Revive Our Hearts Podcast

Leslie Basham: Mal Loveing says, “Simple activities between a parent and a child can make a difference for years to come.

Maryann (Mal) Loveing: We’ve been very intentional about dating our girls. I’ll take them one at a time, all of our children, I take my boys and will spend time one-on-one with them. It might be going to MacDonald’s for an ice cream, but just having that time one-on-one with them to allow them to open up their heart, to allow them to ask questions. We’re intentional about asking questions that require more than a “yes” or “no” answer.

Leslie: This is Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss for Wednesday, July 6.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: I am so delighted to have back with us on the program today my friend, Mal Loveing. She and her husband, Ryan, have been longtime friends and partners with us in this ministry and Life Action Ministries, which is the parent ministry of Revive Our Hearts. They’re involved in a revival team that goes into churches and you all live in a travel trailer nine months a year and go from church to church, sharing with people how they can return to their first love. With us today also are your two oldest children, your daughters Margo and Shawna, who are in their late teens, and serving the Lord also. Thanks to each of you for being willing to come and have this conversation with me and a few thousand of our friends who are listening on the radio right now.

Mal, (Margo, Shawna): Thank you, Nancy.

Nancy: For those of you who didn’t hear the first day of this program, Mal, you shared about your teenage years, how you made a lot of wrong choices and did not have a heart for purity or the wisdom to know how to guard your heart. You ended up pregnant, having an abortion at the age of seventeen, and entering into marriage to a godly man, ultimately, but with a lot of baggage and secrets—and how the Lord, over these last years, has helped you to go back and deal with your past, get free from it, and then start a whole new family line of purity and godliness.

It’s been so fun watching your girls grow up. You have six children, but watching these oldest girls—when you first came to the ministry, you girls were little girls, and you were two. I’m looking at you now and you’re beautiful young women, you’re confident in the Lord, and you love the Lord.

Every mother would love to have daughters like you. You’re a joy to your parents, and God’s going to use your lives to touch lives that your mom and I—people who wouldn’t ever listen to us—are going to be listening to you girls. I want to thank the Lord for what He’s done in your lives.

The fact that the 70-year history that you know of, Mal, of immorality in your past generations, that the chain has been broken by the grace of God, and there’s a whole new line of purity starting. When we’ve been off the mic, before getting into this session, the four of us have been chattering like magpies. You’re telling me, “We’ve got to say this . . .”

So, this is the last chance we have, because we’re at the end of the day here in our studio. I want to hear from you some of the things you’d like to say to moms and teen-age daughters about this whole issue of cultivating a legacy of purity.

For starters, Shawna, you’ve just said, “We’ve got to talk about texting.” I am really slow at texting, so talk to us about texting. I bet you know a lot more about it than I do.

Shawna Loveing: I just noticed that I have had some friends in the past that have been in a relationship and it’s been long-distance, or they’ve been apart. They’ll turn to the phone or to their media to be filled with this individual. It’s just heartbreaking to me, because just imagining myself in a relationship right now would be so hard for me.

I just have so many dreams that the Lord has given me and desires in my heart, places where I want to go and serve Him. I could not imagine doing that, in a relationship. I can see how it’s been such a hindrance to people that I’ve known who could have done so much more, but they’re distracted by something else in their life. Not that the Lord isn’t a huge part of their life, but they just have this distraction. It’s so hard for them to stay focused sometimes, and the texting is just . . .

Nancy: So you’re not saying texting is wrong . . .

Shawna: I’m not saying it’s wrong, at all.

Nancy: What’s your caution?

Shawna: My caution is to not put that above your relationships with your friends around you that are important, with your family. Sometimes you can be more tempted to say things that you necessarily wouldn’t say in person. I would say, just caution your heart.

Nancy: It’s the same with Facebook . . .

Shawna: That’s the same thing. I know it can be easier for me to say things over the Internet or over the phone, but you need to guard your heart.

Nancy: What’s the end result of this? Why would you want to guard your heart? Just so you can stay safe and protected? How does this all play into your future marriage? You’re both single; you’re teenagers; you don’t who you’re going to be married to, but do you think about that, down the road? How the choices you’re making today will have impact on your future marriage?

Shawna: There’s a passage in Hebrews 11, talking about Moses, and verse 24 says,

By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, choosing rather to endure ill-treatment with the people of God, than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin, considering the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt; for he was looking to the reward (vv. 24-26).

I think so many times in our culture today, girls chase after those passing pleasures, thinking that they will provide satisfaction and enjoyment, when they may for the moment, but that’s all they are, passing pleasures, like it says. The reward for me is, while I’m avoiding those, I know that God has my best interest in mind. At the proper time, He will bring along the perfect man for me, and that is what will make it so much sweeter and so much better, because I have waited. It will be so pure and innocent and lovely.

