Some practical exercises that we can use to teach our kids to date God’s way are below:

  • Recommend that your teen and their date pray together. It may sound awkward at first, but just “talking” to God before or during a date is a powerful way to keep the relationship focused in the right direction.
     
  • Teach your teen that being a good listener can make for a great date. There’s no need to solve their date’s problems, but listening is a huge part of showing respect in a relationship.
     
  • Suggest your teen do a devotional with their date. This is a great way for your teen to find out if there are “deal breakers” in the relationship. For example, if your teen is dating someone of a different religion, recognizing that there are things they cannot agree on might ultimately be the end of the relationship. It’s better to find out on a date than after they are married.
     
  • Give your teen some ideas for great dates that don’t compromise their convictions. A museum, local zoo, going for coffee or ice cream, a carnival, a fair or a Christian concert are great alternatives for a fun dating experience. Notice these are all PUBLIC places.
     
  • Always have and execute a plan if you find yourself in a compromising/uncomfortable position and let your parents know what your plan will be before you begin dating.
     
  • No more than two dates per week.
     
  • You must always inform your parents of your plans, as well as when plans change. Call your parents and if no answer, leave a message.
     
  • Modest dress is a must for all dates. (Discuss what that looks like before your daughter/son begins dating).

Parents, the most important thing to remember is to try to relax and help your teen enjoy these years. If your teen expresses no desire to date, don’t be alarmed. Some teens focus on careers, school work, scholarships and friendships before beginning their dating journey. Remember, you have great opportunity to speak into the life of your teen regarding their dating life and when you guide them God’s way, great things can transpire.

Shannon Perry is a conference speaker, author, recording artist, TV and Radio show host whose new book is entitled The Overlooked Generation. Prior to going into full-time ministry, Shannon taught for over 14 years in the public school system and holds a Master’s degree in Education and Counseling and is a Certified Instructor for Crisis Counseling and Parenting Classes. Her TV show, “Grace in High Heels” airs twice weekly on the NRB Network. Her website address is www.ShannonPerry.com.

Publication date: October 1, 2013