Dating & Courtship

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Jana Scott, Jun 3, 2006.

  1. Jana Scott

    Jana Scott
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    I serve in the Youth Group at my church in North Carolina. I have recently come across some pretty disturbing news. I've discovered that one of the Youth Leaders is now dating a former youth who recently became an adult. The age difference is about 8-10 years. I'm sure the relationship is pure, however, it is very disturbing to think that this could have stemmed from when the girl was in the youth group.

    What are your takes on this?
     
  2. Joseph_Botwinick

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    I think that unless you have evidence that something was improper when she was a minor that it is none of our business.

    Joseph Botwinick
     
  3. thjplgvp

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    There is 8 years difference between my wife and I and we have been married 36 years. It will never work. It is the parents who will have the final say not the church.

    :type:
     
  4. Jana Scott

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    what will never work?
     
  5. Ransom

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    What are your takes on this?

    That two adults are allowed to make this kind of decision for themselves.

    Every adult is a former youth.
     
  6. Pipedude

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    From what you've said, here's no reason to think that impropriety occurred while the girl was in the youth group. None whatsoever. If you cannot find a reason to think that, quit thinking it!

    Previously the youth leader was somewhat in loco parentis, and that probably makes the present relationship look incestuous--but it isn't; it's only an illusion.

    Age gaps present their own challenges, moreso when the wife is older. But all relationships have challenges to overcome.
     
  7. mnw

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    Jana, I can see your concerns, and understand. If the timing between her becoming an adult and their beginning a relationship is short then it does raise questions to any previous relationship - especially that of a youth leader and youth.

    Most likely the situation is innocent, and if so they will likely expect questions to be raised. Some worst case scenarios I can think of are:

    1. The youth leader has taken advantage of a youthful crush
    2. They have been secretly having a relationship until the "official" adult age was reached.

    As far as the testimony of the church; it can make some parents looking for a problem begin questioning the relationship their child has with other youth leaders.

    Am I over reacting? In this world's current state, no, I do not think I am. What is the proper reaction?

    Well, they are adults, but what constitutes maturity and discernment? Age or ability? As brothers and sisters in Christ at what point do we reach the "It's none of my business, I'm not my brother's keeper" stage? (This assumes a loving, Christ-like interest in the individuals and not a gossip-busy body type interest.)

    It is ultimately the decision for the girls parents, but it has a bearing on the church as it was one of their leaders invovled.

    If they are both mature believers and sure of God's will for them then they will recognise others asking questions out of concern for them and concern for the testimony of the church.

    If you are not in a position to ask questions and no actual harm seems apparent as to their good and the churches testimony, then simply praying and leaving it in the Lord's hands would be the only recourse.

    However, I think you have had some pretty harsh reactions here.
     
  8. thjplgvp

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    Jana asked, "what will never work?" Smiley did not show up. My wife and I were told by many it would never work, she was robbing the cradle etc. :laugh:

    But God has been very gracious 4 children, 13 grandchildren, and 35+ years of marriage. We praise the Lord for all of it.
     
  9. PastorSBC1303

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    If you are sure, then what is the problem?
     
  10. bapmom

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    I agree.

    If you have confidence enough in both of them to say that you are sure it is a pure relationship, than I should think this would be a good thing. I would be honored if one of my daughters "caught the eye" of a good, upstanding man already serving in the ministry.
    It used to be that this would have been seen as quite a normal progression within a church amongst unmarried young people. I say that because nowadays we act like if a young guy is interested in anyone younger than himself than he must have some sort of psychological problem.

    I understand.....today's society and all........its just sad........
     
  11. mcdirector

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    Ron and I have 12 years difference and are about to hit year 26. He worked with the youth when I was a youth, but I didn't know him then. I've known several youth leaders that married a former youth.
     
    #11 mcdirector, Jun 4, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 4, 2006
  12. Benjamin

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    I don’t think I like the idea. First you’d think the youth leader should be more mature and want to find an equally mature partner to court, not taking an opportunists advantage of one of the freshly of age children he’s been a mentor to. To put it bluntly, I doubt the guy could land a date with a classy woman his own age. Second, these youth groups are seeming to be more of a dating-match making service than a place to learn about Christian values to my observations.

    I’ve recently had a lot of issues arise with the young men, 15-16-17 years old, pursuing my just turned 14 year old daughter with late and long phone calls, “friendly hugs”, and constantly putting their hands on her to get her attention etc. Funny how they jump back when they see me! Obviously they know the liberties they’re taking are wrong by their behavior changes when in my or the youth Pastor-leaders presence. I don’t let my daughter go to these youth groups to put her on the open market and think they ought to be busy contemplating upright behavioral values, yet when left alone for a few minutes they start acting like a pack of wolfs.

