***In no way do I mean to offend anyone with this post. My husband and I are adamant about the rules of dating in our home and I wanted to share them with you all. We have seen them work in very positive ways. If your rules are different than ours, I respect that and I hope you will respect ours too. :)***
Homecoming season is upon us. This means themed school days, mums galore, and the homecoming dance.
It seems the biggest question facing the kids is, "Who are you going with to the homecoming dance?"
Our daughter is a freshman and 14 years old. She is going with friends to the dance per her wishes and, more importantly, our rules of dating.
You see, she is not allowed to have a date...period. My husband has set rules in regards to dating and I stand behind him 100%.
My husband believes that our daughter is a gift from God and he is to honor God in raising her. As her father he is to love her, protect her, teach her how to be treated, set boundaries, and teach her where her worth comes from.
She is worthy because she is a child of God. Her dad has taught her this from a very young age. He has treated me with respect and loved me as a woman should be loved. He has set boundaries and led our children in the ways of the Lord. He has never been concerned with what is right in the world, but rather what is right in God's eyes. I have never seen him falter from that.
We truly believe that children must learn who they are in Jesus before dating. They must learn that they are funny, smart, gifted, talented, and exactly who God created them to be. They need to learn to live for God and please Him before they date. They need to be confident in themselves. When a person is fully confident in who he or she is, he or she will be less likely to compromise the values learned. They will be less likely to go along with something to please someone else. Confident people are more likely to stand their ground and be leaders rather than following the crowd just to fit in.
Our children are not allowed to date until they are at least 16 (or older if we feel they still are not ready). Once they are 16, they are not to be alone with the date. Our view is why set them up for temptation?
Our children have never argued or fussed about our rules. As a matter of fact, our daughter feels so loved and protected by her father. She knows that she is loved greatly. She is one of the most secure girls I have ever known. She is sure of who she is and is not afraid to be who God created her to be. Her worth is not defined by boys, friends, successes, or failures. Her worth is defined by Jesus.
Sadly, I have heard some girls her age say they have to have a date. I know firsthand of a couple who actually pursued boys to get them to ask them to the dance. My heart aches for these girls. It is so sad to me that they feel they have to have dates. Why is that?? Is this where it all begins? The girls who have to have dates grow up to be women who will do whatever it takes to get a man to notice them. The girls whose worth comes from male attention grow up to be lonely women. I can't help but wonder, where are their parents?? Are they so concerned with keeping up with the world's standards that they will sacrifice the spiritual and emotional health of their child? I'm not judging, I'm hurting for these kids. When I hear these girls, I want to pull them aside and tell them they are worthy because they belong to Jesus...period.
Our son, who just started college, lived with the same rules. He never once complained. He, too, knew he was loved and protected. He is so secure in who he is. He is involved in 2 Christian clubs at his University. He is actually a leader in one of the clubs. He is also very involved in the student Republicans club. He doesn't define himself by if he has a girlfriend or a date. He defines himself by Jesus. He strives to live a life that honors God. Because of the rules we have set, his standards are extremely high. The girls he has taken on dates have been wonderful girls. They have come from families like ours. It is wonderful to see him attracted to girls who have dads who love and protect them too.
Proverbs 22:6 - Teach a youth about the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.
May we answer to God in all of our parenting choices. The verse my husband and I are memorizing this week comes from Philippians and it is fitting for this post.
Philippians 1:27 - Live your life in a manner worthy of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Happy parenting my friends-