Jeneric Jeneralities ~ by JenIG

Ok, this week went way too fast.  But it was a good week, a really good week, and of course that would make sense if you take into account the third law of Universal Time Measurement, which  calculates that bad weeks (and / or boring weeks) extend doubly in direct proportion to the individual boredom factor and vice versa for a good week.  So my actual UTM engendered only a total net 3 days for the entire week. 


Onto other things….my friend Crystal emailed me earlier in the week.  I like her, and wish she lived closer because she is a fun lady to have discussions with.  Anyways, she said that her five year old daughter was already noticing boys – the cute ones in particular – and she wanted to know what we did with that sort of thing.  So I’ve been thinking about that over the last few days.


I remember being as young as three when I first noticed boys.  I don’t know if that is normal or not, but I remember being fascinated with romance and would declare different neighborhood fellows as my boyfriends.  When I was in the second grade I was head over heels with a boy named Randy Beers – who did not return my adoration – and it made me so sad that I went home every day after school and sang Barry Manilow songs until I cried.  Yes… in the second grade.  Ridiculous? Totally.  And nobody ever told me to stop acting like an idiot.  My poor mom almost encouraged that sort of behavior, because I think she sort of thought it was cute.  Left unchecked, as I became a teenager, I pretty much spun out of control and ended up paying big time for ‘a fascination with romance’.


By God’s grace, Geoff married me when I was 21, and as a direct result of that, soon after I started getting a clue on how to live for God and act sort of normal.  When Coie was five I started to panic.  I remembered how early those little romances started up, and sure enough, one day she came home from Kindergarten and declared her love for Bobby Something-or-other.  She even named her goldfish after him.  Bob the Goldfish.


And just a few months around that same time, I think God realized my desperation and I ended up ‘stumbling’ upon some really good resources. Incidentally, it was also around the same time I started learning about a crazy idea called ‘homeschooling’.   We began attending a new church, and there was a trend among these Christians who refused to acknowledge the phenomena of ‘dating’.  They said it had only been within the last 150 years or so where pairing up and spending large amounts of unsupervised time with someone who was not your spouse became acceptable, and then eventually normal.  Historically speaking, ‘dating’ was just not the way things were done — and that the divorce rate had something to do directly with the dating phenomena.    


These groups of new thinking Christians made claims that dating simply had no benefits – only pitfalls– and that it taught young people how to prepare for divorce. You find someone you like, knit your heart together with his, and then rip it apart.  Wait a few weeks and then do it again.  Pretty soon, you become very practiced at mini-marriages and mini-divorces.  This made a lot of sense to me (along with many other things).  So Geoff and I decided early on that our children would not do the whole dating / boyfriend / girlfriend thing.  And hopefully this would protect them from some of the consequences that we had to deal with from our bad dating choices.


So Crystals question was essentially, "what does that look like"?  Um.  That’s a good question.  And there are a ton of facets to it, and I’m sure there are a billion different ways that the whole ‘no dating’ thing is done in other families.   


So, before I go on a long tangent of what we do, I was curious if any other families out there have this no dating philosophy, and what does that look like in your home?  What are your plans? What resources have been helpful to you? Or, what do you wish you would have done differently?  


September 29th, 2007 - Posted in Uncategorized | | 0 Comments

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  1. M.M.M. said,

    on September 29th, 2007 at 6:15 pm

    Untitled Comment

    Oh, I thought you said "Praying" LOL. It said "Paying" the second time I read that in the, 2nd or 3rd paragraph or something…forgot which one.

  2. Mariel said,

    on September 29th, 2007 at 7:44 pm

    All I know is….

    ….my parents are NOT buying the whole "fake romance" idea–thank the Lord! And some young adult peers would–after hearing that from a TEEN–say that I was bonkers and dismiss me! No, biggie.

    By the way, thank you SO much for that wonderful comment, Mrs. Igarashi! It meant a lot to me.

    Love you and yours! (Tell Ryann I love, love, love her! Please.)


  3. Buckeyeblog said,

    on September 29th, 2007 at 8:25 pm

    Hello Sweet Friend!

