In the final sermon of the Peasant Princess series, we see the princess as a young girl being raised by her mother and brothers in a single family household. This sermon relates to parenting—especially how fathers can love their daughters.
8 We have a little sister,
and she has no breasts.
What shall we do for our sister
on the day when she is spoken for?
9 If she is a wall,
we will build on her a battlement of silver,
but if she is a door,
we will enclose her with boards of cedar.
10 I was a wall,
and my breasts were like towers;
then I was in his eyes
as one who finds peace.
11 Solomon had a vineyard at Baal-hamon;
he let out the vineyard to keepers;
each one was to bring for its fruit a thousand pieces of silver.
12 My vineyard, my very own, is before me;
you, O Solomon, may have the thousand,
and the keepers of the fruit two hundred.
13 O you who dwell in the gardens,
with companions listening for your voice;
let me hear it.
14 Make haste, my beloved,
and be like a gazelle
or a young stag
on the mountains of spices.
You’re listening to the Peasant Princess Sermon Series, where Pastor Mark Driscoll takes us through the poetic book, Song of Songs. For more audio and video content, please visit marshillchurch.org.
Well, we’re at the end today Mars Hill. Song of Songs, Chapter 8:8-14. If you’ve got a Bible, feel free to go there. I hope you’ve enjoyed the book and the series. I certainly have. My wife and I have had some great talks, and it was really cool for us, personally, to be honest with you. We learned a lot about each other and grew, even though we’ve together 20 years. And today, we’re gonna have a reflection back on some of her early years as a young woman and a little girl, so that’s where we’ll close. As you’re finding your place, a couple quick things. If you’re new, my name’s Mark. Good to have you. I’m one of the pastors here at the church. This does conclude the Peasant Princess series.
Next week we’ve got something very special. We’ll be hosting at the Ballard campus, a Resurgence Conference, with my friend, Dr. Don Carson. Great guy, wicked, Yoda smart. I think he’s fluent in six languages, written or edited more than 50 books, Professor at Trinity Divinity School, and in every way, just an exemplary New Testament scholar. In my opinion, one of the best theologians alive on the earth today. He’s been gracious enough to give us his time. He’ll be flying in and lecturing all day on Saturday at the Ballard campus, and then preaching for me on Sunday. At both events, you’ll be able to text message in questions and he will answer them. And if he can’t answer them, no one can, so give him a shot. He is a guy who, as well, is very humble, loves Jesus, and I think you’re really going to enjoy him, and I’m really honored to have him join us. The event on Saturday is very cheap. You could register at theresurgence.com, or click on the Hero page on the front page of marshillchurch.org. And we’d love to have you join us. All are welcome.
Two weeks after that, we’ll do a series called Generous, in 2 Corinthians 8 and 9, looking at sort of year end giving, the fact that Jesus is generous and he is the greatest gift ever given, and how in humility, he came to earth to give himself to us. And in conjunction with that, we’ll cover sort of year end giving, and where we’re going, and what’s happening. It’ll let you know where we’re at financially, what we plan on next year, particularly in light of economic trials. It also will inform you of the sale of the City and what we intend to do with the proceeds of that. There’s just a lot of helpful information in here that will help to establish that December series.
And then in January, we start 1 and 2 Peter. We’ll be in those books for about eight months. And as always, at the end of the sermon today, my wife Grace will join me on stage, we’ll answer some of your text messaged questions live across six of our seven campuses. And some of the questions we’ve been unable to get to, or they were a little too intense for a Sunday, we’re answering on the blog. And so, the final ten questions or so of more explicit nature will be online at marshillchurch.org, under the blog, from Grace and I this week. So, I’m gonna pray. We’re gonna get to work. I hope you guys have enjoyed the series, and we wrap it all up today.
Father God, we begin by thanking you for being a good God, gracious God, loving God, living God, speaking God. We acknowledge, Lord God, that the scriptures are how you have chosen to reveal yourself to us. So, as we open the scriptures, Father, we ask that you would send the Holy Spirit to illuminate the scriptures which he has inspired to be written, to teach us both theologically some things about you, and practically ways we can live our life as you would intend for us. For that to happen, we ask that Jesus would be at the forefront of our thinking and discussion. And, Lord Jesus, we ask that this time would be pleasing to you, that it would be profitable to us, and for the legacy that comes in our wake. And so, we ask this in your good name, Amen.
Tee it up for you. As we get into Song of Songs, Chapter 8, we reflect back with her. And if you’re new, here is the story. It’s a series of love poems and conversations between a husband and a wife. We have seen them when they were single, dating, courting. We saw their marriage. We saw their honeymoon. We saw some of their fights. We’ve seen their reconciliation. We’ve seen some of their vacations. We have seen the opinion of family, friends, and God, in Chapter 5:1. And today, she is going to reflect back. This amazing woman is free, and liberated, and passionate, and absolutely exemplary in so many ways as a Godly woman and as a wife. And today, she is going to have the final word in the book, which is appropriate. She had the first word, the last word, and she speaks most of the words. And today, she’s going to reflect back on her childhood. What helped to shape her as a little girl? What helped to shape her as a young woman in her teen years to prepare her for marriage so that she could grow into this amazing woman?
And the story picks up with her brother speaking first. Her father is never mentioned in the book. We do not know, but it seems prudent to infer that she was raised by a single mom, like perhaps many of you were, or perhaps even are. Her parents are never mentioned. Her mom is mentioned, but not her dad. Her brothers are mentioned, her friends are mentioned, God is mentioned, other people in their extended social network are mentioned, but her dad is never mentioned. That curious omission is likely an indication that for some reason, he is not present in her life. So, her brothers speak in Chapter 8:8. “We have a little sister,” they say, “and she has no breasts.” That colloquial say of saying she’s still a little girl. Reflecting back again, what kind of upbringing did she have? What decisions were made that really did set a life course trajectory for her that led to her being this amazing wife?
“What shall we do for our sister,” they ask, “on the day when she is spoken for?” Some day our little sister’s gonna grow up, she’s gonna get married, she’s gonna be a wife; what should we do in anticipation and preparation for that day? Verse 9 leaves two options, “If she is a wall, we will build on her a battlement of silver, but if she is a door, we will enclose her with a board of cedars.” Here’s what the brothers say. There’s two kinds of young women. There are walls, impenetrable; boys cannot get to them, right. Boys come up. “Would you like to date?“ “No.” “Can I have your phone number?” “No.” “Can I text message you?” “No.” “Can I email you?” “No.” “Do you want to make out?” “No.” “Want to go out to coffee?” “No. No. No.” Awesome. Love that. Would encourage all of you single women, be a wall, all right. Be a brick wall. Just say no, all right. This is the kind of woman who knows that the Greek word for demon is also translated teenage boy. She’s fully aware of all of their scrupulous motivation, and she is not going to be, in any way, taken into sin.
