My daughter is getting married this month. It is an exciting and busy time filled with much joy and anticipation.

It so happens that my daughter works for Joshua and Caleb Leadership Center alongside my husband and I. She is a vital component of our programming and the primary person meeting with our middle and high school girls for mentoring and discipleship. The girls have seen her go through the dating process and subsequent engagement and have watched her and her fiance very closely. In fact, they seem fascinated with them.

At first, I thought it was simply a testament to the years of relationship building Katherine has invested in these girls. In fact, they were not very happy about the engagement at first, assuming that she would no longer have time for them. They were also very concerned as to whether her fiance was a “good guy” who would not hurt her (unfortunately they have seen too much of that in their own households). But, I have come to realize that it is more than that.

The girls that we work with have never seen a couple date and move toward marriage in a way that honors the Lord. One of their first questions when Katherine announced that she was engaged was, “Are you pregnant?” In their worlds, that is usually the only reason someone might get married.

Sadly, most of our girls come from homes where there are children from multiple fathers and their mothers have never been married. There is an overriding assumption that men will cheat and couples will not stay together, because they have seen it played out over and over again. With that understanding, why would anyone get married? I have had many conversations with these ladies where they have told me that there is no way that my husband of 33 years has not cheated on me. They are shocked that he leaves his phone out in plain view where I can see it. They truly cannot fathom a man that is faithful to his wife, who will love them unconditionally, who will love them like Jesus loves us.

I find myself vacillating between two thoughts…the first is how deeply sad it is that this generation appears to have no faith in or desire for marriage based on what the world has shown them. Nor have they experienced the loving care that a father pours out on his daughter. The second is that we have a wonderful and unique opportunity to model Biblical dating and marriage for the kids and moms that we serve.

It would be easy for me to focus on the first one. Trust me, there are days where I find myself stuck in that place. But, I am actually excited and encouraged by the second thought and have chosen to focus my energy there. In the last few months, I have found myself taking every opportunity to share God’s plan for marriage and the blessings that result with the girls. I am honest with them that marriage is hard work and not for the faint of heart, as well. But, I am going to take the challenge placed before me and continue to place Godly examples of committed marriage and relationships in front of these girls, with the hope that they will one day walk down the aisle to a Godly man who will be faithful to them “til death do us part.”

“Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her…”
Ephesians 5:25

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