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05/16/2011

In Chap Clark’s book, Disconnected, he says that parents are responsible for providing the boundaries necessary to help a child grow into the person God has created and redeemed them to be. That’s a pretty heavy task. It requires first that parents know where the child is—an ongoing challenge in itself. And second, it requires that parents know where the dangers lie, where the areas of caution are and what signals indicate that something might be holding the child back.

This Sunday May 22 we are starting a new series in Orchard Jr. High, we are talking with your child about dating. But more importantly we are talking about balance. In a world where finding a boyfriend or girlfriend sometimes becomes all-consuming, we want to remind students that dating is only one of many areas in their lives. Like everything else, it is good in moderation, when it is not taken to extremes. We also want to help them develop healthy relationships, whether those are dating relationships or friendships with the opposite sex, and help them understand the value in leaving a positive impression in the lives of those we come in contact with.

As a mother or as a father, you are in a better position than anyone to know and understand how dating works in your child’s life. Maybe they haven’t dated anyone, but they are constantly thinking about ways to find that perfect someone. Maybe they haven’t been alone since fourth grade. Maybe they’ve been dating the same person for the past two years. Wherever they fall on the spectrum, you are viewing the situation close-up. Their emotions are in it. You, who have more insight and more life experience, can look down the road for them when they don’t have the perspective to do it on their own. Are there dangers ahead? Is there something that might be holding them back from experiencing the life they were intended for?

I would like to challenge you to take a few minutes this month to reflect on your child’s situation—especially in the area of dating. Think of ways you can be creative and helpful as you set boundaries and help them navigate the wonderful and risky world of relationships.

Lovesick Main

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