Relationships are a joy. But they can also be painful, devastating, all consuming and overwhelming. As parents, we know this all too well and some of us try to do everything we can to protect our children from the possible pain of breakups, emotional rollercoasters and those girls or guys we are certain are nothing but trouble. In fact, most of us joke that there’s no way our little girl/boy will date until they hit 30!
But the truth is, they will date eventually and this can be a good thing.
What isn’t a good thing is when our kids allow any one relationship to define who they are so much that when the relationship dissolves, they are left broken and feeling like they have lost a sense of who they are.
What isn’t a good thing is when our kids allow any one relationship to define who they are so much that when the relationship dissolves, they are left broken and feeling like they have lost a sense of who they are. Even worse is when they feel like a failure because of their relational mistakes. And sometimes we as parents do more to make them feel like their mistakes are insurmountable than we do to encourage them with forgiveness.
Let’s be honest. There are more than a few areas in life where a crash course would be helpful.
Relationships with the opposite sex is certainly one of those areas. For a lot of students, “dating” is something they just fall into—they think they are old enough to do it, so they do. And, whether we like it or not, whether we have prohibitions and age restrictions in place or not, often our kids talk about “dating” someone when all it amounts to is texting, saying hi in the halls, or sitting together at lunch.
Instead of pretending dating just doesn’t happen in Middle School, let’s be frank and make church a safe and appropriate place to talk about this stuff.
The Bible has a LOT to say and it’s important that we unpack this in a healthy way.
Just because they are in the thick of the most hormonal and relationally charged stage of life, doesn’t mean they have a CLUE about how to “date” well.
Just because they are in the thick of the most hormonal and relationally charged stage of life, doesn’t mean they have a CLUE about how to “date” well.They need to learn the basics. They need to understand the fundamentals. They need a crash course on relationships with the opposite sex (particularly when they “like like” someone), and we want to give it to them.
So the question we want to be answering these next couple of weeks is, if we could pick the top three things we want students to know as they prepare for this season of life where “dating”, or getting ready to date, plays such a huge role, what would those three things be?
- What do we look for?
- How do we know when it is time to end it—and then how do we go about ending it?
- What do we do when we find ourselves with single status? (which, by the way, is EVERYONE’S status at 12 years old – just sayin’)
These are the basics. Our way of beginning at square one. And the hope is, with the right start, their time spent “dating” will set the course for their future relationships in the right direction.
Stay tuned as we keep more information coming your way each week on the above topics. Feel free to ask questions and even come on downstairs on a Sunday morning!