Dating, Part 1
About the Guest
When is a teen ready for dating? Today a panel of young men and women tell Dennis Rainey about their interactions with the opposite sex.
Dennis RaineyDennis Rainey cofounded FamilyLife®, a ministry of Cru®. Since the organization began in 1976 through 2017, Dennis’ leadership enabled FamilyLife to grow into a dynamic and vital ministry in more than 109 countries around the world helping families discover the joy God intended for their relationships with God, spouse, and kids. Dennis has authored or co-authored more than 35 books, including best-selling Moments Together for Couples and Staying Close and has received two Golden Medallion...more
VariousFamilyLife Today features marriage and family experts who have devoted their lives bringing biblical principles to people in ways that positively change their lives. With each program, we are continually reminded that people throughout the world are receptive to the messages of love and hope offered by our radio guests.
When is a teen ready for dating?
Dating, Part 1
Bob: Now, there are different kinds of kisses.
Dennis: That was going to be my question, Grant. Yeah, what kind of kiss are we talking about here?
Bob: Are we talking about Katy's goodnight kiss?
Grant: Yeah, that's probably …
Bob: … that's as far as it will go for you?
Grant: Yeah, probably avoid lengthy and foreign types of kissing, I suppose.
Bob: Lengthy and foreign.
Dennis: Foreign, Bob – what's a foreign kiss?
Bob: Parlez vois Francais, oui? Je ne c'est pas? Andrew, where's the boundary for you?
Andrew: Same one.
Bob: Kissing? Just the goodnight kiss, that's as far as it goes?
Bob: Have you been tempted for it to go farther than that?
Bob: You were pretty quick on that one – like, duh, huh?
Andrew: Well, yeah, I have.
Bob: Okay. So have you had to re-establish some boundaries because maybe you've let them slip in the past?
Andrew: Yeah, in high school my morals weren't what they are today, and I didn't commit, and I'd just get into trouble with that.
Dennis: Now, wait a second. You said you didn't commit.
Andrew: I didn't commit at all.
Dennis: How important do you think it is to make a commitment of what you're going to do before you face the temptation?
Andrew: Critical – to be a dedicated man and set boundaries and follow them.
Bob: Were you a Christian in high school?
Andrew: I don't even know. I mean, I knew the theology, but I didn't follow it at all. I believed in Jesus, I believed in Jesus and He was the Christ, the Son of God, but He wasn't my Lord. He was just way off in the distance.
Bob: Was there a spiritual turning point for you?
Andrew: I'd say about two years ago, 11th grade, in December.
Bob: What happened?
Andrew: Well, I had surgery, and I thought I was going to die, because the doctor said I might not live, and I had to reevaluate a lot of my priorities and say – because I realized I wasn't invincible as a teenager, and so I just committed right there to Christ and said, "I'll go wherever You want me to go. If You let me live, I will follow You anywhere. Just don't let me die, and I'll obey," and so since then it's been an upward relationship.
Dennis: You indicated that you felt, like, as a real man you were never more of a man when you were in control of your passions?
Andrew: Definitely – self-control and mercy, which is strength under control, is important to being a man.
Bob: You know, a lot of times the culture tells guys just the opposite – that real men are the guys who …
Andrew: … that's a Stone Age idea for our generation. It's unheard of.
Dennis: What do you mean?
Andrew: Guys and girls of our generation that aren't Christians, that aren't following the Lord – they'd ask why. They say there's no point. They really don't believe in marriage anymore. They just believe in cohabitation and dating and all that.
Dennis: Are you talking about people in college?
Andrew: College and high school – the values change pretty quick.
Bob: Rebecca, where is the line for you?
Rebecca: I am not going to kiss until I get married, until the day of my wedding. I know I'm the oddball, but that's okay. Yeah, I decided that a long time ago. I will say that I did not follow through on that, but since 10th grade, I have not kissed anybody since 10th grade. It's been a long time. But I definitely – I don't regret it. I don't wish I'd kissed certain boys.
I mean, I've been through two relationships since high school, and both of them I have not kissed the guys. It's been a lot easier to let go of them because of that – because you don't have that physical as much – I mean – yeah, we hold hands and he'll put his arm around me or whatever, but you don't have that – there's not that physical attachment like there would be if you were to kiss. And I just know that for myself, it's hard.
