Authors Advise Teens on Dating, Dressing and Being Godly
- Jim Brown and Jody Brown Agape Press
- 2003 10 Sep
A new book on teen dating takes a frank look at relationships, encouraging teens not to dump their entire existence into a junior high or high school crush.
Justin Lookadoo is a juvenile probation officer, author and speaker whose sense of humor and no-holds-barred message connects with kids of all ages. Hayley Morgan is a former Nike employee who developed and created Extreme for Jesus, a multi-million unit selling brand for teens. Together, they authored Dateable: Are You? Are They? (Spire Books 2003) (rudateable.com), in which they tell teenagers that whatever dating relationship they are in right now, it won't last.
Lookadoo encourages teen girls to keep their "emotional virginity" by not looking for bonding, acceptance, and love from their boyfriends, who will use that to get what they want. "[The relationship] will not last," Lookadoo says, "and yet guys are going to lie to the girls to get what they want -- and what they want is sex."
His co-author chimes in, saying guys are not the only ones to blame. "The biggest part that we always tell [the kids] is that girls lie to themselves to get what they want," Morgan says. "The problem is not necessarily that guys are lying, it's just that girls are interpreting what [guys] say in different ways. They don't understand."
Lookadoo, assuming the role of a teenage boy, says: "We don't lie .... we just don't mean it 'like that.'" To which Morgan replies: "Kids wouldn't understand that part so well. Girls understand the fact that he's lying much better than 'we don't mean it like that.'"
Morgan says the idea of being "dateable" has nothing to do with dating, but rather being the person that God created you to be. She says the book has prompted teenage girls across the country to change their outlook on life, particularly their view of modesty.
"Even Christian kids -- especially girls -- don't understand the impact of showing off their bodies -- their midriffs, their breasts. They don't understand what it's doing to boys," she explains.
"But by the time we get done talking to them, which is pretty straight 'in their face,' they want to throw away half of their clothes," she says. "We're seeing a lot of them wanting to change their lifestyle after hearing one talk -- or a lot of them, after reading the book in one day."
Morgan says she often tells teenage girls that "if what you're showing is not on the menu, then keep it covered up."
Heather Whitestone McCallum, a former Miss America, would agree with Morgan. Speaking to a group of women last month about dressing modestly, McCallum said that too often, women -- and especially young women -- are wearing clothing to church that detracts from the worship of God. "It's very tempting for men, because it's showing too much skin," she said.
The former Miss America is not alone in her concern about how female believers are dressing. A growing number of prominent Christian women are speaking out about the kind of attire they are seeing teenage girls and other women wear to church on Sunday mornings.