The Middle Years: The Promises

The Middle Years: The Promises

What's the Meaning of a Promise Ring?

There’s a certain anticipation of coming of age no matter how your family or culture celebrates it. I wanted to do something special for my girls but not a purity ring or a big party. I wanted to let my girls know that I promised to love them, encourage them, and be in their business until they got married or moved out of my house. With a little research and an amazing jeweler in Ireland, I got each of my girls a Claddagh ring that matched the one I wore. It’s said to mean “let love and friendship reign.” That’s what I wanted for their growing up years – love and friendship between parents and kids. We took them individually out to a fancy dinner around the age of 14 and presented the ring and a letter with our promise to be by their side. Memories were made. Their dad treated them like they could expect to be treated on a date, with respect and attention. Both girls have had the opportunity to tell that story when people have asked if their ring is a purity ring or a promise ring. I’m including the text of the letter if you want to use the ideas to make your own personalized letter to your daughter. Since I don’t have boys, feel free to share ideas in the comment section of creative ideas to celebrate the coming of age of boys in Christian families. I’m so glad we got creative about making special memories as our girls grew older. We hope they can pass the rings along to their children and the promise to always be in their business!

Dear Daughter,

We are proud of the young woman you have become! We pray that you will make wise choices in the way you conduct yourself, the friends you choose, and the attitudes and thoughts you have so that all you do will honor God. We hope to love you, teach you, protect you, and give you the independence you need to grow into the woman God wants you to be.  We are not perfect parents, but we will do our best, with God’s help, to guide you. We will be involved in your activities, your friendships, and your life! We will ask questions, set curfews, challenge you, discipline you, and pray with you because that’s what good parents do! The Bible encourages parents to train up their children in the way they should go. Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.  

You are created in the image of God, and He created you especially for His glory and worship. Be confident in your commitment to purity, modesty, and self control. We know it won’t be easy, but we are committed to be here for you. Choose to befriend boys who will honor your commitments and encourage you to grow closer to Jesus. You are worth waiting for! This ring is a token of that idea. Let the love of God and the friendship of like-minded believers reign in your life as the heart, hands, and crown on the Claddagh ring show. We hope you will wear this ring as a symbol of our love and commitment to raise you as a child who honors God. 

Our challenge to you is to make the same commitment for yourself as the Bible instructs you. Micah 6:8  He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God. 1 Timothy 4:12  Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity. We hope that God will give you children to pass the ring on to one day, and we pray that you will raise them to love God deeply and follow Christ closely.

We love you!

Mom and Dad

This blog post is part 3 in the series on The Middle Years. Read part 1 here and part 2 here.

Table Talk: How did your family celebrate the coming of age? What traditions do you want to create for your own children?

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