I know that it may be a bit early to think about courting and dating and how I want to handle this as a mother. My oldest is only eight after all! But as my son is being baptized this month certain things have been on my mind.
In my church we believe eight to be an age of accountability. In other words we believe at eight a child can understand right from wrong and become accountable for there actions. Knowing this I want to do all that I can to help my kids be prepared to make decisions in there life.
I made some pretty serious mistakes in my late teens regarding dating,boys and purity. I am so thankful that I was able to find my way to the Lord and have been forgiven for my past mistakes through the grace of my Savior Jesus Christ. Because of those mistakes courting,dating and purity are on my mind when I think of my children getting older.
I am not really sure how to explain how I see the difference between courting and dating. Its mostly a difference in mindset I think. Dating is for fun and hanging out. Courting is getting to know someone and looking at them as a potential spouse. I have a friend that I love very very much. She is a very good illustration of how our mindset really can effect our choice in spouse and our future. She married for physical love, passion and fun. At first that worked out just fine. Until real life settled in. He wanted no children at all. She wanted 7 or 8. She wanted to stay home and homeschool her kids.He wanted his wife to work. Because of there mind set when they were dating they ended up having a spouse with completely different goals.They were two very different people going to two totally different places.
I want to teach my kids to first and foremost work on developing in themselves good qualities that would be desirable in a spouse. For my sons that would be things like self reliance,perseverance,being able to provide for a family by having some set of marketable skills.For my daughters thinks like homemaking skills, money management and budgeting skills. Then when they are prepared to be a good spouse themselves to begin socializing with other young people looking for those with the qualities of a good spouse.
I don’t think that courting in this way will make their life or marriage perfect. Every life has trials.Every road has its bumps. I do believe that it will help them to start with a stronger footing.