That, for me, is the higher reward that I’m waiting for, and coming out from under your parents’ blessing can be harmful. I have seen couples that are in a relationship go all the way to marriage and save their very first kiss for that moment. It’s just been a beautiful thing to watch and witness in their lives. Sharing that one thing with that special person is a beautiful thing.

Nancy: Now, you do know that a lot of our listeners think that what you just said is really crazy.

Shawna: Yeah (quiet laugh) . . .

Nancy: Saving your first kiss for marriage.

Shawna: I have a friend that has that same goal, too, to stay pure, and she’s been told by other people that it’s not going to happen, that she will fail. I told her, “That’s a lie. You can do it. You can save your heart for that one special man that you will marry.”

The hope in her eyes was beautiful. It can happen. It can wait.

Nancy: Is that a goal both of you girls have?

Shawna, Margo Loveing: Yes, it is.

Nancy: I’ll put you on the spot here. I know your mom’s sitting in here, but you can be honest? Would you say that is mostly because that’s what you know your parents would want for you, is that something your parents have encouraged, or have you come to this on your own? What’s motivating that?

Shawna: It is something they have encouraged, but it is not because they have encouraged it that I have made the choice to save my first kiss for my marriage. For me, that is special, and I only want to give it to the person that I will marry.

Nancy: Mal, what would you say to moms who are listening who certainly didn’t save their kiss for their mate, as you didn’t, as you’ve shared your story. But they would say, “Look, there’s nothing wrong with kissing. Isn’t that putting a bit of unnecessary bondage on these kids?”

Mal: It really needs to be communicated at a young age. I’ve been telling Krista at ten, and Samuel at eight, “You’ve got to save that first kiss.” It would be so beautiful and special if you could have that first kiss on your wedding day, with your husband, with your wife, that God has given you. I believe that, in our family, we have not dogmatically said that that is how it has to be.

I think it’s important that we paint a vision for our children, Nancy, and we do that as they’re growing up. Each one of us are painting a vision of what their life could be, saying things like, “Imagine what God can do with you if your heart is wholeheartedly set on Him, fully." This is just one of those things that we have encouraged them to do. Because we didn’t have that, we carry the consequences of not having our first kiss at the wedding altar. Ryan and I both wish that we had been pure on the day of our wedding, because you’ve got the thoughts that you deal with, the consequences of knowing that you dishonored the Lord.

Nancy: I think in your lives you would look back and say, “The point is that the kisses that you gave away prior to marriage led to other things that you gave away prior to marriage.”

Mal: Exactly, and it’s very easy for that to lead to other things very quickly, within a matter of minutes. It doesn’t happen always over a long season of time. It can happen very quickly, as we are well aware. So painting that vision for my girls has been communicating that down through the years.

Now that they’re older, seeing their friends get married that have waited, and how thankful their friends are that they did wait, because they don’t have the baggage of past relationships to take into their marriage. It really does prepare them for a greater marriage, a more intimate marriage, because they’ve never shared themselves with anyone else.

Shawna: One picture that I think of, when I think of guarding your heart, or remaining pure, is this little rosebud that is beautiful. It’s closed, and its petals have not opened. But then every time you give a kiss away or you’re emotionally attached to someone—there’s always someone new and you just go with the flow—the trend of dating—you always give one of those petals away. So when you get up to the altar on your wedding day, you hand your husband this rose, and it’s battered and it’s torn, and it’s not this beautiful little bud that you once had. It’s open, and it’s revealed.

Just to have that secrecy and that intimacy, I think, in your marriage. With Mom and Dad sharing the beauty of that—it’s not worth anything, because it’s been used. It’s not pretty any more.

Nancy: It’s all used, yes. I’m thinking of that verse that’s repeated several times in the Song of Solomon, in that beautiful love story with the bride and the groom. It says, “Don’t awaken love until it pleases” (2:7 NKJV). Wait for the right time. I think that’s really what you’re saying.

There is a time to lavish your kisses, but the time is not now, when you’re seventeen or eighteen, with some guy that you may never see again or who is not going to be your husband. He may be somebody else’s husband down the road. Thinking about what are the implications for his marriage someday and for your marriage someday, if you have awakened love before it was time to give it.

Mal: Another verse, Nancy, that I was reading just the other day was Galatians 4:2, where it says, “Children are to be under their guardians and managers until the date set by the father.” In our culture we’ve given our children some freedoms that they’re not ready for, to make decisions when we need to be helping them make right choices.