    1st of all…please forgive me for not checking in or e-mailing lately…we're over our heads in school squeezed into volleyball season and all the travel to games and tournaments that goes with it!

    2nd…Oh, you've hit on a dear subject to me here! As you may remember, Jasper is almost 20 (eeek!) and Jenna is almost 17 (gasp!), and neither girl has ever been – or will ever go – on a date. Our "courting" philosophy begins with "if you're not old enough or ready to marry, why temp yourself or risk breaking your heart by being alone with a guy…dating…etc?"

    Jasper has had one very nice young man that shared a mutual "interest" in each other, they did alot with large groups of friends and his family or our family. I think they were only on one round trip alone car ride together and that was to go to his house to visit his family and back – about 10 minutes each way. By the way…we know his family VERY well and they are fellow homeschoolers. Well, after about a year of this, and many phone conversations, it has gently tapered off with very little grief and the friendship in-tact.

    Jenna, of course, is (at almost 17) far too young right now. Don't get me wrong, they ARE teenage girls and still giggle over some cutie at the mall or on TV, but no one is serious about anyone right now. (PTL!!)

    As part of our schooling, we read Josh Harris' classic "I Kissed Dating Good-bye" and his other 2 books. I HIGHLY recommend them. We've also read articles and books and listened to a couple of tape/CD series, like Reb Bradley's seminar "Preparing Your Children for Courtship and Marriage," (a little controversial, but over-all it was good) along with some wonderful CDs from Vision Forum. Barb Shelton – – has some GREAT articles.

    I am right with you in that I, too, see dating as "mini-marriages/divorces"…dress rehearsals…and that they can lead to a HEAP LOAD of Trouble (note capital T). Something I have told the girls, "No matter how much in love you and a guy may be, or even how dedicated a Christian he is, he is STILL a male. Love 'em as we do, trust them as we will, they look and think about us in a WHOLE different way. It's not their fault, that's just the way it is. If you don't believe me, ask Daddy." And the courtship idea – where families are VERY involved – can really keep thoughts, ideas and…dare I say…HANDS to themselves. 😉 I'm pretty frank with my girls and they are welcome to ask me anything. I think having that open door for confidential conversation and prayer is a MUST, especially between moms/daughters and dads/sons. We MUST be the people that our children and teens turn to when they really want the truth.

    Hope this helps. Don't forget for drop by my blog sometime.

    Blessings from Ohio, Kim Wolf<><

  4. HarvestMom said,

    on September 29th, 2007 at 8:43 pm


    In our family, we knew that we didn't want our children to date. We weren't sure how to do that! I've never read books on the matter. I just prayed and let the Lord lead. I believe it starts with finding things in common and practicing them daily. Don't wait until your daughter is 12 to teach her how to quilt or sew. Don't wait until your son is 15 to engage in a father-son project. Also, don't let youth groups or any groups take the place of fellowship with your own children. Of course, our children are sinners and have had our trials. Well, we are still having children, #10 due Jan. and our oldest is 20. So when Jessica (20) was young I kept her close. I spent time doing girl things with her and as a result she liked spending a lot of time with me too. We would get school done to do our hobbies together. I remember some evangelist saying, "Don't try to make your children your friends." I don't know, but I think he was wrong! This has brought us to the point where she is honoring our advice, especially about men. She also never collected friends like pennies, which we feel causes too much influence away from our wisdom. (Lord willing, widsom!) So, at 20 she still holds that there is one man for her. We talk about praying for what qualities she would like him to have. (I pray he has a good sense of humor because she is a tough one sometimes) Now, she does catch quiet a bit of attention, these boys just don't know her. She is able to laugh them off because of course they look at any pretty girl and she knows this. She has come home with some stories, and thank you Lord we can all laugh. We continually just pray that the Lord will let her one man surface.. and we will all surely know him when he comes. No dating needed.. Exciting isn't it!

  5. SchoolinRhome said,

    on September 29th, 2007 at 9:29 pm

    No dating necessary!

