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Teaching your children Courtship v. Dating


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#1 mom4him

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Posted 22 November 2009 - 02:26 PM

I know there are families here that their families teach/practice courtship. I have some questions.
Do you go to a church that actively teaches courtship? If so what denomination if the church you go to?
How young do you start talking to your children about courtship v. dating?
If you aren't in a church that actively teaches this how do you handle the youth groups and activities?

#2 Crimson Wife

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Posted 22 November 2009 - 02:32 PM

:lurk5:

I'd also like to hear recommendations for books/materials that approach this issue in a non-patriarchal way. I want my kids to court rather than date because it reduces the temptation to sin NOT because I think an unmarried daughter is the property of her father...

#3 momofkhm

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Posted 22 November 2009 - 02:40 PM

For us it's not a church thing. I don't think anyone at our church believes the same thing about dating that we do. I don't have any resources though. I've read a few things but nothing that really resonates, ya know.

:lurk5: too!

#4 Sophia

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Posted 22 November 2009 - 03:20 PM

:lurk5:

I'd also like to hear recommendations for books/materials that approach this issue in a non-patriarchal way. I want my kids to court rather than date because it reduces the temptation to sin NOT because I think an unmarried daughter is the property of her father...


Lies young women believe by Nancy Leigh DeMoss has a chapter on guys that is a good starting point for discussions on dating vs. courting.
Of course, there is Josh Harris' book I kissed dating goodbye, written from a young guy's perspective, that is just wonderful and first led dh and me to consider courting as the best option for our dc.
And the Bride wore white by Dannah Gresh is also on my dd's reading list.

#5 Joyful

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Posted 22 November 2009 - 03:21 PM

Our church doesn't have specific teaching regarding courtship vs. dating.
For dh and I, we plan to talk to them more in the vein of dating/courting with the view of marriage in sight rather than "casual dating" as well as maintaining sexual purity. My kids are young - the oldest ds is only 8. I'm not sure when we might beginning talking to them about things pertaining to marriage. Any thoughts or suggestions as to when to start?

#6 Karenciavo

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Posted 22 November 2009 - 03:30 PM

I know there are families here that their families teach/practice courtship. I have some questions.
Do you go to a church that actively teaches courtship?

Nope

How young do you start talking to your children about courtship v. dating?

Really depends. My 7 yo has been involved in conversations about it because I have a 14 and 16 year old. As soon as it comes up is the best answer I can give.

If you aren't in a church that actively teaches this how do you handle the youth groups and activities?

My two older boys are active leaders in their youth group, that's not dating. I'm not sure why you are asking about youth group. There are kids in youth group who date I guess, truthfully most of the kids have known each other since they were babies and are like siblings. My boys believe in courtship (our version of it anyway, I've never read a book on official courtship) and they don't mind telling their friends about it.

#7 momtoboys

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Posted 22 November 2009 - 03:32 PM

My whole "problem" about the courtship/dating debate is this: It creates an external rule instead of dealing with the heart issue.

Now, under 18, my house, my rules. . etc. . So, if I decide no single dating (which would seem reasonable, given that they aren't nearly ready for marriage or the responsibilities of serious relationships at that age), they have to abide by that.

Over 18, I would hesitate to legislate male/female relationships to the "courtship" level. I also do not agree that a woman is her father's property.

On a deeper level, I feel that instituting "courtship" and supposedly removing all temptation is not going to change someone's heart. The issue isn't the form, it's the heart. If a person has the right heart, the morality will naturally follow. Whether they are "dating" or "courting", purity will be a valuable and primary consideration. Therefore, the couple or individual will set guidelines for themself that will enable them to be less tempted.

I would rather raise my child to have Godly, moral values. After they have reached age 18, I trust that a strong moral relationship will be important to them. If they fail, God's grace is sufficient.

However, I am not going to create external rules (that could very well lead to bitterness) to legislate their morality when they are essentially adults.

#8 LisaK in VA is in Italy

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Posted 22 November 2009 - 03:45 PM

I don't care what you call it... courtship or dating.

