Last night I watched a documentary about "Purity Balls" that I had recorded from TLC over the weekend. It was actually quite interesting. It followed four groups of father/daughters who were attending the nations largest "Purity Ball" in Colorado Springs. It was started by New Life Church a number of years ago and now runs every year with girls as young as five attending with their dads. Some aspects of it I really liked. I liked the part about the dads and daughters dressing up and having a special time together (the ball includes dinner and dancing), many of the fathers chose to rent Limos for the evening. The young women were made to feel like princess's for the evening, which I think is always important for daughters to know that they are loved by their fathers. I also liked the fact that these dads were taking an active role in their daughters lives and spiritual development and serving as protectors of their daughters (one guy even had a cool statue of a knight in armor leaning on a sword and a little girl playing under him). In our day and age where so many dads are not in the picture this is important. None of that bothered me at all, some of it was a little weird, counter culture for sure, but Christians should be a little counter culture. 

What really got me however was how people reacted when their daughters couldn't/didn't live up to the purity pledge. Along with following the four families who were attending the "Purity Ball" TLC also spoke with a young woman named Jessica who had grown up in the purity movement. She remained a virgin until she was 20 (I'm not 100% sure on the age, but I think that's right). She started courting a young man, also from the purity movement, with her parents permission. Apparently one thing led to another and at some point in the relationship they had sex. She said the guilt and shame were so great that they felt they couldn't tell any one so they kept it to themselves and just tried not to do it again. Of course that never works and soon she found out she was pregnant. When she broke the news to her parents they were angry and decided that Jessica and this young man needed to get married right away, it was after all the right thing to do. Shortly before the wedding Jessica miscarried the baby. It was at that point that she realized that she was only marrying this young man because of the baby, not because she loved him, so she called the engagement off. Due to all of this her parents piratically disowned her, calling her miscarriage a punishment from God for her sins. At this point she is away from the church and from her family. There is more to the story that  I can't quite remember or put down here, but I'm sure you get the gist of it. If you get the chance to watch it, I would recommend it, I'm sure it will replay at some point.

It brought up a question for me however. Since I do not have any grown kids yet I will defer to those of you who do. Obviously there are certain standards that Scripture lays out as to how we should live our lives. As believers we attempt to raise our children, as best as we can, to follow those Scriptural mandates. What happens though when they do not follow the path laid before them? How will you respond?

I know of one whose daughter has taken a purity pledge, I pray that she is able to fulfill that, by God's grace and her parents guidance she just may. But what will you do or say if at some point she fails?

I was watching another program on MTV called "Sex with Mom and Dad". On this episode a young man (16) who lived in a Christian home, with parents who believed in abstinence before marriage, decided that he didn't hold his parents same views and didn't want to wait. He had to break the news to them and let them know that, while he wasn't having sex yet, he planned on it before he got married. How would you respond if this was your son or daughter?

While we are talking about children moving astray, what about the child that believes that may be gay? How do we respond in that situation as believers?

Do we push for the Biblical mandate and risk pushing our children farther from us and Christ?
Do we allow them to make their own choices in an attempt to maintain relationship and someday draw them back to the Lord?
Or is there a middle ground?

I am asking these questions openly and honestly. I am curious to hear your thoughts, especially those of you who have children. 

What is more important: relationship with our kids at all costs in the hopes of a return to the Lord or an adherance to Scripture no matter what?


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