    We feel the same way. Our daughters are not at that point yet but this is what we plan to do with them. (all of our kids). They will read the books by Josh Harris. Ed Young is also a wonderful author and speaker on this subject. I think the young people can really relate to him. One analogy he uses is a corvette as your body and how you need to care for it and keep it valuable. Don't let someone jump in and go for a joy ride, etc.

    Thanks for posting this! I like to hear other's ideas on how they handle this! It is something we will definately be dealing with!


  6. Anonymous said,

    on September 29th, 2007 at 10:18 pm

    from Kathy P

    Well, I love answering questions like this. I shall share our story.

    For many years we thought those little childhood crushes were cute – now we don't think so (funny how things change as you get older) In fact, I use to call the boys in HS – shameful really.

    When our oldest turned 16 we had pressure put on us that we needed to "discuss" certain things and so I took a weekend trip with the oldest daughter – and discuss we did. She never appreciated the discussion in fact, she maintained for years it was mroe than she needed to know (I thought for sure there was something wrong with her not wanting to know things). Then she got betrothed and about two days before she was married I had another talk wtih her – and she looked at me and told me "now is the time, I am ready to hear this" – and so there is a great lesson we learned. We now know at least three other familes among our group who have children who have betrothed and married and they said the same thing. In fact a wonderful quote from Corrie Ten Boom's was just recently shared and I know we agree – so let me share:

    ' Corrie, some knowledge is like a train ticket. When do I give you your train ticket?' 'Just before boarding, Father.' 'Yes. And so it is with knowledge in some areas of life.'

    So – how do we handle these things: Even at barn dances only brothers dance with sister or little girls, sisters dance with their brothers the only couples allowed to dance are the married or betrothed to marry. We tell our kids at young ages they are to keep their eyes on Christ and we remind the older children that if they thing about someone from the opposite sex they should remember likely they are looking at someone else's wife/husband.

    Thanks for letting me share.

  7. short said,

    on September 30th, 2007 at 1:10 am

    No dating for us…..

    We see that the principles for marriage are a shadow of things to come, basically a reflection in the physical of a spiritual reality. We who are the Betrothed Bride are waiting for our Bridegroom. When He comes for us, He wants to find that we have been faithful. Dating does not encourage faithfulness to a future spouse. Too much investing on too many levels, not only physical which is where most people put the emphasis.

    A betrothal is as important as a marriage because it is the institution of a covenant. It is the only time when a divorce is permitted – before the covenant is sealed.

    If a daughter has been raised to be a good wife and a son has been raised to be a good husband, both raised knowing what God's plans and purposes are for marriage, equipped with the Biblical tools for conflict resolution (forgiveness), and without romantic notions (perpetuated by the media) their marriage, based on AGAPE will succeed.

    We are all for arranged marriages here 🙂

    On a side note, I have 4 cousins who were married to spouses found through a match maker. As much as their religion is a man-made one, their marriages are strong and sure and proof that this is a Godly system and Biblical principles have blessings.

  8. Katrinas4girls said,

    on September 30th, 2007 at 5:52 am

    Untitled Comment

    Ok, you are a woman after my own heart. I couldn't agree more. I get so frustrated with this culture sometimes and their way of seeing so much as acceptable that really isn't. Thank you SO much for posting this!!

  9. SAMIAM said,

    on September 30th, 2007 at 10:40 am

    Untitled Comment

    I know me and my parents have decided I am NOT going to date. I don't think I would even if they did let me. I'm just not that kind of person.

  10. CaliCarolina said,

    on September 30th, 2007 at 3:10 pm

    Untitled Comment

    We just finished a group study of So Much More. In it, the authors pointed out something interesting. They said we should think of boys/girls as someone else's future husband/wife (as someone else mentioned above, I think). This really hit home with me. Just imagine your future husband/wife watching you with this person. Would he/she approve of your behavior? I thought that was a good way to put things.

