When The Bullets Are Real…

*posted with the expressed permission of my daughter*

My oldest daughter is turning 15 in a few months. Now I’m not sure what the “perfect” age would be for my little girl to have her first boyfriend? I am now in uncharted waters as a dad. I could joke that 30 would be a great age to have your first hand-hold, but these bullets are real – she is not my giggly little 10 year old anymore. Mackenzie has developed into a beautiful young lady both inside and out. It should come as no surprise to me that a young man has taken notice.

I praise God that we have relationship that allows us to talk, I mean really talk – I have prayed for that. So why did our conversation in the Yukon on the way home from Youth Group nearly cause me to hyper-ventilate? It went something like this:

“Dad, Matt (not his real name) and I were talking the other day and we decided that if our relationship was to go any farther, we need to set boundaries” (Ok, she now has my undivided attention – breath Hook, breath). So I manage to mutter “boundaries…explain?” She says, “You know, like waiting a year to hold hands, and another year for our first kiss.”

So in my head I’m doing some quick math – ok, almost 15 now, wait a year to hold hands – that’s 16 – kiss at 17…ooook, this may work! I’ll keep our conversation that followed just between us, but suffice it to say that it was precious. Thank you Lord for a daughter who seeks after Holiness.

I really like “Matt”, but chances are he will be just the first of a few young men in my daughter’s life. Last week he asked me to be in my small group Bible study (smooth move by the young man). Of course, I’m going to make that happen. I can remember being 15 and all of the conflicting feelings that run through a young man as a teen. As I read Proverbs chapter 5 this morning I thought about Matt. I thought about the struggles of young men and the temptations that bombard them daily. It really breaks my heart to know what pressure they are under.

When I sit down with Matt and the other young men, I want to read them verse 1 of Proverbs chapter 5 – “Guys, pay close attention to this, this is wisdom; listen very closely to the way I see it. Then you’ll acquire a taste for good sense; what I tell you will keep you out of trouble”. And then the most important truth about sin – your sin will always find you out. Verse 22 – the shadow of your sin will overtake you.

The solution?

* Prayer
* Accountability
* Having someone in your life that can speak into your struggles and darkness
* Understanding the consequences of your sin
* Learning what Grace is all about
* Every day falling more in love with your Creator
* Striving for Holiness every moment of every day

When the bullets are real…ha, maybe as an object lesson for our first small group I’ll bring a few of our guns from the family collection with real bullets on the side. Wonder if Matt would hyper-ventilate like I did…

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