This was the question one of my younger girls asked one of my teenage boys while they sat on the floor working on some project. Only four feet way typing on my computer, I stopped breathing and kept on typing.
(By the way, those are not my fingernails. I wish they were
my fingernails. But they are not.)
At this moment, if I could have any super-hero power, I would definitely choose to be invisible. Thankfully, my not-breathing-trick worked. I was rendered invisible. And the conversation continued.
This teenage son of mine looked up at his sister, smiled a bit shyly, and answered. He actually answered. Outloud he said the name of the girl in his circle of friends he would date if he had to date someone. Outloud! I could hardly believe it. There wasn’t any posturing, posing, or faking. He just said right outloud the name of the girl he would date, if he had to date someone. Blew me away.
Meanwhile, although I’m blown away, I’m invisible. I’m still not really breathing, fake-typing on my computer, and don’t even glance their way. I don’t want to do anything to stop this conversation.
Younger sister asks, “Why would you date her?”
Manchild looks up from his project. “Do you mean why would I date her? Or, why would you date her?”
I’m still so very busily pounding on my computer, eyes glued to the screen, and hating that I have got to breathe.
Younger sister clarifies, “Well, both, but start with the first question.”
“Okay, so if I was going to date, here’s why I would date…
- To get to know someone better. You know, as a friend, a sister in Christ, just to get to know somebody better that I respect and admire.
- To learn how to date. I’m thinking that Dad didn’t always know how to date Mom. He had to learn how to do things like open the door for her, pick out a restaurant, that kind of thing.
- To learn the type of person that I want to marry. I think you probably need to date a little bit to learn what type of person would be a good match.
- And to have fun. But I do not want to to kiss. I want to save that for when I get married. And I am absolutely not old enough to date. Period.”
Hallelujah! I so want to cheer, do a cartwheel, hug my man child or something. But I don’t show any clues that I’m listening. My eyes are glued to my computer screen, I’m barely breathing, and my fingers are pounding. But what I’m typing looks something like this: alsdkfj;alsedfoaeth;eanf;oadvhodvoa erouqeofijeoifypeiofj o[sefiueofjasodjoas
Younger sister affirms. “Okay, those are good reasons to date. Now why would you, if you had to date someone, date her?”
“Okay, why I would date her is pretty easy. She’s pretty, smart, loves Jesus, isn’t too loud, listens to me, talks to me, and is fun.”
Younger sister nods. “Sounds good.”
I exhale a little too loudly, and type a little less furiously. Sounds good to me too. 🙂
I used to be in the I Kissed Dating Good-bye camp. But as my older girls moved through their high school years, I began to question the wisdom of this. What about you? If you’re single, what do you think about dating and courtship? If you have children, how are you approaching the issue? And, if you’d like to hear more about why I left the courtship camp, let me know. Start the conversation with a comment, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.