My experiences with canon law and teenagers have taught me a thing or two about what constitutes unhealthy teenage dating behavior, as well as what type of courtship leads to healthy marriages.
Allow me to share this advice with teenagers and parents whose teenagers are of courting age. This will seem like rather strange advice, given the fact this reflection is about teenage dating.
When I was a kid, my mom taught me two rules of grocery shopping.
First, never shop when youre hungry everything will look good and youll spend too much money. Ive got the first rule down, but I havent had much success with that second rule.
While dating is part of life it should, like marriage, not be your only social outlet.
Even marriages require that the spouses keep their outside friendships to prevent the spouses becoming stale and narrow, and while friendships must never disempower a marriage, dating should not disempower friendships.
I seem to have a knack for picking rusty grocery carts that make clattering noises or ones with squeaky wheels that grate on your nerves like fingernails on a chalkboard. You want to go in a straight line, but the cart wants to swerve to the left and take out the cat food display.
Instead, spend time with one another’s family: get to know your date in a family context; go out as part of a group; get to know what your date is like socially.
Im not talking about conflicts between me and the girls Ive dated. And based on my experiences and my exploration of Gods Word, Ive concluded that for Christians dating is a swerver a set of values and attitudes that wants to go in a direction different from the one God has mapped out for us. Self-control isn't enough I once heard a youth minister speak on the topic of love and sex. rending story about Eric and Jenny, two strong Christians who had actively participated in his youth group years earlier. But as time went by, their physical relationship slowly began to accelerate, and they wound up sleeping together.
Eric and Jennys dating relationship had started out innocently? Soon afterward they broke up, discouraged and hurt. But both came to him separately and expressed emotional trauma and guilt over past memories. Some of us had made the same mistake or watched it happen in the lives of our friends. We wanted the pastor to tell us what we were supposed to do instead.
So follow these rules and make sure your companion keeps them too, then you will be able to look your children in the eye when you have to guide them on their way to marriage and family life.
If your companion isn’t willing to keep the rules they are not the person you thought they were, and if they are going to let their passion run wild with you, then maybe they would have done that before -and are not the Catholic you think they are.
To prepare for the talk, I attended at Thursday 10 p.m.
Mass where about 75 committed Catholic undergrads served as a focus group: After I explained why I thought it was important for issues of sex and dating to be address within the Church, I asked students to put their anonymous questions on index cards.
Therefore, I keep in touch with what is current among today's youth.
Yet I am also experienced with marriage tribunal ministry, where I regularly encounter broken marriages.
Pete Vere shares advice regarding unhealthy teenage dating behavior, as well as what type of courtship leads to healthy marriages. Paul, MN, January 24, 2002 There is a growing debate within Catholic circles surrounding the merits of courtship as opposed to dating.
As the youngest canon lawyer in North America, I am less than a decade removed from my teenage years, and I also served as a canonical adviser to various adolescent-orientated Catholic apostolates.