Last night Mr. Beaver and I took 16-year-old Daria to the nicest restaurant in town. It was just the three of us. Doing anything in a group that small is unusual in a family our size! Daria even got to shop for and don a brand new dress for the special occasion.
Why all the fuss?
Daria is the sixth of our teens to go through an important rite of passage in our family. We call it the Purity Promise Dinner. Our goal last night was to encourage Daria to commit to physical, emotional and spiritual purity in pursuit of Christ-like holiness while she waits to marry the right man at the right time according to God's plan for her life. We asked her to commit to sexual abstinence until marriage because we want God's very best for her and for her husband-to-be.
Mr. Beaver and I draw these convictions from the Bible. So after ordering our food last night, Mr. Beaver went over a number of scriptures with Daria showing her God's good plan for her life. He took her to Bible verses where the Lord articulates His insistence that His people save physical intimacy for the marriage bed. Daria's dad showed her that God wants more than mere physical purity. He wants purity of the mind and heart as well. The Lord wants young people to save all of themselves for their marriage partners.
Once Daria's dad had explained our plea for her to pursue purity, he asked her if she was willing to wait. Her response was an enthusiastic, "Yes!" She went on to tell us that while living in the orphanage in Russia and attending a community school, she'd had the opportunity to witness the devastation that not waiting can cause. She'd seen the brokenness that giving your heart and your body too soon can produce. She told us she wants something more like the love-filled magic she's seen between her sister, Anna, and her brother-in-law, Aaron.
We warned Daria that the promise she was making would be hard to keep. She'd be battling the world's ways and her own hormones. Daria's not naive, however. Living in an orphanage until she was nearly 16 opened her eyes to the very realities from which we've tried to shelter our other children. She knows life's hard edge, but now she also knows Christ. She wants to fight the good fight with His help. We promised we'd stand shoulder to shoulder with her, always ready to listen to her struggles. We promised we'd always be willing to pray with her. We promised we'd be available to counsel her and guide her. We promised her never-ending support and love.
Once Daria made her pledge to wait for the right man at the right time, as her dad likes to put it, he pulled out the visible reminder of her promise to walk the path of purity. He placed a ring on her left hand which will remain there until a man who has Mr. Beaver's approval replaces the band with an engagement ring.
|Daria's hand and that of her daddy|
To God be the glory!