As the director of a Christian therapeutic program, I’ve had to pray extensively and think deeply on some things. As Christian parents of teenagers, have we ever really thought deeply about why we allow our kids to do certain things while prohibiting other things?
For instance, many Christian parents have prohibited television in their homes. I don’t, but I have reasons and plans in place to limit television liabilities. This is a subject for another time. For now, what I want to discuss is the topic of teenage dating. Why, as Christian parents, do we allow our teens to go on dates in 21st century America un-chaperoned?
To do this is like putting our kids in a swamp full of alligators. Do we really think we are not exasperating our kids when we allow this? Of course, I’m generalizing. Not every male teen is going to be overcome by the temptations that public school and today’s sexually charged culture presents. And not every female teen is going to be tempted to succumb to the sexual pressures placed upon her by a hormonally charged young men.
What I’m trying to get across to parents is that there is a much greater chance that teenagers, as faithful in church as they might be, are more likely than not to still be just the average teenager I’m talking about. Be open to the fact that your teen may not be the exception to the rule of my generalization.
You must understand that the average teenager today doesn’t think and reason like the average teenager a generation ago. There are also a myriad of temptations today that didn’t exist even a decade ago. In addition, the cultural attitude toward sex before marriage has changed drastically in recent years.
No, sending your teenager off on an un-chaperoned date doesn’t mean you’ve committed the unpardonable sin. As I see it, it just makes you un-wise.
Remember Ephesians 6:4, which admonishes fathers not to exasperate their children. Also, remember Matthew 18:6 and Luke 17:2.
These passages are just a couple that give clear warning not to put people in positions that will cause them to sin—especially young people—whether they be young in age or young in the faith.
Also, we are not to conform to the patterns of this world (Romans 12:2), but we do so when we cavalierly allow our teens to date un-chaperoned in 21st century America. As Christian parents a renewing of our minds may be in order,so that we may know God’s perfect will in everything– which I assume includes the topic of dating. This can also be found in Romans 12:2.
What are your thoughts on teenage dating in today’s culture, I’d love to hear your insight?