Why I Don’t Support Teen Dating
This blog post has been festering lately. I have lots to say, but don’t know how to say it.
Mainly, I want to say it with grace and conviction. I worry that I won’t do that properly, but I feel like this needs to be shared.
I wish it was that simple! I wish I could just say, “I did it, don’t do it!”
But, it’s not that easy…unfortunately. Q and I are in youth ministry, we see teen hearts get broken all the time and we hate to say, “We told you so.” because that isn’t the answer.
Let me share my story…a story I’ve struggled to share. How much do I share? How open is the Lord asking me to be? I’m still not sure. But, here it is…
I started casually dating in middle school and by high school I had my first love. I dated a guy for three years in high school; we just knew we would get married one day (we didn’t!). By age 15, I’d given my heart to him and I’d fallen into sexual sin. A downward spiral of dating and sexual sin continued for five years (fiercely consuming at 18), until I gave my heart and life to the Lord at age 20.
Let me just say, none of this sexual sin included my husband. I’m so thankful for a Godly man that steered me onto the narrow road through the truth and love of Christ.
But, by the time I got married at 21, I had more baggage than anyone would ever need in a life time. I’d given my heart and body away more than once and each of those interactions adversely affect my marriage — in ways I’m aware of and in ways I’m not!
Fortunately, I serve a holy God that wiped my slate clean that October night that I said, “Take me Lord, change me, make me whole again.” He did and he’s done it well. But, my human nature won’t let me forget my past. A past of deep sin and heartache.
Should Christian Teenagers Date?
Parents (some of you may be my youth parents…welcome to my story!), when Q and I say we don’t support teen dating, this is my reason why.
Teen dating is not biblical — courtship is.
Teen dating opens the door for raging hormones and sexual temptation — temptation and sin that will affect your child forever. (1 Corinthians 7:2)
Teen dating does not prepare your child for marriage — I’ve never heard anyone say, “I’m so glad I dated as a teen and up until marriage. Those relationships really improved my God-honoring relationship with my husband.”
Teen dating says “Jesus Christ is not enough for me.” — when we put something or someone at a higher priority than the Lord, our relationships suffer; all of them.
Unless your child has their own bank account, their own vehicle, and their own rules…they are not prepared for a deep relationship with another human being. Until that time, their heart and mind need to be focused on the One who knows exactly whom their lifelong mate will be.
I know everyone’s doing it and I know it’s hard to be set apart, but the Lord calls us to be different (Romans 12:2)!
Teens and teen parents, please listen to me!
The minor “life lessons” your teen may take away from a dating relationship are not worth the risk of falling into sexual sin and the affect those sins will have on the rest of their lives.
I understand that some teens may rebel against your “no dating” rule, but the Lord has commanded you to raise them with God honoring principles. The Lord has commanded you to protect them from and steer them away from sin, not to condone and promote the possibility of it.
Let me tell you, no form of “monitoring” your child’s dating relationship will deter two teenagers with raging hormones. If they want to fall into sexual sin, they will.
But, if your child has been taught from early childhood that the Lord has the perfect mate for them, that waiting for your spouse is God-honoring and holy, and that the years and years of saying no to every member of the opposite sex will be beyond worth it when you can tell your spouse on your wedding night, “I waited for you.”
If you don’t listen to the naysayers when your child is two — the one’s saying, “We’ll see how well that works when she’s 16.” — and you continue to instill biblical principles and share the perfect will of the Lord through life lessons and scripture….your children will thank you one day!
Parents, for the sake of your children’s physical and emotional health, please say no to teen dating. Coming from a girl who has the scars to prove it…it’s not worth it.
Encourage them to love the Lord their God with all of their heart, soul, mind and strength. He.is.enough.