The boys say there’s another kind of young woman; she’s a door. Every guy who knocks, “Hey, can I come in?” “Yes. Hey. Come on in.” Right? It just – oh, boy. Every guy who flirts; happy to respond. Every guy who asks out on a date gets a yes. Guys who test message, email, phone call – she initiates, she engages, she responds. Let me say this. You need to know your children, and you need to know your siblings, and you need to know, particularly with your daughters, wall or door. If your daughter is a door, last thing you do; give her a cell phone and a laptop that she has in her bedroom all for herself. That’s just encouraging boys to keep knocking on the digital door and have access to the young lady. What they say is, if she’s a wall, we’re gonna help defend her. She can tell boys no, and she can have a Godly rudeness, and they will not have access to her.
If she’s a door, we will get 2×4s, will get plywood; it’ll be like a hurricane coming town. We’re going to board that door way up. We’re gonna stand guard for our sister, and all the boys who want to take her out will have to get through us, and our gun, and our dog, and all of these preparations that we have made to ensure that our sister is not taken advantage of. It’s a good word for brothers. Brothers have a responsibility, in the sight of God, to help love their little sister and look after her. I tell the Driscoll boys this all the time, right. I tell the Driscoll boys all the time. Well, she then speaks, this amazing woman, in Verse 10. She says, “I was a,” what? “Wall.” She made a decision when she was a little girl, “I’m gonna be a wall. I’m not gonna flirt with guys and look for boy attention and go boy crazy, and I’m not looking for, you know, lots of hook-up, shack-up, break-up. Not interested in that game.” She made a decision when she was a little girl, “I’m going to be a wall. And my breasts were like towers, then I was in his eyes as one who finds peace.” She then matured into a young woman, she physically developed, and she kept deciding for herself, “I am a wall.”
And you young ladies need to know this. Ultimately, family, friends, members of the church can help support you, but you need to make your own decision, “Am I a wall or a door?” I know the evening services, at Mars Hill in particular, have many single people. A lot of ladies in their teens, twenties, got to decide, “Am I a door? Do guys have access to me? Am I a wall, just waiting for a guy who loves God that I want to consider as a potential husband?” She says, “I’m a wall. Kept voting, deciding, determining, “I’m going to be a wall.” Until, she says, “I find peace in the eyes of my spouse.” ‘Till my husband comes along, the guy I want to spend my life with. It’s not cold. She’s not mean. She has a Godly rudeness that tells all the wrong guys no, because she’s waiting for the right guy.
She goes on to say, “Solomon had a vineyard,” – Verse 11 – “at Baal Hammon,” that is near her home where she grew up in the Shulamite region, “he let out the vineyards to keepers. Each one was to bring for its fruit a thousand pieces of silver. My vineyard, my very own, is before me. You, O Solomon, may have the thousand, and the keepers of the fruit of two hundred.” Here’s what she’s saying. Solomon, her ultimately fiancé and then husband, was a very wealthy, affluent man. He owned lots of real estate and vineyards, and they were treasured prize possessions. And what she has already told us in the book, that she comes from a common family. She comes from a poor working class home. Apparently, her father is not involved in her life, that means her and her brothers and her mom have to work very hard to sustain life. She doesn’t meet the cultural standard of beauty; she’s already told us that on a few occasions. But here’s what she says, “I am a greater treasure than all of the vineyards that Solomon owns.” She says those vineyards are lovely and they are beautiful and they are treasure, but my body is also a vineyard. It is also very valuable. It is also very sacred.
What we see with this young woman, is that at an early age, I believe because of God’s grace and her mother’s instruction and her brother’s exhortation, she has this very right understanding of her self-worth. She’s an image bearer of God, she loves the Lord, she’s not going to give herself away, and she knows that she is more valuable than even Solomon’s wealth. And this is true. This is true. Now that I’ve got two daughters; 11-year old and a 5-year old, they are priceless treasures to be cherished. Amazing. My value upon them is without number. I could not imagine anything more valuable than my girls. That’s what she’s saying; “I don’t have a lot of money, but I love the Lord, and I have character, and I tend to my life, my heart, my mind, my body, my soul as a priceless gift, and I’m not going to share it with anyone. I’m going to save for my husband this precious gift of my own proverbial vineyard.
It’s wonderful to see a young woman with this kind of, not arrogance, but confidence. Not pride, but a Biblical understanding that she’s made by God, and her value is not determined by her income, her family status, her social-economic condition, but by the fact that the Lord loves her and she loves the Lord, and she walks with God, and that makes her very unusual in a beautiful and priceless way. That we could impart that to our daughters, that their value is not contingent upon such things as their income or their appearance or their family status, but contingent upon God’s love for them, their love for God, and they’re tending to their life in such a way that they are a true, unusual, amazing treasure.
Well, then Solomon speaks as well, reflecting back on their courting days in Verse 13, “Oh, you who dwell in the gardens with companions listening for your voice, let me hear it.” He talks about how she had a lot of friends, she spent her time in community, and that he got to speak with her and listen to her. What he is saying is this, that he loved getting to know her in the context of her friendships. I know a lot of you are single. Let me give you a little clue; good guys have nothing to hide. If you are a young woman and a good guy wants to get to know you, he’ll want to meet your parents. He’ll want to meet your friends. He’ll want to go to your community group. If he doesn’t go to Mars Hill, he’ll want to attend Mars Hill, see what kind of church you go to. If you have aunts, uncles, friends, cousins, extended relatives, co-workers who love God and love you, he’ll be happy to meet them, answer their questions, hang out with them; have nothing to hide. If there is a circle of people around you who love you, his goal will be to also earn their trust and not take you away from them.
See, a bad guy wants to isolate a young woman. Get her away from her family, her friends, her church, her community group. Why? So that she’s only listening to his voice, she’s only heeding his counsel, and that he can lead her astray. Isolation is a very bad thing. A good guy – nothing to hide. Love to get to know your family and friends. If they love you, praise God they’d want to check me out. I could still remember Grace, my lovely wife, her oldest sister sat me down and I got about a two hour interrogation. Praise God. She just was looking out for her little sister. We still get along really, really well. And I think part of that was, early on, she’s like, “This is my sister. Who are you? What are you thinking?” I got nothing to hide. I’m glad to tell you. I got nothing to hide.
And so, Solomon looks back and he really appreciates that as he wanted to pursue her and get to know her, that he could see that she was the kind of woman who had surrounded herself with some really good, Godly people who cared about her, and that was a good sign regarding her character. Well then, she gets the last word in the book. She speaks first, last, and most. Here’s how she concludes this amazing book. “Make haste, my beloved, and be like a gazelle or a young stag,” – stud in the Hebrew is what it means, literally – “on the mountains of spices.” She’s probably talking about her body there, most commentators believe.
