Okay, I’ll admit it. I love musical oldies. Growing up, I didn’t listen to music from “my time” nearly as much as music from my parents’ era. It just seemed more fun to me. So, on Pandora, I have a few oldies stations set up. I was just listening to I Think We’re Alone Now by Tommy James & the Shondells. It’s a song with a fun beat, but it struck me differently today than it did when I was a child. The lyrics that especially struck me were at the beginning. The song begins “‘Children, behave!’ That’s what they say when we’re together. ‘And watch how you play!’ They don’t understand.”
The phrase “they don’t understand” brought back memories for me. There was a time I thought the adults in my life just didn’t want me to have fun, enjoy dating, or be young. I got so tired of hearing the words, “Be careful!” or other warnings and exhortations from those I considered old, boring people.
Today, as I heard “they don’t understand,” I immediately felt like an adult. Maybe that’s another way of saying I felt old, but regardless, I had the thought, “no, they do understand!” That’s the point. Adults get it; they’ve been there; they’ve experienced the teen hormones; they’ve made the teen mistakes; they’ve seen others destroy their lives in their teenage years. I guess you could say that one of the most annoying and comforting features about our parents is that they will always be older than us. They will always have more life experience than we do.
When I was seventeen, I went on a bike ride with my boyfriend. My neighborhood was about three miles long if you rode up and down every street. We took a break in the parking lot of a company that is located at the front of our neighborhood. To this day, I still maintain that neither he nor I ever got off of our bikes. We stood there and talked for a few minutes and then resumed our biking excursion. A few minutes later, I thought I saw a car that looked like mine in the distance, but there were hundreds of cars that looked similar to mine back then, so I didn’t think much of it and kept riding. In another few minutes, we pulled into my parents’ driveway. My car was missing, but not for long. Before we knew it, my mother flew into the driveway, flung open the car door, and yelled at me to get in the house. My dad and my boyfriend just stood there with stunned faces.
I went into the house with no arguments and wasn’t sure what I had done, but I figured it must have been bad for her to be so out of sorts. After we talked, I realized that she had driven the entire length of our neighborhood (other than the front part with the parking lot) and she could not find us anywhere, so her mind immediately went to all the places we could be and all we might be doing.
It took a little doing, but I did eventually convince her that we never left the neighborhood. At the time, I was embarrassed (and slightly frightened ~smile~), but now that I’m grown I have to smile at the situation. My mom loved me – plain and simple. She was worried that I was doing something to harm my life (both physical and spiritual) and future. Maybe you’re thinking, “You were seventeen. Wasn’t your mom a little overprotective of you considering you were almost grown?” At the time, I felt very overprotected, but now as an adult I realize how much she loved me because she was willing to deal with me not liking her in order to do what was best for me.
The song I started this post with continues:
“And so we’re running just as fast as we can, holding on to one another’s hands. Trying to get away into the night, and then you put your arms around me and we tumble to the ground, and then you say, ‘I think we’re alone now. There doesn’t seem to be anyone around. I think we’re alone now. The beating of our hearts is the only sound.'”
Here’s the truth: we are never alone. We may be able to get away from other people, but we can never escape God. He is always with us and His love far exceeds that of an earthly parent. When He convicts your heart about going too far physically in a premarital relationship, it’s not because He does not want you to have fun or enjoy life. He is God and He knows what is good and best for you. He knows that your holiness is more important than any momentary pleasure. He has your life and your eternity in mind. He loves you.
If you are frustrated with the restraints your parents have put on your life, remember that it will not last forever, though it may seem that way now. Adulthood is forever. Childhood (and yes, teenagers are still children as they are not quite yet adults) is only a few short years.
If you’ve been given boundaries, be thankful; and if you don’t have boundaries set for you, ask your parents or godly mentors to provide some. Someday you will be thankful that your parents, and God, shielded you from running head first into trouble. It will be worth it when you leave on your honeymoon and you can finally say, “I think we’re alone now.”
Do you find yourself frustrated that you cannot express yourself physically to your boyfriend or girlfriend yet?