Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Love Sick - Home XP (For Parents)

There’s something pretty amazing about being in love, isn’t there? The butterflies in your stomach. The dreamy gazes. No wonder so many of us are so in love with being in love. But if you look around—in the media, at school, in life—we’ve taken what God created and twisted it, morphed it and configured it into something it was never meant to be—an obsession. When romantic relationships become an obsession, balance goes out the window. We miss out on opportunities and experiences we might otherwise have had. And sometimes we even forget who we are. There’s got to be healthier way to do this. There’s got to be another way than being so lovesick.

Week One 5/13/10 - Obsessed
When we become obsessed with relationships, we lose sight of who we are.

There is nothing quite like the experience of falling in love. Nothing. In fact, some people are willing to do just about anything for the feeling of being in love, for the knowledge that someone values them, finds them significant and worthwhile. Some people are even willing to give up who they are as an individual, give up their identity, just for the sake of a relationship. This week we are going to talk to students about the both the fun and wonderful parts of dating and also the danger of sacrificing who they are and who they are designed to be for the sake of romance.

Week Two 5/20/10 - All Your Eggs In One Basket
Dating is a great thing, but it’s not everything.

“Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket!” We’ve all heard the phrase before, some of us have probably even used it a time or two, but when it comes to dating, it can be pretty hard to actually put into practice. We live in a culture where marketing, events and entertainment are driven by romantic relationships, where people are profiled based on relationship status, and where love and romance are a part of our daily conversations. For many students it just seems normal, almost expected to devote all of their time, energy and affection to acquiring or maintaining a dating relationship. This week we’re going to talk to students about finding balance as they learn to fit dating into the many other, equally important, areas of life.

Week Three 5/27/10 - Love Story
You have the power to do great good or harm in your relationships.

High school reunions can be either something we eagerly look forward to, or anxiously dread. The reasons for our excitement or our hesitation are usually the same—the people. We’re concerned about who we will encounter from our past and the lasting impression they had on us—for better or for worse—and the lasting impression we had on them. And no relationship has the ability to leave an impression, for better or worse, than a dating relationship. Dating relationships just have a lot of potential to do great good, or harm in the mark they leave. So this week we are going to help students explore dating from the perspective of the one they date. We want to challenge students this week to think about their own responsibility, regardless of where they may have been in the past, to always consider what they can do in the future to make someone’s story better, and to treat them in a way that will be beneficial and positive in the long run.


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.

In this series, 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.

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