Discussing Dating with Homeschool Teens, Interview with Melanie Wilson

This week on Homeschool Highschool Podcast: Discussing Dating with Homeschool Teens, Interview with Melanie Wilson.

Discussing Dating with Homeschool Teens, Interview with Melanie Wilson

Discussing Dating with Homeschool Teens, Interview with Melanie Wilson

We are excited to have our friend, Dr. Melanie Wilson from Homeschool Sanity Podcast, join us for a discussion on a challenging subject: Dating!

As most of you know, Melanie is a “psychologist turned homeschool mom of six”. (In fact, that is the name of her website: Psychowithsix.com.) Because Melanie has training in psychology, homeschools and has LOTS of kids, we thought she would be a wonderful resource for discussing dating.

The history of homeschooling and dating

Dating can be a touchy subject (no pun intended) in the homeschool community. Back in the early days of homeschooling, courtship had become a popular idea. (If you are not familiar with that movement, parents chose a spouse for their young person. Then the two were allowed to “court” to get to know each other- always under parental supervision until the wedding day.) Some folks from that generation may remember the popular book, I Kissed Dating Goodbye (now debunked by the author, Joshua Harris).

In those days 7Sisters Vicki and Marilyn were in leadership in their local homeschool organization so created quite the stirs when they shared concerns about the wisdom and emotional health of courtship models of relationships. They proposed, instead, that teens should be raised to develop self-government, wisdom and relationship skills so that they could make good marriage decisions for themselves.

Melanie understands the problems with dating in our modern culture, so she understands where courting came from. (Not only that, but courtship was an “old-fashioned idea” and “old-fashioned” was hip in those days.) However, Melanie points out that the problem she has seen with her clients are often in “casual dating or sexual dating” situations. Melanie also remembers a young man that she knew who attempted suicide when his girlfriend ended their relationship. The heartbreak was too difficult for him.

Melanie’s suggestions for dating

Melanie’s oldest homeschoolers came into their teen years with a mom who was leaning towards the “safety” of well-supervised relationships, if not following the courtship model. She was hoping she could keep her teens from experiencing broken hearts, unwanted pregnancies or sexually-transmitted diseases in this way.

However, God gave her an oldest son who was a strong-willed young man. Her desires for dating had to be set aside when dealing with such a strong-willed young man. That is because he wanted to date…and he was persistent!

Taking into consideration the current pressures of dating and the overreactions of the homeschool community in the past, Melanie has some suggestions that have been working for her family:

  • Discuss dating with your homeschool high schoolers
  • Advise them not to date unless they want to have a serious relationship (no “playing the field”)
  • If they have someone they would like to date, ask them to explain what that means to them and what they will do to protect and respect the person they are dating.
    • This is because it is the teen’s responsibility to make healthy choices.
  • Then it is the parent’s responsibility to present the pros and cons of dating at that particular time.
    • In other words, the parent becomes an educator about dating.

The next opportunity that Melanie had the opportunity to deal with, was her next son met someone at his high school job. He came to her and asked her permission to ask a girl at work out on a date.

  • She said, “Absolutely!” That is because Melanie had observed her son’s maturity and wisdom.

Have open and frank discussions about sex and safety with all your teens (male and female).

Lastly and most importantly, before and after discussing dating with your homeschool teens:

The number one key to discussing dating with homeschool teens is relationship between mom and teen

The relationship with your homeschoolers are foundational for helping them prepare for dating or managing dating situations.

  • For teens who do make a mistake, teach them about forgiveness (and model forgiveness yourself). Never let them think about you as being the one that says, “I’m SO disappointed with you!” Let them know you will ALWAYS love them.
  • Teens who feel loved by their parents and who have nonjudgemental communication with their parents are the ones who will talk to their parents about the pros and cons, ups and downs of dating. Therefore, spend LOTS of time discussing dating with your homeschool teens.

More about Dr. Melanie Wilson

Join Vicki and Dr. Melanie Wilson for encouragement about discussing dating with homeschool teens.

