Jeneric Jeneralities ~ by JenIG

Ok, I’m going to assume that Pam was being satirical in her comment in the last post – Pam, you get 27 points and a blueberry milkshake for freaking everyone out.  Way to keep us on our toes.   

It was really interesting reading thru everybody’s perspectives.  Some of you (like me) have probably seen your philosophies evolve over the years.  We are always learning, adjusting, being humbled, seeing success and *hopefully* altogether continually driven to God’s Word to see if our philosophies line up to what He has to say.

Here is what I could find in God’s Word about Christians arranging their children’s marriages  :: crickets chirping :: 

Here is what I could find in God’s Word instructing Christians about courtship vs. dating :: more crickets chirping ::    

Here is what I could find in regards to ankle monitors – ok, I was just seeing if you were paying attention. 

Here’s what we do know.  We know that God gave us the children that we have, and it is our responsibility to do everything in our power to train them up in the knowledge of God and His truth (His unfailing Word).  In regards to ‘method’ Romans 14 — I highly recommend it – talks about disputable matters and gray areas.  And our discussion would most definitely fall into that category.

It is an excellent benefit to have access to different testimonials and information / philosophies / ideas.  When we are able to discuss different methods and what has worked (or hasn’t worked), it opens up doors and broadens understanding, etc.  But just like any other ‘gray area’ – like the best way to ‘do school’ (unschool, classical, unit studies, workbooks, child directed, etc) we will come to different conclusions about how things should be done – and that is fine and dandy so long as it does not violate or run contrary to the clear and unquestionable commands of conduct in scripture. Still with me? 

So that’s my boring lead in to my own basic rundown of how we are approaching the dating issue.  Without further ado: 

·        All aspects of parenting begin with relationship.  If our children respect us, trust us and love us we (and they) will probably be successful in making right choices

·        The bottom line for us is not a ‘method’.  We have no idea of what our children’s marriage stories will eventually look like, but we know it is our job to teach them truth and guide them in wisdom every step of the way (and we know what it won’t look like —  more on that below)

·        As they become adults, if we do not already ‘have their hearts’ then it becomes a much harder process to ‘win them’ –and the liklihood of them doing something idiotic substantially increases

At this time, I can say with confidence that five of my six children are saved.  I believe they know God and desire to obey Him and honor Him.  I know this because they tell me all sorts of stuff that they would not tell me if Geoff and I did not ‘have their heart’.  Early on, I recognized that my kids have a sin nature and will struggle with all sorts of things that are real, and with ongoing temptations. 

We don’t have “A Talk”.  There was no “THOU SHALT BE PURE OR THOU SHALT BE KILLED DOWN DEAD” speech.  We talk with them constantly (especially our boys) of the things we know that goes thru their heads.  They see billboards of nearly naked women, they see the magazines in the checkout lines and we tell them we know they struggle with thoughts after seeing those things because their bodies were created to grow up and get married – and it is a temptation common to ALL men.  I don’t condemn them for being tempted.  And they tell me (more often than I expect) when they struggle with thoughts, or bad dreams, etc.  That’s our job as parents. They have questions and we tell them the truth about everything.  

We also coach them, and hold them accountable, on how to deal with the deluge of pornography, perverts and predators that pervade this modern day culture.  We read Proverbs a LOT.  It talks about the ***** who tries to catch men with her eyes and then devours them like bread.  We teach them all – very early – about the ‘eye games’ that boys and girls play.  It is very fun to be noticed and to be attractive and attracted to someone else.  Several people mentioned in the last post about ‘treating these other boys and girls as if they were somebody else’s spouse’.  We do the same thing.  We constantly tell them to guard their hearts, and we tell them WHY to guard their hearts.  They know about my own past.  They know about their dad’s past and the trials and trouble and pain it has caused us and others.  They know about their own struggles and the guilt it produces when their conscience isn’t clear. 

We appeal to their Christian nature and encourage them to strengthen traits that will make them a good spouse: faithfulness, diligence, perseverance, and most of all, a love for God, which will secure and safeguard their future marriage.

And I also tell them about the girls who make games of capturing guys with their charm (flirting).  The game is addictive and these girls do not stop playing after they get married.  They will play ‘the eye game’ with other men.  And I tell them about guys who play the same game — the ones who are always looking to see ‘who’s noticing them’ – these cool, charming fellows will continue to ‘charm’ after they are married. I tell them that no honorable, lovely good wife will choose a man like that — so they better start practicing now for the lady they will want to win.

