There is a growing phenomenon in our culture today. It is exacerbated by media and entertainment, endorsed by those involved, and perpetuated by parents and friends of those involved.
Let’s not waste time. Boyfriends are not husbands. Girlfriends are not wives.
Whether it is a girl who assumes that her boyfriend is invited to a family dinner or a guy that assumes he speaks for his girlfriend by defending her honor, the principle is the same. Being a girlfriend or a boyfriend does not bestow upon either party any of the rights and privileges a wedding ring bestows.
None. Zip. Zilch. Zero.
Let’s be honest. These couple get under our skins, don’t they? I have worked with teens for a long time. I have seen these couples. In youth work, the extent of my involvement is usually limited to the Purple Principle…
Boys are blue; Girls are pink. They stay separate. No Purple, please.
But this phenomenon does not go away after 19 years and 364 days.
Here it is bluntly. Any relationship that does not move on to marriage manifests itself in one of two ways: “breakin’ up” or “shackin’ up.” And scripturally, I’d say the former is the honorable outcome.
Am I saying that dating as an institution is flawed? Not necessarily. If a couple is old enough, level-headed enough, has their parent’s consent, and understands the limitations of their relationship, I’m not philosophically opposed.
But when exclusivity becomes psuedo-matrimony, I lose my permissiveness.
And no, “we’ll be married someday” does not count.
2 thoughts on “Boo or Bride? Why Your Girlfriend Ain’t Your Wife”
I’ve tried to instill in my kids the importance of learning commitment, trust, faithfulness, understanding, problem-solving, etc. in “special friendships” with the opposite gender when they decide they REALLY want to pursue it (I had to realize that sometimes kids actually WANT to make their own mistakes and learn the hard way, and if they’re stubborn enough, they will get around the rules & safety barriers I raise. In the end, God is in control, and I am a “responsible” instrument in His hands–but I’m not God, Himself.). However, it’s no secret that I am a proponent of courtship under the protection of both sets of like-minded believing parents as the optimal (and safeguarded) way to transition from “friends” to “covenant marriage.” I am, however, anti-recreational dating. The constant break-ups closely resemble practicing divorce–or at best–infidelity. Students have enough pressures/temptations/stressors in their lives. The last thing they need is an exclusive “claustrophobic” relationship with a school-husband or school-wife, where they’re usually tied-down and have too much of their social life dictated to them by the other person (or by their fear of losing the other). Trying to have a deeply committed relationship in elementary/jr hi/sr hi school is usually premature and damaging; the cons FAR outweigh the pros. Few are prepared for the emotional challenges & balancing acts that life requires to keep the relationship healthy. I still find it challenging for me! There is no Auto-Pilot. It’s VFR & God’s Grace…constant attention & course corrections. The Devil/World/media blow blustery winds harder against my plane every day. Why would anyone ask for extra/unnecessary challenges any sooner than necessary, or any sooner than they are equipped to successfully handle them? Lack of education? Lack of example? Lack of seeking first God’s Kingdom? Not sure, but what I see are too many students who seem pressured to conform to what their peers are doing…so they can fit-it, be accepted, not get labeled, and fulfill the need to feel wanted and a part of something special. There are so many issues tied to this issue that just can’t be concisely covered in one article, like security: Daddy’s having special relationships with their daughters and Mom’s filling a special place in their son’s hearts… That said, God has all the answers we need under one cover, and He gives the home, especially fathers, the responsibility to model & teach the paths & ways that lead to Life, Joy, & Righteousness.
Can I say ditto rant?!?
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