Launching Family Business Greenhouse

by Hal and Melanie Young | 9/18/2014 | 0 comments

People often ask us how they can start a family business like we did. The problem is that they need to start a family business like only they can!               One day we were visiting with some dear friends and talking about the need to help families who want the…
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September 15th, 2014

Courtship: Should There Be Only One Suitor?

by Hal and Melanie Young | 7 comments

We were very surprised to find that many parents who are teaching courtship to their children are expecting (and telling their children!) that there will only be one suitor in their future. We see some real problems with this.

Courtship One Suitor

Imagine this: Marc has a female friend he’s known for years. Recently, he’s begun to realize what a good wife she would make and how much he enjoys her friendship. He talks to his parents who agree this looks like a wise course, then he calls her dad and makes an appointment to talk to him. He tells her father how much he appreciates his friend and how he’d like an opportunity to try to win her heart.

“Son, I have the highest respect for you,” the dad replies. “You’re a good man and would make a great husband, but last night, Brent asked me for permission to court my daughter. Now, I don’t want her to be hurt or have any confusion, so I don’t want you to tell her about your interest. I’m sorry.”

Couldn’t happen? Well, it did. The young man was just stunned. He couldn’t even tell her! He was just heartbroken. It would have been bad enough just to be rejected, but to watch their courtship and never be able to share his own feelings? Brutal.

We worried about the girl, too. We wondered if she would have felt differently about Brent if she’d known Marc was interested, too. Maybe she was even interested in Marc herself, but assumed since he didn’t say anything when Brent started courting her, that he must not have been interested at all. Maybe she would have greatly preferred Marc, but she’s afraid if she says no to Brent, no one else may ever come along.

You see, many girls are being told to expect to only have a romantic relationship with one man–and by “romantic” we don’t mean, “a torrid love affair of burning passion,” but something along the wide range from “more than friends” to “married.” They’re told that one day their Prince Charming will come along, court them, and then they’ll marry.

Some are being told there will only be one courtship–ever. A girl who believes this may feel pressure to accept the first reasonable offer, for fear he’s “the only” and if she turns him down, she is committed to lifelong singleness. On the other hand, thinking there must only be one courtship ever, may mean the girl holds off anyone who isn’t an obvious dreamboat–and never get to know a shy or taciturn young man who would make a fantastic mate.

Related thought: Paul encouraged younger widows to remarry (1 Timothy 5:14). No romance for widows? Or is there permission for more than one romantic relationship in a lifetime, after all?

Others, like Marc’s friend, don’t admit that more than one young man may be interested at the same time. Why ever not? The courtship culture of our great-grandparents seemed open to the concept. if literature from the period is an indication. If more than one young man has noticed a young woman, why shouldn’t they make that fact open–and the young woman consider them all, up to a point?

We strongly believe that fathers, mothers, or other counselors should feel free to caution a young woman, “I question whether such-and-such a suitor actually knows the Lord, and if he doesn’t, I can’t recommend him.” But for a father to tell a potential suitor, “I think you’re a fine, godly young man, with a great future ahead of you and a good start on your way, but I just don’t think you’re ‘the one’ … so don’t talk to my daughter any more.” Wow — that looks like hubris to us. Are we parents that wise? Or just that arbitrary?

There are pitfalls to treating courtship like it was engagement. Engagement comes when the decision has been made, the question asked, and a promise given. Courtship as we see it is the longer time of consideration, a time when lots of other questions should be asked, when hearts may be drawn together, or when a couple may realize they are not suited for marriage to each other. Courtship may lead to engagement–or it may not; and couples need to feel free to say, “No,” and look elsewhere for a mate.

And if the relationship progresses, whether there is one suitor or more, the time will soon come when the young woman chooses to consider one or the other or neither. But it should be her decision.

Ultimately, our adult children will be the one to live with their mates. Yes, we parent have lived longer and served the Lord longer, so we’ll tell them if we see any red flags in a potential relationship, but we don’t intend to choose their mates for them. We believe they can choose their own mates – and we can’t wait to meet them!

Other Posts on Finding a Mate:

What in the World is Courtship (not a cookie cutter approach)?

Honoring Your Parents

It’s Just Coffee!

Don’t Shut the Door Too Soon!

A Good Thing

Hal and Melanie SugarLoaf Web (c)2009Your friends,

Hal & Melanie

Get our book, My Beloved and My Friend: How To Be Married To Your Best Friend Without Changing Spouses for more on building a godly – and great – marriage!

September 13th, 2014

Teaching Diligence to Boys

by Hal and Melanie Young | 2 comments

Hal often says that boys seem especially tempted by anger, lust, and laziness. And if you think about it, it makes sense–those sins are connected to some of the most important roles men have as protectors, husbands, and providers.

So, how can you overcome their natural laziness? How can you help your son become diligent? Sometimes it seems impossible! Been there, folks. It’s not impossible, though. It just takes awhile. Here are some of the things we’ve done that have helped.