They are really the same thing, the only difference may be intent, and for some the conditions under which courtship proceeds (always group activities, no alone time, all of this varies).

Girls and boys can be just as broken-hearted (or even more so) because a courtship is ended (and they have been, and still will be).

The one rule we have is this: if you aren't ready to get married, you aren't old enough to date. My oldest is 10, this has worked pretty well so far (not that the issue has come up... he's still more interested in LEGO than girls) :D

We want our children to understand that dealings with the opposite sex are serious. We also want them to learn how to be friends with the opposite sex.

I want to protect them... but they also need to have room to grow.

I had meddling parents. My mom picked out boys she liked -- not boys that she thought I would like. My dad picked out boys who "looked" good, not necessarily were "good." Parents can be just as blind about boys/girls as the boys/girls themselves.

My only prayer is that God will help my husband and I have discernment and help our children as best we can through the muddy waters.

#9 ThatCyndiGirl

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Posted 22 November 2009 - 03:55 PM

Our oldest is only 13, so we havn't yet dealt with a desire to date or interest in boys (or girls!),but, our feelings are these:

We would like her to date/court/whatever as a family group. Have her 'love interest' over for dinner/games, etc. Be a part of the family. If that person was NOT interested in hanging out with family, that is a problem. (imo)

She has stated that she wants to wait until she is married to have sex. That was HER choice. She will still know about contraception. (we have already talked about it, but we also talked about how sexual relationships can muddy the waters and cause drama.)

We are atheists, so religion was not a part of it.

#10 6packofun

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Posted 22 November 2009 - 04:07 PM

I totally agree. A great book on this, actually, is Dating with Integrity by John Holzmann (yes, the Sonlight guy). Dh and I read this in college and it's about our heart and intent when relating to the opposite sex before marriage. I like that he focuses so much on the positives and freedom in friendships before committing to dating/courtship to decide if someone is spouse potential. :) I dated a lot before becoming a Christian and this book sold me on NOT dating casually, but only for possible marriage.

#11 Quill

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Posted 22 November 2009 - 09:09 PM

My whole "problem" about the courtship/dating debate is this: It creates an external rule instead of dealing with the heart issue.

Now, under 18, my house, my rules. . etc. . So, if I decide no single dating (which would seem reasonable, given that they aren't nearly ready for marriage or the responsibilities of serious relationships at that age), they have to abide by that.

Over 18, I would hesitate to legislate male/female relationships to the "courtship" level. I also do not agree that a woman is her father's property.

On a deeper level, I feel that instituting "courtship" and supposedly removing all temptation is not going to change someone's heart. The issue isn't the form, it's the heart. If a person has the right heart, the morality will naturally follow. Whether they are "dating" or "courting", purity will be a valuable and primary consideration. Therefore, the couple or individual will set guidelines for themself that will enable them to be less tempted.

I would rather raise my child to have Godly, moral values. After they have reached age 18, I trust that a strong moral relationship will be important to them. If they fail, God's grace is sufficient.

However, I am not going to create external rules (that could very well lead to bitterness) to legislate their morality when they are essentially adults.


:iagree: That's pretty much exactly how I feel about it.

Watching the Duggars when Josh and Anna were engaged had me thinking about this a lot. (I'm not Duggar-bashing; I generally am pro-Duggar) I thought it was weird that they had chaperones for Josh and Anna to go do XYZ. It seemed to me that whatever committments they made for virginity and abstinence should at that point be owned by them and therefore not need enforcement from others. But...whatever; it obviously seems to have worked out well enough. Just my thoughts on it.

#12 JustGin

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Posted 22 November 2009 - 09:46 PM

I know there are families here that their families teach/practice courtship. I have some questions.
Do you go to a church that actively teaches courtship? If so what denomination if the church you go to?
How young do you start talking to your children about courtship v. dating?
If you aren't in a church that actively teaches this how do you handle the youth groups and activities?


My dh is the youth pastor of our fellowship and he does teach about and encourage our young people in what some would call courtship although both he and I don't like that term much, because it is very limiting, sounds legalistic and many people who misunderstand the concept, prejudge it based on just the rigid idea the word invokes.

