I want to make a quick little statement before I continue this post – this post is not for all teenagers. I know a couple teens in relationships (LATE teens, never ever ever date before you’re 16 please) that are completely God-centered, and just amazing. I also know a few older people who dated in their teens and have such amazing, Godly marriages. And I look up to them so, so, so much for that. But this world, and the teenagers in it (myself included) has changed a lot in the last few years. This generation…I am sincerely concerned for this generation. And one of my concerns is with how early they begin dating. Yes, I am old-fashioned. I plan on courting, and I plan on saving my first kiss for my wedding day. I plan on doing side-hugs until, at the very earliest, engagement. I plan on waiting to hold hands until I’m engaged. Yes, I am that conservative. But here’s the deal – those are my convictions. And if you kiss, hug, hold hands, before you’re married, that’s okay. As long as you can protect yourself from temptation and stay away, and keep the relationship Christ-centered. If you decide to date without chaperones, that’s okay. I’m not going to force my opinions on this matter on anyone because a lot of these beliefs are very personal for me, but here’s the deal…
Teenagers should not be dating.
I wish I could underline that.
When we are teenagers, especially in the type of world we’re in right now, we need to be focusing on God. We need to be putting every ounce of our energy on our relationship with Jesus Christ. We need to be focused on Him, not a boy. (or girl, dear male readers.) In the last couple of years, I have seen some teenagers that I know get in relationships, and go so, so downhill. Because they have no restrictions, no chaperones, no rules, no boundaries. I’ve watched these young kids sit and make-out with no respect for the people around them. I’ve seen this in churches. And this, I blame on the parents.
No, I’m not blaming parents for their children’s mistakes. Us teenagers can be unruly, I’ll be the first to admit that. We don’t always listen, but you know what parents need to be doing? They need to stop this. They need to force rules and force boundaries on these kids so that they’ll get their heads off of sexual and romantic thoughts at such a young age, and get their minds on the gospel and the fact that they aren’t even thinking about their Savior anymore. They need to start respecting the Man who died for them enough to respect their bodies and minds.
Dear parents, teenagers aren’t strong. We need boundaries. Please, please set them. Don’t let your kids go off and date without supervision. This will only lead to heartache and sexual immorality.
I’ve been reading a book by Elisabeth Elliot, and she began telling the story of her first romance with a man (who later became her husband.) and how long they waited to be together. I mean, these two young people were sold out for Christ and they guarded their hearts and purity with everything they had in them. The man sent her a letter after they’d met after a long time apart, and he apologized for touching her cheek, saying that he felt as though he’d gone too far physically and disrespected her heart, because he knew she wasn’t his until they were married. She was God’s.
We need that kind of respect for ourselves.
I am convinced that the human heart hungers for constancy. In forfeiting the sanctity of sex by casual, nondiscriminatory “making out” and “sleeping around,” we forfeit something we cannot well do without. There is dullness, monotony, sheer boredom in all of life when virginity and purity are no longer protected and prized. – Elisabeth Elliot.
There is no respect for purity anymore. And we must remember that purity isn’t just a physical thing, but mental as well. I fear so badly for my fellow young people, because I know how hard it is in this time full of sin to stay pure. And when we are shown an open door to dating, when we are given so much freedom, we will stumble. We will fall. We must remember how important the purity of our hearts is. How are we protecting our hearts as young people? Parents…are you helping your kids to protect their hearts? Or are you simply allowing them to go and give pieces away little by little? Teenagers are immature by default. Your teenager may be the most mature one out there, but we are lacking something. We are lacking experience, and we don’t know how to guard our hearts or our bodies.
Again, I ask…why are teenagers dating? Or should I ask…why are we allowed to? Of course, I’m speaking to Christian teens and parents. We know the Biblical rules on love and courtship, we know how God feels about purity..what are we doing in response? Are we striving for purity?
We are given this time of sacred singleness for a reason. I pray that we will all wait for His timing, and not rush things.
I realized that the deepest spiritual lessons are not learned by His letting us have our way in the end, but by His making us wait, bearing with us in love and patience until we are able to honestly to pray what He taught His disciples to pray: Thy will be done. – Elisabeth Elliot