By Joey and Carla Link
February 16, 2022
When our son was in the second grade, he got a phone call from a girl in his class at school inviting him to go roller skating with her. We knew there was a couple’s dance every night at the roller rink where they would hold hands and skate around. You read that right – second grade. They were 7 years old! Needless to say, our son did not go.
Are you ready for when your child gets asked out on a date for the first time or when your son or daughter wants to start dating? We don’t think any parent truly is. Dating opens the doors for a lot of possibilities parents don’t want to think about. But we need to not only think about, but do something about as well.
When it comes to dating, do you have guidelines or a plan to work from? Or do you think you will wait and deal with it when the time comes? We have found that most parents have expectations of what their kids will or won’t do when they are on a date, but they have not talked to their kids about them before they get hit by their kids with the big question, “So, can I go?”
When I (Joey) was a youth pastor, I worked on how to help teens and college kids have confident dating experiences when I saw how frustrated they were in their lack of understanding about the dating experience. I was surprised to find these teens didn’t feel comfortable talking with their parents about dating, even though one day they would want to bring “that special one” home to meet them. Why didn’t teens feel comfortable talking to their parents about it? These conversations need to be initiated by parents in a calm, non-threatening way. The last thing parents should do is leave it up to friends or even a youth pastor when you don’t know what their perspective on dating is.
All this is why we put together a 2-part video series with a workbook titled “Dating, Courting & Choosing a Mate, What Works?” Filmed before an audience of parents and teens, it’s designed to help both get on the same philosophical and practical page of what would work for them in dating.
I remember when our son was interested in a girl that grew up in a strong Christian family who had a very different dating philosophy than we did. It was challenging to work through the different viewpoints to get to agreeable standards that would work for both families. While in this process, our son decided the differences were too great and the dating relationship ended soon after.
We have heard from many families over the years how this video series helped them think through both courting and dating in a whole new way. Many have said they were thankful to see the differences in the standards families could have and how confusing it can be since the Bible doesn’t have a lot to say about dating itself, there is no right or wrong philosophy. These families have told us this resource helped them find their own dating philosophy that would work for their family yet not offend other families.
One Dad wrote us the following note after going through the session because his teen daughters were being asked out.
“My wife and I were having trouble figuring out how to give our girls an overall picture of dating. Joey and Carla gave us a grounded, logical approach that goes way beyond just teaching them the importance of remaining pure. This video series shares 4 levels of getting to know the opposite sex and how your teens can determine what each level should look like in the relationship they are in, looking to us for guidance along the way. My wife and I appreciate understanding how we and our teens can work together to make wise decisions regarding who their life-mate will be.”
Whether you use this teaching or not, we hope you will get prepared with a blueprint for the framework you want to use when your kids get to be teenagers. You will want to be ready to help them learn how to go through the process of finding a life mate that will help them live for Christ and bring glory to God through both their dating and marriage relationship. The day will come when they come to you and say “So, can I go?”