My son, if your heart is wise,

My heart will rejoice—indeed, I myself;

Yes, my inmost being will rejoice

When your lips speak right things.  (Proverbs 23:15-16 NKJV)


As we discuss with you the principles that we are working through with our middle son, Josiah, we hope that you will find it useful in your particular situation, either as you are dealing with it today, or as you prepare to deal with it in the future with your children.  Some of these principles may rise to the surface without much notice.  To be forewarned is to be forearmed.


To illustrate, we only have to go back one day.  (We told you we are sharing from our real life in this one.)  Last afternoon, David interrupted his work to sit for over an-hour-and-a-half to discuss this situation with Josiah.  He actually missed a major business call as a result.  But quite honestly, Jesus’ words, “What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and lose his own soul?” may apply quite well here.  If we are not available to our children when they are working through emotional issues that will affect them potentially for years, when will we be?


We helped Josiah to see in that short time together that he needs to step up and show that he is truly ready for a relationship with someone else.  We are trying to help him to understand that love isn’t in a hurry.  We have challenged him to read and meditate on the story of Jacob and Rachel (and Leah) as a way of understanding what love really means—seven years of work to marry the wrong woman!  And then another seven to marry the one he really wanted to marry in the first place!  Fortunately for Jacob, he didn’t live in the U.S.A. or there wouldn’t have been a Rachel at all!  (Polygamy was normal in pre-Israel Middle Eastern culture.) 


Josiah is being urged to show his commitment to Christiana by being somber in his commitment about finishing his high school requirements, as a testimony that he is serious enough about this young lady to pay a price.  There were other conditions that we worked out for this personal situation as requirements for it to move forward.


As mentioned earlier, David has told Josiah that he needs to contact Christiana’s dad and go to him to learn what her dad’s expectations are.  It may be that her dad doesn’t think she is spiritually ready.  As a matter of fact, the current situation has actually raised some flags in her dad’s mind that she is less spiritually mature than he previously thought she was.  These kinds of situations have a way of “raising the dross to the surface” as our Christian lives are tested.  This is true of both parents and children.  It is our reactions to these revelations that are most important, and the ways that we respond to these situations are sometimes more significant than the events themselves.