Archive | Dating, Love, and Marriage

Top Tips for Teaching Christian Teens About Dating, Purity, Sex and God

Top Tips for Teaching Christian Teens About Purity, Sex and God - Parenting Like HannahIf you believe sitcoms, sex is the topic most parents want to avoid talking about with their kids. It’s unfortunate really, because as recent events have shown, handling sexual desires in ways that aren’t pleasing to God can cause a myriad of negative consequences. In fact, ungodly sexual behaviors have destroyed not only the careers of politicians, Hollywood types and more, but often their lives and families as well.

It’s somewhat understandable we are uncomfortable talking about something with our children, that is meant to be so special, so meaningful and so private in the context of our marriages. Yet because we aren’t having these vital conversations, our children are picking up their knowledge from their peers, movies, television shows, music and even pornography. No wonder so few young people are doing what God wants for them and from them regarding sexual purity and their dating relationships. They honestly have no idea what God expects and the possible consequences of disobeying Him in this area.

So what are some important principles and tips to teach your kids when you begin talking with them about dating and sex? Here are a few of my favorites.

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Open Letter to Christian Parents of Young Men

Open Letter to Christian Parents of Young Men - Parenting Like HannahWhen I was a young teen, my older girl friends at church would tell me they often got the most pressure to ignore God’s commands for sexual purity from the Christian guys they dated. I thought it was rather strange at the time, but when I started dating, I found much of the same dynamic. As I dated more, I realized part of the reason why this often happened.

It wasn’t that non-Christian guys were somehow more moral in their dating behavior. It was merely that to them, Christian girls were somewhat of a mystery. They were more afraid of what God might do to them if they caused a Christian young woman to go against what she had been taught God wanted, than were Christian guys. They also seemed to have a bit more respect for helping a Christian young woman keep what they saw as her promise to God. Those non-Christian guys who knew sex was more important to them than dating a great Christian gal, often just never bothered to ask her out.

As I became a parent and began talking to parents, teens and young adults, I realized a more serious dynamic was at work. The average teen and young adult male has gotten much, if not all, of his knowledge about sex, love and purity from his peers and media of some sort. He has not been taught much of anything about the topics at home or church. If he were told much of anything at all, it was usually. “It’s a sin. Don’t do it.” or the ever popular, “Just don’t get a girl pregnant. I’m too young to be a grandparent.”

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Can Looking at Your Childhood Strengthen Your Marriage?

Can Looking at Your Childhood Strengthen Your Marriage? - Parenting Like HannahWant to raise a child to be a strong Christian? Want your kids to stay away from drugs, alcohol and premarital sex? Want them to be emotionally and psychologically healthy? Read any books or articles on those topics and one of the top suggestions is usually for their parents to have a strong, healthy marriage. Just like everything else, it’s no guarantee, but the odds improve greatly for any children raised in a home where their parents have a strong marriage and parent together.

As a result, I am always interested in any new resource designed to strengthen marriages. So, I was naturally curious when offered the chance to review a classic in marriage books, How We Love (Expanded Edition), by Milan and Kay Yerkovich.

Originally published in 2008, this expanded version of the book has some new material and new diagrams. Since this is my first exposure to the book, I can’t really comment on the extra content. The current version honestly has some great things and some aspects that concern me.

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A Great Way to Help Your Child Learn About Love

One Great Way to Help Your Child Learn About Love - Parenting Like HannahWant to help your child have a better dating life? Want to stack the deck so your kids are more likely to want to date godly young men and women? Want to make sure your kids know when the person they are dating is going to make a great Christian spouse? There are no guarantees, but there is one fun thing you and your spouse can do to give your kids a great start on dating, love and marriage.

What is it? From the time your kids can talk, each child should have regular “dates” with the opposite sex parent. Although obviously the dynamic is very different than a “real” date, make sure you do something you both enjoy. Use the time together to demonstrate how to be considerate and thoughtful on a date. As your children get older, start talking about the type of person who makes a great date, a great boyfriend or girlfriend and eventually a great spouse.

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Teaching Christian Kids About Cause and Effect

Teaching Christian Kids About Cause and Effect - Parenting Like HannahWhen you read through secular research on young people and decision making, one thing is mentioned repeatedly. Young people have a tough time making consistently good choices. The causes behind it are many and vary some from child to child. What is problematic for Christian parents is that these bad choices can have not just long term, but eternal consequences.

There is a developmental aspect to making good choices, which is probably why God requires baptism of young people only at the age of accountability. As your kids approach that age, it’s important to really focus on decision making skills – especially in relation to what God wants our decisions to be. You can and probably should, start some early training with even very young children. The earlier you start training them, the easier making good choices will be for most kids.

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Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. (Deuteronomy 11:18-19 NIV)