  11. Anonymous said,

    on September 30th, 2007 at 3:53 pm


    Weren't you all taught about the DISASTROUS side effects of systems which oppress women? This notion of arranged marriages is abominable! The "going back to the old ways" lifestyle carries some historical baggage: isolated cultures which evolved into communities lacking different voices, a patriarchal system based on this antiquated idea of an innately superior male, being the ONLY voices of adult influence to your children (and other like-minded people, of course), practically forcing the women to perform a set of domestic duties. I do not believe I will able to visit the Homeschool Blog website any longer. As much as you all bemoan the ungodliness of this life, I bewail the ignorance and isolation, and subsequent arrogance, on this forum. I only hope to raise my children to know and love God. Teaching scorn and moral self-righteousness is the sin.


    Cary, N.C.

  12. Anonymous said,

    on October 1st, 2007 at 12:03 am

    This is sorta on the subject…

    What does one do if one spouse is for dating, but the other is for courting?


  13. Anonymous said,

    on October 1st, 2007 at 2:07 am

    Untitled Comment

    So glad such an important subject is being discussed. While the whole 'courtship' philosophy is somewhat 'new' to our American culture, God graciously gave my parents very practical wisdom when they were raising my siblings and me over 40 years ago. As a result, 3 of us PUBLIC (government:) educated children married our first (ever) boy/girlfriend…and the 4th married her second (ever) boyfriend. I cannot remember a time that my Dad (a pastor) was not saying to us (3 girls, one brother) "You want to only marry someone who loves the Lord, even MORE than you…Every person you date is a potential marriage partner…Don't let yourself get in a compromising situation…Men are visual….." It wasn't long before we were hearing, "YOUONLYWANTTOMARRYSOMEONEWHOLOVESTHELORDEVENMORETHANYOU….ETC"

    Along w/ that, were copious amounts of literature and articles for us to read (and we all liked to read) and lots of chatter about the kind of person we wanted to marry. My parents also made huge efforts for us to spend time w/ other Christian young people, since really, we were the only Christians in our public school….Upon HS graduation, we all attended at least one year of Bible College (great fun to be in an environment like that!) And along the way all 4 of us were truly blessed with Godly spouses. All of us who now have children are homeschooling…(Whew!) and still happily and thankfully married to our spouses (15+ years )

    Looking back, I realize my parents did not have a bunch or "rules", just a philosophy of "Glorify God in all we do" … How crucial, in what I can still hear my Dad saying "is next to salvation the most important decision you'll ever make!" 🙂 more thing…neither of my parents were raised in Christian homes, and actually my Dad wasn't saved until after they were married (and promptly went to Bible School and became a pastor:) So….prayer and the grace of GOD have much (everything!) to do w/ all this too!

  14. texasmom2002 said,

    on October 1st, 2007 at 9:22 am

    Thank you!

    Many wonderful ideas and thoughts. Thank you so much for the wisdom, and please, please, keep it coming.


  15. foxvalleyfamily said,

    on October 1st, 2007 at 9:57 am

    Untitled Comment

    Jen, I so completely agree!

    We are really hoping to avoid the whole 'dating scene' and plan to teach our kids about 'courtship' as well.

    What's really sad about the whole 'dating' thing is that because of peer pressure kids are pushed into it at such a young age. That's one of the main reasons we pulled our daughter out of school. In 2nd grade she was already being asked "what boy do you like?" "who do you want for a boyfriend?" – Ugh – NO thanks!

    Great entry!


    PS – I've nominated you for a couple of awards.

    (You don't have to do the whole 'pass it on' thing if you don't want to…but just know that you really DO 'make me smile!') 🙂

  16. Ruth said,

    on October 1st, 2007 at 10:54 am

    Untitled Comment

    I strongly do not believe in dating. I think you puts you in situations you are unable to handle and at an age that is far too young. Unfortunately today, the age seems to be getting lower and lower.

    I have purchased the book by Joshua Harris~I kissed Dating Goodbye along with the book Passion and Purity by Elisabeth Elliot and Handmaidens for Christ. I will be reading these with my 14 yo daughter to help her understand the difference between God's plan and man's plan.

    I know that when I was young dating was awful. I was completely unprepared for what lay ahead. I made many mistakes that I could not go back and change and regret. I will discuss all of this with my daughter and pray that God will give her understanding.