Ryan and I have worked together to help our children determine when the right season will be for them to begin having a relationship. We have some friends that are single moms, and it’s really taught their children that their mom has a dependent heart on the Lord. Because as questions have come up about relationships, my friends who’s a single mom can say, “I need to take that to your Heavenly Father and pray about that for 24 hours. Then you come back, and we’ll talk about it.”

Just helping them know when the right time is for a relationship in their life, when are they mature enough to make the decisions they’re going to need to make is so very important.

Shawna: Yes, and I would say that, by my choice, I would not want to be in a relationship that comes out from under the authority and blessing of my parents, even if I have someone, that special man, who would want that or something to be different, out from under my parents’ guidance. I would not want that. I would want my parents’ blessings because I know that the Lord has ordained them there, and I know that I would rather have their guidance and their counseling through it before I would change the standard.

Nancy: I’ve got to ask Mal, because a lot of people are wondering, what in the world have you and Ryan done, practically, to cultivate an atmosphere where your children would have that mindset?

Mal: We like to use the term, “liquid living.” It’s where you’re figuratively pouring yourself out into the hearts of your children. As parents, we’ve got to be intentional. We’ve been very intentional about dating our girls.

I’ll take them one at a time, all of our children, I take my boys and will spend time with them one-on-one. It might be going to MacDonald’s for an ice cream. Just having that time, one-on-one, with them to allow them to open up their heart, to allow them to ask questions. We are intentional about asking questions that require more than a “yes” or “no” answer.

“Did you have a good time at your friend’s house?”

“Uh, yeah.”

You hear that all the time, but we’ll ask questions like,”What kind of things did you do? Were there any challenges during that time?” Different questions that require deeper thinking and a deeper response, so that it takes the conversation deeper than just shallow, surface, light conversation.

Shawna: Our mom has been very intentional about being our friend, and not just our mom. She wants to invest in our lives, and she wants to know, and we go have fun together. I can honestly say that my mom is one of my best friends. In a way, she’s more than a best friend, and she’s very purposeful in coming into our lives and making sure we’re getting what we need out of a friend and a mom.

Nancy: In fact, your mom is sitting here with a note that you wrote to her, Shawna, and I understand you’ve written others. Do you mind if your mom reads that note to our listeners?

Shawna: I don’t mind.

Mal: I would love to read it, myself. We were in a conference, and oftentimes one thing we’ll do is, we will write little notes to our kids. So they’ve picked up that habit of jotting little notes, and leaving them on our pillow. I had received this note from Shawna, and it was right before I went in to teach a ladies’ luncheon. So many times they’ll come up and say, “Mom, can I pray for you before you speak?” And they’ll pray over me.

She had left this note on my desk, and it says,

Mom,

Thank you so much for the Trail Mix. [I had bought her a little bag of Trail Mix for her school desk.] Yummy! Thank you even more, though, for your words of love and encouragement to me. You are such a wonderful cheerleader for me. You are a woman of such worth and value, and I want to be like you one day. I love you so much.

Love,

Shawna

That comes from years of investing time and energy and focus and intentionality into the lives of my girls.

Shawna: Just in the note as I put that my mom has been a cheerleader, one thing that I would say to the moms that are listening is, it is very important for your girls to know that you will be there. Mom and Dad tell me, “We’re your biggest cheerleaders; we’ll always be here for you.” That’s so important for a girl to know.

Her friends will leave, and other people will come and go, but her family will be there for a very long time, as long as the Lord allows. Having your parents tell you, “We’re right there alongside you and we’ll be there cheering you on,” is a huge factor in accomplishing things and moving on with life.

Nancy: And what a picture that is of the love of our Heavenly Father. Parents who do communicate that kind of love to their kids are really painting the picture for them of what God is like and what His love is like, and how He can be trusted and depended upon. Someday your parents will probably not be there, physically. My dad has been in Heaven for over thirty years now. He went to be with the Lord on the weekend of my twenty-first birthday.

Now, decades later, there’s a confidence in my heart about God’s love, and a willingness to trust Him, the confidence that God can be trusted, because my dad was my cheerleader, and was an encourager, and demonstrated that kind of love to me, as you’ve seen from your parents.

Parents really are painting for their children a picture of what God is like, and shaping their children’s view of God. As many of our listeners know, I’m not married. I don’t have children of my own—biological children—but it’s been an incredible joy for me to watch God capture the hearts of my friends’ children.

To think of you gals coming to this ministry fifteen years ago when you were really little girls, two and three, and to see you grow into young women of God, who love Christ and want to honor Him and put Him first in your life—and then to think of that against the backdrop, Mal, of your background, where you didn’t honor the Lord as a teenager, and you were headed totally in the opposite direction—you just have to stop and say, “God is an awesome, redeeming God, and there is no family line that He cannot rescue, that He cannot redeem.”

