Parents of young children … are you developing a comprehensive philosophy of parenting?
Bryana Johnson’s Blog at: http://thecollegeconservative.com/2012/03/15/underage-dating-the-elephant-in-the-social-conservative-living-room/
Podcast which includes the blog as well as commentary at: http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=510131258181
As parents, we have an incredible responsibility and opportunity to shape not only our child, but our child’s future and in doing so, we also shape the future of our world! We leave a legacy. For better or for worse, we will leave a legacy. Ironically, many people will study more for their driver’s test than they will for raising the next generation of human beings that will inhabit and be the caretakers of our world and the expression of God’s Kingdom in our world. We encourage parents to take advantage of the many resources available to formulate a biblical, wise and well-considered philosophy of parenting. This includes a view on dating and what you will teach your children about dating and relationships.
We would like to recommend a blog article by Bryana Johnson called “Underage dating: The Elephant in the social conservative living room.” Underage dating is the dating done by teenagers who are too young to be considering marriage, but engage in a series of romantic relationships that serve only to “practice” the cycle of attraction, closeness, some form of intimacy, and then eventual breaking off of the relationship. This practice of teen dating is the number one way that our culture (including Christian circles) chooses to perpetuate the cancer of broken marriages. “The trouble with underage dating is that it presents an entirely faulty view of what interaction with the opposite gender should be about. Rather than placing the emphasis on building one, strong relationship with one person at a stage of life when a marital commitment is feasible, dating encourages young people to pour their energies into consistently seducing other young people at a time when neither of them is capable of making any long term commitments, their relationships are destined to fail from the get go because they are founded on unhealthy perceptions of love and not backed by any necessity to stick it out.” We should be teaching our children that the deep emotional connection between a man and a woman was designed by God to be permanent and to reflect the image of the Creator. By having many serious dating relationships, each one ending in break-up, we treat that sacred connection, the gift called “romantic love”, and the heart of another individual, like it is a toy, to be used for our own selfish desires, then discarded when it no longer fulfills our wants.
Bryana brings out some excellent points about the connection between the practice of teenage dating and the wide-spread impact of divorce in our culture. We recommend her blog as some food for thought as you develop your views on dating and formulate what you will teach your children about this cultural practice that will surround them daily at school and among their peers. Don't wait. Kids are getting into the dating scene younger and younger. If you wait until they are in 5th or 6th grade to begin to teach them a view of dating, you will be abdicating the role of "first teaching on the subject" to others who do not share your values.