I tell them stories of how their dad refuses to play the flirting game with anybody, and how if a girl looks at him or plays ‘the game’, he sends a clear message of displeasure and disinterest.  They see how their dad honors me by looking the other way when a provocative woman walks by. They see him confess when he struggles.  My boys want to be men like that, and my girls want to marry men like that.  We acknowledge that sin is very fun… and that’s why people are drawn to it.  It takes character and strength and a solid faith to ‘govern ourselves’. 

We also tell them that we are watching other boys and girls and that we make mental notes of who might be good candidates (just as other moms are watching them).  Sometimes they come and tell us who they think would make good candidates – and I have to say that even as young as some of them are, I have been impressed with those whom they esteem.  My boys notice young ladies who (in their words) “are like Coie”.  Someone who loves their parents, talks kindly to their siblings, always ready to help, respectful and ‘not a show off’ and who stays with groups of girlfriends instead of running around with boys.  And I tell them, “yep, I’ve noticed that girl and have thought the same thing; she may make a great wife.  Pray for her and pray for her husband, and do not dishonor her by thinking of her in any improper way”.  I have the same discussions with all of my daughters.  They are waiting for men who love God and know His word, who are hard workers, who aren’t flashy, men who are constant and faithful and who don’t gaze at girls or email /  spend large amounts of time with a girl (or groups of girls).  This is what they tell me they want, and it shows me they are going in the right direction.  I also strongly warn them against ‘romanticizing’ about anyone.  I know it is a struggle and those types of daydreams can really become hazardous. 

When our children were younger, we told all of them (in jest) that we would pick their spouses, and they believed it without a blink. Frankly, it always surprised me at how naturally they accepted it so I never really bothered to tell them I was only kidding. They seemed to find comfort in the fact that they wouldn’t have to worry about it.  Dippy took it all very seriously and asked questions like,

“How will you pick her?” 

ME: “Me and dad will probably find her at church”  

Dip: “How will you know she’s really a good girl and not just tricking you?”

ME: “Me and dad will sneak around her house every single night and spy on her

Dip: “Ok, good” 

As they get older, our conversations get a little more realistic and I don’t know that I’d have enough room to go over what we cover, but basically, because they love us and trust us, and because we all have such a tight relationship, we *all* have sort of come to the conclusion that “picking a spouse” will be a family affair. It just kind of evolved into what everyone sort of expects.  And they all talk about how the future spouse candidate is going to have to pass a gauntlet of Ig Sibling trials and tests before getting the A-OK.  It’s funny to hear them talk about it, and i think I pity the poor soul who will have to go thru the process. It will be fun to see how it all plays out.

Ok, this is way longer than I wanted.  Bottom line – God’s word is clear about purity, so that is our focus… how we can best achieve that and honor Him.   

Truth, Respect, Trust, Love, Guardrails = Solid family raising good decision makers

October 2nd, 2007 - Posted in Uncategorized | | 0 Comments

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  1. drewsfamilytx said,

    on October 2nd, 2007 at 9:48 pm

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    I'm glad your kids are older. That way I can glean all this great advice from someone who has already been there, done that.

    Are you sure you don't want any more girl kidlets? It would be fun if we were related through our children's marriages. Think about the great food and fun we'd have during the holidays!!! I'll bring the chopsticks!



  2. quietcajun said,

    on October 2nd, 2007 at 11:18 pm

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    I love this entry! We spend a lot of time on this subject even from the youngest age. I figure that if I have them properly "brainwashed" before the hormones set in then I have half a chance! LOL!

    Guess what came in the mail yesterday? Kaitlyn's CLASS books! Today we had a pretty productive first day except Kaitlyn had a BAD stomach ache today that prevented her from finishing a math pretest. She just couldn't focus! After some Cal Mag and a hotpack on her tummy she felt better and even offered to mop the kitchen for me! Wow! (And she did a good job too!)

    All in all, it was a good start!

    Some of her books are so interesting that I plan to read them too… especially the Science and the literature books she got. I am not so sure about the Bible course though. Looks like it might be dry.

  3. UndertheSky said,

    on October 3rd, 2007 at 12:17 am

    This was a great post Jen, and a real kick in the pants to me. I appreciate it.



  4. wardssward said,

    on October 3rd, 2007 at 12:49 am

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    Oh, Jen, that was very well put! I'm going to print this post out so that I can absorb it and incorporate it. Thanks!


  5. Anonymous said,

    on October 3rd, 2007 at 5:12 am

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    great post! Really great, actually.