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Finding a Mate – MBFLP 232

Finding a Mate

Does the Bible give us guidance on finding a mate? Of course – but it’s not as detailed as some of the more recent advice we’ve all heard. This episode we’re talking about some unmistakable – and non-negotiable – things the Scriptures tell us about guys and girls in relationship … but keeping in mind some things the Bible doesn’t say, too!

What’s non-negotiable?

Here are a few principles we think are clear:

Respect for parents – The Fifth Commandment is to “Honor your father and your mother,” and it’s repeated in both Testaments (Exodus 20:12 and Matthew 15:4, for example). Parents have experience and wisdom, and a young lover is well-advised to seek that wisdom out! Besides, they are probably a little more objective about the object of their child’s affection and may be able to raise an issue that’s being overlooked. (We do make a distinction, though, between the commandment to honor parents – aimed at all of us, at any age – versus commandments to obey parents, which are aimed specifically at children. Note the apostle Paul uses both words in Ephesians 6:1-3 but only to children in Colossians 3:20)

(more following …)

Some thoughts and advice about finding a mate ...

Sexual holinessFor this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should abstain from sexual immorality; … For God did not call us to uncleanness, but in holiness. (1 Thessalonians 4:3, 7) The New Testament is full of warnings against sexual immorality, and specifically against fornication in many places. The ancient world thought it wasn’t a big deal and much of our own world thinks the same – but the Bible says they’re wrong.

Friendship with honor
– When the apostle Paul counseled the young pastor Timothy, he told him to threat younger women in the church “as sisters, with all purity.” (1 Timothy 6:2) There is space for friendship between unmarried singles, with that proviso – to be careful of virtue and reputation, just like you would toward a beloved sibling.

For believers – Don’t date unbelievers. Marriage was created by God for all of humanity, and it is open for all, but the Bible warns against becoming too intimate with someone who doesn’t share your faith (2 Corinthians 6:14-18). This passage is not talking about when one spouse becomes a Christian after the marriage – look at 1 Corinthians 7:10-16 for that situation. But we shouldn’t start out with that sort of uneven spiritual relationship.

As for the rest of the advice …

So much of the other advice we hear has to be balanced against clear Scripture, culture, circumstance, and practical application. Much family life teaching comes from Old Testament examples and illustrations – wisdom that isn’t expressed as commandment. Regulations about marrying a captive of war, official recommendations for elopement, and examples of marrying two sisters – at the same time – are there in the narrative. They have to be understood in context!

So in all seriousness, we do encourage our young people to find friendships with the opposite sex, in all purity, and consider the question of deeper relationships and marriage with both godly caution and godly cheerfulness!


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Breaking Up – Like a Believer – MBFLP 183

Sometimes even the best-intentioned relationships come to an end. It’s going to be awkward, and it’s probably going hurt. Does the Bible give us any direction on how to do this? You bet – let’s talk about it and let’s prepare our kids to act like believers even in a situation they never dreamed they’d be in.

HIRL Episode 155: Did Joshua Harris Kiss Dating Goodbye?

Free homeschool podcast and interview with Joshua HarrisIn 1997, 21-year-old Joshua Harris wrote a revolutionary book on dating. The book would go on to be an international bestseller and catapult Joshua into the Christian spotlight. I Kissed Dating Goodbye was embraced by the homeschool community and the Christian church at large, and continues to shape the consciousness of how Christians view singleness, dating, and relationships.

Lately, though, Joshua Harris has weathered a battering of online criticism from disenchanted Christians. Some have lashed out at Harris directly for I Kissed Dating Goodbye and others have set up websites dedicated to Harris’ “victims”. Many have called for Joshua Harris to apologize for what they believe was hurtful teaching, while others are applauding him for his stance and encouraging him to stand his ground. Harris has felt pressure from all sides to do or say something.

Are you ready to hear from Joshua himself? We’re discussing the book, the movement, and the new documentary being made where Joshua discusses the errors of I Kissed Dating Goodbye as well as where he thinks he got it right in this compelling and lively interview with Joshua Harris.


