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.
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.
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.
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).
It’s not because they’re geeks or they’re ugly; quite the contrary. Several of the junior high moms keep asking my 13-year-old to convince their own girls of that fact, because they feel their girls are too boy crazy. I’ve written about this before, and we are definitely not all in agreement on this one, because many people don’t see anything harmful in dating when kids are teens.
They’ve both been asked out many times, but they both give the same answer. It helps prepare them for real relationships, so the story goes. Josh Harris’ book I Kissed Dating Goodbye changed my mind, but it was only the first in a number of things that did it.
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.