    Here is my question though. How can one be SURE you will have a good Godly relationship with your children as they grow?

    At times, there is no doubt in my mind that my children will grow and our lives will be like yours-with obedient children, respectful, who will not fall away and VALUE our decisions. But then-inevitably, people come to me-even family-who are struggling with love/hate relationships with their pre-teens/teens and say something like "It is just the stage that EVERY kid goes through." Christian parents proclaim it too. And every part of me says NO WAY. Not MY kids. A bad attitude and a disrespectful manner is NOT something I am just going to expect…but it seems like everyone is saying it…and I am fighting tooth and nail not to believe it. So, I guess, if it is possible, how can I KNOW it won't happen? What can I actively DO to prevent it and to PROMOTE respect, an open line of communication, a tight-knit family of love?

    Love, Rebecca


  6. frogiggie89 said,

    on October 3rd, 2007 at 8:08 am

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    I would just like to specify that James is the one of us six kids whose salvation is not confirmed. Not many four year olds actively display the Fruits of the Spirit in their lives, so it is not such a big concern yet.

  7. texasmom2002 said,

    on October 3rd, 2007 at 8:35 am

    Lovely, lovely.

    Oh, that's all so wonderful. I'm so glad that the Pam thing was possibly a fake. That had me very worried! Your words are exactly what I was thinking, but it helps to hear confirmation from someone who has been there, done that. I hear so many horror stories from parents of teens, that I sometimes catch myself believing it's inevitable. Your insight is refreshing and actually makes me look forward to those days ahead. Thank you for taking the time to answer this question. I so do appreciate it and so will my babies.


  8. Ruth said,

    on October 3rd, 2007 at 10:45 am

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    Thank you for this wonderful post. It has been great to read and I am going to print it and save it for a reference. I want to read this to both of our children. It is so hard to keep our children's affection when this world is clamoring for their attention.

    There was a question on the previous post that is interesting to me and was wondering if you would consider answering it. It was the one about when one spouse doesn't agree with dating and one does.



  9. Anonymous said,

    on October 3rd, 2007 at 11:00 am

    Untitled Comment

    Jen and others,

    I am no fake. And I kind of resent being labeled as such. With the sexual predators EVERYWHERE these days, with abductions, robberies, etc. my husband and I must be sure to protect our children. I may have confused you all: my children only slightly protest at the arranged marriages, however, they are ALL FOR the safety ensured by the ankle monitors. Clearly we would never use cattle prods or electric collars! And- no- we are not Mormon. We are nondenominational Christians. A relative of mine who used to work on law enforcement loaned us his pairs for our girls.

    In His name, Pam

  10. GAMama said,

    on October 3rd, 2007 at 12:35 pm

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    Thank you for posting about this Jen. It is something that has been in the back of my mind since my first was a baby. I think it stems from the bad experiences I had in my past. I don't want my children to have to go through all the sorrow and guilt I went through to come to a place of understanding. I hope I can prepare mine at least half as well as you have yours.

    Pam, that's not funny anymore.

  11. debbiecorley said,

    on October 3rd, 2007 at 1:42 pm

    My 2 cents

    HI Jen,

    Well, you stirred the pot with this subject! First of all I totally agree with your position on dating and courtship. I'm not sure how I feel about arranged marriages. I know some families who it has worked for. I don't know if I believe it's right FOR US.

    I went back and read the previous post and comments, and I guess my thought is that it is so much easier to be radical…to take an extreme position one way or another! I admire a person who has the courage to think outside the box, but let us remember that we are called to love one another! The cutting remarks left by Pam and Gwen do not model love, humility or a teachable spirit..

    I think the real challenge as believers is to find a healthy balance in these grey areas. And for goodness sakes let your convictions be YOUR convictions! Christianity is all about those tensions!

    If we all worried more about following God's plan for our lives, and walking in obedience to His leading… rather than winning arguments about who's doing what right or wrong, the church would be a lot healthier.

