Christian dating advice for parents

For every parent out there, this should be a huge wake-up call. Perhaps, it's time we rethink dating. Four basic principles of biblically-focused dating: As a dad, this means everything to me. Yet, within this goal is the mutual objective: While every dating relationship or "courtship" may not end up in marriage, it should result in growing closer to God and building each other up in the Lord. Without a God-driven purpose in dating, too often, our youth and young adults will be caught up in the emotional and physical pulls that are naturally there. As a father, it's a big part of my calling to ensure my sons and daughters understand this primary objective before they enter into their dating years.

Boundaries are absolutely necessary within every relationship—especially when it comes to men and women. It's a basic truth that proximity with the opposite sex, along with openness will yield intimacy.

Unfortunately, it appears to be a developing pattern with young adults to have an aversion toward any type of boundaries within their relationships. The statistics back this up. I've seen first-hand the fallout when young adults lack boundaries in their relationships. Sadly, the young ladies of today ride an emotional roller-coaster around the absence of any defined expectations when it comes to the young men in their lives. God hard-wired men and women to desire intimacy with the opposite sex. While it's possible to be friends with the opposite sex, it needs be done so with obvious and intentional boundaries in place.

When it comes to the actual experience of dating, it is absolutely necessary that boundaries are defined up front. Any couple that thinks they can go the course of spending a considerable amount of time together, without definite parameters is setting themselves up for failure.


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As a dad, we need to actively engage our sons and daughters around this topic and provide them a functioning model of what this looks like. If we don't, the culture around them will set the tone. As my 20 year-old daughter understands, no man on this earth knows her and loves her more than I do.


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I realize that every young girl out there may not have a dad that will be there for her. In that case, both the mother and daughter should look to pull in a man that can speak into the assessment of the young male suitor. As I have discovered over the years, men see things about other men that only men see. They often do, especially within the actions of other women. In every God-honoring relationship, a primary objective should always be to build each other up in Christ Ephesians 4: Regardless of the dating outcome, each person is encouraged in their personal growth and relationship with God.

As a dad, I want to be a "sounding board" for my sons and daughters. At this point in their lives, they need me to be more of a counselor than an active coach.

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If I've done my job well during their primary years, the foundation is formed and they're beginning to build upon it. Yet it appears that, in many cases, Christian parents have not been actively involved in helping our children develop a biblical understanding of what dating or courtship looks like. For most Christian dads and moms out there, our own dating experiences had little roots to any biblical truth.

Where did we go wrong?

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The problem goes far beyond dating. It is quite apparent that our American culture no longer looks to the Bible to establish its moral foundations. Peter Marshall was correct in his U.

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Senate prayer when he said, " As a result, our young people of today embrace a worldview that is more secular than biblical and more me-centered than God-centered. Yet, as parents, we can help our children get back on a God-honoring path when it comes to dating. It has and continues to be a two-way conversation around what it means for God to be glorified in and through our lives as we become less and Christ becomes more, i. As parents, we need to re-position dating back on a pathway that anchors our teens and adult children to God's ways.


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Just as in marriage, dating or courtship needs to be about God's glory and building each other up in Christ. To consider it any less, is setting up a slippery slope where both emotional and physical ties naturally take hold. Men and women were created for intimacy with one another. Time will never erase this reality. She loves audiobooks, feeding the people she cares about, and using Christmas lights to illuminate a room.

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