On Friday morning I was driving my twelve year old twin daughters to their arts enrichment program when the topic of homeschool reviews came up. We talked about the math, science, and history curricula we are currently reviewing, and then I mentioned the video about dating, courtship, and marriage that I’ll soon be reviewing.
“Oh, that must be for when your kids are older,” one twin piped up.
I smiled and considered her answer for a moment. My oldest kids are 18 and 19 already. Most American teens start dating much earlier than that although neither of my older kids has ever been on a date.
“Did you know that some kids your age and younger are in dating relationships?” I queried.
“That’s horrible!” they gasped in unison.
A bit surprised at their strong reaction, I inquired, “Why do you think that’s so bad?”
The answers volleyed back and forth from the backseat. “They might get hurt,” one girl noted.
“They’re not ready,” quipped the other.
“They’re too young.”
“They’re not mature enough.”
I was amazed at the wisdom streaming from their innocent lips. “Why do you think so many kids date?”
“Everyone around them does.”
“You’re exactly right,” I agreed. “And there is so much pressure to date. In a public school, kids who aren’t in a dating relationship usually get picked on.”
“That’s so sad.”
I had to agree.
Our conversation was cut short by our arrival at their class, but on the way home, I continued to contemplate their innocence, my own experience with dating, and God’s Word to me on the topic.
Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the ungodly.
My children are truly blessed with innocence that would have been robbed from them in a public school. This blessing is one of the many reasons I am glad I chose to homeschool. My daughters do not need other kids to tell them how to live their lives. They need to hear from God, their parents, their church—from those who have wisdom and maturity.
Like most teens, I entered the dating scene way too young. I faced the needless drama and pain of breakups. My self-esteem rose or plummeted along with my perception of whether or not someone was interested in me. Is that “normal” teenage experience necessary for our kids to find a mate?
I urge you, O daughters of Jerusalem, that you not stir up or awaken love until it pleases.
Song of Solomon 8:4
When my oldest daughter became a teenager, I started wondering what to do about dating. God gave me Song of Solomon 8:4. Through it, God told me not to rush any of my kids in this area of their lives but to be patient, wait for Him, focus on Him, and help my kids do the same.
At times I have needed to remind myself not to actively promote dating relationships with my children. They are young and impressionable and will be better equipped to make wise decisions in this area as they draw near to God in their adult years.
I look forward to the day when my son introduces me to the woman he will marry and my daughters introduce me to their future husbands. I am praying for the five young people that will one day be part of my life…and an even greater part of each of my children’s lives. But I am willing to wait for God’s perfect timing, when He brings each of them together with their soulmate, and it is time to stir up and awaken love.
Do you allow or encourage your teens to date? Please share in the comments below.