This is a place of ME. This is a place where I will let the walls down and be honest. Joys and stories or tears and heartbreaks, they will all be here. Devotionals to poems, my heart is open to you. I will love well. I will love you and honer you by allowing you into my brokenness and the truth that God has reviled to me. This is a place of Me. Continue if you dare ;)

Thursday, June 28, 2007

DATING


Ok I know a lot of you have heard me give this speech WAY to many times for it to mean anything but hey I thought I would post it and just let some other people see what they think! I personally LOVE this speech! It was kina funny the way that I wrote it.... It started out as a persuasive easy... but then I thought I would make it a wee bit longer and compete with it in speech. Also, at this time I was starting to feel like I needed to know what my boundries were with dating and stuff like that, But my dad being the "cool" guy he is wouldn't tell me! I started to find books and read books on my own about dating and relationships. Then I wrote THIS speech. When I was done I showed it to my mom and dad and they said "OK so you agree with everything you wrote?" I said "DUH!" (LOL) and they just said ok so do we :) I was like OK! So ya that is my "interesting" story for the day! lol but ya I love this speech!






DATING DILEMMAS

By Sarah Moldenhauer

“Cornelia! Jonathan Thompson is here and talking to daddy about you!”

“Katherine! Mother JUST talked to you about listening to conversations not intended for your ears! Did you hear what they were saying?”

“ I don’t know… but he brought pretty flowers!”

This is a conversation you could have observed 100 years ago. What is Mr. Thompson talking to Cornelia’s father about? It is something that has been lost to the majority of my generation. It’s called court ship. When a girl is able to get married, a young man comes to her father and asks to court her. Now this isn’t how it happens very often today. If a boy wants to take a girl on a date, then he simply asks and she gives her reply. Sometimes there are boundaries put in place by the parents of the teen or the teens themselves. Too often, however, these boundaries are unclear. How can my generation know what to do about dating in TODAYS society? There is one way, parents and teens must seek Gods guidance together as they examine the three avenues to find that special someone God has intended for us: Courtship, Dating, and Group dating.

Some people, mostly teens, would say that courtship is confining and unreasonable in modern society. On a local blog page it is said that courtship limits the world of people you might happily end up with. Some parents who encourage courtship believe it protects their children from heartbreak and the pain of a bad relationship. In Eric and Leslie Ludy’s book When God Writes Your Love Story they said, “I had asked others for advice. Those from the older generation had simply given guidelines to follow, which were so out of touch with the reality of my world that they were worthless to me. As a Christian I had listed carefully to the instructions given by the church leaders, and tried to follow the Christian rules of dating to the letter. But their rules never protected me from a broken heart and shattered life.” By saying the “Christian way of dating” Leslie Ludy isn’t necessarily talking about courtship but the point remains that for many courtship appears out of touch with today’s generation.

However, there are many things about courtship that are wise to consider. Courtship isn’t like it was 100 years ago, with family picnics instead of a movie or parents conspiring to control their child’s romantic life. Although in some stricter situations this is a possibility. Courtship is unique because you don’t court every person that comes along, and you wait until your ready for marriage. For some, it is worth being patient and not dating until you’re older and more prepared to make life-impacting decisions. Some also believe that courtship is safer, not only for your heart, but because it helps with the temptation to make immoral choices. While courtship can’t prevent heartbreak, it can reduce the opportunity.

Since the time of courtship, a more popular and well-known way of finding that special someone has made it’s splash in today’s society: Dating. Teens simply go on dates with someone they want a relationship with. If it is done the way the world does it, dating relationships can start as young as 4th or 5th grade. This causes many problems later in life. Leslie Ludy’s book also talks about the advice she received from her peers regarding dating. She said, “When I turned to those in the younger generation, I found that we were all in the same boat: an endless cycle of shallow and cheap romances that never lasted and left us emotionally bleeding and insecure.”

Most teens claim to know how to handle relationships. There are some cases where this is true, but most of the time inexperience makes us as lost as our peers. Unfortunately too much is decided by peer pressure instead of personal morals.

While there are negatives, most people today find dating a more excepted approach. One must look realistically at the pressure a teen faces everyday. While this cannot be an excuse, we must acknowledge that it IS difficult and embarrassing to have your peers know that you ARE different and NOT going to follow in their footsteps. Dating isn’t necessarily a bad thing when navigated with healthy boundaries. So many lessons can be learned as a teen dates including who you are becoming and what character traits you desire in a future spouse.

