A letter to my daughter at 16

Brittney,

This weekend we just celebrated your sweet 16. I watched you at your party last night, continually surrounded by a gaggle boys fighting for your attention, and realized that all too soon we will be saying goodbye to our baby girl. You’re 16, so I’m not saying you’re going to be walking down the aisle any day now, but it’s far closer than it’s ever been before. The next few years of high school and college are all about falling in love and having your heart broken, and then falling in love again, and then having your heartbroken again, and then insisting one more time that this is actually the guy you’re going to be with forever, and then getting your heart broken again. Until eventually you’ll find the man who is indeed the affection of your heart, that you’ll choose to spend the rest of your life with. It’s a pretty scary and overwhelming thing, and so in the midst of all of it I’d like to write down some guidelines for you. It’s not like I’m telling you this for the first time on a Blog, we’ve talked about this for years. Before you started jr high daddy took you out on a date discussed these very things, do you remember? But never has it been more real than right now. Maybe you’ll heed These words, maybe you won’t. Maybe it’ll take several more heartbreaks before you even look at this again.

You’re looking for love Britt, so make sure you’re looking with the right intentions and for the right things, before you fall in love and give a piece of your heart away. I pray daily that God sends you the right boys and shows you quickly the wrong ones before you get hurt. What is the right boy? I can’t know, but I believe deeply that he will have these qualities:

1. Make sure that he loves Jesus. I know you probably think that sounds like exactly the kind of thing your pastor mom would say, and maybe it is. But it’s about more than just believing the same thing, though that is a really big deal. You never know which boy is going to be the boy you’re going to marry, and I promise you don’t want to raise children in a home where your husband doesn’t have the same commitment as you do. But more than that, there’s something to be said for a man that loves Jesus, and follows his command for love. It’s different, you know it is. You know the difference between your daddy and several men in the world today. You know the difference between the boys you know who have a relationship with Jesus, and the boys who don’t. The boys who love Jesus have a Godly picture of how God wants them to love. That really does change the game.

2. You really are worth waiting for Britt. A lot of guys might tell you that you’re worth waiting for, but then their actions don’t show it. But if they believe you really are worth waiting for, their actions will show it and you’ll know it and believe it. You are absolutely worth waiting for. Don’t fall into the trap believing that gratification has to come right now, because you deserve every minute of giddy anticipation with your husband one day.

3. Find a best friend. People who say “don’t date your best friend” are dumb. That is exactly who you should date. If someone isn’t interested enough to get to know you as a best friend before desiring to date you, then they are probably desiring to date you for all the wrong reasons. On the other-hand, if someone knows you fully (your best and worst qualities, what makes you laugh, what makes you cry) and still wants to date you, those are the people worth taking a chance on.

4. You’ve watched your daddy be head over heals in love with mom for your entire life. You deserve to have someone completely and totally in love with you. Find someone who lights up when you enter the room and who thinks you are the most beautiful, funny, intelligent, amazing woman they’ve ever laid eyes on. Allow yourself to be cherished.

4. Chivalry is not dead. You are a strong and independent woman who can become anything you want in this world. That being said, just like you deserve to be loved fully,part of being cherished is being honored and put first. If a young man can’t open your door, stand when you stand, or pull out your chair on a date, when he’s showing the best of himself, then walk away. You deserve to be put on a pedestal.

5. Find someone with a good sense of humor. Life is full of too many heartbreaks and you’r going to need someone to laugh with, a lot. Find someone who loves to laugh as much as you do.

These things may not have made your top 5 list of things to look for in a boy, but I wish I could make you understand that looks fade and muscles often turn into fat after a few years down the road, but these things…these things last forever.

I love you baby girl!


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