5 Do’s to Prepare Young Christians for Dating
“…and you shall warn them about the statutes and the laws, and make them know the way in which they must walk and what they must do.” Exodus 18:20
Teaching and guiding your children do not stop when they enter their teenage years. In fact, this is one of the most crucial moments that they need you as a parent and a friend. This is the period when they get involved with romantic relationship. Being a parent is a lifelong journey and it continues even if your children are now adults. As Christian parents, we want the young Christians to learn the Christian values and ways of dating to make it easier for both of you. So, here are the 5 Do’s to prepare young Christians for dating:
1. Have an Open Communication
Encourage an open communication with your children. Let them freely ask you about anything, from questions out of curiosities and yes, even crushes. All topics must be openly discussed and there should not be off-limits topics. Having an open and regular age-appropriate communication will be the foundation for helping them in the dating process. Also, they will earn that the key to a healthy relationship is through open and good communication. Teach and train your children to prioritize communication. So, when they enter a romantic relationship they will be armored with the tools to open communication that will love and forgive.
2. Read Inspirational Books
Read different books with your children, including Christian books on dating and marriage. This reading activity with your teens while they are still young will bring spark for a healthy conversation plus wisdom that they can apply when they start dating. Christian books about dating and marriage have a connection with God’s word which will lead them to the right way of dating, the Christian way. Reading the bible, specifically the books of Proverbs impart knowledge and wisdom on choosing a godly partner.
3. Don’t Let Them Date Early
Dating should be discouraged, especially during teenage years — and you will save your kids from premature relationships, heartbreaks and unwise decisions. Teens deal with so much drama during this stage, romantic relationships will just make the drama even bigger. Tell your teenage kids that the Bible has category for friendship and marriage, but none for casual dating. The sacredness of dating must be instilled into them. Tell them that it is not right to date just for fun with no desire for commitment at all. As written in Ecclesiastes 3:1, “To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven…”. And so, encourage them to wait until they reach the right age to date and get married.
4. Establish the Importance of Character
Talk with your children the importance of character. Character is really important in choosing friends, and what’s more in choosing a romantic partner, right? Character is the key to a successful relationship. Tell them that romantic feelings and physical appearance will soon fade, but a good and godly character will not. Help them to learn God’s love and to pursue His Word above anything else. So, when they grow old they will base everything in the Word of God which is the best foundation.
5. Let Your Marriage be a Model of a Healthy Relationship
Prepare your kids by having a biblical and healthy relationship with your spouse. A relationship that is built on trust and faithfulness, genuine respect for each other and by keeping Christ as the center of your relationship is the best example that you can give to your children. It will definitely help them when they grow up, especially with their romantic relationship. Of course, your relationship is not perfect too, and there will be problems along the way, but that will teach them as well. Let your marriage be an inspiration to your children and not confusion or destruction.
As parents, the commitment to guide your children through life’s many complicated and difficult stages never stops. Help them understand dating and love the Christian way!