    Edited by debbiecorley on Oct. 3, 2007 at 1:44 PM

  12. jess4him said,

    on October 3rd, 2007 at 3:08 pm

    devils advocate

    Good post…agree 90%.. here's my thought/question, though: it's tough when trying to determine when a guy is "flirting" or "whooing".. Charley "flirted/whooed" me when we were "dating/courting", but what I always watched was how he treated other girls during that time.. I felt assured when I realized that it was SOLEY me, and it continues now (him flirting and still whooing me)- because it is in his nature to flirt- but only with his true love. I've never seen him even HINT at flirting with another woman. I love that when we're even talking to another woman (together), he acts almost as if she's not there, looking and focusing on me, as if we're the only ones in the room. But had I taken his "flirting" with me a sign that he might do that in the future with other women, and ran away, I wouldn't have my prince charming now.. not arguing here, just discussing.. what do you think?

    love ya

  13. jess4him said,

    on October 3rd, 2007 at 3:12 pm

    <i>Untitled Comment</i>

    one more thing.. could you answer Ruth's question, i'm curious about that one too-

    and, um… what Pam serious about the ankle monitors??yikes! (and I don't agree with arranged marriages- courtship, yes. parent's influencing decision. sure. but the kid also needs to like the person.. there needs to be SOME physical attraction, I believe)- I wouldn't have the heart to force my kid to marry someone they just couldn't stand.

    Edited by jess4him on Oct. 3, 2007 at 3:22 PM

  14. Anonymous said,

    on October 3rd, 2007 at 5:56 pm

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    Can't I have my say? Isn't this forum public? You ladies need a little shaking up.

    Honestly yours,


    a free woman

  15. Anonymous said,

    on October 3rd, 2007 at 6:24 pm

    Untitled Comment

    I really hope Pam is a fake because it is actually making me sick to my stomach. I actually come from another side of the story… I do believe in dating… BUT, that being said, I also see where Jen and the rest of you are coming from. It makes me think… and I really enjoy reading this blog and have learned a lot. I love reading the stories about the kids and hearing how they are raised and how much Jen and Geoff love and cherish their kids. And I LOVE the sarcastic sense of humor Jen… you could be my twin!

    But putting ankle bracelets on children? Is that even legal? If it is, it is truly sickening. Pam is treating her children no better than animals. That is definitely something that needs reported to a child protection agency. I am really upset by her whole attitude and treatment of her children.

    And Pam, Yes, it is an open forum but that in no way gives you the right to mistreat your children. I look at my own beautiful kids and cannot imagine ever treating them like that. I want to cry for your children.

    If you think you are being funny, you aren't. It has passed that point. I only hope that if this is true, someone has the guts to report you to someone who will come to your childrens' rescue and help them live a normal life.

  16. Anonymous said,

    on October 3rd, 2007 at 6:30 pm

    Untitled Comment

    ps… I know I posted that last comment (and this one) an anonmyous… sorry about that but I don't have a blog.

    Anyway, I am Jen too. I have been reading this blog for over a year but never commented before.

    Thank you for writing such a fun and also thought provoking blog!

  17. JenIG said,

    on October 4th, 2007 at 2:27 am

    Untitled Comment

    Friends… let's be cautious with our words. Remember, we are simply discussing different methods. While Pam may seem 'over protective', i think that being 'over protective' most certainly does *not* fall under the category of abuse.

    Let's not forget our friends over in Germany. Right now children are being ripped away from their parents because the 'majority' believes that parents who homeschool are 'over protective'… and so the state is coming in to 'rescue' these kids so they can 'have a chance at normal life'

    Do we really want to head down the path that calls in the state to deal with 'over protective parents' ? I mean, honestly, I think that putting nine year olds in car seats with five point seat belts is a tad over the top, but I wouldn't want to see anybody arrested for it.

    And just for the record, I know very godly couples who have had great success with all three methods — dating / courtship / arranged marriages. I also have heard horror stories with all three methods.

    Remember… it is not going to boil down to 'having the right method'. It is about strong healthy relationships between ourselves and God, and ourselves and our kids. And no… *nothing* is for certain; if it were, we wouldn't need to pray. we would just 'rely on our trusty method'. But success *is* possible, and it is our duty to be diligent in our relationships (first and foremost with our Lord) and to rely on Him. It would be very foolish to trust in ourselves. Arrogance has no place in parenting. I hope I have not given the impression that we have it all figured out. We don't. We are begging for God's grace and mercy in the lives of our children and proceeding with confidence and hope. But we most certainly do not presume that we have things all wrapped up and all future problems solved. We are all sinners and it is likely that we — and our kids — will make plenty of mistakes along the way.

    This now concludes the longest comment I've ever left on my own post.

