Talking to our Children about Dating

Our oldest went to a girls’ retreat at church this weekend and it was obvious that she’s been refreshed and inspired. Since she came back we have had some serious discussions about dating and such.

Okay, so it was a sleepover, but it was really more than that. With all her stories it was easy to see that she received sound counsel and inspirational words from people that care enough to invest their time and lives with these kids. We are so grateful that our daughter has these mentors in her life, and influences, other than us parents, who could speak to her heart in such amazing and positive ways.

Speaking of dating, a 19-year-old homeschool graduate named Bryana Johnson was interviewed on the 700 Club because of this controversial article she had written. My husband and I had a good discussion with our daughter about it after. Tonight we watched the 700 Club interview, which also led to a heart-to-heart talk about dating and the popular culture.

Our daughter has a different idea about dating from a lot of girls her age, even her peers, and I understand that it is not easy to be different from the norm. Ah. To be in the world but not of the world. As parents, we are here to guide and to disciple, but the rest we leave in prayer and trust that she would always follow her convictions.

Date when you think you’re ready to marry. 

I am just thankful that we got some reinforcements, so to speak, this weekend… and they came from different places! Just grateful that while God is sitting on His throne, He continues to do the work in us, even in our children. How amazing and splendid, isn’t it?

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2 thoughts on “Talking to our Children about Dating

  1. I just figured out you are blogging again. (uh..I’m slow like that. *smile*) So appreciate your approach here of guiding prayerfully and then trusting your daughter. I think that’s the only way to success, really. We have always encouraged our kids to the same thinking – don’t date until you are ready (in age and maturity) to be serious. One of our sons hasn’t followed this advice at all and it is hard to watch and live through…but he would do this no matter what we said or did, so we try not to make a fuss over it and help him learn through it. Our other son is dating for the very first time at 19. He chose a very lovely girl that he could imagine himself marrying someday and they are having a wonderful time becoming friends and creating relationships with each other’s families. It’s a sweet, sweet thing to be a part of. I don’t know if it will end up in a longterm relationship, but I am happy to see him happy and exploring romance for the first time. I think it has been harder on my daughter to wait (she’ll be 17 this month) as all her friends are actively pursuing guys and/or in a relationship, but watching from the outside she knows she doesn’t want to waste her time on silliness. And boy, are those high school relationships SILLY. (Not to say that some people don’t have real love as teens…look at Ann V and the Farmer! but not most of them.) All this to say, it’s a complicated business. VERY complicated. I think standards and encouragement are so important, setting good expectations for the kids – but in the end, especially as they get closer to adulthood, we have to walk with them through their own choices, not just impose ours on them. I love that gentleness I can sense in you already. Sorry for leaving a whole post in your comment box, but you know, I love chatting with friends. 🙂

  2. Tonia, thank you for keeping me company and staying for a while. I could actually see you on the opposite side of the table sipping tea. I’m glad you shared, as I value your thoughts and ideas; and you’ve been in this journey (just a bit) longer than myself.

    I do admire that daughter of yours. She is beautiful inside and out.

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