All that is unknown is its degree, or the speed of its intensification. Without her father's protection, she alone must determine the degree of sexual intimacy, and that in the heat of the moment.

what is better dating or courting-23

Only marriage relinquishes ownership of one's "good" body to one's partner.

Parents must overcome this naivety when a teen complains about parental restrictions.

If we want our young people to be prepared for marriage these are the questions that we must ask: In answering these questions, we need to know the criteria by which the answers must be judged.

Our culture finds it hard to make such judgements because the dating scene seems to be an expression of "teenagers in love" - and love is thought to be something that just happens, over which we have no control.

" In our day, dating arrangements are made entirely by young people apart from parental involvement.

The date is planned by young people with a known expectation of physical intimacy.

Is it just an innocent cultural expression; the way we do things in the west in the present century? " Jim West has defined a date as, "Any planned event involving a shared activity between a man and a woman" - one person asks the other to share in an activity, and a publicly recognizable pairing occurs.

It always implies some kind of romantic interest, and both parties know this even if the date is going to a church meeting or to a Bible study. Compare this cultural norm with the one that prevailed in western civilization until the early part of this century.

Our attitude to dating is not so much a matter of church policy but a matter of family government.

Laying a solid foundation in this area is a parental reponsibility, but the church has a responsibility to hold the family accountable to the Word of God.

The test is Rom - "true love does no harm to a neighbour and fulfills the law." So we must find a lawful way for our young people to fall in love and prepare for marriage. It is an established cultural norm to be followed without further question.