It is in human nature to want to be close to other people. In Genesis, God even says that he created us to be social. He created man and woman to be companions for each other and instituted the bond of marriage. God created the desire for a man to be with a woman and the desire for a woman to be with a man. He did this so we would become married and produce children. But how does dating fit in?
What Is Dating?
Gods wish is that we live in harmony with the people around us. If we follow God’s laws, it makes relationships with other people peaceful and happy. Of course, there may be the occasional problem, but it is nothing that you cannot pray about and work through.
Part of getting along with others includes relating with the opposite gender. This is dating. When you are dating someone, you are simply getting to know them better. You are becoming their close friend and experiencing life with them. You see how they react in different situations, you learn their views on all sorts of topics. Dating does not have to have any sort of romance it is simply getting to know someone of the opposite gender and being their companion.
When dating becomes serious and a couple decide they want to proceed toward marriage, it becomes courtship. During this time, a man and a woman have to make the very serious decision of whether or not they are compatible enough for marriage. After all, marriage is for a lifetime, so it is not a decision to be taken lightly!
Many teens confuse these two things. They feel that all dating has to be romantic in nature, when it does not. Parents should be the ones who set the rules for dating like how old a teen must be before dating, how often their teen can date, and whether they can handle one on one dates in a mature and Christian fashion.
What Kind of Date?
“Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counselors there is safety.” (Proverbs 11:14)
Group dates are best for teen girls. It helps them get relaxed around the opposite sex and enjoy social activities with them. With a group date, there’s no pressure to get physical with a member of the opposite sex. Teens can socialize and get to know one another in a very friendly environment. It is a good way to foster friendships that may eventually lead to one on one dating.
Also, group dating allows teen girls to interact with many teen boys. So often, teens latch on to one person and begin dating without even considering that there may be others who are more compatible with them. It is best for them to meet lots of teen boys and interact in group dates so they are able to make an informed decision about the type of boy they would like to date one-on-one.
It is important to date within your faith. Since eventually your daughter may choose a spouse from her group of friends, they should all share the same faith and values. People who share the same faith and values have a bond that is stronger than those who do not. They will be able to grow together as Christians in the church, pray together, and serve God together. Dating someone outside your faith may lead you away from your faith and away from God.
In the End
The purpose of dating is to get to know members of the opposite gender and become friends with them. When a friendship leads to thoughts of marriage, then a courtship may begin. In the end, God wants a man and a woman to be joined in the bonds of marriage. This is the end goal of the process and will result in a happy future for your teen daughter.