Is dating about love or is dating about infatuation?
This is the first question I ask my girls when they are ready to date.
I am not quite sure any of us are really READY to date, but when the natural attraction given to us by God when boy meets girl, well, then the dating dilemma turns into decisions. And decisions need to begin with questions.
Just today, I had a dating discussion with my 2nd daughter. It all boiled down to one thing today. If you are not mature enough to stand alone in convictions and the moral perimeters you have been learning, then you are not ready to date.
Making wise dating decisions when your parents are not there to guide you, is when your convictions stand true and your emotions are not taking control.
Guiding our daughters through the dating dilemma is heart wrenching.
We want to give them freedoms. We want to guide them. We want them to slow down, stay focused and make good decisions, but…
Their heart may lead the charge and we have to be honest with them..
“Sometimes, you cannot trust yourself, and that is why God has given you parents and the Word of God.”
After watching my now married children navigate through dating and then marriage, and now guiding another daughter through what can be a most amazing time of their life, I have discovered a few core conversations points that have helped all of us.
- Why do you want to date this person?
- Have you shown respect towards our boundaries and advice and do you think you can do the same in this dating relationship?
- What is your goal in this relationship?
- Does this person line up with your moral standards?
- Are you willing to listen to advice during this relationship if we see something objectionable?
- How do you plan to spend your time?
- Does this person share your faith and how will you serve the Lord together while dating?
- How will you navigate through the physical touch part of dating and what will you do to stay accountable?
- Are you drawn to this person for appearances and peer pressure or do you see something of value in their character and what is that?
- Are you and the person you wish to date willing to have open conversations with your parents and to heed their advice?
The best thing you can do as a parent is to be proactive with your children.
Talking about dating BEFORE it is time, will save you a lot of head on collisions and confrontation before it is time.
Take the Dilemma out of the Dating and help your daughters define what real love is.
Here area few ideas that we have used while our children were in their mid to later teen years as we knew the dating decisions were looming on the horizon:
- Define dating
- Decide on a reasonable age for YOUR family
- Have your teen take a great amount of time writing out a two column list of what they might look for in someone they would wish to date AND marry. In the 2nd column, have them search the Word of God for Scripture that supports a lot of their characteristics and reasons
- Discuss and decide boundaries and guideline. ALWAYS give the reasons behind your “rules.”
- Have conversations about the WHY of dating and the beauty in doing this right
- Begin having the difficult, uncomfortable conversations NOW, so when it is time for them to come to you, it is easy
- Re-Create dating scenarios in your discussions and ask questions about how this might be handled
- Let them know the beauty, the benefits, the dangers, traps and the amazing reward of dating God’s way…
Dating has a purpose. To find a soulmate, a spouse. Not to give pieces of your heart away.