Don’t be a diva. Right now our world bombards us with stories about teenage mothers, female reality stars, female movie starts and female musicians that demand special attention. They are divas. But it’s not just “famous” women who act that way. There are all sorts of songs, shirts, books and websites that promote the diva me first mentality. There will almost certainly be a temptation for you girls to buy into it, don’t! This diva mentality is totally contrary to what it means to follow Jesus. Jesus was Lord who came to serve. The Bible calls on all believers to have the same mind that Jesus had and follow His way of life of putting others first. Jesus said that serving others and putting others ahead of yourself is the true path to greatness. You have a choice. You can believe the world and act like the world in being a diva. Or you can believe Jesus and act like Jesus by serving others. Choose to serve others. Choose to put others ahead of yourself. Choose to accept the fact that you are not the center of the universe. Serve others and don’t be a diva.
If a man doesn’t love you and treat you as you’ve seen me love and treat your mother, don’t waste your time. So far you girls aren’t overly concerned about boys but I know that at some point that will change. At some point there will be a guy who pursues you that you want to pursue as well. As your relationship with this guy continues pay very careful attention to how he treats you. While I don’t want you to be a diva, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be treated well. You know I’ve not been a perfect husband. But you also know that I love and cherish your mother. You know that I’ve treated her well and made her feel special. Your mother is wonderful and deserves to be treated this way. You deserve to be treated this way as well. It is so important for you to understand that a boyfriend that treats you poorly will become a husband that treats you worse. A verbally abusive boyfriend often becomes a physically abusive husband. Too many young women believe the lie that the boyfriend who treats them poorly will miraculously become the husband who treats them wonderfully. That does not happen. What does happen is that the boyfriend who treats you poorly believes that your choosing to marry him endorses his treatment of you and it will only get worse as time goes on. Life and marriage are too important for you to waste it on a man who treats you poorly. Chances are it won’t take long before you get a good picture of how this guy is going to treat you. If you realize he isn’t going to love you and treat you as you’ve seen me love and treat your mother then don’t waste your time on him. He isn’t worth it.
Love the Bible. I love the Bible. I absolutely and unconditionally believe the Bible to be the inspired, infallible and authoritative Word of God. My belief about the Bible causes me to have a great love for the Bible. I desperately want to pass that love on to you. I want you to love the Bible. I want you to believe the Bible. I want you to study the Bible. I want you to obey the Bible. In a lot of ways this will be a choice you make. Right now you largely read the Bible because we read the Bible as a family. We are doing this to help you know the Bible, get you into the habit of reading the Bible and help you love the Bible. As you read the Bible you can’t help but love the Bible. Always make Bible study a part of your day. Always make the Bible the standard you live by. Always let the Bible inform your decisions. Read Psalm 119 at least once a year. Notice how many times the Psalmist says he loves God’s Word. Notice the reasons he gives for loving God’s Word. You should love the Bible for these same reasons. Choose to love and study the Bible.
Take responsibility for your actions. We live in a blame society. Nothing is ever anyone’s fault anymore. There is always someone else we can blame for our bad choices, sinful actions and failures. Do not, under any circumstances, embrace this mentality. Take responsibility for your actions. Resist the temptation to blame someone else for mistakes you’ve made. A part of what it means for you to grow into mature and responsible adults is that you take responsibility for your actions. This is especially true for sin you commit. You cannot confess your sin to God and blame someone else at the same time. The idea of confession is saying the same thing about your sin that God says. One thing that God says about your sin is that it is your fault. Accept this. Don’t blame the teacher if you flunk a class. Don’t blame your boss if you get fired. Don’t blame your friends if you get in trouble. Always take responsibility for your actions.