Pointers for Parents: The Most Precious Gift

Author: Kenneth Poppe, Ph.D.

An article from: Colorado Springs Pregnancy Center Newsletter March/April 1995 3700 Galley Road, Suite 150 Colorado Springs, CO 80909

Pointers for Parents The Most Precious Gift by Kenneth Poppe, Ph.D.

As parents, you have probably given your children many presents at various cost. Do you ever wonder which one gave you the value for the money?

When my daughter Andrea stepped from 14 to 15, I gave her a birthday present that I believe will prove to be the most precious of all. It cost more than most, but definitely less than others, and yet its value is beyond measure. Furthermore, it is a gift she has promised to relinquish at a time not that far away. The gift is a small gold ring, simple in design and moderate in cost. But it represents the most precious gift God has bestowed on humans, the gift of physical, sexual surrender to each other, and all the emotional investment that goes with it.

I can still remember my stumbling speech as I tried to describe to Andrea that a man can appear rather self-sufficient. He can master his machines, conquer the business world, overcome nature's elements, etc., and act like an island unto himself. (I occasionally suffer from that delusion.) But I told her there is one thing that a man can never secure on his own and that gift is the gift of committed companionship by a woman. He will trade all his toys for it.

However, I told Andrea some girls do not respect God's gift. They separate the sexual from the total package and give it away; perhaps thinking that sex will produce a complete relationship, perhaps mistaking hormones for happiness. When it doesn't work with one guy, then try another, often finally subjecting themselves to a parade of immature and greedy boys. Such boys, with grabby fingers and insincere promises, are unprincipled enough to take the dowry and not make the commitment. Then, as each encounter takes away another piece of the girl's heart, she is soon no longer fit for a mature relationship when one comes along.

So as I handed Andrea the ring, I told her it symbolized that first physical, sexual surrender that should only happen with a man that her maturity tells her will devote all of himself to her, for life. And since the ring represents this most precious gift she is giving to hi on this event, the ring becomes his possession as well.

Will she keep her abstinence promise? I believe so. And if she does, here is the probable value of the gift:

1) Freedom from the threat of sexually transmitted diseases

2) Freedom from unwanted pregnancies and a chance to fully enjoy youth.

3) Freedom from the intense and derailing psychological entanglements that are not appropriate for this age.

4) Freedom from the pain of trying to heal a torn heart later on in life while trying to build a relationship with true potential. And all for the price of a small gold ring!

Morgan, my youngest, is five. Will she get a ring as well? Count on it. But there will be one change, I'll do it sooner in her life. As a lifelong secondary teacher, I can only guess how many naive or out of touch parents don't realize their daughter's most precious gift is long since gone by her fifteenth birthday.

P.S. For those who promote safe sex instead of abstinence education, re-read the next to the last paragraph. Contraceptives proved no complete freedom from STDs and pregnancies, only a hope to beat the percentages of their failure rates, hope that continues to dim as research into viral transmissions progress. And, of course, the only influence frequently used contraceptives have on psychological entanglements and a torn heart is to increase the pain.