    I’ve had to have a few words with the youth leaders what they ought to be teaching, the parents who allow late night phone calls, and teens who look at me like I’m nuts to suggest abstinence from touching or even kissing or avoiding being in a situation where temptation might occur. Had to lay down the law to my daughter that know one WILL take the liberty to put their hands on her and that she WILL let them know it. THIS coming from a person that was never even around a church before his children where born going to born and raised church people!!! It a problem, and it’s PATHETIC, and I’m TICKED! :mad:
     
  13. mcdirector

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    Consider that many youth leaders are 22 or still in college working as interns while in college and some of the youth they work with are just a few years younger.

    And they most likely can get dates with women their own age. I hate to knock the Holy Spirit's work out of every relationship with an age difference.

    I know you are teachng your daughter to be the beautiful and godly young woman that God would have he to be. If you are incomfortable with this youth group's appearance of a dating service, perhaps it's time for a hiatus or finding a new youth group.
     
  14. bapmom

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    Benjamin,

    don't forget that just because they are "church-raised" kids does not mean that these teenage boys aren't just as hormone riddled as you were at their age. Of course they have to have the law laid down for them. THey are sinful humans who, frankly, alot of times will go as far as the GIRL will allow them to. Im glad to see you laid down the law to your girl as well.
    If I were you Id put more of the responsibility on yourself and your girl to not allow those late calls unless they talk to you first. Then you choose who she does or does not talk to on the phone.

    Either way, I agree with mcdirector. We can't just assume that its a case of an older man not being mature enough to find a girl "his own age."
    The Holy Spirit could have something to do with it, too.
     
  15. Benjamin

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    MC and Bapmom,

    I agree that there may be instances where an age difference might work out just fine, being lead by the HS. I was mostly just going off on the youth group being a threat and as a Dad I wasn't really ready for this and certianly wasn't expecting it to generate from church.

    BTW, I did tell my daughter that next time one calls she was to tell them they had to talk to me before any further conversation. I planned to be firm and reasonable, but they opted to just stop calling instead, proving a valuable point I make to my daughter between a true caring and plain lust. :cool:
     
  16. thjplgvp

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    A couple of things come to my mind as I have read the various posts.

    The most alarming question to me is who would place a single male or female in a youth position? The verse that comes to mind is to make no provision for the flesh.

    I worked with youth for a good many years and during those years none of my helpers or counselors were unmarried.

    Once the young lady became an adult (assuming 18 here) she is free to choose or set her cap so to speak for anyone. It is very possible she or he had eyed the other before hand (is this sin?) but what is to be commended is that they did wait and obviously they aroused no suspicion which in turn tells me they kept it were it should have been, a hope. When all your ways please the Lord he gives thee the desires of thine heart.

    It sounds to me as if the church needs to reevaluate their youth program first and secondly the young couple should be applauded for waiting until such affection was acceptable.

    Just my thoughts:type:
     
  17. Karen

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    You have every right to make that requirement of your daughter and her phone calls.
    But just as a general point, I am not sure that their stopping calling proves they were lusting instead of truly caring.
    It can just mean they are socially inept as many teenagers are. And that something an adult would consider no big deal (talking to an adult on the phone for any reason) they considered a big deal.

    Karen
     
  18. mcdirector

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    LOL -- Just what parents are for -- run off the nonsincere.

    I wouldn't let my sons answer the phone for a long time because of the girls calling. I had a little heart to heart with more than a few of them. The girls may still call, but they are grown and can handle it. Well they better not call Joe or his wife will get them.
     
  19. North Carolina Tentmaker

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    There is one other thing here that comes to mind and that is the inability to find Christ centered young adults.

    There is a young man I know in his early 30s. He loves the lord and has kept himself pure waiting for the girl he hoped to become he wife but she has not showed up yet. He is complaint to me is that every single girl his age has already been married and divorced. An Army recruiter I was talking with expressed his frustration at enlisting women. His statement was that by the time they have turned 18 they have all either had an abortion or a child.

    I am sure those same statements could be made about men or women. Often young adults who want to serve Christ have a hard time finding someone else who is not already spoiled by the world. So where do they look? They look for younger people. There are many answers for this including Christian singles retreats and looking beyond your hometown or church but where I live people are reluctant to do so. Anyone from outside the holler is a foreigner you know.

    Perhaps everyone else lives in big communities with hundreds of single people, but living where I do I worry now about where my children will find spouses (send them off to a good college is my best plan so far)
     
  20. Milady

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    As far as the couple themselves, I don't care if you call it courtship or dating. As long as they are doing what God wants them to do, even to getting married, no one else should bother them about it. If there is a problem of them getting physical, then there is reason to interfere. If the young lady in question does not know what God wants her to do, then she is not ready for any relationship at all. He sounds like he was respectful enough of her to wait till she was out from under his authority as a youth pastor to start seeing her. Good for him!
    Milady
     

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