As for our own children. We have talked to them from early childhood about this subject, doing our best to teach them our values about love, marriage and romantic relationships, as an ongoing conversation. We have always looked for opportunities to point out the way the culture values/devalues purity, innocence, etc. Movies and media have been great tools for this.

To be clear though, we've not focused as much on why we think dating is bad, but rather on the benefits and blessings in waiting until ready for marriage to pursue romance. We believe and teach our children that dating in any form is an adult behavior. To that end our family standard is that as long as they are under our leadership, i.e. at home, they are not allowed to date. It's a little complicated to explain because on paper this sounds very "thou shalt not", but in the context of our conversation, it's not about a hard and fast rule, as much as it is about honoring God and His ways, which always lead to life and blessing.

One thing we have learned over the years is that it's not nearly enough to talk about just sexual purity. It's got to go deeper and be about guarding the heart and countering the influence of our sex and romance saturated culture. For us that look like this. We don't forbid secular music but we read and discuss the lyrics. We don't forbid tv or movies, but we discuss and evaluate the messages in them, comparing them to our values about purity and so on. We've actually taken some flack over the years for rejecting movies which we felt glorified teenage romance, but allowing movies that had some bad language.
Anyway...
As far as youth group, or in our case, youth church, you would think dating wouldn't be an issue since their youth pastor is their dad and he sets the bar for the youth. However, we can't and don't forbid dating in our youth; discourage yes, set limits on PDA absolutely, but still it's up to each family to set those boundaries. So that being said, my dc (and especially Miss Thang) growing up around the youth church and now being in it, have had the benefit of witnessing first hand the destructive results of dating in it's current form.

So that's what we do with courtship. Hope this helps. :)

Edited by JustGin, 22 November 2009 - 09:51 PM.


#13 coffeefreak

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Posted 22 November 2009 - 10:08 PM

Our oldest is only 13, so we havn't yet dealt with a desire to date or interest in boys (or girls!),but, our feelings are these:

We would like her to date/court/whatever as a family group. Have her 'love interest' over for dinner/games, etc. Be a part of the family. If that person was NOT interested in hanging out with family, that is a problem. (imo)


:iagree:

This is what we have discussed also. We are Christian, but that has nothing to do with our decision either. Dating has become dangerous! I'm not sure that it wasn't dangerous when I was a kid. A bunch of teenagers, going off without adults, doing whatever they want without supervision. The grown up decisions that have to be made when they are still growing and developing, it's scary for them and for us. We'll get to know their "friends" and then make decisions from there. Not courtship, but not free range dating either.

Blessings!
Dorinda

#14 coralloyd

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Posted 23 November 2009 - 12:14 AM

My whole "problem" about the courtship/dating debate is this: It creates an external rule instead of dealing with the heart issue.

Now, under 18, my house, my rules. . etc. . So, if I decide no single dating (which would seem reasonable, given that they aren't nearly ready for marriage or the responsibilities of serious relationships at that age), they have to abide by that.

Over 18, I would hesitate to legislate male/female relationships to the "courtship" level. I also do not agree that a woman is her father's property.

On a deeper level, I feel that instituting "courtship" and supposedly removing all temptation is not going to change someone's heart. The issue isn't the form, it's the heart. If a person has the right heart, the morality will naturally follow. Whether they are "dating" or "courting", purity will be a valuable and primary consideration. Therefore, the couple or individual will set guidelines for themself that will enable them to be less tempted.

I would rather raise my child to have Godly, moral values. After they have reached age 18, I trust that a strong moral relationship will be important to them. If they fail, God's grace is sufficient.

However, I am not going to create external rules (that could very well lead to bitterness) to legislate their morality when they are essentially adults.



