Teens and Dating - When is it ok?

When is it ok for Teens to Date?
 
Here are some of my thoughts.

Did you know that I can not find one place in the Bible that talks about dating without the intent to get married.  Recreational dating obviously is something that we have created in the last however many years.  I research my genealogy as a hobby and I really don't think that my ancestors from the 1700 and 1800's dated for fun.  They dated (very briefly) then got married.  They didn't date one person and move on to someone else - They dated with a purpose.  They dated, got married and started a family.  Women were homemakers and the men were farmers (at least in my family).

I am writing this post because we are in this stage of parenting right now with my oldest who will soon be 15 years old.  He, over the past couple of months has "gotten a girlfriend".  I use those words very lightly because he only sees her at school.  We do not allow him to date.  Over the past couple of months they have "broken up" and now have gotten back together.   My husband and I have told him he can't date until he is at least 16 and even then we will have to discuss it. 

Here are some reasons why teens should not date:
 
* Should be focusing on building their relationship with God.
* School is too important - Grades will suffer when your focus is elsewhere. 
* Not mature enough to make wise decisions.
* Teens do not know or understand what love is.
* I don't even want to talk about hormones. 
* No money for the date.  Am I supposed to pay for it?  I don't think so.
* Dating brings on emotions and feelings that teens are not equipped to handle.

I find more and more that parents are promoting this.  Many parents think sending their young teens off on dates is perfectly acceptable.  After all, teen will be teens.

NOT MY TEEN!  Not if I can possibly help it.  My children are set apart.  They are different.  They are here for a purpose.  God has a plan for each one of them.  I am supposed to be a good Steward over these children God has placed in my care. 

I know that some of you will think we are mean or silly but I believe with everything in me that teens should be having fun and enjoying their friends in high school.  They should be focused on other things that will actually make a difference in their future.  There is plenty of time to date and settle down.  I do one day want my children to get married - that's sort of what my job is for - preparing them for real life but I am in no hurry and they shouldn't be either. 

How about you?  Do you have or have you had teenagers?  How did you deal with the dating thing?

To Read More On Teens and Dating You can check out my post titled Teens and Dating - Group vs. Double Date

20 comments:

  1. Amen, sister it is about time someone said it. Teens should not focus on dating when they are not ready to make decision for themselves. Life is hard and these times are even harder. There is no more family or even Godly value being show any more. Just watching television or listening to the radio and hearing what teens are up to is scary. Keep up the good work I pray that others feel the same way.
    Inez

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    1. Thank you Inez! Most people think we are aliens for feeling this way. lol

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  2. I totally agree!! I'm not at the teen stage yet, or anywhere close (4 year old and almost 3 year old) While a teen is putting their time and efforts into the dating scene, they are taking away all their focus of what's important in life. "dates" are something to be enjoyed when they are older with their soul mate (spouse)

    Today, promiscuity is accepted and sadly even encouraged in our every day life :( Don't let your child fall into that trap.

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    1. Casey, I agree. It is acceptable behavior for most and I think it is awful. I will say it is hard and I feel like all I ever say is NO but I keep telling myself and my son "one day you will thank me".

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  3. When the time comes we will pursue courtship with our dd15. She is not interested in anyone right now anyway (too much to do!) She understands that dating leads to divorce (don't like something about him, dump him!) and courtship is the most sensible option. It's okay to feel like an alien, we are not of this world anyway!!!

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    1. Thank you Cheryl, I do say that all of time that we are different and we are supposed to be that way. I agree whole heartedly. May I ask, what exactly do you mean when you say "courtship"?

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    2. My oldest is only 10, but we will be encouraging courtship, too. I like how the Duggar girls sum it up... "Dating with a purpose". The purpose, of course, being marriage.

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    3. I like that, Dating with a Purpose!

