Capitalize on the Month of Love
by: Katie Mattiuzzo
The first few weeks of February can be a very emotional time for teen girls. Some are on emotional highs because they finally have a boyfriend or a shot at a Valentine's date. Some are totally apathetic and would rather just hang out and watch movies with the girls. And some sink into depression and emotional despair at the thought of being "alone" for another year.
Take the edge off the holiday by planning something fun for your daughter to celebrate the month of love.
Read about it. Take the month to read a book together like And the Bride Wore White by Dannah Gresh, PB&J: Dating, or Sexy Girls: How Hot is Too Hot? both by Hayley DiMarco. Challenge her to read a reasonable section of the book each week and then come together and talk about what she learned.
Ask around. Have her interview several mature, Christian couples about their dating experiences. Encourage her to ask about how they met, their first date, what they did right in their dating relationship, and what they could have done better. Meanwhile, challenge her to collect "worst date" stories. Talk about how bad dates can take some of the glamour out of dating and provide a good laugh. Have her share her findings.
Call for backup. Invite a male pastor or youth pastor to talk to her and ask questions about love and relationships. Sometimes it helps just to have the things female leaders say repeated by a male leader and it's just another voice that can reinforce what you are most likely trying to implement at home.
Go shopping. First Thessalonians 4:4,5 (NIV) says, "That each of you should learn to control your own body in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like pagans, who do not know God." The problem is that we shop at the same stores as the heathen. Unless we all start making our own clothes (which is a viable option) we're still going to have to shop at the mall. So, why not ask a group of her friends and parents (yes, dads could come too!) to take a trip to the mall and show the girls how to shop with modesty in mind. If you find yourself to be a little trend-challenged, enlist the help of an older girl who consistently dresses modestly. Girls can still dress cutely while being modest!
Take a trip. Take her to a jeweler for a lesson on gemstone and fine metal purity. Call ahead and ask if someone would be available to talk to her about the importance of purity and clarity in gemstones. While you're there, let her look at wedding and engagement rings. Talk to her about the importance of maintaining purity and the special bond of marriage.
And by all means - whip up a batch of heart-shaped sugar cookies and load on the pink frosting! Your daughter will never say no to love in the form of a cookie.