What she’s saying is this, that when she was a little girl she decided, “I will be a wall.” As a teenage girl she decided, “I will still be a wall.” That she surrounded herself with Godly community and counsel, when Solomon came around, she approved of him. Her mother approved of him. Her brothers approved of him. Her friends, probably those who worshiped God with her, approved of him. And ultimately, we saw in 5:1, that God approved of them. And once she had all of this confirmation and affirmation, she then gave her heart to her husband and they enjoyed the kind of marital freedom and intimacy that we’ve experienced as we’ve seen their exchanges throughout the course of the book.
Okay, that being said, here’s the big idea that I want to build on, and I will stray from this particular text to build a Biblical theology of parenting at this point. But, her big idea is this, “A lot of what happened in my childhood greatly affected my freedom in marriage,” and that’s still true. That’s still true. And let me build for you now, a Biblical theology of parenting, because how we raise our kids helps determine if they get married, if so to whom, what they do preceding their wedding and how much Biblical freedom they enjoy in their covenant of marriage. That’s why she reflects back. So you read this book, you may ask, “Well, how do you get a marriage that’s this free, this passionate, this pleasurable, this desirable?” And she says you got to go all the way back and start at childhood, and build from there.
So let me do this, I know many of you don’t come from Christian homes. Some of you do come from Christian homes, but maybe they weren’t well architected. It does really grieve me. I praise God – in one way, I praise God because in this story there’s hope for single moms. All right, if a single mom raised a woman who’s this Godly, free, and holy, and amazing, that’s an incredible encouragement for single moms. On the flip side, being a daddy, I really wish that all gals had a loving, Christian dad. I really wish that. With my two girls, I couldn’t imagine how different their life would be had I not the opportunity and the great gift of being their dad. And so, I want to talk about what it means from the dad’s perspective to raise a daughter. I don’t mean to slight sons. I’ve got three; could tell you a lot about sons. Just want to focus a few comments on parenting in general, and fathers parenting daughters in particular, to see if I can’t help you as we together raise our daughters in such a way that they are the kind of woman that we have gotten to know in this amazing book.
The first principal I’ll give you is that according to the scriptures, parents are pastors. Parents are pastors. Her mom would’ve been very familiar with Deuteronomy 4:9. That book of the Bible was penned by Moses prior to her birth. It was one of those texts of scripture that God’s people in the Old Testament were very familiar with, and it informed much of their parenting. One of the reasons that her mom did, I think such a great job raising her daughter, I think was in part out of compliance with this text. Deuteronomy 4:9; “Only take care and keep your soul diligently, lest you forget the things that your eyes have seen, lest they depart from your heart. All the days of your life, make them known to your children and your children’s children.”
The Bible teaches, and her mother would have known, that God’s people are to train their children and their grandchildren. Now, this means that the primary purpose of church and school is not to instruct, inform, and raise a child, but rather to support parents, if they know God, who take it upon themselves to raise their own kids. One of the big questions that comes up often at Mars Hill is, “Well, do you guys believe in home schooling, private schooling, or public schooling,” and our answer is it depends per child, per year. Kids are different, and every year their needs could be different, so we don’t tell you which to do. What we do say is whichever option you choose, you still need to be the primary educator, right. See, the erroneous assumption of some is, I’m a good parent if I take my kids to Sunday school, put them in a student ministry and take them to a Christian school.
You still are the primary influencer in their life. You’re the primary educator in their life. You need to be their first pastor, reading scripture with them, praying for them, serving Jesus with them, worshiping God with them. Parents are the pastors, the first pastors. And I would submit, the most important pastors. The second principal is that pastoral parenting is to be integrated in all of life – all of life. If kids only read the Bible at church, not at home, it’s not integrated. If they’re only praying at school, not at home, because they go to Christian school, then it’s not integrated. God intends for our instruction as pastoral parents to be woven into the fabric of daily life. Again, another text that her and her mother would have been very familiar with, that helped shaped the ideology in which this young woman was raised is in Deuteronomy 6. It’s something that the Jewish people recited three times every day. It was one of the great memory verses required for God’s Old Testament people.
It says this, “Hear O Israel, the Lord,” – our God – “the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your might.” Jesus quoted that. “And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise.” What he says is this; study the Bible, love the Lord, teach your kids. When they get up in the morning; start the day with prayer, and scripture, and conversation about God. Throughout the course of day, integrate instruction about God. As you go for a family walk, be talking about the Lord. As you sit down to snuggle up or read together or have dinner, talk some more. And when you tuck them in bed at night, read the scripture, pray, invest in them. Pastoral parenting is integrated parenting – integrated parenting. Because, parents, we are given this amazing opportunity where throughout the course of the day, in the providence of God, their hearts, and their minds, and their lives, they open up for strategic investment. Okay, so we’re prayerfully being led by the Holy Spirit, looking for those ways we can instruct, inform, exhort our kids.
Okay, I’ll give you one simple example as a daddy of five kids. Kids sin against each other. I don’t know if you’ve seen this. It happens; they’ll fight. Now, what happens is, usually one yells really loud; that’s how you know something bad has happened. And at first, if you’re a new parent, you assume that the one who is screaming was sinned against. But after a while, you learn that’s sometimes a diversionary tactic. It’s not always true. Proverbs says everyone seems right until the other side of the story is heard. So you walk in, you’re like, “Why are you screaming?” “They hit me.” “They hit you?” “Why’d you hit him?” “Well, he had a steak knife and he was gonna shiv me.” “Oh, well you forgot to tell me that part. That’s a huge variable. I should get the whole story before I render any, you know, premature conclusion.” This has never happened at the Driscoll house. But hypothetically, I do know one kid who liked the steak knife, and that is a true story, but not from my house.
Nonetheless, let’s say two kids are fighting over a toy, or they disagree about something, here’s what we do; we do the Gospel. Walk in, sit them down, get the whole story; “What happened? Tell me exactly what happened.” Hear both sides. Get all the facts. “Okay, which one of you sinned?” Maybe both. Maybe neither. Sometimes it’s a mistake. Parents need to know there’s a difference between a sin and a mistake. Mistakes happen, all right. I was at a restaurant not long ago; I saw a family having dinner. Little boy went to get his dinner and he bumped his milk and spilled it and his dad disciplined him. You shouldn’t discipline for that. That’s a mistake. Kids make mistakes, so do adults, all right. You don’t discipline for a mistake. You discipline for sin. Now, if the kid took his milk and poured it over his brother’s head, that’s a sin. We deal with that. If he went to get his French fry and he bumped his milk, well that’s a mistake. We don’t discipline for that.
