Why our kids do not date This post is not about dating VS courtship... so you can relax.
This post is about the wisdom (or lack of wisdom) that is inherent in the cultural practice of dating... and what can be done about it in YOUR family.
When my oldest son was very small, my wife and I prayerfully decided that our children would not "date" in the typical sense of the word. Our experiences had not been all that great, and we knew there had to be a better way for a Christ-centered family to go about it.
Before I tell you how we accomplished that in a way that all our children have willingly and even joyfully adopted it... let me tell you WHY we made that decision.
Reasons we didn't want our kids to date #1 - "Pairing up" as couples is for the purpose of heading toward marriage
We really believe that. There's no other reason for a young man and young woman to pair up. So think it through... at what age is a young man or young woman actually READY to be seriously heading toward marriage? Twelve? Sixteen? Eighteen? What do YOU think? You absolutely MUST answer that question well if you are going to think about this issue well.
When we allow eleven or twelve year olds... or fifteen and sixteen year olds for that matter, to pair up - it's premature. They are not yet of marrying age, so why would we allow them into a context where everything is heading toward marriage? They aren't ready for it... so it's foolish to allow it. We can talk about it in ways that prepare them for what's ahead... and we should. But we don't have to thrown them into dating in order for them to learn about it.
#2 - Romantic relationships require a tremendous amount of maturity and emotional self-control in order to be healthy
Even adults have a hard time handling the emotions that come with a committed relationship. There are vital, mature skills needed in order to make a one-on-one relationship like dating work - things like deep communication, consideration of others, insight into human nature, commitment to high moral standards, etc.
How many pre-teen or teen-aged kids do you know who have those skills? How many adults? Why would we put our children into a relationship for which they are not prepared? When we do, failure is the only logical outcome... as well as pain that doesn't need to happen.
Instead of putting them in the dating meat-grinder, why don't we use the time to build good character into them? Why don't we help them think biblically and maturely about marriage, relationships, and family? I think that goes a lot farther than the dating alternative.
#3 Dating places far too much sexual temptation on the soul of a child who is not ready to bear it.
Our culture sexualizes everything... dating most of all. From the moment a couple pairs up, the pressure is on to hold hands, get physically close, kiss, touch each other's bodies, and everything that naturally follows. It's unhealthy and unwise to put children in that context.
So think it though... here are some questions for you to consider:
Is this child ready for the responsibility of their own child? Is this couple ready for the responsibility of a family? If not... dating is a bad idea.
#4 - Dating encourages emotionalism that can easily cloud sound, godly judgment.
Every Christian parent wants their child to marry a person who loves Jesus and is impacted by their personal walk with Him. But how many times does that happen in the normal dating scene? Very seldom.
Here's an example of what happens instead: A young lady is allowed to get involved with a young man who is not all that the parents hope. He's probably not even all the the young lady hoped... but he's paying attention to her, saying sweet nothings, making her feel special... and it's hard for her to think about all the things he's not. She feels too many warm fuzzies being around him to let herself consider such logical matters.
This scene could happen with a young man just as easily as a young woman. I've see