April 1, 2012
By Aileen Hamilton
I remember going into a little bit of a panic when our oldest daughter, turned ten. She was going through some physical changes that I wasn’t prepared for. As much as I wanted to deny it, family members had started to comment on how much she was ‘L-Up’. She was no longer the little girl I remember with dimpled arms and chubby baby cheeks; she was taking form of a young lady.
As a mother, my fears grew much stronger for her when I discovered that her friends had introduced her to inappropriate websites. She didn’t fully understand the consequences of being introduced to such ‘mature activity’ by her peers. “What’s the big deal?” she questioned. “It’s inappropriate!” we replied. “Well, my friends thought the pictures were funny so we were just making jokes about them!” she responded, confused. “This stuff isn’t meant to be funny! Don’t you understand? This is serious stuff, seriously sinful stuff!”
My heart was broken. I knew that my little girl wasn’t so little anymore, physically and now mentally. I was sorely disappointed that she was exposed to this by her peers; kids I welcomed in my home and invited to stay for dinner. I accepted the fact that she is growing up, despite being prepared for it. However, I certainly didn’t want her friends teaching her anything more about this topic. I prayed about this for a while until I found the strength to accept that it was time to give my daughter…THE TALK. The much dreaded talk about the birds and the bees, the talk about sex. If she was going to learn about sex, then she was going to be taught about it through me.
Sex is already being articulated through the music tweens listen to, broadcasted on the popular shows they watch, and sadly, talked about at school among friends. Sex also comes up when you do innocent image searches for silly things like…”cute kittens”. I knew I couldn’t shelter her from it much longer, I couldn’t put her in a giant bubble and keep her there until she was married. I also knew that emotionally, I couldn’t do this alone. I needed God’s help to stay strong through this, while being able to talk to her about sex, what the Bible teaches us about sex, and choosing to stay pure until marriage.
A friend introduced me to Family Life’s Passport2Purity program, by Dennis and Barbara Rainey. This is a kit designed for tweens ages 12-15, which covers love, sex, and relationships and other topics that are naturally difficult to discuss with your tween. I was able to find it at the local Christian Bookstore. (You can also order online on the Family Life website). The kit includes a set of CDs, a Parent’s Manual (The Tour Guide), and the Student’s Manual (The Adventure Journal). It also comes with an actual ‘Passport’ and stickers. It is designed for both sexes; an adventure shared between fathers and their sons, as well as mothers and their daughters.
After listening to the CDs and becoming familiar with the material, I felt such relief over this talk I had known for months I would need to have with my daughter. The Passport2Purity program makes this experience easy and comfortable. More importantly, so much FUN! I never imagined that I would have so much fun talking to my daughter about Sex and Staying Pure!
I sat in my craft room and took out some colorful cardstock and stickers, and handmade a special invitation for my daughter to find. Passport2Purity had different suggestions as to where we might consider taking our adventure to. I chose an activity that I knew she and I would really enjoy. The invitation didn’t give many details other than to pack her clothes, toiletries, and her Bible; because she and I were going on an exclusive Mother/Daughter trip. She was really curious and had many questions; I kept her excited about the trip by not revealing anything. I packed all the materials needed for the projects during our lessons. Her Dad and I both wrote her encouraging letters expressing how proud we are of the young lady she is becoming, and how excited we were about this special getaway. We wrote about how much we love her and how we will both be here for her to help along the way in the years ahead. Even when she doesn’t think she needs our help with anything. Passport2Purity suggested revealing these letters to her moments before we finally tell her about our getaway.
I took her to her favorite fast food restaurant, The Panda Express.On the way there, I teased that we were going camping in a tent where the bears like to roam. “But it’s raining! What?? Bears?!?” We ordered our food and sat down at a table where I presented her with the letters her Dad and I wrote. I could tell after reading them she knew where this was going.
“Sweetie, we are both aware, you are quickly becoming a young lady. I booked a special trip for just the two of us, and this is the very weekend that we are going to have ‘The Talk’. I’m really looking forward to this time with you. I’ve got lots of fun surprises planned!” She was as bright red as a tomato. I told her there will be times when it may seem awkward, but that I’m an open book and she can come to me with any questions she may have. We will cover everything. After our lunch she prayed with me as I asked God to bless our trip, make it fun and memorable, thanked Him for blessing me with my beautiful daughter, and to bless this special time together. I felt confident that the Passport2Purity program has prepared me for any surprising questions!
On the way to our destination, I popped in the first cd and gave her the Adventure Journal. The first cd encouraged her to ask honestly tough questions. As well as, explaining all the rules of the journey. It included bible scriptures in the form of music, so it would be easier to memorize and sing along to. Two years later, I still remember one of my favorite songs from Solomon 8:4. “Daughters of Jerusalem, I charge you: Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires” On the road we laughed, we sang and memorized scriptures, we talked and shared. Sometimes it got quiet but, moments like that didn’t last too long before we were entertained again by the humor of Dennis and Barbara Rainey.
We arrived at our destination. A Bed and Breakfast my husband found in Connersville, IN. She thought it was so elegant. She felt like such an honored guest; as they had such wonderful hospitality. Once we settled into our rooms, our lessons continued with fun-filled projects and discussion, with tough questions and honest answers. After every lesson she earned a sticker on her ‘Purity Passport’. We spent the rest of the day pulling out our bibles to see what scripture says about peer pressure, modesty, dating, staying pure, and many other tough topics.The following morning we were treated to a lovely breakfast, and finished off our weekend with a pampering spa pedicure and manicure at a beauty shop nearby. She was so excited about getting her nails done! This was a fantastic way to end our getaway before we headed back. She had made the decision to wait to have sex until she was married. I was proud of her! I couldn’t wait for her to discover that the weekend wasn’t quite over yet.
When we returned to Greenwood she was surprised to see the rest of her family meeting us for a Celebration Dinner. She was the ‘Guest of Honor’, as we were all there to celebrate the beginning of her entry to ‘becoming a young woman’.We had a wonderful meal at the Texas Roadhouse, where her dad presented her with her last and final gift for the weekend – a Purity Ring. Engraved across the top of her ring were the words, “Love Waits”. She slipped it on and was so thrilled that it fit. She showed her dad her passport, along with her newly painted fingers, and told us both that she had a fabulous time that weekend. I know that the lessons we covered during this special time with her will stay with her in the years ahead. It has been a couple of years later and she still feels open about coming to us with tough questions about her changing body and growing up.
My husband is thankful that this kit is reusable (we’ll just have to get a new passport and Adventure Journal without all of her answers in it). So that, when it is time, he will be able to take our son out on their special Father/Son getaway. I’m so thankful that Passport2Purity has come up with such an excellent program that helps parents like me have the courage to confidently speak to our children about this topic that we once hoped to avoid altogether. This getaway has been such a blessing to both me and my daughter. I am so glad that from now on, no matter what she hears from peers and media, she will always be able to reflect on the special moments and the valuable lessons she (And I!) was taught with Passport2Purity.
Aileen is a stay-at-home-mom to three rambunctious children and the lucky housewife to her doting husband, Craig. She has the perspective of having lived a lot of unique lives, e.g. a military daughter in a non-Christian family, a life overseas as an American-born child in the Philippines, an unequally yoked wife and young mother, a struggling single mom working multiple jobs, and her present day life as a stay-at-home married mom and wife of a God-fearing man. She is also writing and sharing her experiences for the first time as a contributing writer for BLOG magazine. You can find her on Facebook or you can email her at email@example.com.