I wish to share with you all this additional and very special guest blog (see below).
It comes from the pen and heart and soul of a daughter of a good friend and colleague of mine whom I was privileged to meet a few weeks ago. Christina, who you will read about below is 15 years of age.
I was so struck by this young lady’s grace, the depth of her spiritual/emotional maturity, her poise and innate sense of dignity that I felt compelled under the Holy Spirit to pay her father [and indirectly his wife and her mother] a huge compliment on their parenting skills which have evidently borne fruit.
Her father told me that amongst all the many things that he and his wife have done for their two daughters, they are convinced that a decision they made a few years ago for the overall well-being of their youngest [difficult and as challenging as it was] the graces and blessings of that tough love are plain to be seen.
So I asked him if she’d be willing to share that decision her parents took out of love for her and its consequences from her perspective.
She agreed and what you have below is the result of her generously and bravely deciding to do this. Indeed I am honoured that she has done so with her parents’ consent and full support.
I also post it today on Mother’s Day as a tribute to all Christian parenting. I’ve entitled it “A Daughter’s Love” because as I read Christina’s account with all the virtuous qualities inherent in it due to the grace-filled influence and example of her parents.
I will let the blog speak for itself as a message of encouragement for all parents, and for our children and a special word of hope and quiet trust in God for our young daughters that they may grow in grace and knowledge of the Lord to be the best mothers they can be themselves one day, if God wills.
A Daughter’s Love: How my parents protected my purity during my teens
My name is Christina and I am nearly 16 years old.
I am in Year 11 approaching my GCSE exams in May. My parents decided that it was best for me not to have a mobile phone throughout my school years. I asked them many times throughout my early years at secondary school to allow me to have a phone, but they never wavered.
Although I understood the reasons why they refrained from allowing me to own a phone, I didn’t agree and I thought that they were just being too protective and controlling. Only in the last year or so, have I come to realise that the decision they made was right.
But most of all, I came to realise that the decision they made was necessary, since I live in a secular society and because I am surrounded by people with different beliefs and morals. Now as I look back at my years at secondary school, I am very grateful to my parents for the decision they made.
If I was given a phone, I know that I would have made many mistakes and jeopardised my relationship with my family and with God.
The many of the times I have been out with my friends I am left feeling bored and unimportant. It seems that their phones are much more interesting than I am! I find that some teenagers today are poor at keeping conversation with those of their own age, let alone talking to adults. Their social skills have not developed so well over the years since they are absorbed in social media and their phones more and more.
I have noticed that some teenagers find it difficult talking face to face and prefer to message people. On reflection, I think that my upbringing has enabled me to mix with people of different ages more easily.
Social media allows people to post horrible pictures or phrases with the aim to hurt another person. This ridicule of others deeply upsets me, as some of my friends talk to me about how upset they are, due to what has been said about them online. I am aware that in the past some people have posted mean things about me, but I did not experience them first hand since I have not grown up with social media.
This means that I am not directly involved in the culture of slander and I have not developed the anxiety of what other people think of me, unlike my peers.
This anxiety is especially evident among my girlfriends. Many girls feel pressurised to look a certain way in the pictures they see posted. Boys and girls often comment on other people’s pictures which makes them overly self-conscious and increases their awareness of their looks.
Thankfully I have not been involved with the sexualised culture that is evolving. For example, I hear at school many pictures that are posted on Snapchat that are indecent. This make girls feel that the only way to get attention, especially from boys, is to pose in a sexual way, which is creating a disgusting culture that uses people.
As I look back at my earlier years of secondary school, I realise that if I had a phone it would have been far easier for me to disobey my parents and talk to whomever I liked, even if they had a bad influence on me. As I had not fully developed all my morals I could have been so easily swept along by our secular culture.
It would have meant I would have engaged in inappropriate conversations that would have led to sin and opened doors to temptation.
I am so very grateful to Our Lady for giving me parents who are helping me to protect my purity, and to my sister who helped me to stay strong along the way.