Did you know kids like each other? Yeah, they actually develop crushes and start hanging out more. Next thing you know, they want to kiss each other! But, did you also know the Bible doesn't say anything about modern dating practices? So, what do we do? Do we teach our kids what worked for us? Or is there biblical Truth that applies to my daughter and her boyfriend? Join us today as we find out what God has to say about your child and their crush.
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Click "Read More" for today’s Episode Notes and Transcript.
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I recently made the observation on Facebook that the Bible does not directly address modern concepts of dating or even courting. But it does define three relationships between unrelated men and women:
And with all the recent (and necessary) talk about biblical masculinity and femininity specifically within the realm of relationships, let’s take a moment to discover God’s point of view.
But more on that in a minute.
Thank you to everyone who’s rated and reviewed us. Because of you, we now have a published 5-star rating on iTunes. Now, please understand that this doesn’t have anything to do with us trying to be popular or deal with our insecurities. I acknowledge that somewhere down the line we will receive more than one less-than-favorable rating. But when that happens, I want it to be because someone intrinsically disagrees with God’s Word. I don’t want to be the one who got in the way.
With that said, we appreciate any and all feedback we receive from you, because we want to grow and change more into the image of Christ. Recently, a listener commented on Episode 28 asking for more detail about how to teach your children about sexuality using just the Bible. This question intrigued me, and I plan to give you some specific examples in that area in the near future.
So, please keep the critiques, ratings, reviews, and comments coming. We love them all.
And don’t forget that PDF versions of all our Episode Notes are available at TruthLoveParent.com.
And now back to our discussion about your child and their significant other.
So, what does the Bible say about the relationships between men and women. Well, as I mentioned above, God only defines three possible relationships between guys and girls.
1. Husband & Wife – We’re going to call this relationship simply, “Same.”
Mark 10 quotes Genesis as it discusses one of the first relationships in God’s economy. It reminds us that one man is to leave his family, cleave to his one wife, and weave the two into one flesh. Within this relationship is a divine picture of Christ and the church with which no other relationship on earth can compare. I do believe the Bible teaches a complementarian view of marriage where men and women are intrinsically unique and equal in their being, yet -- just like the members of the Trinity -- function within the relationship with different responsibilities.
The Implications of the "Same" relationship on our children’s dating relationships are as follows:
Now that I’ve opened up that can of worms, let’s move to the second male/female relationship discussed in Scripture.
2. Saved & Unsaved – We’re going to call this relationship “Salt.”
The go-to passage for believers considering a relationship with unbelievers is II Corinthians 6:14, “Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness?” The admonition is clear and repeated throughout Scripture.
And there are two important implications here as well:
So, when men and women have a relationship, they’re either in a “Same” as husband and wife or an evangelistical “Salt” relationship as believers with unbelievers. But there’s one more. The last biblical relationship that might have any application to our kids and their crushes is this:
3. Saved with the Saved – And we’re going to call this relationship, “Siblings.”
I Timothy 5:2 is one passage that specifically defines how Timothy was to relate to the people in his ministry. He was to appeal to an older man as a father, older women as mothers, younger men as brothers, and younger women as sisters. The interesting note is that Paul adds to the description of how Timothy was to treat the ladies . . . Paul adds “in all purity.” This special attention should stick out to us. We are to relate to members of the opposite sex purely.
So, what are the implications on our relationships:
So, how does this relate to modern dating?
If those are the only relationships defined for unrelated men and women, which one/ones should we turn to for guidance on dating?
What does this kind of dating relationship look like?
Picture a line in your mind. This line should have two endpoints. Let’s put our daughter on the left and her boyfriend on the right. Or, you can do it however you want if you don’t have a girl. It doesn’t matter. It’s your imagination.According to the world’s model of dating, the only goals for either of them in this relationship is to live for him/herself, live for the other person, or try to balance living for self and my significant other. To a Christian, the middle one sounds more biblical. But none of these options is godly.
Living for oneself is Satan’s strategy for life, and we all know how well that’s worked for him. For such a relationship to be successful, our daughter must be living for herself while her boyfriend must be living completely for himself. Stop for a minute and think about some relationships you know that are like that. How successful are they? They’re not. They’re generally abusive physically, emotionally, or both. They’re a wreck.
But what if each lives for the other? That sounds good, right? Nope. Not really. Anything that we make more important than God becomes an idol. If our daughter makes her boyfriend the center of her universe, she’s breaking the first commandment that she should have no other gods in her life. Her’s and her boyfriend’s first and greatest priority should be God . . . even in their dating relationship.
“Thou shalt have no other gods before me.”
And the last option of trying to balance living for me and my girlfriend, is just a synthesis of two dating Failure Philosophies.
So, using a line is not the best Christian-dating-geometrical-shape. Biblically speaking, we should be using a triangle. Why? Well, let’s imagine our two points at the bottom left and right of the triangle. One is our son or daughter, and the other is the person to whom they’ve romantically attracted. Now, let’s make the point at the top pf the triangle God.
What happens if your child and their crush stop living for themselves or for each other and -- instead -- start living for God?
Well, we’re told to draw near to God, and He will draw near to us. So, as each of them travels up the triangle toward God, look at what happens to the space between the two points. I know, this is getting harder to imagine, and maybe you visual learners need to draw this out as we talk. But I’ll tell you what happens.
As the Triangle gets smaller as the two bottom points get closer to the top point, the two bottom points also get closer to each other. The space between them diminishes.
Here’s the spiritual lesson: The closer our child and their crush get to God, the closer they’ll get to each other.
And, as a side note -- this works in every relationship: including the one with you and your kids.
Now, picture this -- a born again boy and girl, who want nothing more than to glorify their God in their relationship:
Imagine what type of relationship that will be. Even if they realize God is taking their lives in different directions, when they finally “break-up” they will be more sanctified because they’d been together. Yet, there will be no regret and no ill will. And if they stay together and eventually weave into one flesh, they will have built a foundation that most married couples wish they had laid.
So, What does the Bible say about your kids dating?
Not much. At least, not about our culture’s concepts of dating and courting. But it talks a lot about relating to each other.
We need to share God’s truth with our kids. We need to help our children understand that they should help their brothers and sisters in Christ more like Him regardless of whether or not they feel romantically attracted to them. That kind of person will not only be well-liked by fellow believers who evermind God’s Word, but they will also look very attractive in the swirling pool of self-promoting suitors.
So, what are our takeaways:
Please don’t forget about our Episode Notes which I’ve linked in the description. This PDF may be helpful in training your children about how to glorify God as they deal with the opposite sex.
And join us next time for another episode on Love. It’ll be a much shorter one, but it’s still super important as we try to apply to our parenting the verse “Love covers a multitude of sin.” Depending on how we interpret that, we’ll either please the Lord and help our children grow through their bad choices, or I’ll fail in my parenting.
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And don’t forget to leave us feedback. Tell us how we’re doing in the comments, rate and review on iTunes. And share this episode with your friends.
Parenting your kids through their crush years and their dating years can be very intimidating -- especially in the hyper-sexualized culture in which they’re growing up. But our God is almighty and all-knowing. He has the perfect plan for your kid’s relationships!
So, go be that Ambassador Parent and teach your kids His plan for their lives.
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