We have been doing our weekly grocery shopping on Monday nights. Our oldest 2, Grace and Jacob, have a Bible study that night, so 2 of the other girls and I will do the shopping during the study hour.
We usually divide the list to make the shopping go faster. I do one section and the girls do the other. Last night I kept noticing that some boys were kind of following the girls down the aisles and staying close by. I took my cart over near the boys and heard them talking about things they wanted to go say to the girls…just to introduce themselves.
So I went around the next corner and I slightly pushed my cart between them and my girls (long down the aisle and oblivious to the whole thing) and I told the boys, “Move it along boys. Those girls are not available.”
The boys were shocked for a second, but then recovered quickly, “We just wanted to say hello,” one of them replied.
“Sorry guys. If you want to get to know those girls you will first have to ask their father. Then he will ask you about your relationship with the Lord and your thought life and what kind of man you want to be.”
They were stunned speechless. I stood my ground and they just walked away.
I doubt that anyone ever introduced the idea to these boys that the choices they make now will have meaning for their future.
I will probably never know if my words to those boys had any impact, but I do know that I had moments in my teens when someone challenged me to really think about my choices and it made an enormous impression. Even still I remember those few peers that really stood for more than their own pleasure and seemed to have an inner joy.
There was one girl that stands out…she wasn’t the prettiest or the smartest or winning any big awards, but she had an inner peace that I never understood. Of everyone I knew she had a big influence on me because she had a depth of purpose that made her different. I wish I could thank her and tell her….she probably had no idea. But she would say things to me like whether or not I got a part in the play wasn’t important, but it was how I lived my life. Once she told me that her greatest joy was her relationship with her parents. It shocked me….I just never thought about it.
I pray that my life can be an influence to those around me, and I pray even more that my reach extends beyond my years through my children and their children.
I don’t know why I am thinking about this so much today. I guess I felt a little sorry for the boys in the grocery store and I hope they heard my heart. That what they say and what they do will matter. It matters to them and it matters in the lives of those around them.
Thanks for letting me tell you about it.
Update: Some of you have been upset at my treatment of these boys. I am sorry if I wasn’t clear. These 4 boys were not nice young men that simply wanted to say hi. They were stalking and being highly inappropriate in what they were saying about my girls and what their intentions were. If any of my sons had been acting like that I would hope that someone would have said exactly the same thing to them. In writing you can’t hear my tone, but I was very gentle and caring in the way that I spoke to the boys. My main goal was not to protect my daughters, but to help these boys learn to treat women better.