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  4. We've been discussing the same thing with our 16 year old daughter. So many parents find it perfectly ok that their kids are dating/breaking up/dating. We are definitely in the minority! We have been praying for our children's future spouses for a long time, and as our older kiddo's grow, I feel the need to pray harder. We told our kids that they can't date until they are 16, and thankfully our 16 year old hasn't wanted to start yet! Great post!

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    1. I felt very blessed that my son has held off this long on wanting to date considering what most others his age are doing. That is awesome that your 16 year old is still not interested in it.

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  5. You cant say teens dont understand love or know what love is. If they can understand and know Gods love, then they can understand it from a girl or a guy as well.

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    1. Anonymous, I should have stated that teens do not understand what "being in love" is. The love of God or love that comes from a parent to a child is different than being in love with someone.

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  6. Teen years are tough, especially with dating. I've been fortunate with my son that he's taken things slowly. My daughter was tougher to manage. God always provides, though.

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    1. Laura, teen years are tough and I am not so sure I like it. lol Seriously though I am thankful that God does provide in all things - even dating.

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  7. Good thinking! We did not allow our oldest to date until he was 18. However, my husband and I are re-thinking this and might be changing our rule to no dating while they live at home. As parents we must do whatever we can to guard their hearts! betty jo

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    1. Thanks Betty Jo, I agree We need to do as much as we can do guard their hearts, spirits, body and mind.

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  8. Well, our kids are 20 and 24, and the oldest is engaged to be married. We tended to believe that giving a 16 or 17 year old boy a girl and a car was a bad idea.

    We also believed that if you weren't financially, spiritually or emotionally mature enough to be married, then why should you be dating?

    So we told our kids that they could group date AS FRIENDS at age 17 if there was a girl they liked. We said that they could car date alone at 18.

    My oldest son wrote a blog post for me when he was about 19, about his thoughts on how we raised him. I'll send you the link if you're interested.

    Anyway, one of the things he said was: "I don't know where I learned it, but as a teenager I knew that rushing into a relationship is just about the dumbest thing one could ever do. My mom always told me that dating is preparation for marriage, and why rush out and get into a relationship with someone you don't even see yourself with? I still have never dated. But I'm okay with that. I feel like by waiting and being smarter about it, it'll pay off in the end. Plus people respect that, at least the kids my age."

    He is getting married in the fall. His younger brother apparently "forgot" our dating rules, lol!

    So when his younger brother was 17 he wanted to date a young gal. We again reminded him of our rules which he wasn't exactly thrilled with at first because he wanted to DATE but he was respectful and he came around rather quickly.

    We talked about defrauding a girl's heart and about the need to be respectful and not lead them on, etc. So he group dated this gal for a bit and had her over to our home several times (and went to her house with her folks there), but they were never allowed to be alone.

    Of course, when they group date obviously kids can be deceitful if that's where their heart is. But we as parents can only set up the boundaries externally and pray our children will embrace them internally. Their choices are their own if they choose to disobey.

    So my 24 year old was friends with his fiance for a year before they dated (they met in college), and they dated two years before they got engaged.

    Our 20 year old has group dated (at 17) and gone out on a couple of dates with girl "friends" when he passed 18 but he is not dating now either. Neither of our boys seem to be casual daters and we are fine with that! ;)

    Now that they are more mature they seem to have seen some of our reasons for not liking the casual dating scene and how your defraud and hurt one another's hearts (and maybe even bodies) by making promises you aren't mature enough to keep.

    I have to go now but I'll come back later and give you a link to a great article that I came across via facebook that you might enjoy! Thanks for linking up today!

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    1. Nan, I would love to read the post your son did for you and the article too. I need all the advise, help and encouragement I can get. I do have a few more posts on the "Teens and Dating" subject scheduled for this week and the next couple weeks as well.

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    2. Oh and by the way, that is AWESOME that your boys held off that long to date. I am very impressed.

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  9. Hi, This is a good post, indeed a great job. You must have done good research for the work, i appreciate your efforts.. Looking for more updates from your side. Thanks

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