RRM Getting Boys to be Diligent

Make it about the mission. Boys often don’t care whether their surroundings are clean or not, so the motivation has to go beyond that. Explain to him how his contribution is helping the family, like this, “Hey son, thanks for rotating the dishwasher. When you handle things like that, it frees me to do other things. I was just on the phone helping a new homeschooling mom. You know, that was partly your ministry, too. You made me able to do it.” Continue reading »

September 4th, 2014

Courtship: Honoring Your Parents

by Hal and Melanie Young | 0 comments

We’ve said some critical things about the way the courtship model is sometimes carried out, but one really good thing that has come out of it is the recognition that courtship and marriage involves more than two people, it involves two families.

Courtship Honoring Your Parents

We’re always amused when we hear someone say, “I’m marrying her, not her family,” because in our experience, it’s just not true. When you marry someone, their family becomes part of your family, so it pays to start off on the right foot. Continue reading »

August 18th, 2014

Courtship: It’s Just Coffee

by Hal and Melanie Young | 30 comments

“Hey, I’ve got some unexpected time free. Want to meet for coffee?” an adult young man texts an adult female friend.

“I’m not comfortable meeting guys like that. You need to talk to my father,” is the reply.

These two are on a different wavelength. Let’s peek into their heads for a moment. (No, we can’t read their thoughts, but this is what we’ve heard lots of them say privately…

Courtship Its Just Coffee

Guy: Hmmmmm. Got an extra hour here. No way to get any work done.  Hey, this isn’t far from Charity’s house. Maybe she’d like to meet for coffee or something. She seems like a nice girl, but I really don’t know her. It’d be nice to chat for a bit, see what she’s interested in. She could be a good friend, maybe even someone I can court, but it’s way too early to think about that. “Hey, I’ve got some unexpected time free. Want to meet for coffee?”
Continue reading »

August 15th, 2014

A Thirst for Adventure

by Hal and Melanie Young | 0 comments

Boys have a love for adventure. The trick is to teach them to take reasonable risks. We want them to be bold and adventurous – without breaking both legs jumping off the roof! There’s a whole chapter about that in Raising Real Men.

Mark Twain What Boys Are Like Treasure Hunting

August 8th, 2014

Helping Boys Love to Read

by Hal and Melanie Young | 8 comments

“How do I get my son to read???” is a common question when we speak about homeschooling boys. Here’s what we’ve done:

Helping Boys Love Reading

Be patient when you are teaching them to read. Earlier is not better when it comes to boys. The average boy five years old has the same developmental reading readiness as a girl of three and a half. Many boys who struggle because they just aren’t developmentally ready to read yet decide that they just aren’t any good at school. That’s sad because it’s not true. Continue reading »

August 4th, 2014

Wish Us a Happy Birthday – and Get $200 in Gifts Yourself!

by Hal and Melanie Young | 5 comments

Fifth Anniversary Pinnable New

Help Us Celebrate Five Years!

Five years ago, our family set out on a new ministry and a new adventure – helping you 

make Biblical family life practical 

with useful, encouraging, real-world resources

to bring Scriptural principles to the 21st century family

 THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT! Continue reading »

August 1st, 2014

Covenant Eyes: There When You’re Not

by Hal and Melanie Young | 8 comments

“I don’t know what to do, we hadn’t even talked to him about sexuality yet, he’s so young. I just found out he’s been watching pornography, though. What do I do?”

We’ve heard this from several moms – just this week! And the ages would break your heart. Seven, eight, and nine year olds being exposed to things no one should ever see.

The first thing we told them is that you need to get some kind of accountability on every single internet device in your home.

Covenant Eyes Review

I gave that advice to a mom at a conference recently and she said, “I don’t need that stuff. We keep the computer in the kitchen.” I wondered if that was really the only internet available in her house. No smartphones? No work laptop? No Kindles or iPods or tablets? And even if not, does she sleep in the kitchen?

It’s a serious question. One mom this week told us her little boy, eight or nine, I think, was getting up in the middle of the night to look at porn on her iPad. Having the computer in a public area is no protection at night. Continue reading »

July 31st, 2014

For Our Future Daughters in Law

by Hal and Melanie Young | 5 comments

I was floating in the lake in my “mama suit” with my hair going every which way when one of my sons looked over at me and said, “Mom, you’re beautiful!” A few months ago, I might have answered, “Oh, please! I look awful!” but I’ve learned better since then.

A few months ago I read a blog post that I found very convicting. A mom wrote of her realization that the things she said about her body impacted her daughter’s view of beauty and acceptance of her own body. Ouch. I have two daughters now and I want them to feel lovely and confident. I started thinking about what I said about myself and the message my self-criticism gave my girls. Now I’m thinking of the message those things give my boys, too. What I say about my body affects how my boys view women. (<–Tweet this)

RRM My Body Image and My Boys

This afternoon, I decided to join the children in the Lake. When I came out on the deck, they shouted, “There’s Mama – and she’s wearing her swimsuit! Hooray! Hooray! She’s coming in!” They didn’t see what I saw, a middle aged overweight woman in the kind of suit she said she’d never wear. They saw someone they enjoyed; someone they wanted to be with. They saw me through the eyes of love. Continue reading »

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