So, you try to figure out, was there a mistake, or was there a sin? If there’s a sin, what you make the kids do, you make the two kids look at each other, and you make the one kid say I’m sorry I sinned against you. My sin was “blank.” You make them name their sin. Otherwise, kids do this. They’ll just walk up to the other kid and say, “Sorry,” and then walk away, which – they’re not sorry, right. They’re not sorry at all. They’re just trying to get it over with. So you make look – “I am sorry that I sinned against you by “blank,” then you have the other kid who was sinned against say, “I forgive you. I forgive you.” So, the first kid; two things, “I’m sorry I sinned against you. Here’s my sin. Here’s the second part, “Will you forgive me?” The other kid looks them in the eye, and from their heart has to say, “I forgive you.”
Then we explain the Gospel; “Jesus is God. Lived without sin. Died for a sin like this. You know what; this sin doesn’t need to kill our friendship, our love, our fun. We don’t need to get angry or bitter. We don’t need to get back at each other. Jesus deals with sin. Kids, we’re gonna talk to Jesus now. We’re gonna thank him that he deals with sin.” Pray with the kids, then we have the kids hug each other. “You guys hug each other. You tell each other you’re sorry, you love each other. You go play. This is over. Jesus died for it. We’re puttin’ it to death.” It’s doing the Gospel over, over, over, over, over, continually. And it’s weaving it throughout the course of life – instruction.
We had the incident last night at the Driscoll house. I’ll give you one latest example. We go through the Bible together at dinnertime. We call it the dinner Bible. The kids love it. We do little discussions. It’s kind of fun. And I’m writing it all up as questions for you parents, so that you can do the same as we go through 1 Peter, and be teaching your own kids at dinner. That’ll be part of our instruction for 1 Peter. So, last night we’re in 1 Peter 3. We’re going right through the book getting ready for the series I start in January, and it was the section where it says, wives respect your husbands. Husbands love your wives and don’t be harsh with them. So we have this good discussion. “Well, how do you guys know that mommy respects me?” They talk about it. “How do you know that daddy loves mommy,” and they talk about that. “What does it mean that a guy is harsh with a gal?” “He yells at her, bad words, nick names that are cruel. You know, hits her, shoves her, threatens her.” The guys – the boys, the three boys came up with all these ways that a husband could be harsh with his wife.
So then, I asked the boys, “Okay, how do you treat your sisters?” How you treat your sisters is practice for how you treat your wife. “If you’re harsh with your sissy, you’re gonna be a guy who’s not gonna have a hard time being harsh with his wife,” so we talked about how not to be harsh with your sisters. We had this really cool family discussion over dinner, hanging out, talking. Alexie; 5-years old, blond hair, blue eyes – looks like Tinkerbelle – she declares – she makes declarations; she just does. “I will love my husband.” Fine. She gets very positive feedback, “Oh, that’s good, Lexie. That’s good.” Well, Gideon is next to her – her little brother. He’s three. He wants that same sort of feedback, so he says, “And I will love my husband, too.” Well, teachable moment. Got to get this straightened out early, you know. “Hey, Giddie, you want to marry a boy or a girl?” “A girl.” “Okay, then you want a wife.” “Yes. I will love my wife.” Great. Praise God. Move on, right. Just get that all cleaned up.
And it’s just in the course of life, throughout the course of the day. Little conversations, discussions, bringing a verse to bear on a situation, praying for them; that kind of stuff. Pastoral parenting is integrated parenting. Let me tell you a few things as well, about parenting. The first thing I’d say, it reveals the idols in the heart of the parents. It totally does. Before you say, “I’m gonna raise these kids, and train these kids, and instruct these kids, and fix these kids,” got to deal with your own heart and make sure your motives are what Christ intends. Give you an example. If your God is comfort, ease, a clean house, a neat schedule; you’re gonna be an unhappy parent, because your kids are going to keep breaking your idol.
Give you one example. I was talking to a dad who caught his 13-year old son smoking pot. Met with the two of them. Tried to figure this out. The boy obviously needs some help. The dad looks at his boy and says this; “How could you do this to me? I’ve been a great father to you, and now everybody knows that my son’s a druggie.” I looked at the dad, I’m like; “You got a bigger problem than your son. Your son’s got a problem, but you got a huge problem. Your son’s in sin, needs help, and you think it’s all about you. Your idol is your amazing picturesque Christian family that doesn’t have any problems and gives the illusion to the world that the curse hasn’t affected you. And your son, by smoking weed and getting caught, he just shattered your idol. It’s not about you. It’s about your son and Jesus, and you should be concerned about him staying connected to Jesus and – by encouraging him to live in holiness.”
You see, some parents, they’re frustrations are that their children keep breaking their idol of comfort, ease. Kids are inconvenient. Kids are expensive. Kids are a lot of work. And if you value something other than Jesus as the centerpiece of your life, like comfort, or ease, or orderliness, you will be parentally frustrated with your kids because they’re breaking your idol. So, it’s a good opportunity for us, as parents, to ask, “When I get frustrated, why is it? Is there something in my heart that needs to be repented of? Is there something in my heart that needs to change? Is there any place that I need to practice Biblical humility and learn and grow, before I try to teach my kids?” First things first. Second thing in parenting is this; that home is a classroom, and class is always in session. Far more is caught than taught, when it comes to parenting. You are a huge influence on your kids, for good or bad. And how you treat your spouse, that’ gonna set a precedent.
If you never confess sin in front of your children or to your children, they’re never gonna confess sin to you or in front of you. Class is always in session. They see you read the Bible; they’ll be more likely to read the Bible. If they see you pray; they’ll be more likely to pray. That’s why I’ve got my books at home, my study at home. My library’s at home. I want to study near my kids so they could see me, and I want them to have access to my books. And you know what. My kids are readers. This is not boasting, but this is just – I love to read and my kids love to read. Why? They see me read, and they just assume that’s what you’re supposed to do. So, Ashley’s 11, very smart gal. Reads all the time. Zach’s nine. Great reader. He’s reading biographies now. He’s into biographies. I started talking to him about – “Dad, what are you reading?” “I’m reading about Spurgeon. I’m reading about John Calvin. I’m reading about Martin Luther. Daddy’s reading a biography.” “What’s a biography?” Tell him what biographies are like, “I want biographies.”
So, two summers ago, Ashley comes to me, she was probably eight or nine at the time. She gave me a list of biographies she wanted me to buy for her so she could read during her summer break. She read Corrie ten Boom, and she read Martin Luther. She read all these biographies. Zachie now is nine. He’s reading through kid’s biographies. I buy him books on biographies. So, he came to me the other day. He’s like, “Dad, I read about John Calvin today and John Knox. I want to talk about them. There’s some stuff I’m trying to figure out.” “You’re kidding. You’re nine. That’s incredible. Yes. When I was your age, I was not reading biographies on great Protestant reformers, you know, and it was like – I was basically trying to figure out how to get to the next level of Donkey Kong and, you know, pop a wheelie on my bike.” That, pretty much, was what I was shooting for. That’s about as far down the road as I got. You know, it’s caught and it’s seen and it’s an opportunity to build an idea of what they think is normal. Class is always in session.