Can I just say that- as a young woman I had very strong morals and intentions to stay pure. I went to Josh Harris talks at our local hs convention, and was very excited. I knew what the Lord wanted for me and I desired it with all my heart. When I fell in love with my dh we were in a State far away from family and friends. Dh and I ended up falling, and it wasn't because we didn't have every intention of doing things God's way. It was because we had too many opportunities to fall. We were far from home, had no support system. All we had was each other. We loved each other desperately, I knew I was going to marry this man. It was a constant struggle for us. When we confessed to my parents. I moved back home to plan the wedding, while dh was many miles away. For 2 months before our wedding all we did was talk on the phone. During this time we grew even closer. I look back on it now, and I so wish that we had being under the watchful eye of family and friends. My parents having more say over what we did, when, and how would have been a huge blessing and relief for me. Even a strong Christian girl/boy who loves and wants serve Jesus, can fall if placed in the wrong situations. None of us are above temptation.

#15 Peela

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Posted 23 November 2009 - 12:39 AM

A bunch of teenagers, going off without adults, doing whatever they want without supervision. The grown up decisions that have to be made when they are still growing and developing, it's scary for them and for us. We'll get to know their "friends" and then make decisions from there. Not courtship, but not free range dating either.


I had lots of ideals and loved the sound of courtship when my kids were younger. I only heard about the idea through these boards.
In the end though, my 15yo has a lovely boyfriend and none of it has been a problem- they are both sensible kids...and I don't intend to make it into a huge thing by making too many restrctions. Yes he comes here and spends time with our family, and she goes over there to spend time with his...and they also spend some time alone catching public transport and being involved in various activities together, which is how they met.
The whole necessity to stand between my daughter and boys has dropped away for me in the gentle way it has unfolded naturally. It hasn't been scary, I don't think- it has been natural, and continues to be. She is open with me and yet also has a private inner world- something I think is important particularly with homeschoolers since we are so close much of the time.
I have never really understood "dating"- I just went out with guys, but a "date" sounds so formal and it was never really that formal. Either we clicked or we didn't. If I felt my kids were in danger of being with multiple partners in succession....well, I would say they had low self esteem apart from anything else. Maybe there is a "dating scene" I am not aware of, but I think my dd15 is navigating the whole issue beautifully herself, with a lot of warm family support. I will only intervene if I feel it becomes unhealthy.

#16 HappyGrace

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Posted 23 November 2009 - 10:46 AM

Can I just say that- as a young woman I had very strong morals and intentions to stay pure. I went to Josh Harris talks at our local hs convention, and was very excited. I knew what the Lord wanted for me and I desired it with all my heart. When I fell in love with my dh we were in a State far away from family and friends. Dh and I ended up falling, and it wasn't because we didn't have every intention of doing things God's way. It was because we had too many opportunities to fall. We were far from home, had no support system. All we had was each other. We loved each other desperately, I knew I was going to marry this man. It was a constant struggle for us. When we confessed to my parents. I moved back home to plan the wedding, while dh was many miles away. For 2 months before our wedding all we did was talk on the phone. During this time we grew even closer. I look back on it now, and I so wish that we had being under the watchful eye of family and friends. My parents having more say over what we did, when, and how would have been a huge blessing and relief for me. Even a strong Christian girl/boy who loves and wants serve Jesus, can fall if placed in the wrong situations. None of us are above temptation.


This was helpful to me-thank you for sharing your story!

We're keeping the communication lines open about this-got "The Princess and the Kiss" to read when dd was 4, and it's gone on from there as a natural progression of open discussion with dd9. I had authoritarian parents and rebelled as soon as I could. They were divorced by then and did not protect me in any way. I am hoping that dd will know that we are on her side, and protecting her. So we talk about WHY dating is not good. I use examples from how dating damaged me, etc. (age-appropriate examples for a 9yo, of course!)

And I'm just hoping that since that's what she's always known, she will internalize that for herself. I'm praying for guidance on how much of it will have to come from us, and how much will already be internalized by her as time goes on. I think it does come down to a heart issue, but the protection needs to be there in some way too, as the above example indicates.

We are Christian, but I would feel this way even if I were not. Our youth group seems to be pretty typical, and I have no idea yet how we will handle that whole thing. Taking it one day and a time, leaning on the Lord, trying to build loving and trusting relationship with dd.

