That, my dear friends, is why protecting ourselves is important. Even if we seem like we’re over-protecting ourselves sometimes.
We have so much to lose, and it is so important that we shield and protect our flowers of purity. We need to baby it and nurture it, only then can we have the pleasure of watching it grow and bloom to it’s full beauty.

Now, I know the boys have probably lost interest in this, or think that I am only writing to girls, but I am not. Your purity is just as precious as ours.
Some of you are probably humiliated to think of your purity as a flower, and that’s fine, I understand. So think of it as a jewel instead. Try to imagine yourself as a Knight protecting a precious jewel that was given to you to keep safe. 😉

Whatever analogy you want to use when you think of your purity, I hope you all join me in the fight to protect it.
It is not ours to play with, we’re saving it for our future spouses, and most importantly for God.
I assure you, it will not be a vain quest! 😉

*hugs to all* I hope this makes sense!
Any questions and comments are always welcome, as usual.

Blessings from the Most High God, the One who has bestowed the sweet and dear gift or your purity to you!
In Christ’s love and my own,

12 Responses to “Purty Petals”
  1. Michelle says:

    Dawn and Danica,

    I so appreciate you sharing your thoughts with us on this issue. We (DH and I) are struggling with just where God would have us lead our family on this very issue. I’m afraid it has snuck up on us a little :o/

    We are also aware that the Church is doing no better than the World on this issue. (In fact according to one study I read about last night, we are doing *WORSE*, only we “feel” guilty about it.) If our lives aren’t any different, what is the point???? And THAT is where it becomes a larger issue than just what are we going to tell our kids about dating vs. courtship. How is MY life any different? How is HIS? How are we leading as parents?

    I’m afraid I’m beginnning to ramble, many apologies, you can blame a severe lack of caffeine. ;o) I’m looking forward to reading the rest of your thoughts!

    Much love to you both!!!

  2. Margie says:

    I am right there with Michelle…needing to set some standards and teach my daughters. And, like Michelle, this has snuck up on our family as well.

    I am feeling the burden of most of this training myself since my DH pretty much leaves the parenting to me. I am not sure he and I are on the same page when it comes to purity issues. 😦

    Thanks so much for your post, Danica and Dawn. You are the awesome big sisters (mentors) my daughters and I need 🙂

  3. Dana says:

    Thank you so much for such a beautifully written explanation of the treasure our purity is.

    I am a mom with many children of whom their father & I have discussed the importance of their purity with them since they were little. It was often in casual conversation and then as they approached their teens it became more serious. We knew that we wanted our children to love the Lord with all their heart, mind & soul so that they would not struggle as deeply with this issue. If their mind & eyes were fixed on the Lord they would be less likely to stray. We have 5 teens so far. The girls are all very passionate about not dating. They very often stand alone in this conviction because their friends don’t understand why they have chosen this. My boys are trying very hard, but do struggle with the “girlfriend” thing.
    The bottom line in our teaching to them is that as a believer in the Most High God, the Alpha & Omega, Jehovah, we are called to obey his laws that are set in place to protect us from harm. When we trust & obey we are blessed. When we don’t obey & we test the waters of purity we live with a regret that ,even though we know that we are forgiven, we cannot let go of. Pieces of our heart are scattered everywhere & our God-given spouse can only recieve the remnants of what is left. They deserve our whole heart.

    Thanks again for such a great post. I am linking you to my site!

  4. javadawn says:

    Michelle and Margie – (You two sound like twin names) 😉
    I am certain that short of the Lord intervening in our lives, we’d be in the same place you are. HOWEVER, (dare I say it this way?) because of Jeff’s history with dating and the number of women/girls (we got married pretty young) 😉 that acted like idiots when he got married, we were determined to do something different for our children. (Keep in mind his friends were SO sure he’d jilt me at the altar that they had money changing hands at the wedding.) :O 😛
    SO, before we even had children, we knew that dating would not gain our support. We have been presenting that to the kids for as long as they likely remember. They have always known that we felt strongly about this.
    I can’t say that I’d risk losing the heart a one of my children over this – but I can’t say that I wouldn’t. By God’s grace that is something we won’t have to face. (May I pause here and say we have friends who allowed their children to date – and they were more rigid in the standards that they applied than other friends of ours whose children all courted. It has an awful lot to do with the parents and the children and their relationship, I think, more than whatever word you choose to use to describe it.)
    I will say this – you may be ASSURED that should the Lord lead you in this same general direction, that your daughters (in particular) will take a lot of flack for their decision. Some of the things that have been said to Danica have been downright MEAN.
    Jeff has developed a reputation amongst the girls in our community that call Jeffrey, of being a jerk. (He wasn’t a jerk precisely…..) 😀 (Hey, they call and ask for Jeff, my husband is going to answer.) 😆 They stopped calling.

    Dana – Five teens, so far!! What a joy and blessing. You are a rich woman!! You’re in the midst of fun and exciting times. I love having teens, they’re so much fun. Thank you for the support and encouragement – it’s nice to know we’re not the only crazy parents. 😉
    Any chance YOUR husband can answer the calls coming in for your sons? 😉 😉

  5. Michelle says:

    O.K. Dawn, the Jeff/Jeffrey/phone thing is too too funny! I am laughing in my seat as we speak and you know how hazardous that is!!

    John and I are *trying* to read through “I Kissed Dating Goodbye” together (I say *trying* because you know the abundance of time we have together lately–NOT) then we’ll reorder “Boy Meets Girl” through ILL. (I had it once, but couldn’t pick it up in time, so had to let it go.)