Number three, instruction always has to proceed correction. The vast majority of our parental time needs to be instruction, and correction as necessary, but parents make a huge mistake where they correct their children without instructing them. I saw this in a grocery store. I walk around the corner, this mom is screaming at her little boy, “I can’t believe you did that. You’re such an idiot.” You know, “You weren’t supposed to do that.” And here was the little boy – I don’t think he was faking it – he kept saying this. He looked totally dejected. He kept saying, “I don’t know what I did.” He had no clue why he was being disciplined. Instruction precedes correction. And if they do something you haven’t taught them on it, don’t jump to discipline. Jump to instruction. Teach them. “Look, here’s what scripture says. Here’s how we do things. This is what I need you to do. This is unacceptable behavior. If this happens, here will be the consequence.” You lay it all out, and then if they defy and disobey, then there is correction. But truthfully, the majority of your parental time should be spent in instruction. If you’re spending lots of time in correction, you’re probably not doing a good – opportunity rather of instruction. Or, you may not have your kid’s heart, or Jesus may not have your kid’s heart; there’s a real problem.
I’ll be honest with you; at the Driscoll house – five little kids – I don’t correct and discipline my kids much at all, because I’ve got their heart. Here’s how it works. I get down to their level and look them in the eye. “Who am I?” There’s a series of question; they know they’re coming. “You’re my dad.” “Who loves you the most?” “Jesus.” “Who loves you the next most?” “You and mom.” “Have I ever lied to you?” “No.” “Am I mad at you?” “No.” “Am I yelling at you?” “No.” “Do I want good for you.” “Yes.” They know where it’s going. “Do you know you’re not supposed to be doing that?” “Yeah, I know it.” “Do you know what’s gonna happen if you keep doing it?” “Yeah.” “So, what are you gonna do?” “I’m sorry. I’ll knock it off.” “Okay. Cool.” Hug. Kiss. Great. Praise God. Thank you, Lord. Love this kid. They’re obedient, compliant. Praise God. All good. Very rarely do I have to proceed to correction – very rarely. Very rarely.
I’ll give you one example. This last summer we took the kids to Australia – 17-hour flight, five little kids. We’re in the waiting area; I call it purgatory at the airport – that place. And you could tell all the people are there just thinking, “Oh, no. The Von Trapp family has arrived. This is terrible.” And you could see people counting, “One, two, three, four, five,” and they’re just like – their eyes are rolling in their head and they’re looking at each other, and then they’re whispering. And you know what. I finally told one of the guys – I was like, “Don’t talk about my kids until the plane has landed. Don’t judge them prematurely,” because I know my kids. You see, we had massive instruction before this 17-hour flight, “You’re gonna be on a plane, guys.” “Can we bring our ball gloves?” “No. You can’t play catch on the plane. It would be awesome, you know, but no.” “Can we go outside and play?” “Not really. Not so much, you know.” “Well, what do we do?” “You sit in a chair.” “Really, for how long?” “Seventeen hours.” Oh, wow. What do you do? “They give you your own TV though, with video games. And if you hit the button, they’ll keep bringing you juice, so it’s not all bad.Here’s your Gameboy. Here’s your Jujy Fruits. You know, here’s your Scooby-Doo backpack; load it up with your favorite things.” You know, “And, you got to sleep in the chair.” “Sleep in the chair?” “Yeah, you got to sleep in the chair.” “Like grandpa?” “Yeah, like grandpa.” So, you have all of this kind of instruction – teach them – and then when they get on the plane, if they start acting up, we’d look down at them, Gracie or I would, and say, “Remember what we talked about?” “Yeah. Sorry. Okay.” No problem. Honestly, seventeen-hours, five kids – including a two-year old boy; it was great – great. You say, “Did they have a moment?” Yeah, and so did the 50-year old guy next to me, and the 60-year old guy behind me, and the 30-something-year old gal in front of me; she was the one freaking out the whole time. All right, parents have their moments, adults have their moments, kids have their moment, but the truth is, if you have your kid’s heart, and Jesus has their heart, and you instruct them a lot and look them in the eye with respect, generally speaking, there’s not need for an enormous amount of correction and discipline.
Is it occasionally needed? Yes. But, a 17-hour flight, the kids were great. Does it happen like that all the time; no. Is it possible; yes. I think we expect too much of some children, and too little of other children. If you have the obedient, compliant kid, you expect them to be perfect and you freak out when they’re not. If you have the average kid, you expect them to be bad, rather than instructing them, having hope for them that God could capture their heart and they could be a good kid who loves God and does obey. A couple other points on parenting. The goal of parenting is to have children whose hearts love Jesus. That’s it. Walk into the average school, walk into the average day care, walk into the average after-school program, and ask, “What is the goal, mission, objective of the children?” You will not get an answer. They don’t know.
The goal is that they would have hearts that love Jesus, but some of you say, “But don’t you want them to be obedient?” No, and yes. No, that that’s not my primary objective. Yes, that will be the byproduct of loving Jesus. Jesus said it this way, “If you love me, you’ll obey me.” Too many parents are working too hard on getting their children to obey. They key is to get your kids to love Jesus. If they love him, they’ll obey him – they’ll obey him. You can have obedient kids who don’t love Jesus. You can raise moral atheists; that’s not the goal. The goal is to have kids whose hearts love Jesus, and out of that love for Jesus, they’ll obey.
And number five; it is Biblically the responsibility of the dad to lead the family toward the purposes of God and to pastorally parent his children. Most moms do. Many dads sadly do not. Statistically, it has been proven that Christian daddies are the best. I’ll share with you – it’s actually a lengthy quote from Bradford Wilcox. He is a professor in Sociology at the University of Virginia. Has done, I think, some of the greatest research on Christian fathering in America. He wrote a great book, Soft Patriarchs, New Men. Love it. And he did all of the statistical analysis and he concluded Christian daddies are, generally speaking, the best daddies. Here’s his quote: “Religious fathers who reside with their children are more involved and affectionate than their more secular peers. For instance, compared to dads who say they have no religious affiliation, fathers who attend church regularly – several times a month or more – devote at least two hours a week – next one – back one, gentlemen – more in you in youth related activities, such as helping in Boy Scouts, coaching soccer, and leading a church youth group.
Fathers who are regularly churchgoers also report that they are significantly more likely to engage in one-one-activities with their school age children, such as helping with homework, reading to them, or playing a game; compared to fathers who do not attend religious services regularly. They’re also at least 65 percent more likely to report praising and hugging their children very often, compared to unaffiliated fathers. You know, what’s one of the best things that a little girl can have? A dad who walks with Jesus and is actively involved in his church. Because in his church he’ll meet other dads who reinforce the Biblical values that he is supposed to abide by.