If I were to draw the line at kissing, it would be hard for me not to kiss and do more than that. Like, I just can't kiss a guy. I mean, the way I am, and everyone is totally different, and I wouldn't recommend you make up these boundaries through experience – and so I'd say just draw the line before you ever experience any of it, but just, for me, I just can't do it. I can't just kiss a guy goodnight. It would be too hard for me.
Bob: Wasn't it hard for you when you were going with these guys not to kiss them?
Bob: So how did you keep from doing that?
Rebecca: Well, you have to date someone that has the same standards as you do, and …
Bob: … but even then, I mean, here's this deal, and they go, "Well, okay, goodnight." "Goodnight." And you're both standing there, and it's, like, "I want to kiss you, I want kiss you," and you're thinking, "I want you to kiss me," right?
Rebecca: You just don't put yourself in the situations, and you hug goodnight, stare deeply into each other's eyes, and get in the car and drive away. That's about as far as you can go, and it is hard.
Grant: You kind of want to date with a purpose. You don't just date just – I mean, it is fun, but, I mean, there's a lot of risk there.
Bob: The purpose for dating is …
Grant: … ultimately marriage, I'd say so.
Bob: But when your parents would talk to you about it, you'd always say stuff like, "The purpose isn't about – it's just to get to know somebody better," right? Didn't you say that to your parents?
Grant: Yeah, that's part of it.
Bob: Are you changing your mind now about this?
Bob: Okay, Grant. You're headed to college – do you expect that you'll get married sometime during college?
Bob: Do you expect to date to date during college?
Bob: Do you expect with the purpose of getting to know someone to see if you might marry that person?
Bob: Let's say you met her during your freshman year, and you started dating during your freshman year, but you're probably not going to get married until after college?
Bob: So you'll have four years of dating.
Grant: Yeah, it's a long time.
Bob: Could there be some problems with that?
Grant: Yeah, for that amount of period, I'm sure there's strong temptation to go places physically that you probably shouldn't go.
Bob: Strong temptation to kiss and maybe more than that?
Bob: So, but you figure you'll probably do it?
Grant: That I'll probably date for …
Bob: … during your freshman year, you'll probably go out with girls and just try to fight off that temptation?
Grant: Probably so. I don't know, I may – oh, gosh – yeah, I think I probably would.
Bob: Okay, but you would recommend that these people don't do what you just did and date during high school?
Grant: Well, I'm in college.
Bob: Is that right?
Grant: Yeah, well, probably so. I mean, most people – and this isn't always the case – but generally, if you're dating in high school, you're going to break up with them, especially when you go off to college, I'd say.
Bob: And that's no fun.
(end of tape)
Bob: Well, we have been listening to …
Dennis: … you were kind of pressing Grant, there.
Bob: I felt a little like Larry King or Phil Donahue or somebody who had the animal caged.
Dennis: I wish our listeners could have seen Rebecca, my daughter. She was busting a gut. She was laughing, because you had old Grant on the hot seat. But he handled it okay.
You know, there are a couple of things I want to point out here. First of all, even in listening to the young people talk about their standards, how they want to hedge their standards, and you, as a parent, can do the best job you can to prepare your preteen for the teenage years, but the confusion can come, and it can sweep them away, and they can begin to adapt and start looking like the world, like a chameleon – just blend right in.
In fact, I ran across this – I'm going to ask you, Bob – what do you think the Gallup Poll revealed is the percentage of young people today between the ages of 13 to 17, who believe that unmarried couples living together is acceptable?
Bob: I would guess it's better than 50 percent – 60 percent.
Dennis: Well, you're close – 70 percent of all teenagers between 13 and 17 believe it's okay to live together. Of those who go to church, what percent of churchgoing teens between the ages of 13 and 17 believe it's okay?
Bob: Well, you'd hope that it was down dramatically – down in the teens or maybe the 20s.
Dennis: That's what I would have guessed – 50 percent – 50 percent – five-oh. Our young people today do not embrace the truth of God's Word and we, as parents, I believe, we have to look at that data and have to say, "What's our responsibility here?" Well, we must teach clearly. We have to teach why God wants our children to wait until marriage, and then we need to keep asking the questions of them as they grow in and through the teenage years. But it all starts with a good game plan before your young person even becomes a teenager.
Bob: Well, that's what you're trying to provide for us with the book that you and Barbara and Samuel and Rebecca, who didn't tell you about her boyfriend in the sixth grade, she helped write this book, so …
Dennis: … she's a real authority on this.
