How will you get to your goal if you don’t create a pathway of expectations to get there? A wish isn’t enough; You need a plan.
When I was growing up, my parents and I had never had a discussion about sex. I learned about it from friends, school, magazines etc. There was never an expectation from them on it. There were no guidelines, no warnings, no expectations. I would venture to say that my sisters experienced the same lack of guidance when it came to this topic. My younger sister was pregnant when she turned 15 and had her 2nd child before she turned 18. I hope that this sheds some light on the danger of not setting clear guidelines and expectations for our kids, not only on the topic of sex and purity, but other areas of their lives as well.
I wanted to do something different, something special to set clear expectations for my kids. When my boys are 13, I plan a special trip to have some one on one father/son time. I choose something that I know they would enjoy.I do this to go over 3 specific things. I know,as a parent, there are 100’s of things I could address. However, I want my focus to be on these three things. I have a special item to give to him for each one that will serve as a memento to remind him of our discussion.
- Who do you surround yourself with? For this question, I choose a knife with his name engraved on it along with scripture. “As iron sharpens iron so does one man sharpen another”. (Proverbs 27:17) I discuss with him the importance of good friends. We talk about who the influencers are in his life. If he is the smartest in his group, who will he look to to be challenged. What will he choose to do if his friends make poor choice. Who will sharpen him? Who might cause him to become dull?
- How to achieve your goals? Focus is the key to achieve one’s goals. For this question, I choose a really NICE pair of binoculars. I show him how to use them. I have him focus on something far away. Then, without adjusting the sights, I have him look at other things. He tells me that he cannot see them because they look blurry. We talk about how hard it is to achieve a goal when we try to focus our sights on too many things. We need to focus on just one.
- Sexual purity. This subject is the tough one. I pull out a silver dollar and ask him if he would like it. He takes it as every boy does. We talk about the importance of keeping his mind pure. I explain why I work so hard to keep him from watching movies that may have sex or nudity in it because of what it can do to him as a young man. I talk to him about sex, sexual diseases and the best way to stay clear of those diseases (just in case you have not connected the dots yet, it’s abstinence). I talk to him about keeping himself pure for his bride, there would be no better wedding gift than this. I then pull out a 99.9% pure uncirculated silver American Eagle coin (we can get into all kinds of analogies about how the other coin I had given him had been handled by 100’s of people and how the new coin has not been touched, but I will let you figure that part out). I tell him that if he commits to keep himself pure that I would like to give this to him to present to his bride, or give it to his son as an heirloom.
We are given a task by God. We are admonished to “Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” (Proverbs 22:6) As parents, it is not only an expectation, but something that is absolutely necessary. What are the GREAT expectations for your kids? Do they know what they are? Our job as parents is not to raise great kids but to raise great adults.
In The Journey Training, we believe that you get what you plan for. Setting expectations is vital to reach the destination you desire. Without expectations, you may end up far from where you really wanted to be. Why not make your expectations clear – so there are no gray areas – you just might find yourself going farther than ever before.