Answer: Most Christian parents tend to fall into two main camps when it comes to teen dating.
Some, believing that dating is appropriate, encourage their children to follow Josh Harris’ “courtship” model.
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.
But he wasn’t ready yet to surrender his role as a parent. Just what role should parents play to steer a child away from the traps in the most popular sport for many teens—the dating game? For us, dating or courting is a small part of the overall process of determining God’s will for discovering your life partner in marriage.
He hoped the conversation he was about to initiate would help close that gap. ” he asked, struggling to disguise the wobble he felt in his voice. Bill gripped the steering wheel and shot a glance into her eyes. Bill and his wife had talked before with Julie about God’s standards about sex, but soon she would be dating and making moral choices on her own. They were just a block from home, so gently but firmly, Bill pressed the final question: “Well then, would you mind telling me how far you intend to go? ” He stopped the car a few feet short of the driveway and feigned a look into the mailbox. If he had waited for a month, he wouldn’t have been ready for what she said. 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.
He glanced at her in the seat next to him and thought, .
Dating is a big part of a teenager’s life, and that’s our cultural way for kids to get to know each other and hopefully find the person they are ultimately going to marry. Now, let me separate between single dating and group dating. Some great work was done by Josh Mc Dowell in a campaign that he did, and he found out that the younger a kid starts dating, the more apt they are to lose their virginity by the time they graduate from high school. If you wait until they are sixteen, it’s down to 20%. When you figure a year’s time—365 days in the life of a young person—it’s an amazing amount of maturity that’s happening in that time. Dads say, “Well, I’m scared to death to do that.” Well, you know, I don’t want to be blunt, but we need to cowboy up on this one.
In fact, age makes all the difference in the world, when you introduce single dating to a kid. You just can’t really do anything about it until you are sixteen.” And here’s why. You show respect for her.” And then, I think our job as dads is to do the same thing for the guys who come knocking on the door to take out our daughters. That’s kind of fun bravado, but when you sit down, heart-to-heart, and say, “Look. We were very deliberate about it, and we wanted to raise her up to be an extraordinary woman and a great wife someday. But as you take her out, please know I expect you to treat her with respect, to make sure that she is always safe, to make wise choices, and to keep your hands where they belong. And should this not work out, I assume that you are just dating, and I don’t assume any future out of this, but if you guys get really attracted and it doesn’t work out, I expect you to be reverent and kind to her feelings if you have to break up, and I expect her to be reverent and kind to yours, too.” When they knew that was the rules going in, it made it a whole lot easier to get through life.
“But if he’s so uncomfortable that he gets angry or shuts down or otherwise just can’t continue the conversation, that’s a big sign that he’s not ready for this.” If so, assure your child that there’s no hurry to start dating.
Ray Guarendi As a family psychologist, I am often asked by parents when their children should begin dating. Let’s suppose that you’ve decided to begin dating discussions when your daughter turns 16.