Life Lessons as a Dad - Part 7

Mike and Steve back in about 2014.

Mike and Steve back in about 2014.

The "Three T's" are rather infamous in our family history. They relate to a teaching and a tract on romance that I wrote and taught to young people in our church community through the years. Of course, as my kids got older I also "shopped" the ideas out to them too...I couldn't resist! I remember asking each of my early teenage kids some very penetrating questions. 

The personal conversations would typically go something like this:

"Hey...(Luke, Lisa, Sam, Mike or Steve) you want to fall in love with someone when you're 15?" 
The boys definitely said, "No way, Dad!" So did Lisa.
"How about 16?" 
"Why not?" 
"Come on, Dad, that's too young to fall in love. I wouldn't be ready to get married at that age...or even engaged. There are too many things to do before I would be ready for being 'in love' for real."
"Are you sure?"
"Absolutely." (Then a strategic break in the conversation would typically occur.)

" you also want to be a virgin when you get married?" (The angst would always and obviously rise a bit at this point!)
"Uh...yea..sure..of course I do."
"Come on Dad! you've taught us is a special and powerful gift that is protected by keeping something valuable in a safe until you're ready to use it for the right time and we have to talk about this???"
"Just a little longer. I just wanted to know what your plan is for not falling in love until you're ready to and for keeping your gift of sex in it's safe place until you're married."
"What...I need a plan?"
"I think so."
"Because people, even really young people, 'fall in love' very quickly and easily without even trying...or at least act like they have...and many of them lose their virginity long before they're ready to take on the responsibilities of marriage and family. In fact, most of the people in the culture around us don't think it's realistic for a young person to remain a virgin until they're married."
"Wow, Dad. I guess I've never thought about like this before."
"Well...that's why I asked." (Pregnant pauses, no pun intended, were normal at this point in the conversation.)

"So Dad."
"How can I get a plan to 'not fall in love' or 'have sex' until the right time?"
"I'm so glad you've asked! It revolves around three T's."
"What are the "three T's?"
"I'll tell you about them in our next talk!"

Michael Sullivant