Two people immediately come to mind when I think about preparing our kids to make courageous choices. Jerry and Cheryl are parents of three beautiful daughters. Their girls have been the beneficiaries of a loving and stable spiritual environment. But even with all this godly teaching and understanding, with all this love and security, Jerry and Cheryl knew that without courage their daughters could easily fall to outside pressures.
Just about the time their oldest daughter, Shelly, blossomed into a beautiful young woman, they decided to do something memorable to help her maintain courage. It was easy for them to develop a plan because they knew what character traits they were trying to encourage.
They took some of their own gold jewelry, had the jeweler form it into a key, strung the key on a chain, and made it into a necklace. They washed their car, dry-cleaned Jerry’s suit, and bought a simple corsage.
Then Jerry took his daughter out on her first “adult” date. They enjoyed an elegant dinner in one of their town’s finest restaurants. During the meal Jerry talked to Shelly about the courage she would need to stay morally pure. When dessert was served, Jerry took out the gift-wrapped jewelry box containing the necklace. But before she put it on, he told her its significance.
The gold symbolized her purity and the key symbolized the key to her heart. She was to wear it as a reminder of the moral purity that God wanted her to bring to her honeymoon bed. Every time she went on a date, and anytime she might be tempted to compromise her purity, this gold key around her neck was to remind her of God’s view of marriage.
Then, on the night of her honeymoon, she could take it off and give it to her husband. With it, she could let him know that she had preserved her purity as a gift for him.
Maybe that’s why I like Jerry and Cheryl so much. They realize that courage doesn’t come easy; but regardless of its cost, it must be transferred to their children.
– – – written by Tim Kemmel