Parenting 101: Preparing for Marriage

My children are getting to the age where they are feeling the pressures of dating. We do not allow our children to date yet, seeing as our oldest is only fourteen. We do encourage them to focus not on what they can’t do, but on what they can do. I deter them from spending their energy desiring simply to have a boyfriend or girlfriend. I instead encourage them to spend that time praying for their future spouse.

It is very important that I validate my children’s feelings, because being a teen can be a very emotional period of life.

I know…I used to be one. I know what it is like to have, what seems like, all of your friends talk non stop about who they are dating. You begin to feel like you are missing out.

We don’t know specifically who our children will marry, but we do recognize that they have a very real desire for relationship. What we do to prepare for that relationship is identify what they should look for in a partner.

We’ve identified biblical characteristics such as honesty, and humility, and we pray that each future spouse allow God to develop those characteristics in them. We pray for their spouses salvation and their sexual purity.

This allows our children to think productively about their future spouse. It also allows them to meditate on Godly characteristics. By equipping them with a biblical standard they will be able to identify these characteristics or the lack thereof in a potential mate.

Please answer any or all of the following questions. See the comments for my answers.

1. If you are a parent, will your children court or date?

2. At what age are your children allowed to date or begin courting?

3. Did you date or court?

4. At what age did you begin dating or courting?

This entry was posted in Uncategorized.

7 comments

  1. Happy in the Home says:

    1. Court. Our oldest daughter is 14. She has already made the commitment to save her first kiss, dance, etc. for her husband. She has made a decision to guard her heart, and even hides her eyes from a movie kiss if the people are unmarried. Her and her daddy made a commitment (initiated by her) that she would send any prospect to Dad, and that he would weed out those whom are not a good match. She had had a crush for about 3 years, she purposely does not look at him (and he purposely does not look at her :) )

    2. The age of courship depends on a couple of things. The age of the young man. Is he old enough to pursue marriage? If he is more than a year away from graduating; definately not. The more time they spend together the more chances to “burn with passion” for each other. Actually age has less to do with it than the timing of God bringing the right man into the picture.

    3. I dated and so did Hubby. So this courtship thing is all so new to us.

    4. I dated at 14, had my first kiss at 14, and was intimate at 15. I don’t want this for my children.

    Anyone interested in our ideas of courtship should read “Before You Meet Prince Charming” by Sarah Malley.

    [Reply]

  2. Angela says:

    I guess it depends on what you consider dating/courting. We’ve decided that there will be lots of family and group activities.

    The age will depend on maturity level, but not before 15 yr ols.

    I dated.

    I didn’t go on my first date till I was 17 and it was a double date with my sister.

    [Reply]

  3. Elizabeth says:

    Very thoughtful post, Hadias.

    My children are in their twenties, so we’re already through the teen years. My daughter is married to a wonderful man, whom God brought into her life at just the right time, and my son is newly engaged to a lovely young lady our family has known for years.

    We did allow our children to “date”. However, at the time, our church atmosphere encouraged teens to think of “dates” in terms of friendship, fellowship, and encouragement, rather than in terms of romance. Usually, two or three or even more couples would go together to some activity or event. In that group atmosphere, there were fewer temptations than you have with the typical American pattern of dating. Our kids had convictions about dating only people who had the same standards of “dating” as they did.

    This way of thinking had lots of advantages. It wasn’t a perfect solution, by any means. We had some things to work through along the way. But, it was a definite improvement over the kind of dating that I experienced as a teen.

    [Reply]

  4. Anonymous says:

    1. We will allow our children to date.

    2. I think age 15 or 16. I will add that the intended activity, location, & time will also be considered. “Group” dating is very popular in our locale, & pairing off is not too common. It is also a small town, & a lot of the families know each other. So, for instance, if my 14 year old daughter wanted to meet a boy from our church at the movies, & then hop over to the Dairy Queen for ice-cream…fine. But if a boy just called the house out of the blue to ask her out, & we don’t have a clue who his family is, I would say no.

    3. I did date. It seemed very unnatural, & the whole thing felt contrived.

    4. I was 16.

    [Reply]

  5. Milehimama says:

    1. I don’t know what the specific difference between dating and courting is, but the children will know that the purpose of dating is to discern their vocation and is preparation for marriage.

    2. Depends on maturity levels – my oldest, age 9, is extremely immature. My second oldest, age 8, probably could look after himself if I left him alone!
    Our rule of thumb right now is:
    Boys must have driver’s license and a part time job. If they aren’t responsible enough to keep a job, they aren’t responsible enough to date. Also, it emphasizes the “dating for marriage” and “provider” aspect.

    Girls must have a driver’s license (for safety reasons, if nothing else)

    I’m sure they will get together with boys/girls in group settings or family events, but that is our criteria for one on one dating.

    My parents had set out age 16 for us to date, with strict rules, but did not enforce them. In reality, I dated much earlier – age 13 or 14? It did not serve me well. My relationship with my mother was very volatile and I ended up moving out on my 18th birthday and moving in with my boyfriend at the time (who still lived with his parents!)
    In fact, I was living with that boyfriend and engaged to him when I met my husband!

    [Reply]

  6. Chayil says:

    1. If you are a parent, will your children court or date?
    I have 2 sons age 11 and 3 and I will allow them to court or date. I really think that that is an aspect of growing up. This way as a parent I can see how my sons relate to girls and how they treat them. Now mind you dating to me means going to the movies/zoo/mc donalds ;-) with a chaperon.

    2. At what age are your children allowed to date or begin courting?
    13/14 yrs maybe 15 I guess it depends on when they ask.

    3. Did you date or court?
    Yes

    4. At what age did you begin dating or courting?
    15 with my brothers or aunties as chaperone. Wich was wonderful there was no pressure of physical contact because a boy would simply not dare with my chaperone around. This way I got to experience dealing with relationships in a safe enviroment.

    [Reply]

Leave a Reply