The Chastening of a Young Queene

I think we’ve got it backwards.  Though I have much study and reading, and rereading, to do I believe I can fairly say that we, in general, are guilty of approaching courtship (among other things related to the Covenant) backwards in a manner that will not produce the desired affect.  You cannot will means into a result that is contrary to their nature.  As it is, the majority of the pressure and responsibility upon the young women themselves.  They are not designed for this.  Not created to endure such pressures.  It is not their place and they should not have to.  When our young men are in the presence of young women, it is the young men that should be protected the young women from themselves, and guarding themselves at the same time.  Too much pressure on our sweet lads?  Oh, come on.  They can take it.

It will be a few years before I have to potentially eat my words for such a point of view.  But I think I am right.  And my point of view was drastically altered, or improved, after providing a few sisters for my son.   Of course, if I wait until they hit puberty then I will have made a deadly error. 

I did not grow up Reformed. I did not grow up Presbyterian or even knowing what Calvinism or any of these things were. I was led to these things in college…or at least shortly before dropping out.  Though I am eternally grateful that my own children will not be able to share such a heritage, I am grateful for what has made me who I am and I think these elements will also contribute to how I raise them.  This is to say that when I came into the Reformed world, about late 1998-1999.  There were a few stereotypical elements that screamed out to me as extreme pendulum swing reactions to The World.  Namely… the denim jumper.  Denim was/is like the National Home School Association Official Uniform.  Another obvious deficiency was the organized employment of young men’s time away from the home (e. g. organized sports, scouting, classroom setting); but that’s probably another topic for another time. 

In my mind, as I raise up my daughters, I intend on being less concerned about the end product as much as the worldview that made them decide to dress themselves that way in the first place.  The exterior being an overflow of the heart. The wearing of a linen sack, although a deterrent on some level, does not transform the young lady out of all the effects of sexual development.  It may have the appearance of chastity, but do we know where our daughters are all the time?  In the dark, it doesn’t matter what the dress looks like anyway.  Appearance does not uprightness make, nor immunity to temptation.  For the dragon Temptation, we need not only equipage, but training so that the weapons can be wielded as tools useful to attaining one’s goal.

We begin with the mindset that women are a gift from the Lord and should always be treated as such.  I have oft heard it said that a young man should handle a young female companion with kid gloves keeping in mind that she may not even end up being your wife.  And if she is not meant to be yours then she is meant for another and you wouldn’t want some rascal’s hands all over your wife.  This is true but I think this does not speak to a couple of points.  First, a woman is always (with only a rear exception that, being an exception, is not the norm – and we don’t build principles around exceptions…life’s too short) under the protection of a Covenant Head, be that a father or a husband.  It is always a male (again, and even more rare exception should there be a single mom) and we know always a head even if through abdication.  So, the father should always be in the picture as far as a young man’s orientation to a young woman.  And if he does not respect that boundary then he is right out.  Secondly, I have come up with a different way of saying the same thing that would have been more helpful to me as a growing boy.  She’s you sister.  Yes, we are of the same blood.  As you would care for, guard and protect a sister so should you watch over this precious young woman.  Sure, that sort of lends itself to an ‘ew’ factor that could be skewed out of context by enemies but I don’t really care.  Shocked is better than an irreversible mistake.  And if we can train the correct mindset from the beginning, temptations can be avoided, coals can be tamed, and a productive route can be encouraged.

I concur with my venerable friends in repeating that women, married or unmarried (because each is under headship), should be obviously recognizable as women.  And vice versa.  Enough with false piety and prudery under the feign of Prudence.

There is more can be said.  There is more that will be.

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~ by Aaron W Eley on 9 April 2008.

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