  17. JustGiveMeStarbucks said,

    on October 1st, 2007 at 1:50 pm

    <i>Untitled Comment</i>

    I'm editing here — I didn't like how my comment came across (if anyone had even read it yet, LOL). In a nutshell, what I was trying to say in my very long-winded comment is that we're still trying to figure out how this whole dating vs. courtship thing will work out in our home, and that, however our kids choose their future mates, it's vital that they have a solid relationship with God and a solid foundation of maturity. Courtship is a wonderful (and Biblical) idea, but without those two things in place, our kids can get hurt even when courting. That's all I was trying to say — that'll teach me to post a comment after taking an antihistamine!!

    Edited by JustGiveMeStarbucks on Oct. 2, 2007 at 1:15 AM

  18. lynan said,

    on October 1st, 2007 at 2:24 pm

    Untitled Comment

    Wow. I think you hit a nerve with someone!

    It's odd because we don't even think about the whole dating culture anymore. We went to a hs group function and someone introduced my big boys to one around their age and then felt the need to explain to me that he was 'ok'–his family was like-minded about courtship and all. It hadn't occured to me that he would be anything otherwise. Weird.

    Anyway, I try to make sure that what we read, surround ourselves with supports courtship and taking relationships with the opposite sex seriously. From when my boys are young we talk about preparing for marriage. That a young man should be prepared to support a family before seeking a wife (never about seeking a 'girlfriend).

    My oldest is 14. He still says he will be too busy to marry. I'm not sure if that means we're doing this right or not? lol

  19. MamaJ said,

    on October 1st, 2007 at 6:24 pm

    Untitled Comment

    We had the "no dating" policy in our house. Some of us kids stuck with it, one didn't. The one who didn't had a lot of lousy relationships, and ended up as a single parent, not in a good position. Of the ones who have, I have married, happily, to the first person I had a relationship with. My younger sister is now in a relationship of her own, no dating involved, and it's amazing to see. They talk to each other about things that need to change, problems they encounter, encouraging experiences they've had. They are completely open and honest with one another, without crossing a line into inappropriate discussions. They are almost never alone together, knowing that it becomes so much easier to put on a "false face" when no one who knows you is there to call you on it. That's my two cents.

    Mama J.

  20. MOMflippedisWOW said,

    on October 1st, 2007 at 8:22 pm

    Great post!

    I kidded with my daughter that she couldn't date till she was 30, but the reality is, we've always had a great and open relationship so we've been able to talk about many things including dating, etc…

    She's almost 18yo, and by her own choosing, doesn't date, yet. She believes in building strong friendships that will last her a lifetime and is waiting on one special someone for her.

  21. byourlove1 said,

    on October 1st, 2007 at 8:39 pm


    We are not doing the girlfriend/boyfriend thing here either. My children are still young, however I'm aleady telling my son of 8 about courtship. I don't want to suprise him when he is 15 with it. I'm always telling him, you need to find someone who loves Jesus more then they love you, he asks how will you know if they do? I say, trust me you will know! I love Courtship Connection with Kathy Morrisey. The site is


  22. LindaI said,

    on October 2nd, 2007 at 6:35 am

    umm… this is so worrysome to me.

    My dd is 5 and just asked me after church on sunday if she could marry a friend. She knows no marrying a family member. I said sure that is EXACTLY who you will want to marry. she said so I could marry John? Her best friend from church. I said well if you get older and you both love each other and he asks you sure you could. I said you just have to make sure you are best friends and both the same religion. You cannot date someone not a Christian. So she said – I think I am going to tell him on Sunday and see what he thinks about this. – uh oh! I said I do not think you should do that honey, Boys think that stuff is yucky right now at this age.

    But WHAM I was hit with something I am NOT ready to deal with! I need all the resources I can get. So all help appreciated here! thank you!

    But you know what my deep fear is? I worry if I do this with my kids…. noone else around us will. And all the good people will be taken and my kids will be loney for life. HOW SAD IS THAT! I need to take it to God and trust. It is such a foreign concept for me though that I am just afraid of it. But also faced with a real problem and decision.

