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He glanced at her in the seat next to him and thought, .Usually Bill and his daughter made small talk on their brief ride home. Bill was concerned about the growing emotional distance between them. for now.” A tense silence filled the car as it eased forward and stopped in the driveway.* Bill is definitely a courageous dad, pressing into a relational hot spot where most parents fear to tread.Our teenagers would all say that their prom dates were a lot of fun. Many of the parents were involved with before-dance dinners, chaperoning the dance, and hosting after-dance activities at homes or rented facilities.And it was a good opportunity for them to practice their manners and learn how to behave in formal clothes. A teenager going on a first date at 17 is certainly not the norm in our culture.He hoped the conversation he was about to initiate would help close that gap. ” he asked, struggling to disguise the wobble he felt in his voice. Bill gripped the steering wheel and shot a glance into her eyes. Bill and his wife had talked before with Julie about God’s standards about sex, but soon she would be dating and making moral choices on her own. They were just a block from home, so gently but firmly, Bill pressed the final question: “Well then, would you mind telling me how far you intend to go? ” He stopped the car a few feet short of the driveway and feigned a look into the mailbox. If he had waited for a month, he wouldn’t have been ready for what she said. In our family the focus has not been on dating, but more on training our teens in their character and in how to develop a relationship with the opposite sex.
Bill smiled and probed: “You know, your mom and I have been talking about you and all those boys who call on the phone.” Julie squirmed uncomfortably in her seat. Instead, we are encouraging our girls who are still home to focus on the friendship side of their relationships with boys.
In light of our reformatted definition of dating, we have the following very general age guidelines for spending time with a friend of the opposite sex (these are for our children still living at home).
However, even with these guidelines, three out of four of our teens had their first real date to the school prom in their junior year at age 17.
Thankfully, God is still stronger than the world, and He wants to protect your teen in the midst of temptation.
Good news: Your teenager can maintain healthy, God-honoring relationships. You have the power to redefine dating for your teenager, using strategies that can help you and your teen to navigate relational waters.