SHOW NOTES:

Josh Harris Website

I Survived I Kissed Dating Goodbye Website

Kickstarter Campaign: I Survived I Kissed Dating Goodbye

Sandy Cove Ministries

Recommended Resources:

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Laying a Foundation for Marriage – MBFLP 169

 

We probably all share the hope that our children will marry, and marry well, and serve God in their family one day. But are we being intentional about preparing our sons to become godly husbands?  It’s important to live a good example in front of them, but we need to train them to deal with the issues that affect them as young men, and we need to encourage them to see marriage as a likely part of their mission in God’s kingdom! This episode includes part of a presentation Hal gave to a men’s conference earlier this year, about laying a foundation for your son’s future marriage – because “He who finds a wife finds a good thing, and obtains favor from the Lord!” (Proverbs 18:22)

 

 

Like to know more about our new book, Love, Honor, and Virtue ? CLICK HERE!

Healthy Guy-Girl Relationships – MBFLP 159

 

We’ve heard the full range of opinions when it comes to young people and relationships – from the barber who asks the 7-year-old if he has a girlfriend yet, to the twenty-something girl who says, “Daddy is going to find me a husband.” Surely the Bible has something to say about this … and it does, but not as cut-and-dried as we might have thought! This episode we look into the question of friendship between guys and girls – is it possible? Is it advisable? Or is it commendable?

On The Other Hand … Purity Rings – MBFLP 131

RRM Purity Rings V

So often a well-intentioned effort can have unexpected – and maybe, undesireable – results. When a marriageble young man sees a likely-looking young woman, but notices a simple ring on her left hand, what does he think? What does the young woman think he’s going to think? And does that match what’s actually going on? We’ve had several very significant conversations with young ladies wearing purity rings, and we’re discovering that something unintended may indeed be happening! Join us as we look at the question of purity rings — and why they need to move to the other hand!

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Teen Romance 2 – Reality Check! – MBFLP 118

MBFLP 118 - Teen Romance - Support - V

The Beatles claimed that “All you need is love!” but any married couple will tell you love or not, there are bills to pay. The Biblical pattern would say that a man considering marriage has to be considering how he’ll provide for it financially – and if you have a teen in love, he needs to come back to earth and answer that question for himself … soon!

ORIGINAL RELEASE FEBRUARY 16

MBFLP 117 – Teen Romance: This Could Get Serious

MBFLP - Teen Romance

 

What do you when you find your teenager (or even your pre-teen) has romantic feelings for another young person? How to you address this Biblically? In spite of what some teachers say, the answer is not cut-and-dried, and a lot of parents (and their kids) struggle with it. This episode, we dive in to try and find what the Bible does say and what it doesn’t … but more urgently, what do we do about it?

PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS

01:05 – Romance is an issue sooner than you may think
03:20 – Parenting needs to change as our teens transition toward adulthood
04:18 – The critical thing to remember about older teens
05:04 – Take them seriously!
08:17 – Rules don’t control the heart
09:26 – What the Bible says about romance
11:24 – What the Bible IS clear about
12:10 – Don’t underestimate friendship
15:22 – How this conversation might begin
17:32 – Keeping realistic and balanced expectations
22:18 – Building a relationship of trust and respect early
23:56 – God’s plan for your child may surprise you – and your child, too

Courtship In Crisis – HIRL Episode 69

Free homeschooling podcast discussing courtship and dating.On this episode, we welcome back a favorite guest on this podcast. Thomas Umstaatd, Jr. joined us on Episode 26 when we discussed his viral blog post: Is Courtship Fundamentally Flawed?  On this episode, we return to the topic and discuss again if courtship is better than dating? Are families who practice courtship instead of dating out of touch, or have they found a method of creating solid marriages?

We discuss with our guest how the current courtship movement began during the early decades of homeschooling. Parents were compelled to try something other than the cultural dating norms, but this model has fallen short of its intended purpose. Whether you are in favor of courtship, dating, or a combination of the two, we think you’ll enjoy this episode and conversation and hope it spurs on good things in your own home.


EPISODE TIMELINE
3:06 – Introduction
11:18 – Part One – Courtship in Crisis
30:23 – Part Two – Courtship in Crisis


SHOW NOTES:

PREVIOUS PODCASTS:
Is Courtship Fundamentally Flawed – Episode 26

BOOKS REFERENCED:
Courtship in Crisis – Thomas Ustattd, Jr.


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