Bob: The book is called, So You're About to be a Teenager, and we want to make it available, particularly to the parents of 9-year-olds, 10-year-olds, 11-year-olds, 12-year-olds. If you've got kids in that age group, get a copy of this book, pass it on to your teen, and say, "Here's a book I want you to read and offer to pay them, I don't know, $5 or $10 if they will read the book, right?” It's the Dennis Rainey Incentive Program.
Dennis: Thank you, Bob.
Bob: Do you like that? I didn't call it a bribe today. It's an incentive that you provide for your young person. This book is designed to help them think through in advance some of the issues they're going to be facing as they move into the teenage years. Just get them started thinking about some of these things so that when they're in the thick of it, they've at least had some initial thoughts on this.
Dennis: Absolutely. They've heard from someone else, other than you, as a parent.
Bob: Not that they shouldn’t hear from you as a parent as well. We have put together the Passport to Purity resource which is designed to help a father engage a son or a mom engage a daughter around these issues. You get away for a weekend and you listen to these CDs with Dennis and Barbara and you’ve got some projects you do together. It’s a fun getaway time with your preteen and you get to unpack some of these issues that are just ahead for your son or daughter.
We have information about both the book, So You're About to be a Teenager and the Passport to Purity resource on our web site FamilyLife Today.com along with comments from a lot of parents and their sons and daughters who have been on the Passport to Purity weekend. If you want to hear what other parents this getaway time with their kids go to our web site FamilyLife Today.com. You can find out more about how to order the resources that are available.
Again our web site is FamilyLife Today.com. You can also call us for more information at 1-800-FL TODAY. That’s 1-800-358-6329. 1-800 “F” as in Family, “L” as in Life and then the word TODAY.
When you get in touch with us someone on the team will let you know more about how you can have the resources you’re looking for sent to you.
I think you have shared with our listeners that you were speaking at a conference back in December a year ago and you had a college student come up to you in the midst of that conference. He waited to talk with you and pulled you aside and said, “I just wanted to say thank you. You helped my mom and dad raise me.”
He talked about having been on a Passport to Purity weekend with his father and the resources that his parents had gotten from FamilyLife Today that they had used in raising him. He had watched their marriage grow stronger in those years as well and I remember you coming back excited about that conversation because that’s really what we’re hoping will be accomplished through the radio program, the resources we produce, and our weekend conference for couples.
All that we are doing here at FamilyLife is designed to provide practical, biblical help for marriages and for families. To hear I guess you could call him a satisfied customer…someone stepped forward and said you did the job with my mom and dad and I’m the beneficiary of that. It was a great encouraging moment.
We want to pass along that encouragement to those of you who help support the ministry of FamilyLife Today with your financial support. Your donations are what keep us on the air in this city and in other cities across the country. You keep our web site up and operating 24 hours a day and seven days a week. We could not do what we do without your support. We do appreciate you.
If you’re able to help support the ministry of FamilyLife Today here in the month of July we would love to hear from you. This is a slow time for a lot of ministries because families are on vacation and they have other priorities going on so when we receive donations from listeners on days like today it is a great encouragement to us.
This month if you’re able to help with a donation of any amount we want to send you a thank you gift. It’s The Five Essentials for a Thriving Marriage card. On this card Dennis and Barbara have captured what they believe are the core essentials for keeping a marriage strong, vibrant, and thriving. The Five Essentials for a Thriving Marriage card is our gift to you when you make donation this month of any amount.
If you are donating online this month when you get to the key code box in the online donation form if you’d like to receive The Five Essentials for a Thriving Marriage card just type the word “thrive” in the key code box and we’ll send it to you.
Or if you are making your donation by phone call 1-800-FL TODAY and just mention that you’d like the five essentials card and we’ll send it to you as our way of saying thank you for your support and it’s always an encouragement to us.
Tomorrow we are going to hear the advice that older teens had for younger teens on relationships with members of the opposite sex. You may be impressed and surprised maybe by how they counseled these younger adults as they were getting ready for their teenage years. I hope you can tune in to listen to that.
Thanks to our engineer today, Keith Lynch, and our entire broadcast production team. On behalf of our host, Dennis Rainey, I'm Bob Lepine. We'll see you back tomorrow for another edition of FamilyLife Today.
FamilyLife Today is a production of FamilyLife of Little Rock, Arkansas. Help for today. Hope for tomorrow.
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