  23. Aligirl said,

    on October 2nd, 2007 at 9:18 am

    Untitled Comment

    My kids are still pretty young, but we plan on doing the no dating thing. I am not quite sure what that will look like, or how it will work, but I am confident that God will give us the wisdom we need when we get there. I went through a lot of mini marriages and divorces when I was growing up in public school. And like you, it led to trouble.

    I am anxious to see what you have to say about it! I want to get as much information as possible now, so I will be ready in 9 years.


  24. srostollan said,

    on October 2nd, 2007 at 10:51 am

    Untitled Comment

    I have been watching the comments rise on this topic! Very informative! Thanks for the topic. We have been studying courtship for some time. It is funny. We have been trying to instill character into our children and training their hearts since they were young. We have used a lot of Doorpost curriculum and a lot of Courtship Connection things. Finally, when my oldest was about seven, I bought the video "God's Plan For Finding A Mate". I had complete peace after watching it. The neat thing, I saw why we were working so hard training them. It was like that video brought together the reason for doing everything we were doing. Now I have an almost 12-year-old (and younger behind her). God's plan has been part of our vocabulary the entire time. So many of the books said "do this, do that", but we never really understood why other than because God says. Without having a vision, there is no "end product" That video gave us the end product and why it is so important to have your child's heart.


  25. Anonymous said,

    on October 2nd, 2007 at 12:56 pm

    a response

    Lord knows I am not a perfect parent, but what does Gwen (the woman against the blog) want? Does she want our children to be thrown into sexual temptation on purpose… by us?!?! I can't imagine the pratfalls our blessed children would have to endure if we thrust them into the sin of this world, even within the confines of our Christian friends. I fully plan on arranging my six children's marriages. A few families and mine have already had several preliminary meetings about the arranging our respective children's nuptials, before they get minds of their own!. Some of my older sons and daughters have expressed some concerns, but how many times must I remind them that I am older, wiser, and that I am looking out for their best interests. We have also put ankle monitors on our daughters, not that they would ever sneak out. But just in case something were to happen, we could locate them within the hour. You can never be to cautious! Thank God for this righteous homeschooling forum, where likeminded individuals (sorry, Gwen!) can swap parenting strategies!

    God bless, Pam

  26. curiouscat said,

    on October 2nd, 2007 at 1:59 pm

    Untitled Comment

    I like that analogy of mini-marriages and divorces.. I'll have to use that one 🙂

    We have no-dating philosophy here too, but the kids are 15 and under so haven't arrived at the bridge yet. If *I* were to live it over (with current experience info intact), I would definitely not "casual" date. Actually meeting in groups is kinda scary too, most youth groups and even college Christian groups are "meat-markets".

    I am sort of wrestling with red-flags about online blogging friendships: Should I be concerned that girls are telling my sons that they are their first/only/best "boy" friends?

    btw I am searching for your post on "the cleanse" to link to a post on my blog. Can you send me a link please? 🙂


    aka HeartnSoul

  27. Anonymous said,

    on October 2nd, 2007 at 7:49 pm

    Untitled Comment

    Pam, are you kidding me? You sound like a crazy fanatic. I said I wouldn't check this site anymore, but I was tempted by the lunacy. Pam needs to check herself into the closest psychiatric ward. Ankle monitors? I should report you. Are you a Mormon?


  28. GAMama said,

    on October 2nd, 2007 at 8:06 pm

    Gwen, Pam same planted person?

    ROFL, I think Gwen and Pam might be fake posters! That was funny, ankle monitors. 😀 "Are you a mormon?" What? hahaha Why don't you sign in? Anonymous? This post is not even about arranged marriages. Sheesh, you two might even be the same person trying to cause a ruckus. Talk about weird. And funny.

