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Witnessing Tools
Saturday, May 05, 2012
Rebecca Droeger

Anyone who has daughters knows the pains of when they first start becoming interested in boys.  It’s like nothing else in the world matters.  All of the sudden, their interest is in a certain boy.  Morning, noon and night, that’s all they talk about.  They talk on the phone constantly; or nowadays, communicate via text or Facebook.  Blah, blah, blah, blah!

If the boy is smooth, he’ll always compliment her on how “beautiful,” she is, and that his life meant nothing before he met her.  He’ll say how much better of a person she makes him.  He’ll say how sweet she is, and how much he “loves” her.

If he’s brilliant, he’ll find her weakness (sometimes unwittingly) and relate his own “pains” with her making it seem like they’re going through the same thing.

If you are blessed, he’ll be a nice kid.  If not, you’ll find out she’s developed feelings for a loser before you even know what to do.

Case in point, my 13-year old niece developed a Facebook romance with a real piece of work.  This is my sister-in-law’s daughter and we are all very close.  She spends a great deal of time with us.  For privacy purposes, we’ll call her “Sarah.”

Sarah springs it on us a couple of weeks ago that she has a new boyfriend.  We think “Oh, no big deal; she goes through boyfriends like food through a duck.”  Then, she tells us that he’s flunked a couple of grades, but he’s still her age and going into the same grade she is.

The first thing out of my mouth was “Wait, how is that possible?  And how do you even know this kid?”

She said “oh, we met through my (girl) friend and we started dating on Facebook.”

Afterwards, she showed me his picture, and I was immediately alarmed.  His hair looked like something that got stuck in a vegamatic, and he had this pompous, buzz-off look on his face.  In other words, it looked like a thug waiting for someone to challenge him.

Why, why, WHY!?

Sarah goes on to tell me how wonderful and sweet he is, and how much she “loves” him.

Naturally, as a concerned aunt, I looked on this kid’s Facebook to see what has transpired between the two of them.  It was mainly gushy, and how much they love and miss each other; and oh please choke and kill me now!  Mind you, they have never met face-to-face.

So, I read a bit further and see how this kid is threatening others, hangs around “gang-bangers” (his term, not mine), and how people need to f-off.  He proceeds to go on about those same “gang-bangers” smoke pot, and just because they do, doesn’t mean that he’ll start.

Then, I see all of this stuff about f-this, f-that, and f-your mother.  Needless to say, I came unglued.

The first thing I did was try to have a rational conversation with her and make her understand what type of person he appeared to be.  I tried to warn her of the pitfalls of even talking with him further and how she should end it right away.

Sarah says “oh, he’s changed.  His friends all tell him how different he is now that he’s ‘dating’ me.”

“Are you kidding” I exclaimed.  “This guy will tell you anything you want to hear just to be your boyfriend.  Worse yet, you don’t even know him and he could try to get you to meet him and you have no idea what will happen.  I know your mom can’t approve of this kid, so you’ll sneak behind her back to see him; and then what?”

Sarah tried to reassure me that she’d never do that to her mom, and that she’d respect him.  Unfortunately, I know how teenage hormones work since I used to be one.  When you’re priorities get out of whack, you’d do anything to be with that person that makes you feel so good.

The next course of action was to talk to her Mom to make sure she knew what was going on.  Of course, her mom was well aware and assured me that she would never see this kid face-to-face.  I tried to convey to her that it was still a bad idea to let it continue as they could scheme for ways to get together; and if Sarah’s feelings became too strong, who knows what this boy could talk her into doing.

My sister-in-law said that it could backfire and just make Sarah want to be with the boy more.

As I stewed, and prayed, then stewed some more, I decided to check up on Sarah to see what the two of them were posting on their Facebook.  It was more of the same gushy stuff.  So I decided to politely ask the kid why he “loved” Sarah so much.

He replied with a surprisingly sweet and respectful answer.  I’ll paraphrase his answer a bit, but he said it was because she was smart, sweet, kind, beautiful, so much other things that he couldn’t put into words. 

I tell you, I felt about 2-inches tall.  I actually felt so bad for being hard on this kid.  I wondered, have I judged him too harshly?

After seeing his comment, I said earnest prayers asking God for forgiveness, and that He would guide me on how to respond to the young man.  It took a little while, but here is what I said to him “Wow, I am impressed young man. It is a shame that some of the past things on your Facebook paint you in an unsavory light. I love my niece and I want to look out for the best for her. I hope you understand. I will pray on it, and for you and my sweet ‘Sarah.’”

He responded with “Thank you…it means a lot to me.”

Even though I do not know what to expect, I could have missed out on a witnessing opportunity because of my pre-judgment of this young man.  Time is so short with the imminent return of our King.  We have no idea what opportunities God will give us to witness, so remain in prayer constantly.

While we may want to flood someone with as much info as possible because time is short, it may take time to nurture other folks.  As long as we pray for God’s guidance, He will lead us to how we should conduct ourselves.  Sometimes, we are just meant to plant seeds; other times, we may even just be the example.  Prayer is most important, for God will take over and accomplish the work that has begun.

Mind you, I still have a watchful eye out because I am still worried about the content of this kid’s posts to others besides Sarah’s; but it is with prayer and concern: for her most importantly, but for him as well.

About Rebecca Droeger

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