I wrote this post almost three years ago and it has recently resurfaced in my mind. I thought I would share it again (slightly edited) just in case you missed it the first time around. For those who aren’t sure, the question is rhetorical. I know the answer! It is simply posed this way to stimulate thought; self-reflection for both parents and young people. Some would like us to believe our expectations are too high, too unrealistic or too idealistic. I must respectfully disagree. Hold fast, be faithful, aim high! When your trust lies in HIM, He will provide.
George and I have been praying from the time we were married for our children, and for their futures. Our oldest is now married to a wonderful man, and the other three have now reached adulthood. It makes sense then, for George and me to look at various young people with closer scrutiny – “Could this be a possible mate for one of our children?”
It saddens me to see the lack of personal conviction and spiritual depth of many who have chosen to open their lives up for display via avenues such as facebook. People are revealing far more than they intend to. Facebook can be a great way to keep in contact with people. It also provides an instant window into people’s character, which otherwise may not be discovered so quickly. Additionally, it has made us, as parents, keenly aware that we must remain vigilant in the standards we have set for our children.
Sometimes parents get the reputation of thinking that no one is good enough for their children. Truly, George and I don’t want to be unreasonable, and expect the impossible. But don’t we have the right to expect future mates to measure up to certain standards? Some might claim that we are too strict in our qualifications. Are we, as parents, asking too much, regarding standards we expect for the future mates of our children?
• Are we asking too much to expect young men/women to keep their mouths from course jesting, bywords, and speech that does not give God the ultimate honor and respect that He deserves? (1 Tim. 4:12)
• Are we asking too much to expect young men/women to demand the same clean speech from friends? (1 Tim. 5:22)
• Are we asking too much to expect young men/women to demonstrate careful discernment about the music they listen to, the movies they watch, and t.v. programs they choose to view? (Phil. 4:8)
• Are we asking too much to expect young men/women to dress their bodies in such a way that they do not show to the world what ought to be saved for only a future husband or wife to see? (Matt. 5:28;1 Tim. 2:9;
• Are we asking too much to expect young men/women to save their sexual expression – both physically and mentally – for the institution of marriage? (1 Tim. 5:2; Heb. 13:4)
• Are we asking too much to expect young men/women to demonstrate the ability to handle money wisely: both in generous giving to God, as well as wise stewardship of what remains? (2 Cor. 9:7)
• Are we asking too much to expect young men/women to show proper respect for authority? (Rom. 13:7; Eph. 6:2; 1 Tim. 5:17)
• Are we asking too much to expect young men/women to be people of prayer? (1 Thess. 5:17; James 5:16)
• Are we asking too much to expect young men/women to be students of the Word, not because they are expected to, but because they want to grow in knowledge and increase their ability to discern good from evil, right from wrong, and be able to discern the teachings of God from doctrines of men? (Col. 2:6-8; Phil. 1:9; 2 Pet. 3:18)
• Are we asking too much to expect young men to act like men – prepare to be spiritual leaders of their homes, prepare to love their wives like Christ loves the church (which means he will act honorable to all young women), and prepare themselves to provide for future families? (1 Cor. 16:13; Eph. 5:23; 1 Tim. 5:8)
• Are we asking too much to expect young women to behave with a gentle and quiet spirit, to demonstrate a submissive attitude, and to show an earnest desire to develop skills that will help them be keepers at home? (1 Pet. 3:4, Col. 3:18; Titus 2:5)
Are we asking too much? I think not. We are asking no more than God does. We are not looking for perfection; none of us can lay claim to that. However, these character traits that we expect in young men or women who may be interested in a relationship with our children are not negotiable. Those individuals who end up as life-long mates to our children will have great bearing on whether or not our children, our children’s children, etc. go to heaven, and that is something that we do not take lightly.
Broader than our concern about future mates for our children, we have great concern about many young people who claim to be children of God. The evidence is clear. Many have become so saturated by today’s culture that they do not even realize they ought to be ashamed. (Jer. 8:12).
So, I challenge you: when you are alone, be completely honest with yourself. Lay down the pieces of your life next to the Scriptures. What do you see? Is there a stark contrast, or are you a mirror of godliness? Are you willing to make drastic changes if your life doesn’t measure up?
It is time for a revolution against the culture of today, which promotes self-indulgence. Be willing to transform yourself so that Christ can be seen in you, “to which end we also pray always for you, that our God may count you worthy of your calling, and fulfill every desire of goodness and every work of faith, with power; that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and ye in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.” (2 Thess. 1:11,12). Are we asking too much?