    Edited by GAMama on Oct. 2, 2007 at 8:08 PM

  29. Anonymous said,

    on October 10th, 2007 at 4:55 pm


    I'm not sure what Gwen meant by "are you Mormon?" but I thought I would respond to it. As a member of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Mormon), I think the subject under discussion is extremely important and one that parents need to pray for as marriage is so important for our children. Our leaders in our church have counseled us that where it is appropriate teens do not group date until they are sixteen or single date until they are at least eighteen and that all forms of innappropriate contact be avoided. In some cultures members of the church do not date and I know some members in India do still have arranged marriages as life is very different there culturally. The husband and wife ought to pray with and guide their children to be able to choose those things that God would want them to do include marrying someone who will serve the Lord with all their might, mind and strength. Just wanted to clarify our views as I think there may have been some misunderstandings on the subject.

    Also, thanks, Jen for your blog and especially (today) your own comment on this post as it was very well said and so true.

    Melissa in Ca

  30. Tia Lynn said,

    on October 10th, 2007 at 10:57 pm

    Untitled Comment

    I read a great book called "Boundaries In Dating" that might be a good resource for those in the middle on the dating issue. I am of the mind that dating in and of itself is not the problem, but people are the problem. Where there are people, there will be mistakes, flaws, and perversion in the relationship arenas, whether it be dating, courting, or marriage. The issue should not be whether to date or not date, court or not to court..but HOW you date or HOW your court. People who serial date–Josh on Friday, Johnny on Saturday, flip a coin for sunday–will not harvest healthy intimate relationships. People who date without any boundaries, emotional or physical, will find themselvesin compromising situations and be bombarded with confusing feelings and difficult decisions.

    I dated a boy steadily before my husband. He was one of my best friends, so we decided to see if it could be more. We went to the movies, and the park, usually public places, and NEVER crossed physical boundaries, but we definitely dated. We eventually decided that we were great friends, but did not make for a good couple. Since we dated within certain boundaries our "breakup" was not ugly. We remain good friends to this very day. My experience dating that boy actually was a period of growing closer to God, learning what would best suit me in a mate, and in a strange way prepared me to recognize my husband when he came along. I dated my husband and have been married for nearly seven years now. But this experience is not BECAUSE of dating, it's because of HOW I dated.

    I've known many who have courted and did not get the opportunity to really get to know their spouse before marriage and had VERY rocky marriages as a result. The expectations were different. There was so much pressure once they began courting to follow through on marriage. Overbearing parents coordinated every gathering and conversation. Anyway, courtship has it's downside, too.

    My point is that dating in and of itself is not evil and courtship in and of itself is not either….but both are man-made systems..with a set of pros and cons…and NEITHER are divinely ordained. It all comes down to HOW we operate within whatever system we adhere to and if our decisions line up with the heart of God–respecting our potential mates, not compromising them by putting them tempting scenarios, pursuing potential mates with the hopes of future commitment and not just serial relationships. My concern is whenever a new system emerges or an old one resurfaces, there seems to be a tendency for it to become an idol…the only valid way of doing something…there is no leeway in certain circles for individuals to choose which "system" best suits them according to their weaknesses, strengths, and circumstances.

    Just some thoughts, sorry that was long! <><

  31. spencerschool said,

    on October 30th, 2007 at 4:41 am

    Wow, what a loaded question.

    I saw this post a while back and was waiting for time to really be able to respond. Well, here it is 4:30 in the morning and I finally have an opportunity. I am going to post a larger answer to this at my other blog and link back to this original question (I hope that is ok). First, I want to say that anything that is not done by faith is sin. Romans 14:23 So even a good thing, you can be doing and be doing it in sin. Having said that, I would say our best resource for a no dating philosophy is the Bible. I would also say that our no dating philosophy is different for boys and girls. The Bible sets different standards for daughters and sons. Numbers 30:3-8, says that a daughter living in her father's home is under his authority. Then Prov. 18:22, says that He who finds a wife finds a good thing. This leads us to see that the wife is to be found. She should not be out looking. We feel like the best thing for our daughters to fill their teens years with is preparing to be a Prov. 31 wife. However, our sons do need to be finding. That does not mean they need to be out dating but rather just looking for the qualities in a young lady that would be appealing. We have had the priviledge of seeing this process carried out in several young Christian people over the last couple of years and it is an unbelievalby sweet thing.



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