#17 coffeefreak

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Posted 23 November 2009 - 10:11 PM

I had lots of ideals and loved the sound of courtship when my kids were younger. I only heard about the idea through these boards.
In the end though, my 15yo has a lovely boyfriend and none of it has been a problem- they are both sensible kids...and I don't intend to make it into a huge thing by making too many restrctions. Yes he comes here and spends time with our family, and she goes over there to spend time with his...and they also spend some time alone catching public transport and being involved in various activities together, which is how they met.
The whole necessity to stand between my daughter and boys has dropped away for me in the gentle way it has unfolded naturally. It hasn't been scary, I don't think- it has been natural, and continues to be. She is open with me and yet also has a private inner world- something I think is important particularly with homeschoolers since we are so close much of the time.
I have never really understood "dating"- I just went out with guys, but a "date" sounds so formal and it was never really that formal. Either we clicked or we didn't. If I felt my kids were in danger of being with multiple partners in succession....well, I would say they had low self esteem apart from anything else. Maybe there is a "dating scene" I am not aware of, but I think my dd15 is navigating the whole issue beautifully herself, with a lot of warm family support. I will only intervene if I feel it becomes unhealthy.


This is what I truly hope for Peela. Do I have to move to Australia to get it? Please say yes, I'll be on the next plane out :D

Blessings!
Dorinda

#18 sunshine

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Posted 24 November 2009 - 12:37 AM

My son is 18. I went to a courtship seminar at my church when he was 9.
I had never heard of it. In a society that thinks it is cute for a 2 year old to kiss another 2 year old of the opposite sex on the lips it was a weird concept.

But I got it that first day. When you court you are respecting the fact that who you are talking and getting to know is someone's wife or husband. They may be yours but you don't know yet. You also want a spouse that is going in the same direction as you and wants the same things, has the same goals, etc.

You can't rationally talk about homeschooling the kids and who does the checkbook if you are so distracted by the burning heat of their arm around your shoulder. You dont' care if he ever takes out the garbage and he can leave dirty underwear on the kitchen counter if he will just move a little closer....... You get what I mean. Physical contact clouds your perception of reality. If you don't hold his hand you can find out if he is going to cut the grass or hire someone. If he changes diapers or thinks that is "women's work".

The purpose of courtship is to pursue a marriage. Not to have someone to go to the prom with. You can go with your girlfriends and have a ball with no pressure.

My son tells anyone who asks, which is about 2 times a day, why he doesn't have a girlfriend "I can't support a wife and girlfriends almost always become wives."

While he pursues activities like hiking and scuba diving, scout stuff, camping and college, he is not distracted by his girlfriend wanting him to hang out at the mall. His goal is to take care of a family and he knows not only through my teaching and his Pastor's encouragement, but by watching these other well meaning parents allow 14 and 15 yr old on up to have relationships. They have all ended. Mostly with bitterness and broken hearts. He sees that those relationships served no purpose but took time that the teens could have used in pursuing Godliness, hobbies and school.
He feels like he has made a great decision. And he feels like it was his decision. He doesn't realize, because of the way I presented it, that I have been pushing this since he was 9. I believe courtship benefits kids. It protects them during the most vulnerable years by giving them the freedom to say no to dating until they are ready to commit to a long term relationship and all the responsibility that comes with it. They are able to have a good time and enjoy both male and female company without pressure or nervousness. The boundaries are set. I also explained to him that he will like some girls alot more than others. But it not necessarily "in love" or "a crush" because I like some people more than others. There are plenty of people I prefer over others. It is natural.

You can help your teen handle the youth group and things like that by giving him a set answer and soon everyone will know what they believe and it won't even be an issue. From 6th grade on, all girls knew that my son believed in courtship, so to have a crush on him was 1. useless and going nowhere and 2. safe.

#19 Peela

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Posted 25 November 2009 - 07:11 AM

This is what I truly hope for Peela. Do I have to move to Australia to get it? Please say yes, I'll be on the next plane out :D

Blessings!
Dorinda



Lol, well, you don't need an excuse.
From what I hear, Australia is less stressed out and 'driven' than America, in general- although we are a similar culture. It might affect the dating culture too, I guess, that we are pretty laid back and relaxed.