If you guys walk outside of Christianity, particularly in this culture, you’re not going to get a lot of encouragement for men to be selfless, chaste before marriage, faithful in marriage, to give up some of their hobbies and immaturities for the sake of being generous to their family with their money and their time. Those are the values of scripture. Those are the values of God. Those are the values that are nurtured and encouraged within Christian churches like ours. I don’t mean to not speak well of sons; I have three that I love. I don’t mean to not speak well of moms; I love my wife. She’s an amazing mom. I love my mom, too. But I want to take a minute to speak to the hearts of the dads, and the fathers’ to be.
Some of you guys are not like the brothers in the Song of Songs. You have not defended, protected, and cherished women. You’ve looked for women who were doors. You knocked or kicked them in and took advantage. You need to repent of that. You need to have a Biblical mindset that you will love, honor, and cherish one woman, and that with her, you will raise children to love Jesus. This is a huge value at Mars Hill. It’s a huge value for me. Forty percent of children tonight go to bed without a father. Too many gals don’t have a dad. Some do have a dad; he’s a drunk. He’s a pervert. He’s the porn guy. He’s violent. He’s abusive. He’s a molester. At Mars Hill, I so desperately want the little girls to have Christian daddies. It’s a huge, huge, huge mission for me. So, let me tell you a little bit, gentlemen, about what it’s like to have a Christian daughter; to have a daughter that you can raise to be a Christian.
First of all, you need to know that if you are blessed as a man to raise a little girl, you have been given an amazing honor, a tremendous privilege, a very significant ministry. To help raise her well, a few things I would say. Number one, start depositing in her trust account from conception; praying for her in her mother’s womb, when she’s little, hugging her, praying for her, reading scripture to her, investing in her, blessing her, and I would say all of that is just making continual deposits in the trust account so that what? When she hits the teen years, and boys show here affection and she is confused, and her faith is becoming her own, that when you look at her and say, “Sweetheart, I’m your dad. You know I love you with all my heart. Please hear me out on this. Please heed my counsel.” She’ll trust you because you’ve made many deposits into the account of trust.
The worst daddies are daddies who don’t make any deposits, or through sin, have withdrawn so much, that they have very little in the trust account, and then the daughter hits those very dangerous years, and he looks at her and says, “Trust me,” and she says, “Why should I? You’ve not been trustworthy.”
Number two; do not leave your daughter craving male affection. I get very scared when I go to dinner parties or home Bible studies or events where, you know, they guys sit down on the couch or whatever, and a little girl walks up to perfectly strange men and asks to be held, picked up, or climbs right up and sits on his lap. That’s a little girl who is needing male attention and affection. Daddy needs to give that. If not, she’s actually in a very dangerous position as a little girl, with men who are abusive, whereas she grows older having a deficit of affection that a teenage boy will then want to come in, and in a sinful way fulfill and use for sexual purposes.
Number three; train her to be attractive but not seductive, and mom is hugely helpful on this point. My daughter’s really already – Ashley is really already cooking, painting, poetry, reading, interior design, fashion; she’s a super creative gal. Really smart, really creative. Glad that she’s creative. She likes to dress herself and has her own style going on now, at age 11, which is awesome. And what I love is that she’s also modest, like Paul encourages women in 1 Timothy. Attractive but not seductive.
Give you one example – give you a few stories you may have heard, but they’re sort of mile markers in my relationship with Ashley. We were swimming a few years ago, she was about eight or nine; it was summertime. I was in the pool with my kids, throwing them and they’d splash and swim back, and I’d thrown them. And we’re the only people in the pool, till this teenage girl comes, very underdressed, very developed, with two teenage boys. She jumps in the pool, swims over to one boy; he touches her in places and ways he shouldn’t. She kisses him, swims to the other end of the pool, that boy touches her in places and way he shouldn’t, and kisses her as well. My daughter Ashley is very concerned, very observant. She sees all this. She swims over to me. She say, “Daddy, did you see that?” I said, “Yes, I did, Sweetie-pie.” I said, “What do you think of that?” She said, “It’s very sad she doesn’t have a good daddy.” It’s very sad she doesn’t have a good daddy. I found it so insightful that my little girl saw what happens when daddies don’t do their jobs, and she wanted to talk to her daddy about it. That encouraged me.
Number four; daddy be the kind of man that you want your daughter to marry. Daughters want to see their daddy as a hero. Every little girl wants a daddy she’s proud of, in the right sense of the word, “There’s my dad.” Daughters have the proclivity to see their father in the best possible light, even if he’s the worst possible guy. I think this is especially true of first-born daughters who tend to be the most defensive of their daddies, in my experience. My daughter – I could kill people, and my 11-year old daughter would say, “I’m sure they deserved it, daddy.” I mean, she’s just – she’s on my side. I have to tell her, “No, your daddy’s a sinner.” I have to repent of my sin and let her know, “Your daddy’s not Jesus, right. I’m a sinner, too.” But, you want to be the kind of man that your daughter will marry, because most of the time, a daughter assumes that the way her father is, that’s a normal good guy.
I first saw this in Disneyworld, with Ashley when she was three or four. Zachie was just born. Grace was back in the room feeding him. I took her out to swim in the Mickey Mouse pool. A lot of teachable moments, integrated parenting around swimming. And we swam together in the Mickey Mouse pool and had lots of fun. I brought her back and stood her on the bed in the hotel room. I got the white towel, put it over her head – I was drying her hair. She grabbed the ends and put it over her face like a veil and she asked me this question, “Daddy, will you marry me?” It just dawned on me; I’m the man in her life until her husband comes. And I looked at her, I said, “Honey, someday a man will marry you, and daddy guarantees you he’ll love Jesus and he’ll love you.” So, I prayed for her, and I prayed for her future husband, and I cried a little bit, to be honest with you. Just the thought of my little girl getting married sort of choked me up.
And number five, gentlemen; courtship of your daughter happens with your involvement. You’re not some overbearing father who’s got all kinds of slavish rules, but you’re a daddy who says, “That’s my little girl, and I’m not just gonna put her in the car with some guy and let her go wherever he takes her to do whatever he wants. He needs to come to my house. He needs to earn my trust. He needs to honor me, because that’s my daughter and I love her.” That’s Biblical protection and oversight. And I thought it was fitting in this way, since the woman speaks last in the Song of Songs, I thought I would give the last word to my Sweetie-pie, my 11-year old daughter, Ashley. So, I met with her this week, and I said, “What things can daddies do?” She calls me Papa-Daddy. So, here are six things that Papa-Daddies can do to help raise their daughters to be like the woman in the Song of Songs, according to Miss Ashley.
Miss Ashley says, Number 1; pay attention. Don’t ignore her. Be observant of her. Get to know her moods, and her disposition, and her body language, see how she’s feeling, and initiate talk, “Honey, how are you doing? Anything I can pray for you? Any way I could serve you? Anything I need to know,” and touch. “Here, come sit next to your daddy. You doing okay?” Don’t expect your daughter to be the one who always initiates, and don’t assume that if she doesn’t open up, there’s nothing to share. Pay attention.
