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I always talk to my girls about how their aim should be to find someone to marry.And frequently, when we’re talking, we talk about what sort of person is important.I want this post primarily to reflect how I raised my kids to agree with this, but here are just a few of the reasons we’ve adopted this idea with our family: 1. If you’re too young to marry, you’re likely too young to date.The only repercussion of dating is perhaps a broken heart. Date too long, even if you sincerely love each other, and you open yourself up to a lot of temptation.My two girls are often the envy of some of the other moms in the youth group for one reason–they both have sworn off dating until they’re 18.(Here’s a video of my 16-year-old talking about why she’s not dating in high school).They want someone who loves God, who they can debate with, who will be a good provider, who will be good to them, who wants to have a close relationship, who doesn’t believe in divorce, who does believe in family.
In fact, perhaps even because you seriously love each other.All those legitimate feelings have nowhere to go, because you can’t marry yet. When you date a lot, you often leave same-sex friendships by the wayside, and these are the years that you need to learn how to be a good friend. Similarly, if you date a lot, you may decline other important things, like going on missions trips, or taking jobs, or doing some ministry you might love, because the person you’re dating isn’t involved. We can discuss more in the comments, if you’d like, but I frequently get moms “in real life” asking how I got my girls to agree not to date, and so I’d like to share it with you moms “in cyber space”.And if your kids aren’t teens yet, read on, because you have to start these things when they’re young if they’re going to be effective later!You can’t wait until they hit puberty and then start lecturing them on how dating is counterproductive and can be harmful. Otherwise you’ll just end up getting into a fight about it.Your kids likely have friends who all want to date, and it’s very hard to go against the tide unless you’ve been brought up to believe that that’s what you would do.
Teach them, from a young age, that we as a family believe in marriage, not dating, and it’s better to wait until you’re ready for marriage.