Rhonda Stoppe Author of the popular book: Real Life Romance (Harvest House Publishers 2018) says,
Have you ever noticed how your kids are drawn in by a good love story? I mean just look at the plots of most princess movies. Lonely princess finds handsome prince and lives happily-ever-after.
While I am a sucker for a good love story, when raising our children my husband and I worked hard to help them realize their happiness would not lie in finding the one. Rather, their true joy would be found in falling in love with the Lover of their soul––Jesus.
Now before you think I’m gonna get all spiritual on you and take the fun out of a good love story, I’m not. There is a way to celebrate romantic love and show your kids how true romance honors Christ. How you say? Let’s look at 3 ways you can guide your kids toward Christ honoring romance:
Acknowledge their longing to be in love. In 18 years of youth ministry my husband and I learned a lot about teens falling in love. It’s tempting to tell your pimply-faced adolescent, You’re too young to have those feelings. But a wise parent will listen to them share their heart. If you shut them down they’ll still have those feelings, they just won’t tell you about it. And you’ll forfeit the opportunity to guide their thinking toward purity and biblical romance.
Expose them to real romance. Beginning in your own marriage show your kids how romance in marriage is the norm––rather than the exception. Expose your kids to couples in your church who are courting in a way that honors Christ. This helps them believe purity really is possible, contrary to what the world would have them think.
Celebrate true love. Telling your kids stories of how God sovereignly brought together two people to fall in love in a Christ honoring way gives them hope that God is also interested in their happily-ever-after. When they believe that letting God write their love story will guide them to romance with no regrets, they’ll be more likely inclined to seek Him for direction and wait on His timing when looking for a spouse.
My new book Real Life Romance is a compilation of 25 love stories of ordinary people who found extraordinary love. Each account unfolds God’s providential care in honoring couples who remained sexually pure until marriage, blessing the believer who refused to be unequally yoked with an unbeliever, and many other stories of true love. As I wrote I realized what a wonderful resource this would be to not only revive romance in marriages, but also to help inspire teens and young adults to trust God with their desire for romance.
Telling our kids how not to feel will do nothing to guide their hearts. But exposing them to real Christ honoring romance will kindle a spark of hope that God really is sovereign over romance and love.