Dating Trap Avoided
Through Emotional Abstinence
by Michael Farris
(This was written many years ago, but the
truths presented herein are timeless.)
Vickie and I have two teen-aged daughters ~ one is in her late teens. They are clearly and objectively attractive girls. But neither has ever been on a date. And as far as we are all concerned ~ girls and parents alike - there is no likelihood that there will be any dates in the near future.
Vickie and I are of the opinion that we have not invested more than a decade in home schooling attempting to raise godly children just to have all this hard work thrown away by allowing our girls to marry some unprepared spiritual midget.
Our older daughters have committed themselves to the idea that they will pursue a relationship with a boy only when it is consistent with these three principles:
1. Both the young man and I are prepared for marriage.
2. I am investigating this particular young man because he appears to meet the spiritual standards my parents and I have agreed upon for a husband.
3. I find him to personally interesting and attractive.
The vast majority of people engage in dating based solely on the third criteria. I know I did.
In home schooling circles there is a lot of talk about courtship versus dating. The major difference between courtship and dating is discovered by simply following all three of the above-listed criteria rather than engaging in dating based solely on personal attraction and interest.
Dads have a special responsibility to secure their children's commitment to following all three of the above principles in relations with the opposite s_x.* Don't wait until they are 16 or 17. You will have waited far too long. I can't remember for sure how young our children were when we first began discussing these matters, but I know that by the time our oldest daughter was 10 or 11 years old, serious discussions were underway.
In fact, it is never too early too start teaching your children a different standard from the world. When I was growing up, it was expected from the earliest ages that every boy would have a girl friend. I can remember the name of my "girl friends" in second grade, third grade, and fourth grade. Three different girls. This set a pattern for many years of my life. The cultural expectation was that all of us would be pairing off into romantic relationships more than a decade and a half before any of us could legitimately think of marriage.
These early relationships were not harmless. Not only did they set bad patterns, but also encouraged emotional commitments that seemed to pop up from time to time for a number of years.
By the time I was in junior high, some of my friends were engaging in s_xual intercourse. After all, they had been "going with girls" for years and were tired of waiting for the "real thing." I was considerably more innocent in this area than some, but I was not totally unscathed. I paid a great price for this involvement.
Vickie and I have raised our children with different expectations. Any discussion of boy-girl relationships is always in the context of a possible marriage partner. As a consequence, even our beautiful, blonde 17-year-old daughter has never had a boyfriend. And she has no regrets about this. Obviously, we are thrilled.
The same is true of our 15-year-old. And our 12-year-old. Many other girls their age are already seriously into dating and more.
Let me re-state this preventative principle: From the very earliest ages, raise your children with the understanding that the whole area of boy-girl relationships is to be reserved for the time of life just prior to marriage.
I know for a fact that I was indoctrinated into the "religion" of secular humanism through secular education. But the damage done to me by that indoctrination was less severe and easier to correct than the societal philosophy of early dating.
The vast majority of parents want their children to abstain from s_xual relationships until marriage. However, we have failed to see that abstinence should include emotional abstinence as well. In other words, if we permit our children to develop boyfriend-girlfriend relationships before they are ready to get married, we are simply asking for s_xual temptation, and in many cases, s_xual trouble.
Michael Farris is the President of
of which we were members for many years.
He has written a variety of books for homeschoolers.
Please check out this website.
To order How a Man Prepares His Daughters for Life
by Mr. Farris, go to this webpage at the H.S.L.D.A. website:
To order The Homeschooling Father: The Key to Success & Sanity go to:
The H.S.L.D.A. bookstore begins at this page:
I got this background at:
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