  18. GAMama said,

    on October 4th, 2007 at 7:09 am


    I really thought you were kidding. I'm sorry if I hurt your feelings or made you think you shouldn't be having your say. Of course you should be able to speak about this subject from your perspective. And I have every right to disagree with your methods. This is how I disagree on arranged marriages, even our heavenly Father gave us free will, because without it there cannot be true love. You cannot be forced into love, that's not real love. Plus, if a person is not mature or wise enough to choose who they will become one with, then I don't believe they are even mature or wise enough to marry period.

    On ankle monitors, I think this might stem from some irrational fears. I do not know you so I cannot say for sure but I have experienced severe anxiety in my younger years that led me to take some extreme measures to keep myself from the dangers I thought about constantly. Please be careful with this as you might be instilling fear of the world in you children instead of a trust in the Lord.

    That was just my 2 cents, Pam your methods are your own and I'm not here to tell you you're wrong, just to say why those methods are wrong for me.

  19. short said,

    on October 4th, 2007 at 9:37 am

    except for the

    reference to chirping crickets, your post is great Jen. I am not convinced the Bible is silent on this subject. Pam, except for the ankle monitor thing I agree with you completely. Go see my blog and tell me what you think about what I said about arranged marriages.

    Yes, our children know that they belong to their spouses even though we don't know who they are yet. Who said anything about FORCING a marriage??

  20. moreofhim said,

    on October 4th, 2007 at 11:55 am

    Untitled Comment

    I am SO glad that you talked about how thing evolve in your life. I thought I was the only one! I was not raised a Christian and so my thinking with my children has evolved over their childhood. We, too, have encouraged our sons to not date and so far, so good. We have had the same kind of conversations that you've had and I really love what you said about having their heart! I'm seeing that same thing with my boys – they tell me everything! My oldest is in college now and comes home at night and tells me all about what's going on and he's so aware of the flirting and stuff and stays clear. His friend is "going out" with a girl and my son realizes that she is using this young man to make another guy jealous. He continues to guard himself and has not gotten involved in anything. I am SO thankful! It's so reassuring to know that even though we are evolving in our thinking and our walk with the Lord, it all works as long as we commit ourselves and our children to Him!

    Thank you for your sweet comments about my afghan and pumpkin I made! I'm always so glad when you visit me.

    God bless you ~ Julie

  21. Jo said,

    on October 4th, 2007 at 12:05 pm

    I love this post!

    This post is SO helpful! Thank you so much for taking the time to share. I am in the same boat as you with a painful past and have wondered what it will look like as my dear children grow older. My 5 year old is like Dippy in that she believes that mom and dad will find a good husband for her someday – she wants someone like her Daddy. (A great, godly, hard working, fun loving, devoted family man who does not oogle other women.)

    Thanks again,


  22. SAMIAM said,

    on October 4th, 2007 at 1:47 pm

    Untitled Comment

    Could you come to my blog and vote for my poem? I'm two votes away from winning an ipod!

  23. lynan said,

    on October 4th, 2007 at 5:19 pm

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    Not that I'm for ankle bracelets (I'd rather put in a good security system if needed) but when I first read that–the first thought that went through my mind was about that girl that was kidnapped in the night and forced to be a second wife to that lunatic for nearly a year. If she'd had an ankle bracelet??? Hmmmm….

    I don't think we'll be arranging marriages, but I do think we'll help evaluate possible mates. Maybe that is the same thing in a way?

  24. SmallWorld said,

    on October 6th, 2007 at 10:06 pm

    Untitled Comment

    The ankle monitors made me a deep thinker today.

  25. Anonymous said,

    on October 7th, 2007 at 4:26 pm

    Another note to "Pam"

    Unless you think you have no chance of picking the wrong person for all of your 6 children i think you are taking a big risk on messing them up for life and maybe sticking them with some one they can't stand.

    Do you really want to be responsible for that?

    And, honestly, ankle moniters?

    Unless your daughters have attracted a stalker and there is some real reason to fear for their abduction or rape, I think they are for your own benefit.

    I think I would have killed myself if my parents had treated me like that. Seriously, I would definatley take them to psychiotrist at this point.

    As for slightly "protesting" having their marriages arrainged for them.

    Unless they are completley willing to go along with your choice to pick out their spouses, it is both against the law for you to force them to marry someone against their will and they are likely a little frightened of whom you will choose because, loving their parents aside, they can probably see that you are a little crazy.

    Yeah, I would get that checked out. Sounds like a case of neurotic overprotectiveness and maybe a little psychotic dissillusionment to me.

    How's that for "a little shook up?"

    P.S. The law enforcement officer who gave you those ankle moniters should be ashamed of himself if he knows what you are using them for.

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