#20 HappyGrace

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Posted 25 November 2009 - 10:35 AM

He feels like he has made a great decision. And he feels like it was his decision. He doesn't realize, because of the way I presented it, that I have been pushing this since he was 9.


:iagree: That's exactly what I'm hoping for.

Your whole post was excellent, Sunshine! Well said. :)

#21 Cafelattee

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Posted 25 November 2009 - 10:56 AM

My son is 18. I went to a courtship seminar at my church when he was 9.
I had never heard of it. In a society that thinks it is cute for a 2 year old to kiss another 2 year old of the opposite sex on the lips it was a weird concept.

But I got it that first day. When you court you are respecting the fact that who you are talking and getting to know is someone's wife or husband. They may be yours but you don't know yet. You also want a spouse that is going in the same direction as you and wants the same things, has the same goals, etc.

You can't rationally talk about homeschooling the kids and who does the checkbook if you are so distracted by the burning heat of their arm around your shoulder. You dont' care if he ever takes out the garbage and he can leave dirty underwear on the kitchen counter if he will just move a little closer....... You get what I mean. Physical contact clouds your perception of reality. If you don't hold his hand you can find out if he is going to cut the grass or hire someone. If he changes diapers or thinks that is "women's work".

The purpose of courtship is to pursue a marriage. Not to have someone to go to the prom with. You can go with your girlfriends and have a ball with no pressure.

My son tells anyone who asks, which is about 2 times a day, why he doesn't have a girlfriend "I can't support a wife and girlfriends almost always become wives."

While he pursues activities like hiking and scuba diving, scout stuff, camping and college, he is not distracted by his girlfriend wanting him to hang out at the mall. His goal is to take care of a family and he knows not only through my teaching and his Pastor's encouragement, but by watching these other well meaning parents allow 14 and 15 yr old on up to have relationships. They have all ended. Mostly with bitterness and broken hearts. He sees that those relationships served no purpose but took time that the teens could have used in pursuing Godliness, hobbies and school.
He feels like he has made a great decision. And he feels like it was his decision. He doesn't realize, because of the way I presented it, that I have been pushing this since he was 9. I believe courtship benefits kids. It protects them during the most vulnerable years by giving them the freedom to say no to dating until they are ready to commit to a long term relationship and all the responsibility that comes with it. They are able to have a good time and enjoy both male and female company without pressure or nervousness. The boundaries are set. I also explained to him that he will like some girls alot more than others. But it not necessarily "in love" or "a crush" because I like some people more than others. There are plenty of people I prefer over others. It is natural.

You can help your teen handle the youth group and things like that by giving him a set answer and soon everyone will know what they believe and it won't even be an issue. From 6th grade on, all girls knew that my son believed in courtship, so to have a crush on him was 1. useless and going nowhere and 2. safe.



Great Post, my sons are being raised in similar fashion. He is 16 and already has his plans, college and a house then a wife. I said pursue your own dreams and have a selfish time because marriage is about giving up your own selfishness to become one. He a muscian that will play for 8 or 9 hours a day. This is not something that would work in marriage.

He does really like a great young lady but realizes if she is for him, then she will be for him when he is older, mature, and more finacially ready for a serious relationship. He still gets to see her in group settings but stops it from going any further. He says he is keeping his heart in check. He quoted last night "I want be heart broken if it never happens" but she is the first to catch his eye.;)

#22 mom4him

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Posted 25 November 2009 - 11:35 AM

My son is 18. I went to a courtship seminar at my church when he was 9.
I had never heard of it. In a society that thinks it is cute for a 2 year old to kiss another 2 year old of the opposite sex on the lips it was a weird concept.

But I got it that first day. When you court you are respecting the fact that who you are talking and getting to know is someone's wife or husband. They may be yours but you don't know yet. You also want a spouse that is going in the same direction as you and wants the same things, has the same goals, etc.

You can't rationally talk about homeschooling the kids and who does the checkbook if you are so distracted by the burning heat of their arm around your shoulder. You dont' care if he ever takes out the garbage and he can leave dirty underwear on the kitchen counter if he will just move a little closer....... You get what I mean. Physical contact clouds your perception of reality. If you don't hold his hand you can find out if he is going to cut the grass or hire someone. If he changes diapers or thinks that is "women's work".