    I am not particularly worried about my boys’ hearts–they are so soft for the Lord, they really want to please Him. I think we just thought we had more time. I’ve also noticed that both boys approach this issue with different motivations. For Gabe, it’s more out of a sense of entitlement because he has reached an age that ends in “teen”–something to prove his manhood, it kind of goes hand in hand with being bipolar. For Nathan, it sounds more like he’s looking for affirmation, and that’s something we need to make sure is being addressed here at home.

    For the record, our boys already take quite a bit of flack from their peers…can you guess why? Because their father and I insist they wear church clothes to church. Imagine!! I don’t insist on a suit and tie (although Gabe did go through that phase and it was fine by me) but I do want them to show honor and deference to the Lord in the way they dress for worship. (Tan pants and clean shirt anyone?) Apparently if you don’t show up to church wearing school clothes you’re wierd.

  6. Michelle says:

    Oh yeah, and BTW, your new header is making me hungry. :o)

  7. Dana says:

    Calls coming in for our sons? Today it is all done with texting on a cell phone. Drives me crazy! One early morning while my husband was sitting in the living room doing his devotions, our son’s cell phone beeped with a text message at 7:00 a.m.! It was from a girl. My husband replied with, “Josh is in bed, this is his dad. Don’t text him again.” She didn’t even talk to Josh for weeks after that until she told him what his dad did. Come to find out, he text her the night before. She was only replying. Our son is not innocent at all & still doesn’t “get it” when we say, “Run like Joseph!” . We now keep his phone at night.
    Did I tell you that we have 6 boys? Yeah, this problem is not going away.

  8. Dana says:

    I forgot to add that I absolutely love your header. Coffee & chocolate…my 2 favorite food groups. You just can’t get any better than that!

  9. javadawn says:

    Dana and Michelle – I know, that header is killer isn’t it?? Danica made that up for me and surprised me by putting it on and waiting for me to see it. I about DROOLED on my keyboard when I found it. 😀

    Michelle, I think there are a lot of things that our children consider their “rights” when they become a teenager. Because of that, there are decisions we’ve made that force them to put off some of those “rights” – much to the dismay of some of our family members. (“What do you mean you’re not driving at 16 and 3 days?!!” “What do you mean you’re not able to get a job at 16?”)
    We specifically took a lot of those “presumptions” that we had about becoming teens and addressed them face on. Some of them have remained in place (ie: ear piercing for the girls.) others we ditched.
    We have told the children that the things that they presume to be rights are really privileges and they know that privilege is extended when sufficient responsibility is shown. (Or in Danica’s case, we had enough money to pay for her car insurance.) 🙂 Furthermore, there are things that the world would not consider rights of agehood, that we have deemed to be so. We’re just one of those really religious fanatic families. 😀 😉
    As for the church clothes vs school clothes 🙄
    anything to divide, eh? I remember when the girls took flak for wearing dresses to church. (“Are you one of those Mennonites? Is that why you only wear dresses to church?”)
    This was particularly humorous to me, because I’m one of those totally weird people that grew up with some pretty strict dress codes – implied and spoken. (Legalistic, I might add. My grandparents instilled them fairly deeply in and they were based in a desire to show ourselves “proper.” Puke) In my heart, my desire was to ask the kids who said things like that, “Why don’t you wear a dress to church? Are you one of those ill-bred, uncouth kids?” 😉 😆

    Dana, Hmmm, wonder if you can get your phones to only text in say….Japanese or better yet Latin? THEN if the girl can write in Latin and your son can write and read it – why by all means let them text back and forth. 😀 (What a GREAT way to complete foreign language requirements AND keep the girls at bay.) 😀 😀
    I understand – we’ve had girls call – not early, but late. They will giggle into the phone like ninnies. (I was never a giggling girl. I was more likely to tell you off then to giggle at you.) If they don’t speak to me immediately, I hang up on them – usually by telling them, “We DO have caller ID, ya know?” I figure that ought to put a little discomfort into their next call. 😆

  10. Dana says:

    I totally love what you are saying about teaching your kids the difference between rights vs. privileges. Spaghetti is a right ~ chocolate cake is a privilege. My children have learned that many of the things that their friends parents see as rights, we see as privileges. Painful lesson at times, but worth it.

    Latin texting…great idea!

    My oldest daughter had a guy ask for her phone number at church Sunday. She was so excited when she told me that she very gently explained to him that she does not give her number out to guys. “It wasn’t as hard as I though it would be”, she said. She had already decided in her mind what she would do if anyone ever asked her out. I think that is where purity has to start, in the mind.

  11. javadawn says:

    Dana, it IS hard. It’s especially hard when the other children’s parents want to argue it with us. ?? (HELLO?) I understand disagreeing and I understand wanting to “get” why they’re making the decision they are making – I might gain wisdom from that understanding. What I don’t understand is simply arguing about it – especially when they have no Biblical basis for the decision that they are defending. (Not that we always have that, but it’s always our goal.)
    😀 Glad you like it, the more I thought about it, the better the idea seemed. 😆
    YESYESYES – “where purity has to start, in the mind.”
    ABSOLUTELY. If we can teach our children that – heck, if we adults can remember that, and remember that our mind is one of (the?!) primary battle fields of the enemy, wouldn’t we all be wiser in what we allowed to hold our thoughts? (Uh, that statement is being made SPECIFICALLY to one person. ME!) 🙄

  12. Beautifully written, Danica! Thanks for sharing.

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