In fact, what prompted this conversation today in the studio is an email that you sent me a number of months ago, where you were kind of updating me on your girls and what they were doing, and then talking about what God has done in their lives. I hadn’t seen you all for a while, so this was really touching to me, and if you don’t mind, I want to read just a portion of that email.

Mal: Sure.

Nancy: You said,

I want to share with you that Margo, [your firstborn], taught a purity session to the gals two weeks ago, during our summit at, [and you named the church], in my home town of [a town in Ohio], which is where most of my moral failure took place.

What a joy to see my daughter share with the teen girls about modesty, about their purity, and living for the King of Kings. I’m praising the Lord for teaching me, through His Spirit, how to help my girls in their walk in the area of moral excellence.

Then you said that you had arrived at that town in Ohio, where you had made some really foolish and wrong choices in your life. You said,

I arrived there with deep heartache as I pondered the years that I wasted as a young girl, and at the same moment, my heart was filled with incredible joy as I thought of the verse, “He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins” (Col. 1:13-14).

I departed from that church, that Summit, confident of the fact that the generational sin will no longer continue in my family, as my girls are joyfully choosing to walk as He would have them walk, trusting the Lord for that one man the Lord has for them.

I know that brings joy to your heart, Mal, to see your girls walking with the Lord.

It brings joy to my heart, as a friend of your family and an observer over the years, and then to think of how you girls are going to one day be passing the baton of faith and purity and hope in the Lord on to another generation. And your daughters and your sons, God willing, and then to their children, which is what God said it should be: “Let one generation teach the next the faithfulness of the Lord, the goodness of the Lord,” and passing on that heart and that hunger for holiness.

Girls, thank your mom—I know you do—and your dad for how they have responded to the Lord and invested in your life, but know that it’s not just to end with you. God’s got a plan for you. One day I hope I’m at this microphone, talking to your kids and seeing—I don’t know that I’ll live long enough to talk to your grandkids—but I’d sure like to see your children, and to see them walking with the Lord.

I want to encourage some moms who are listening to us today. You’ve been hearing this series and you listen to these teenage girls who are sweet and untarnished and haven’t made the foolish choices. For some of you, I think it probably brings about some painful emotions, because you think, “That’s not the way it is with my girls. That’s not the way it is in my family.”

Let me say, God is a redeeming God, and where Mal’s life as a younger woman looked hopelessly headed in the wrong direction, the Lord picked you [Mal] up. He turned your heart; He renewed and redeemed you and is allowing you to leave a godly legacy.

So, moms and grandmoms, don’t stop praying for your daughters, don’t stop praying for your sons, for their marriages, for their children. Know that God, in His time and His way really can capture their hearts and start a whole new family for His glory.

Mal: That’s right.

Leslie: That’s Mal Loveing, talking with Nancy Leigh DeMoss about important investments a mom can make in her children’s lives. Mal’s daughters, Margo and Shawna were with us, as well. If you have young daughters or granddaughters, we’d like to help you follow up on today’s conversation. We’ve heard how important it is for parents to stay involved in their children’s lives. It’s also important for single women to invest in the future as well, connecting with nieces, friends, or girls at church.

This week we’ve been telling you about some resources that will help you make these kinds of connections more effectively. The first is a picture book called The Princess and the Kiss. It’s a parable that shows girls how important their purity is. I hope you’ll get a copy, along with the companion workbook called, Life Lessons from the Princess and the Kiss. This workbook suggests many helpful activities that your girls will remember for years to come. It will lead you into practical discussions about purity and wise choices.

Our staff knows many moms and daughters who have gone through this material and been deeply affected. I hope you’ll get a copy and use this as an opportunity to guide your daughter in ways that will last for years to come. We’ll send you The Princess and the Kiss, and Life Lessons from the Princess and the Kiss when you make a contribution of any size to Revive Our Hearts. Just visit ReviveOurHearts.com, or call us at 1-800-569-5959.

If you could ask a question to Mal Loveing, our guest today, what would it be? You can ask your question because she’ll be participating on the Revive Our Hearts comment blog today. Just visit ReviveOurHearts.com and find today’s transcript. Scroll to the bottom to add your comment, or ask your question.

Tomorrow, we’ll hear from the author of The Princess and the Kiss. Find out why an incident at her daughter’s school inspired her to create a book that affected so many lives. Please be back for Revive Our Hearts.

Revive Our Hearts, with Nancy Leigh DeMoss, is an outreach of Life Action Ministries.

All Scripture is taken from the English Standard Version unless otherwise noted.

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