The purpose of courtship is to pursue a marriage. Not to have someone to go to the prom with. You can go with your girlfriends and have a ball with no pressure.

My son tells anyone who asks, which is about 2 times a day, why he doesn't have a girlfriend "I can't support a wife and girlfriends almost always become wives."

While he pursues activities like hiking and scuba diving, scout stuff, camping and college, he is not distracted by his girlfriend wanting him to hang out at the mall. His goal is to take care of a family and he knows not only through my teaching and his Pastor's encouragement, but by watching these other well meaning parents allow 14 and 15 yr old on up to have relationships. They have all ended. Mostly with bitterness and broken hearts. He sees that those relationships served no purpose but took time that the teens could have used in pursuing Godliness, hobbies and school.
He feels like he has made a great decision. And he feels like it was his decision. He doesn't realize, because of the way I presented it, that I have been pushing this since he was 9. I believe courtship benefits kids. It protects them during the most vulnerable years by giving them the freedom to say no to dating until they are ready to commit to a long term relationship and all the responsibility that comes with it. They are able to have a good time and enjoy both male and female company without pressure or nervousness. The boundaries are set. I also explained to him that he will like some girls alot more than others. But it not necessarily "in love" or "a crush" because I like some people more than others. There are plenty of people I prefer over others. It is natural.

You can help your teen handle the youth group and things like that by giving him a set answer and soon everyone will know what they believe and it won't even be an issue. From 6th grade on, all girls knew that my son believed in courtship, so to have a crush on him was 1. useless and going nowhere and 2. safe.

:iagree:Thank you for this post. I so agree with this.

#23 Scarlett

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Posted 25 November 2009 - 12:08 PM

If a person has the right heart, the morality will naturally follow. Whether they are "dating" or "courting", purity will be a valuable and primary consideration. Therefore, the couple or individual will set guidelines for themself that will enable them to be less tempted.

I would rather raise my child to have Godly, moral values. After they have reached age 18, I trust that a strong moral relationship will be important to them. If they fail, God's grace is sufficient.

However, I am not going to create external rules (that could very well lead to bitterness) to legislate their morality when they are essentially adults.


I agree that once they are 18 and free to move out a child can and will do as he/she pleases. However, as long as I can exercise my parental rights I will. No differant than saying 'you may not do drugs and live in my house.'

As far as morality following if the heart is right...I think you are underestimating the power of hormones on young people (and old ;)) and the
inherant nature of sin.

Setting guidelines...for teens, that is impossible for them to properly do for themselves because they do not yet know how quickly things can reach the point of no return.

FTW, my faith doesn't espouse courtship... nor do we believe in recreational dating. 'Dating', with strict chaperoning, is done when a person is in a position to marry.

#24 Hedgehogs4

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Posted 25 November 2009 - 12:58 PM

My only prayer is that God will help my husband and I have discernment and help our children as best we can through the muddy waters.


:iagree:

I pray fervently for the future spouses of my children. My dc are still young, 8 & 4, and so the actual application of the dating principles are not at issue yet. However, I seize every opportunity to point out young girls' silly behavior to my son, and tell him to keep an eye out--if a girl is acting in a way that he wouldn't want his sister to behave, then that girl probably isn't a potential friend. I also point out to him the young ladies in his life who are displaying Godly character, and build relationships with families who have daughters like that. This is not done in an "awww, look at her, isn't she a potential girlfriend" kind of way at all. I decided when he was a baby that I wanted to raise an old-fashioned gentleman and a man of God. He is already displaying this character, and I pray that in his adolescence he doesn't change. I aim to do the same thing with my daughter--to emphasize faith, Godly character, and ladylike behavior. I believe that these qualities will help greatly in attracting the kind of mates that they should have.

I will be watchful and prayerful during the courtship years, but hopefully we will have paved a way for them that helps them to discern for themselves, along with our guidance, into the relationships that God has for them.


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