Now let’s step back and think for just a moment. As a parent you might love the idea of courtship, but chances are your teen will not. An important thing in making these decisions, is they shouldn’t be one sided. It can ruin a relationship between the parents and teen if the youth feels over protected or under trusted. Sometimes a previously honest teen becomes devious when decisions have been forced on them instead of being allowed to participate in the decision making process. I have read story after story and seen it happen over and over again. When a parent forces their teen into their personal box, the teen gets a sense they are not trusted—which can be hard thing to deal with for a teen who strives to be honorable. Many teens are more responsible than their parents believe, and some just aren’t no matter what they say. (Just some advice to teens out there. In most situations, your parents won’t just hand over freedom. You have to earn it. Show your parents you’re not only smart, but trustworthy and wise as well.)

In light of this, it doesn’t seem as though a compromise can be reached. We need to find a place of wisdom where we maintain Godly morals without being out of touch with the reality of our culture. There is one way. However, parents are going to have to let go and trust their teen. And my generation must listen and respect their parent’s boundaries. This brings us to our third option: group dating. In group dating, several teens go bowling, out to dinner, or to other events together. At a reasonable age and once the teen has proven to be trustworthy, they are allowed to have a relationship with someone from the other gender without all the pressure of a one on one date.

I believe group dating is the most beneficial approach to each person involved. It doesn’t alienate the teen to the opposite gender, but it does give boundaries and provide more structure. Also, parents are still involved. They approve the activity and the people in the group. In group dating, the point is you aren’t alone with someone of the opposite gender until you know more about who you are and what God wants you to do. Activities are done with peers who hold you accountable. You guard your heart by avoiding the seriousness of a more advanced one on one dating relationship until you are older. This isn’t going to completely prevent the heartbreak of boy-girl relationships, but it can help.

No matter which approach you choose in the dating dilemma, parents should allow room for activities outside of the family and not become overly emotionally involved with their child’s relationships. Parents should also make an effort to know the peer group of their kids and parents and teens should work hard to keep open dialogue regarding their experiences. In research with Christian authors Justin Lookado and Hayley DiMarco in their book “Dateable,” and through personal experience, I have discovered that when you get really close with the family of a boyfriend or girlfriend and the relationship ends, it can be much more painful. It feels as though you’re breaking up with the whole family, and not just that person. It is great to know the family of your boyfriend or girlfriend; you just need to be careful not to get too attached until the relationship becomes serious.

Perhaps you are wondering why I have chosen to spend ten minutes talking to you about navigating male-female relationships. To some, this may not seem like an appropriate topic for a homeschool speech competition. But if you think about it, the fact is, my generation will run our country in a few, short years. How we mature through this season of our life and the choices we make will greatly impact our emotional health as well as our ability to impact our culture. If we as Christians don’t know how to make our own decisions because they’ve always been made for us, the future of America will be led by those who do. On the other hand, if we have no guidance and are left to the culture, we will be just as lost as the rest of the world. This important area of our lives can teach us how to think carefully through big issues, navigate our culture, stand up for our beliefs, and turn to God for guidance.

The main point here is that every family and every INDIVIDUAL is different. Only God knows what the future holds for each blossoming adult. Teens and parents should make decisions together while seeking God’s direction, not just make arbitrary decisions based on the status quo of the peer group or the pre-conceived ideals of this important issue. Then, if they choose courtship, GREAT! If dating makes sense to them, AWESOME! If group dating is their choice, LOVELY! The most important thing is to examine the options together and to seek God’s guidance in this major life-impacting decision.

4 comments:

Paula said...

Your dad IS cool. I kept saying, "Your daughter wants some answers. She's asking good questions" and stuff like that.

He said, "She needs to process some of this stuff for herself, first. She needs a little time. I'm not answering her yet intentionally."

Then you dug deeper, read good books on the subject, and really came to grips with what you believe. And your conclusions were something we could support. Pretty cool, huh?

Sarah, I think that process shows Daddy's trust in your ability to think well and follow God's leading. I would have just given you the boundaries you asked for, but his way was so much better. I learned from him this time, too.

♥Sarah♥ said...

lol well ya if ya want to look at it that way... lol jk

Travis said...

haha wow now i know how u waste ur time on the computer

♥Sarah♥ said...

What??!?! geet hanks!!! that was not a wast of time!