Without a God-driven purpose in dating, too often, our youth and young adults will be caught up in the emotional and physical pulls that are naturally there.As a father, it's a big part of my calling to ensure my sons and daughters understand this primary objective before they enter into their dating years.God hard-wired men and women to desire intimacy with the opposite sex.While it's possible to be friends with the opposite sex, it needs be done so with obvious and intentional boundaries in place.It was also noted in this study that dads as well as moms had little influence when it came to who their children dated.For every parent out there, this should be a huge wake-up call. This hits the foundational motive to date/court with God’s glory in mind. We know that God’s will for a man and woman is marriage–regarding romantic relationships beyond friendship.There is a reason within a marriage ceremony that the father is the one that "gives the bride away." God designed it this way.As my 20 year-old daughter understands, no man on this earth knows her and loves her more than I do.
They often do, especially within the actions of other women).I realize that every young girl out there may not have a dad that will be there for her.In that case, both the mother and daughter should look to pull in a man that can speak into the assessment of the young male suitor.Yet, within this goal is the mutual objective: to get to know each other as a brother and sister in Christ in a way that honors God.While every dating relationship or "courtship" may not end up in marriage, it should result in growing closer to God and building each other up in the Lord.As a dad, we need to actively engage our sons and daughters around this topic and provide them a functioning model of what this looks like.If we don't, the culture around them will set the tone.Yet it appears that, in many cases, Christian parents have not been actively involved in helping our children develop a biblical understanding of what dating or courtship looks like. For most Christian dads and moms out there, our own dating experiences had little roots to any biblical truth. It is quite apparent that our American culture no longer looks to the Bible to establish its moral foundations.However, by God’s grace, there is a growing movement to raise our next generation of adults with a more God-focused model when it comes to pre-marriage relationships between the opposite sexes. Our public schools attempt to teach character development and reinforce “good” morals apart from any absolutes of right and wrong.Yet, as parents, we can help our children get back on a God-honoring path when it comes to dating.For me, this has equated to a life-time pursuit of dialogue with my children in and around God’s greater purpose for our lives.