My son, if your heart is wise,

My heart will rejoice—indeed, I myself;

Yes, my inmost being will rejoice

When your lips speak right things.  (Proverbs 23:15-16 NKJV)

 

We are spending a few weeks discussing the issue of preparing a son for developing a relationship with a girl, and Dad’s role in the process.  This is perhaps one of the most important personal struggles that parents face as their children move toward adulthood.  It doesn’t matter if you have a girl or boy. 

 

The sexual revolution of our generation has led to an entirely misguided notion in many homes across our land that our children should be able to go after their sexual expressions without any direction or guidance.  We obviously disagree.  On the contrary, along with many Christian families, we believe that Biblical principle and parental control must be used to guide and protect our children as they develop their emotional and sexual drives.

 

As our son Josiah has been trying to convince Dad that he is ready for a serious relationship with a girl (whom we call Christiana, not her real name) at the age of 16, we have been requiring that he actively engage with Christiana’s dad to find out what her father’s opinion is of this intrusion into her life. 

 

What are the principles here?  There are several that we think need mentioning.

 

The first one is that every family is different.  Their convictions should be respected.  Although there are Biblical guidelines, we don’t think that either a “dating” or “courting” approach solves all the problems inherent in this dynamic situation.  The discussions available on these two issues definitely help.  However, we believe that there are too many factors in any particular family to demand an absolute position on one right way to approach this issue.  Each family’s theology, ethnic and family background, culture, religious tradition, Christian understanding, and much more will affect how the dynamic works itself out in practice. 

 

We want to err on the side of “liberty of conscience” in this discussion.  By that, we mean that it is really up to the parents to determine how their children will be encouraged to approach sexual matters.  We can give advice, but ultimately it is up to the father and mother to make the rules for their household.