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4 Moms of 35+ Kids Discuss Dating and Courtship

This week The 4 Moms of 35+ Kids are discussing dating and courtship.

I will come right out and say that I have absolutely no experience in this area whatsoever.

Our oldest is 17 and so far we have not yet had questions, requests, or petitions. Since we do have 8 children and they are all perfectly lovely people, we do expect to have to address it at some point in the near future, so here are some of our thoughts.

  • We don't do the boyfriend/girlfriend thing.

It was recently revealed to me that it was being said in certain circles that a certain one of our pre-teen girls may or may not have a "boyfriend". We made it clear to our girls that the boy in question is a very nice boy and that he is indeed a friend, but our little girls do not have "boyfriends".

There have never been texts or phone calls between the two. They don't sit together at church. They do talk before and after and exchange favorite books. Just like friends. Which is what they are.

  • Being alone with a boy/girl you are attracted to is not a good idea.

I have heard of parents making guidelines for their dating children such as no boyfriends allowed in bedrooms, no boyfriends in bedrooms with doors closed, no sitting on beds with boyfriends, no being horizontal in bedrooms with boyfriends, etc.

The thing is, the same things that can go on in bedrooms with boyfriends can go on in cars on dark roads, on the back row of the movie theater, in an empty class room after church, and just about anywhere else where prying eyes are bound to be absent.

Which is why we expect to send little sisters with prying eyes and loud mouths anywhere and everywhere any of our children go when they are with someone of the opposite sex that they consider to be spouse material.

  • Kissing leads to inappropriate touching and inappropriate touching leads to sex.

There I said it.

And now I will go ahead and point out that which seems to be unpopular to point out these days: Sex outside of marriage is sinful and displeasing to God. Because of that we will try our best to make it very difficult for our children to be tempted by it.

I understand that some will and have called us "helicopter parents", "overprotective", "smother mother", and more for these ideas. I am fine with that. I have been called worse.

Our goal is to make it easy for our children to offer their bodies "as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God" by not transforming to the pattern of this world. (Romans 12:1-2)

And in case you are wondering, here is what we do about that vaccine for sexually transmitted diseases.

Now, be sure to see what the rest of the 4 Moms team has to say on dating and courtship.

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  1. Connie, I want to meet you in person some day so I can hug your neck. That is all.

  2. In the case of your daughter who has a male friend, how do you handle them spending time together? Do they only see each other at church?

    This hasn’t come up in my household yet, but I grew up having an easier time making male friends than female. My parents are quite liberal and pretty unstructured, so I’m interested in tips on handling that in a less risky fashion (no, I did not do anything I have cause to regret, but I could have if I wanted to).

  3. We spend a lot of time talking to our older kids about this. It has really helped. Now our oldest daughter is 19 and is so committed to following these “rules” herself. She is seeing so many people around her falling into temptation with their relationships and it has just made her more committed to herself.

    I really don’t think this is an area where we can be too protective. It is worth it!

  4. I find more courting materials aimed at girls/young ladies. Any suggestions for the young men? I mean besides being such an awesome mom and wife that their standards are set so high that he won’t even look at most women.

  5. Perfectly said, Connie. What a blessing that your 17 year old isn’t causing you problems in this area 😉 — nice to keep them innocent for a while.

  6. Amen! We do not do the whole girlfriend/ boyfriend thing. We do not encourage our older kids to pretend to have adult relationships by “dating”. We have been teaching our boys and girls about the differences between dating and courtship. We are encouraging them to keep their eyes on God and allow Him to direct their path to marriage and the person He has made just for them! Great post!

  7. Nice post. Thank you for sharing how your family handles this topic.
    Our 21-yr old daughter is now in a courtship relationship, and recently they got to the ‘hand-holding’ stage, which is as far as they ever want the physical to go before marriage. They were surprised at how NICE that was, and how brought up even more emotion and how it was easier to sit close together, be drawn closer together. They’ve backed off, because they are choosing to wait. Physical touch is AMAZINGLY powerful.

  8. It’s so nice to know that I am not crazy. Thank you ;-).

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  10. Your kids are lucky to have you for a Mom!

  11. Oh Mama you couldn’t be more right: “Kissing leads to inappropriate touching and inappropriate touching leads to sex.” Anyone who says otherwise is just plain lying.