I am writing this to help clear up some of the confusion in church culture about dating and the biblical model of how relationships are to honor the Lord. Quite frankly, the Body of Christ has become rather loose in the biblical standard of relationships and instead of guiding the next generation into purity, have opened up the door to unrestrained, unsupervised and undisciplined morality, that more often leads to hurt, loss of virginity and confusion about the will of God in such matters.
Parents: Consider that finding a mate in the scripture was not a random act but had the involvement of the entire family. The guidance of the Holy Spirit was taught over emotional attraction. Courtship meant that alone time and physical contact was limited. Paul’s words to Timothy are more relevant than ever: “Treat the younger woman as sisters with absolute purity (1 Timothy 5:2).” It would be hard to imagine Paul approving of the long make out sessions we think are normal now, particularly with one’s sister! The purpose of this was not to promote weirdness but to avoid an all too frequent occurrence of sexual immorality and the hurt, pain and shame that come with no boundaries.
In light of this, let me ask 5 questions to parents:
- Do you believe God has given to you the spiritual sense to know which relationships are right for your kids? If you know Jesus, he has, so don’t neglect or fail to guide this process with your direct involvement. Psalm 127 says “Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in one’s youth.” We are the ones who aim the arrows and have been given that responsibility by the Lord.
- Are your children more passionate about spending time with Jesus or with their romantic interest? Most spend more time texting, talking and hanging together, than with the Lord; hence our lack of spiritual power to impact this culture and their boredom with church. How sad that we have made this mistake and support this. Much of the time, parents are trying to live the lost memory of their own teenage years through their kids, using them as a surrogate thrill and have forgotten Solomon’s words to “not awaken or arouse love before its proper time (Song of Solomon 8:4).” This may not seem that important until we realize that emotional needs can only be filled, ultimately with Jesus. There is a long list of people who are searching for someone to take away their loneliness and forget only Jesus “satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things (Psalm 107:9).”
- Have you forgotten when you were young with the strong influence of hormones and God-given desires that are only to be fulfilled in marriage? Why would we want to subject our kids to the same temptations without giving them better oversight than we received ourselves? We have a responsibility to follow a biblical model of safety and spiritual covering to protect the morality of future generations.
- Are the spiritual leaders you take counsel from cautioning and guiding you through this process or are they “giddy” too, promoting the modern version of romantic interests and putting themselves in the discussion where only you, as the parent belong? I would be cautious of any spiritual leader who would encourage teens hooking up and would run from them! They do not have God’s mind and have forgotten their role as shepherds to protect and cover. As the Lord told Jeremiah “I will give you shepherds after my own heart, who will guide you with knowledge and understanding (Jeremiah 3:15.).”
- Are you confident of God’s grace to help you as a parent to navigate through these challenging years? He is the ultimate counselor and has promised to guide and direct you through each season of life. Trust God, His grace is enough. “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness ( 2 Cor. 12:9).”