Number 2; Miss Ashley says spend time alone with your daughter. This is especially true if you got a big family with a lot of kids. Carve out one-on-one time. With the guys, I call it guy time. With the daughters, I call it daddy dates – daddy dates. My daughters just tell me, “Daddy, I need a daddy date.” So this week, Alexie – she’s five – she had three daddy dates. “Daddy, I need a daddy date.” Okay. What do you want to do?” “I want to go to the coffee shop, and I want to do the pet store.” Cool. We hung out for an hour. “Daddy, I need a daddy date.” “Okay. What do you want to do?” “I want to go for a walk, and I want to feed the ducks.” “Okay.” “Daddy, I need a daddy date.” “Okay, what do you want to do?” “I want to ride my pink Barbie Scooter, and I want you to go for a walk with me,” which means I’m chasing a pink Barbie Scooter all around the neighborhood but that’s cool, because she’s great. So, we get our little daddy dates.
My daddy date with Ashley was this last week. She came up to me, “I need a daddy date this week.” “Okay, sweetie. What do you want to do?” She’s got allergies. She’s says, “I want to go to the wheat free, gluten free organic bakery.” “They have such a thing? Okay.” Cool. So, we get in the car, we go there, we get some nice things to eat, actually it was quite good. We sat outside in the sun and we played cards and visited for an hour. Daddy date. Daddy date. Daddy date. Daddy date. And I’ll tell you daddies this; Christmas is a wonderful time not just to give gifts, but build memories. Since my daughters were little – they look forward to it and so do I – we have a big daddy date for Christmas. I take each of them out individually. Each gal gets a new dress. I show up with flowers. I get dressed up. I escort them out to the car. We go out to a very nice restaurant for a big dinner. We usually go out to a play or something like that. Then we go out for desert. We take photos along the way – daddy date.
Daughters need daddy dates. My hope, my request, my prayer is that all the daughters at Mars Hill who have Christian daddies would understand what daddy date means, and they get a lot of them, and around Christmas they get a big one. You cannot imagine how much those memories mean to your girls. Its life changing, and it sets in course a precedent of how a gentleman is to treat a lady, and it sets a level of expectation for conduct for boys with your daughter.
Miss Ashley also says, Number 3; pray for your daughter. Pray for her. Just put your hands on her, kiss her on the forehead, pray for her. This week, Alexi – it was so cute – I was sitting down – she’s five. Blonde hair, blue eyes – puts her head on my lap, looks up at me – big blue eyes. I said, “What do you need, Sweetie-pie?” “I need you to brush my hair and pray for me, okay.” I’m sitting there running my fingers through her hair, visiting with her, praying for her for about 15 minutes. She looks at me, she says, “I’m good now.” Okay. “Was there something wrong?” “No. I just needed that, and now I’m fine.” Great. Praise God. Thanks for asking. You know, I just want to be there if you need me to love you, set your head on my lap, visit with you, pray for you. Great. Pray for you daughter.
Number 4; Miss Ashley says pray with your daughter. You shouldn’t be the only praying, you should be praying too. You learn a lot about your daughter by hearing her pray. Number 5; Miss Ashley says teach her the Bible. Read the Bible to her when she’s little. Discuss the Bible when she’s older. I forgot once with Alexi, she came in at 3:00 a.m. and knocked on my forehead, literally. I opened one eye. I’m like, “What’s up, Goose?” She said, “You did not read the Bible story.” I said, “Well, it’s 3:00 a.m.” She said, “I know. It’s 3:00 a.m. and you did not read the Bible story.” Okay. Get up, go in, read the Bible study, tuck her in bed. Never forget that again, right.
And Number 6; Miss Ashley, my Sweetie-pie says compliment your daughter. Notice her hair. Notice her shoes. Notice her clothes. Tell her she’s beautiful. Give her lots of compliments so that she doesn’t depend on boys to give her compliments. That’s Miss Ashley’s encouragement.
I’ll close with this. A lot of people will tell you, Christianity is about Jesus forgives your sin so you can die and go to Heaven. That’s true, but there’s more. Jesus also changes your heart, your mind, your life, so that you can live differently on the earth, that you could love your spouse, that you can have a vision for a legacy for your kids and your grandkids, that even if you didn’t come form a good home, you could be like a matriarch and patriarch that have one. That even if you were abused or abandoned, or dad left, or you were molested, that by the grace of God, through the power of Jesus Christ you could get through that. You could become someone who has a loving marriage, who does raise children that they enjoy and others do as well. And you could leave a legacy – you could leave a legacy that honors Jesus.
I know that many of you come here; you didn’t have a good dad. I’m sorry. For you ladies, I know some of you that’s come at a high cost, and with all sincerity, I apologize. But isn’t it wonderful to reflect back and say, “What are the things in my history that I can be grateful for? What are the things in my history that I need to be redeemed from? Those would be my first two questions. I’ll give you four. What in your past do you need to be thankful for? She had some things she was thankful for. What things in your past to you need to be redeemed from? She didn’t have a dad, and she had to learn how to live with a guy as her husband.
Number 3; are you growing as a Christian? Not just believe in God, but in a Bible study, community group, you know, reading the Bible, praying; are you growing so that you can continue in the life that God would have for you? And Number 4, if you’re a parent is there anything in your parenting that really needs to change, because you’re setting up your children for a real miserable future, particularly in their marriage. You’re setting in place some bad things that are gonna reap some bad results. Those are questions for you to discuss with your spouse and/or your community group. That being said – we’re a little close on time – I’ll bring out my wife Grace, and we’ll answer some of your guys questions, and maybe the guys in the booth could throw one up on the screen.
Ballard: What if my Christian dad doesn’t want this type of relationship with me or my younger sister? This comes from an 18-year old girl.
Man. Why don’t you take that one first, Sweetie-pie, and I’ll give kind of a guy’s perspective. Young woman, Christian, got a “Christian” dad who doesn’t really want that kind of relationship with her.
Grace: I’m sorry. I can think back, it was a while ago, but when I was 18 and just friends that I remember having the same situation. My dad and I have worked through a lot since I was 18 as well. And it’s very hard when you want to be loved and you feel like desperate for your father’s love and he just doesn’t seem to want to give that to you. It’s very difficult, and you want to put your identity in something that seems valuable, and a daddy can help so much with that. So, it’s really – it’s a time where young girls can wander and try and find identity or value in something else in life. And I know there are some areas in my life where I did that, and so
I would just encourage you to ask God to give you a love for your father; even it’s really difficult, so that you don’t become bitter against him. And be a Godly daughter, continue to live and show him that you do care about him, and you do – and have a conversation. Ask the Lord to give you that time for a conversation to have with him, maybe just asking him questions, “Dad, do you want to spend time with me? Is there things that you don’t like about me?” Ask him some hard questions and see if he’s able to maybe answer those, or maybe he needs to think about those things. Maybe he doesn’t – somehow, maybe he doesn’t even realize what he’s doing.
