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Dating: It’s Not Just For Fun

by Dr. Kathryn Knight

“Dating is not just for fun.”

 It’s been a family saying for years but that does not mean that dating is boring!

It means that dating is not to be approached frivolously nor by young kids. The purpose of dating should be to get to know a man or woman with the thought that you are seeking God’s will to know if he or she should be your future spouse (big caveat here: the Bible says men marry women; women marry men. Period. See Genesis 2:24 and Matthew 19:4-6). That’s why dating at 13, 14 or 15 years old (or even younger) is a ridiculous idea. If a boy cannot support a girl, or a girl is not ready to marry and be a mom, then they as children do not need to begin a dating relationship. 

Help them stay pure

It is possible to arrive at the wedding alter with integrity intact, but it is hard these days to find someone who values that purity and innocence. For that reason, you need to talk to your kids about why dating is not just for fun, why they are not allowed to date at young ages, and what they need to decide before they reach dating age.

For instance, make sure your young folks consider the following:

At what line will they draw the boundary on intimate contact before marriage? 

Will they only date a committed, growing Christian? 

How many different people will they allow to have mental intimacy (best friend, personal information) with?  Do they plan on waiting to share that until they are sure the other person is “the one?”. 

It is a consuming trend

Our world is increasingly focused on sex and the biblical view of marriage between one man and one woman for life may be mocked by some. But, we are the parents. We need to teach our children that the decisions they make when dating and choosing a mate are second only to their decision to accept Christ as their Savior.

Don’t wait too long

Begin talking about attraction to the opposite sex during your young people’s puberty years. Keep your conversations light. Don’t keep up a constant barrage of lectures about the evils of premarital sex. Tell your children what the Bible says. Talk to your preteens about their increasing physical maturity and what to expect when they actually do begin dating. Remind them that the first and most important litmus test of a potential dating prospect is that the other person is a growing Christian, not just for fun. 

Sexual pressure is high for the kids of today, and even for many in the church. It is accepted that young folks will have multiple sexual partners before marriage. This is wrong. It is sinful and causes harm.

Sex is a beautiful expression of a lifelong commitment between a man and woman within the context of marriage. Begin now to teach your little ones and junior high kids that dating is not just for fun. Remind your young adults that God established relationships between men and women and that His plan is best.  Your children will never regret entering their (eventual) marriage with their purity intact and with no sinful past relationships.

They will always thank you for teaching them that dating has a purpose, and it’s not just for fun.

Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.

Proverbs 4:23

Dr. Kathryn Knight is a 20+ year homeschool veteran who has graduated with three of her five children.

Kathryn loves to find creative ways to make learning hands-on so brain synapses connect and her kids enjoy school and remember what they’ve learned.

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