I seriously have taken a complete year off from writing, blogging, and much of posting on Facebook. There are many reasons why I took a break but mainly because I needed to step away and life was beginning to speed up quickly. (Like 2 daughters getting married in the same year!) We’ll get more into that later on….. I promise! But for now, I’m going to pick up where I left off a year ago.
One topic that keeps coming up in a number of conversations with friends or other individuals is the season of your young people dating/courting or starting a relationships. These conversations probably came about because we had two daughter recently get married, but all in all I’m amazed at the number of parents that keep a huge distance or any involvement at all in their children dating. Let me say from here…… It’s okay to be involved!!
Now I have no idea where you are with raising kids but speaking from experience having been though this season (and I’m currently still in this season and will be for awhile…..sigh!) there are way too many parents literally keeping their distance from what, who, when, or how of your young people navigate through this stage of dating. Really?!
Let’s start from the beginning. Being involved is crucial during these years of starting this dating or “seeing” someone faze. I truly believe the worst thing you can do is not be involved at all. I hear from so many women or parents that they don’t know how to be involved. Let me show you a few ways that my husband and I made a purposeful decision to get involved:
- Start when they were young. We taught them early on that if God intended for you to be married that He has a person already designed just for you. No need to fret or worry if the “right” one will come along, but with God’s help He will direct your path towards that individual.
- Keep the lines of communication open. This is truly key in any relationship with your children. They need to know that you truly care and want to hear about all their thoughts and concerns. It will help in the long run when you need to discuss harder issues like dating, etc.
- Keep their heart. Through the Word of God you can clearly show them their need to keep their heart guarded It’s very wise for them to learn to protect it from opening it too soon to others from the opposite sex. This is where disasters can start. So much is out there to bombard their minds and hearts and it’s wise to put safe guards to avoid many dangerous traps.
- Give them the right tools. Obviously the Bible is any Christians #1 resource but there are also many other great books that deal with dating, courting, etc. (I’ll leave a list at the end of this post)
- Help them make a list. This was another way that helped us be involved in steering my older girls to making good choices. Have them write a list of all the qualities or character traits they would love to have in their future spouse. This was a perfect conversation piece to discuss what’s really important when meeting a potential “candidate”. (Believe it or not both of my married girls still have their lists they wrote many years ago…..and it’s amazing to see they got what they were praying for).
- Set up guidelines. Each family is unique and as the Holy Spirit guides and directs you’ll find the guidelines that work for you. I don’t believe that there is a set age but I do know they need to be children as long as they can and there is a time and place to “date/court” when they are mature. It’s a good idea to make up guidelines of “dating” before it begins, as always there is room to adjust as you go forward.
- Prayer. This is truly the best weapon in being involved with who your children get involved with. Start now! Even if their babies or toddlers or even the teenage years. It’s a power source God extends to us to access His wisdom and guidance into our lives. Pray for your children, pray with your children, pray for their hearts, pray for their future spouses, pray….pray…..and keep praying!!!
Truly the end goal is not to be dictating their every move, but it’s to be involved to guide, direct, and give Godly wisdom along the way. Remember they need that from us as parents, as moms!
It’s so discouraging to hear other parents (or moms) truly throw their hands up and think they shouldn’t get involved or don’t know how to be involved with their children dating and getting wrapped up with the opposite gender. Now is not the time to check out! The older I get the more I can speak from experience and this is an area where it’s been a journey but with God’s help, wisdom, and direction I can say we are thankful for the two marriages that were started on the right foundations and the Lord is the center of it all!!
Watching your children grow as you guide and direct them is such a challenging but rewarding time. These are some of the best years and it’s wonderful to watch a beautiful, God-centered, and healthy relationship become the start of a whole new life! And just think…..you can have a small part of it!
How are you handing the dating/courting years? Do you find it easy to be involved? Are their guidelines your family uses? Let me hear your thoughts!
****Stay tuned to how we did a wedding for under $4000 dollars!!***
Here are some resources that maybe helpful:
- Before you meet Prince Charming by Sarah Malley
- Passion and Purity by Elisabeth Elliot
- I Kissed Dating Goodbye by Joshua Harris
- Boy Meets Girl by Joshua Harris