Today I was asked, “What would I want my girls to know about love”? The question alone…”what is love” is difficult in and of itself. How do you describe love to a soon-to-be teenager? How do you tell them what they should look for? Is it something as parents we can shape? So many questions and I guess the only real way to answer them is to go through it with them.
What is Love?
Love is a feeling -- it is an emotion. It is what many people look for the anchor them and make them happy.
Love is lust…
Love is tender…
Love is happiness…
Love is painful…
Love is sacrifice…
Love takes on many shapes and forms, and I guess the only real way to know what it is, is to just be lucky enough to fall in love.
Now girls, remember… growing up you will experience different types of romantic love. You will have your “puppy love,” you will have your first “true love,” and hopefully, if you’re lucky enough, find your ever after love.
In each type of love you will learn different things, and you will feel different things. Take the lessons and apply them to the relationship that may possibly be your ever after love.
I know it's coming… guys are going to call you… they’re going to ask you out… take you to a movie or a friends house… what you don’t know is, I am actually excited for you to feel love… to go through love… to learn from love. But at the same time, I am dreading the day that you ask me to go out on a date with a boy. DREADING IT!
How do we prepare you for this day? What do you need to know? Never ending questions that run through a parent's mind when we try to think about what is the best way to raise their own child. Girls, do we try to protect you from these guys and warn you about their intentions? Do we shelter you from them and not allow you to experience love? Or do we just let you go?
I feel the path lies somewhere in between. Girls, we will be protective but at the same time we need to allow you to grow and learn.
So, what do I want you to know about love?
The one important thing you need to know before you fall in love is your self worth. You need to know how much Mom and I LOVE YOU! You need to know how much you mean to everyone in our family. You are the reason mom and I work so hard… WE WANT WHAT IS BEST FOR YOU! You deserve the best treatment. You deserve a boy/man to love you as much, if not more, than you love them! Never settle. If you’re not happy with the way you are being treated, know that there is somebody out there that will treat you the way you want…somebody that will love you the way you want and need.
By knowing what you are worth, it will help you to find the guy that will treat you the way you deserve to be treated. For me this is the most important. Know that you deserve the best, especially when it comes to love. The way I love you or the way I love your mom -- that’s the MINIMUM level of love that you should accept.
Know that I truly believe God surrounded me with you girls for good reason. You are all so special to me. Selfishly, you all make me so happy. You love me the way I have always wanted to be loved… showering me with hugs and kisses, and worrying about me… I couldn’t be a luckier man. And I want exactly this fullness of heart, for you.
When the time comes for you to be loved, know what you want, and know what will make you happy. Be selfish with love first, you can be more giving later on. Because before you can love somebody else, you need to know and love yourself first.
Boys will always be there, so don’t rush into love. Take your time. Get to know the boys and make friends with all of them. See if they are true and honest… and always be cautious -- beware of those who tell you everything that you want to hear. Like with most other things, be smart with your decisions, because this will be a big one.
Girls, lastly, I want you to know that love also hurts, and that is okay. It’s the best feeling in the world when you have it… and it’s the biggest pain you will ever feel when you lose it! I feel that for a person to be able to truly love and appreciate love, they have to feel the pain caused by it. When this day comes, just know Mom and I will always be here for you. And I promise, we will raise you to be strong individuals that can conquer any hurdle life throws at you. Because when it comes to love, I will always remind you to love yourself first.