Friday, October 12, 2012

Teen Dating Resources

Dating is a challenging issue that parents of teens eventually have to face. What age is appropriate for dating?  What does dating look like?  Does it mean to go out and enjoy time with someone or does it mean to commit exclusively to someone?  Is there a good purpose that dating fulfills in the life of a teen?  Are there any negatives to dating?  There are a lot of issues to consider.  Long before the dating years begin, a parent should take the time to educate their pre-teen in the purpose of marriage, the importance of purity, the necessity of personal convictions, the importance of choosing a mate carefully, and the work required in achieving a successful marriage relationship.

One resource available to get the ball rolling on these topics is the “Passport 2 Purity” weekend kit by Dennis and Barbara Rainey.  This set of CD’s and workbook covers the topics of puberty, the purpose of marriage, and the importance of purity.  I suggest taking your child away for a weekend to review this material for his or her 11th or 12th birthday.

Also I recommend this book list:

At age 12 have them read:
Redefining Beautiful by Jenna Lucado
So You’re About to be a Teenager by Dennis and Barbara Rainey

At age 13:
I Kissed Dating Goodbye by Joshua Harris

At age 14:
Eyes Wide Open by Brienne Murk
Authentic Beauty by Eric and Leslie Ludy
Guys are Waffles Girls are Spaghetti by Pam and bill Farrel
Connecting with God by Ron Luce
Boy Meets Girl by Joshua Harris
Passion and Purity by Elisabeth Elliot

At age 16:
Not Even a Hint by Joshua Harris
When God Writes your Love Story by Eric and Leslie Ludy

At age 18:
A Perfect Wedding by Eric and Leslie Ludy
Every Young Man’s Battle by Stephen Arterburn
Every Young Woman’s Battle by Shannon Ethridge

Another idea is to have them come up with a “dating plan.”  It must also include their physical standards and their plan to maintain them.  If it is a mature and moral plan, and the teen is willing to be accountable, then both teen and parent sign and then the teen will be allowed to go on dates.

Dating Contract
1. At what age do I plan to get married?

2. Given that age, when would be an appropriate time to get into a serious relationship and at what age would it be appropriate to go out on an occasional date with a “friend”?

3. What are the possible negative consequences of getting into a serious relationship too soon?

4. What are God's physical standards for my relationship at each stage?  (Indicate which items on the following list are permissible at these stages: casual dating, serious dating/courtship, engagement, marriage.) First Thessalonians 4:3 makes it clear that sex outside of marriage is off limits.  Matt. 5:8 says, "Blessed are the pure in heart."  Mark the list below in a way that will keep you pure in your heart, your actions, and your thoughts toward your date.

Being together
Holding hands
Good night kiss
Passionate kissing
Touching outside of clothes
Touching under clothes
Taking clothes off

5.  How and when will I communicate these standards with my date?

6.  What are safe places to date? (What boundaries do I need to set with my date to stay out of temptation?   Such as: No alone time, no night time, no lying down together, no bedrooms, etc. List ten safe dating options.)

7.  What will be the consequences if I break my standards?

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