There are times where the blindness to our sin, it seems obvious to everyone else, but it can be not obvious to them, so I would just continue to pursue him and pursue the lord for your identity, because that’s where our identity needs to be.
And I would say, too, what happens sometimes with a young woman in this circumstance, she feel like, “My father has rejected me. What’s wrong with me?” And the truth is, if your father’s rejected you, there’s something wrong with your father. There is nothing my daughters could do that I would reject them. If they went into gross sin, I would pursue them more passionately, because they would need me more urgently. There’s nothing – there is nothing that should cause a Christian father to not pursue his teenage daughter, other than there’s something wrong with him.
And if your dad goes to Mars Hill, the two of you need to sit down with a pastor. Get a mediator in the middle and figure out what in the world is going on. If he doesn’t go to Mars Hill, ask him if he’s still come in and meet with a pastor as a mediator, because you want to be on good terms. And the good news is, scripture says that God is a father to the fatherless, so even if your dad’s not being a good dad, you got – God’s you father, you’re his daughter, and that he does care for you. He will never leave you, nor forsake you; these are all promises of God’s Word.
And those will be of great encouragement and comfort, but this in incredibly painful and devastating. And let me go on a circuitous side route for a moment. For those of you guys who are here, and many of you are young, this is what happens to the porn guy, okay. Wisdom is looking down the road. The daddy who is addicted to looking at pornography of 18-year old girls, sometimes when his daughter hits 18, he doesn’t know how to relate to her, because his mind is so perverted, polluted, and corrupted, that he can’t see her as his daughter. He sees her as a sexual object. He sees her friends as sexual objects. Often times, young women don’t understand this. I dealt with one young woman not long ago, she said, “I don’t know why my father doesn’t love me.” I said, “Well, what happened?” She said, “Well, when I hit a certain age, he stopped hugging me. He stopped talking to me.” I asked the dad why. He said, “Well, I looked at porn a lot, and she started looking like the girls in the porn, so I felt awkward around her.” “Well, there’s nothing wrong with your daughter. There’s something wrong with you. There’s something desperately wrong with you.”
Okay. And so, I would just tell the young women, there’s something wrong with the father. Is it that issue? I don’t know. In my experience, it often is. And if it’s not that issue, there’s something else going on. And I tell you, as a daddy, I mean if this was my daughter, at 18 that asked this question, I would be devastated. I would be absolutely destroyed. And if any guy says, “I’m a Christian, and this doesn’t destroy me,” I would have to even ask the question, “Does your daddy know Jesus? Does he have the father heart of God? Is he filled with the Holy Spirit, because it’s not registering as it should?” And I apologize for that. Maybe we’ll do a couple more. We got a few minutes.
West Seattle: As a married couple, how do we extend to even offer cover to women in community who have none?
Why don’t you take that one first? You’re really good – Gracie loves single moms; has pursued over the years, a lot of single moms as friends, just to cover – as it were.
Grace: I think first of all, you have to get to know them. You can’t just jump in and try and tell them how you want to help them out and cover them. You need to get to know them. If they’re open to a relationship, then just extend love to them through various ways of serving them, or having them in your home, or doing things for them; gifts, whatever they appreciate, as you get to know them. And as you do get to know them, then they will be open to hearing things from you; wisdom, or advice, or ways that you may want to help them be more modest, or whatever the issues might be that they’re struggling with. It’s really about relationship and them – in building a trust with them, so that you are given the opportunity to speak into their life.
Yeah, and we encourage married couples to host community groups, and then open their home, practice hospitality, build those kinds of friendships where they can invest in others. And we encourage our community groups to be open; married, single, parents, those who are not parents, so that there’s life stage integration. And so I’d say, particularly, one of the best things you could do is two things. Host a community group, and secondly, practice hospitality. Open your home, invite people over for dinner, you know, open your life so that people who are in your church can have access to you and your family. Let’s do another one. We’ll call that – good.
Ballard: I am a teenager and dating someone, but staying abstinate. Am I still a wall?
Yeah. I mean it sounds like it. I don’t know exactly what you’re doing. I don’t know if you’re trying to get out on a technicality. But, I think it is important to decide for yourself, and then if you do get into a dating relationship, to state that right up front, like, “I love Jesus, and you know, my ultimate goal is to someday be married, and I don’t want to put undue pressure, or push this relationship along, but I also want you to know that I don’t want to get into sexual sin of any sort of kind. And I need you to honor that, and if you don’t, then this relationship doesn’t have a future. And some gals, I think, really struggle with that, but there’s a Godly rudeness. A man who loves Jesus and really has an affection for you, he’ll find that very attractive; “Wow! She loves the Lord. She’s got deep convictions. She’s got enough courage to tell me where her heart is at. That’s very attractive.” The wrong kind of guys, it’s like Kryptonite. I mean they just run. You know, the wrong kind of guy, “Oh, that’s gonna be too hard, too much work.” Yeah. So, that Godly rudeness and clarity up front, I think could be really helpful from saving a lot of pain and wrong expectation.
I think we’ll close at that. In a minute, we’ll hand it over to the campus pastors. I wanted, Sweetheart – and I’ve been doing this all day – I wanted to publicly thank you. I know it’s a little embarrassing, and you get shy, and you look down, and red – and it’s cute so I do it. But, I wanted to thank you. I know you’re not an employee of the church. You’re a member of the church who is volunteering her time. You’ve given ten weeks during this series. I don’t think there’s a lot of women who would like to take sex questions all day in front of a live audience with no fore warning. And I think you’ve done a phenomenal job. I’m really – I’m proud of you. I think you’ve really contributed a lot. And it’s really fun to work with you. But, I will be glad to not have you working all day on Sunday. It’s been a little crazy. It’s been a huge sacrifice for you. It’s been a huge sacrifice for the kids, but they’ve been generous and gracious to allow that. And, I just wanted to say thank you, as this is our last Sunday of Q&A for the series. You’ve done a tremendous job, and I appreciate it. Thanks.
Grace: Thank you.
I like you. Maybe if you could close our time in prayer, and then we’ll let the campus pastors take it from here, Sweet? Cool.
Grace: Thank you, Lord, for this book. Thank you for this opportunity that we’ve had. Thank you that, Lord, that you have a beautiful freedom and a beautiful opportunity here for people to understand what you intended for sexuality and relationship. Lord, I pray that we would continue to search your word for what that looks like in our own relationships. That we would always be teachable of those things, and convicted of our sins so that we can live freely in you, and with servant hearts for each other. In Jesus’ name –
Amen. Thank you, Sweetie.