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In the fading twilight, the headlights of an approaching car reminded Bill to reach for the dashboard and turn on his lights. As the horde of rush-hour cars streamed by, Bill reminisced about the teenage daughter he had just picked up from band practice. He smiled as he thought about all those after-school trips over the last few years: dance classes, piano practices, the unending cycle of softball games and tournaments.
Her childhood has passed so quickly. Usually Bill and his daughter made small talk on their brief ride home. Not tonight. Bill was concerned about the growing emotional distance between them. Sure, he knew this gap was normal for teenagers and their parents. He hoped the conversation he was about to initiate would help close that gap. He had prayed for an opportunity to talk to her alone—without her three brothers around. This was it. She looked nonchalantly out her window as their car crossed a small bridge.
Julie squirmed uncomfortably in her seat. Realizing now where this conversation was headed, she rolled her eyes. Christian advice for teenage dating gripped the steering wheel and shot a glance into her eyes. They wanted to encourage her to make the right ones. Where are you going to draw your boundaries? He stopped the car a few feet short of the driveway and feigned a look into the mailbox. He knew his wife always got the mail, but Julie was acting like a basketball team ahead by one point in the fourth quarter, hoping the clock would run out.
She was stalling. Bill faced Julie and waited for her response. Decision time for this dad. He deliberated, What if I press the issue and she gets angry? Do I probe further now or double back later? Bill is definitely a courageous dad, pressing into a relational hot spot where most parents fear to tread. Just what role should parents play to steer away from the traps in the most popular sport for many teens—the dating game? In our family the focus has not been on dating, but more on training our teens in their character and in how to develop a relationship with the opposite sex.
Our teens do not go out on a date every Friday and Saturday night. Instead, we are encouraging our girls who are still home to focus on the friendship side of their relationships with boys. Giving the privilege of spending time with a member of the opposite sex is a freedom that is based upon our judgment of how responsible we deem this child to be.
Can we trust her to stick to her standards? Is he strong enough to withstand peer pressure in a boy-girl situation? In light of our reformatted definition of dating, we have the following very general age guidelines for spending time with a friend of the opposite sex these are for our children still living at home. However, even with these guidelines, three out of four of our teens had their first real date to the school prom in their junior year at age And those first dates were all with friends, not with someone with whom they were romantically involved.
Our teenagers would all say that their Christian advice for teenage dating dates were a lot of fun. They spent the whole evening in groups. Many of the parents were involved with before-dance dinners, chaperoning the dance, and hosting after-dance activities at homes or rented facilities.
And it was a good opportunity for them to practice their manners and learn how to behave in formal clothes. Our guidelines might sound repressive to some. A teenager going on a first date at 17 is certainly not the norm in our culture. But many experts agree that early dating is not a good idea. It is easy to see why there is a movement of parents to replace traditional dating with a formal courtship between a young man and woman. As a starting point, we believe our teens should develop friendships with and eventually date only other Christians 2 Corinthians Why go out with someone who does not have your values?
Also, parents need to evaluate the vitality of the Christian walk of the person who may date one of their children. Specifically, is this young man or young woman a growing Christian? They believe that if the child says he is a Christian, then he is.
It takes far more maturity than most to year-olds have to see that words and actions need to match. Train your teen to look for outward qualities that indicate inner character, like a good reputation at school, a self-controlled mouth, and wise driving habits, to name just a few.
These external behaviors can be a reflection of Christian advice for teenage dating parental training. It takes time to discover those qualities about a person and even more time to see if they are enduring or just a pretense. Teens need to be taught that the ultimate purpose of dating or courting is to find someone to marry. They need to be very choosy about whom they spend time with in light of that definition. Help them write down the qualities they want to look for in the person they marry.
What values really matter? That list then becomes the criteria by which all potential dates are measured. Spiritual and emotional maturity can only come with time. They can learn so much more about each other by observing behavior in a group, as opposed to getting to know someone in the perfectly preened, best behaved, tension-filled environment of a one-on-one date. Specific boundaries need to be established. Even group dates can go awry if the group makes a poor choice on their plans. Since it would be difficult to list all the potential problems of a particular proposed date, the best policy is to maintain your right to approve any type of date while your teen is living at home.
And be careful about making assumptions about Christian activities. We believe moms and d need to determine how their preteens and teens spend their time at home. Whom do you want to influence your child the most?
After spending eight or more hours at school with friends and teachers, are you willing for her to spend one or two more hours on the phone every night with a boy friend or a girl friend? With homework, lessons, practices, and all, will you have any time with your teen to influence her? Even if your child is not dating, she can still become emotionally attached to a boy over the phone. Teens begin to share their feelings, their disappointments, their hopes, their troubles at home, and pretty soon they feel attached. Even girl talk can create romantic longings as girls chat and dream and ooh and aah about boys.
No gifts. No love letters. Just occasional communication. This is one subject in which you need to hammer out your own set of convictions— for you. Decide how you are going to act when you have the opportunity to go out on a date. Then you will have the freedom to challenge your teen with a similar standard. Remember, your child is a better student of you than you are of him or her. The spiritual maturity of people you date, courtesies, and how you handle it all will speak volumes. And if your preteen or teenager is the opposite sex from you, please seriously seek support from a mature adult friend of the same sex as your.
Copyright by Dennis and Barbara Rainey. Used by permission of Thomas Nelson, Inc. What role should parents play to steer away from the traps in the most popular sport for many teens—the dating game? Practical help for your family just got easier to find.
Teens Dennis and Barbara Rainey. Related Content. Teens min read. Could I ask you a question? What do you want your last words to be? Grow with your family. Help other families grow. What if means your family gets stronger? This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.Christian advice for teenage dating
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What does the Bible say about dating? Are Christian teens allowed to date?