It can be tough for teens to know who their true friends are, and they may feel disconnected from parents. This makes it tempting to look to a dating relationship for comfort and love. Before we know it, teens are way too wrapped up with this person and lose who they are in the process.
This happened to me in high school, and I want to be diligent to help my kids understand that their identity is in Christ, not in a dating relationship.
3. What About Marriage?
Your 12-year-old probably isn’t considering who they’ll marry…but should they? It’s easy to separate dating from marriage. But ultimately we hope that our kids find that “one person” they can commit to for a lifetime.
Because marriage is eventually the goal, it’s vital that we teach teens how to protect their hearts. To help, my husband and I taught our kids to look at dating through the lens of the future spouse. “Treat the person you like/date as if they’re someone’s future spouse,” is our advice. It humbles them and changes the way they look at relationships. We don’t say this to pressure them to figure out who they’ll marry at age 15. However, if marriage is the goal, let’s practice putting everything through that filter.
I can’t claim to know how you feel about your teens and dating. But my final thought is about intentionality. Dating, if handled poorly, can cause wounds and scars that kids don’t need. It’s not all for “fun” when the heart is involved. So let’s make sure teenagers are secure in who they are and can handle dating with purpose.
This article by Leneita Fix, about questions to ask before dating, originally appeared here.