Do you have a daughter who’s a “crushaholic”? That’s a term that describes a young lady who is constantly seeking affirmation from boys.
I don’t have daughters myself, but my boys Trent and Troy are 15 and 13, so Jean and I are seeing the upheaval of the teen years up close. The physical, mental, and emotional changes can be intense.
Did I mention the emotional changes?
They can be especially pronounced in girls who tend to be emotional creatures by nature, more so than boys.
As with a lot of developmental issues, this one has roots that are good, right, and God-given. The onset of puberty floods a teen girl’s brain with hormones that awaken her heart to relationship, love, and romance. Once her emotions are stirred, she’ll become keenly interested in a boy’s attention.
But without proper boundaries, that God-given longing to be desirable to members of the opposite sex can spiral into dangerous territory. A girl may believe her worth is dependent on a guy’s validation or that she needs someone else to complete her in ways only God can.
That kind of relational brokenness stems from the Fall. It turns a God-given longing into obsession. It leads young girls into relationships that move too fast and for which they don’t have the emotional maturity to handle. So when a relationship goes wrong, a girl feels like her life is falling apart.
It’s called a “crush” for a reason.
What can you as a mom or a dad say to help a teenager who suffers a broken heart? We’ll answer that and a lot of other questions in detail on today’s and tomorrow’s program with our guest, author Jessie Minassian, but it starts with this: Don’t say anything at all.
That’s right. Don’t say a word. Just put your arms around her, hold her, and let her cry.
When you do speak, don’t minimize or trivialize her feelings or tease her about it. She’ll probably think this is the worst thing that has ever happened to her in her life. And you know what? To this point in her life, maybe it is the worst thing that’s ever happened to her.
Dads, situations like this can be really hard because you’re wired to fix problems. You’ll be tempted to find out who broke your little girl’s heart and have a talk with the young man, but you can’t. Just hold her, comfort her, help her to rebuild the foundation of trust and understanding of a loving relationship.
Another key part of our discussion will be how every parent with a daughter can help her learn to walk through a culture that is saturated with unhealthy messages about sexuality and relationships. You can’t protect from it all. It’s unrealistic. You have to equip her with the tools to manage it.
Teach her the wisdom of Proverbs 27:7: “A person who is full refuses honey, but even bitter food tastes sweet to the hungry.”
When a girl allows God to fill her with His goodness and peace, she’s free to select a relationship that’s healthy for her. But when she’s desperate for love and attention, even destructive relationships will be tempting.
On this two-day “Best of 2015” program, Jessie Minassian will offer Bible-based encouragement to help teen girls and young women pursue healthy relationships.