Teenage Romance (Yup, I really am going there...)
Ahhh, teenage romance – ain’t it so cute? Holding hands, Senior Prom, late night smooch sessions, appointments with the Bishop.
When it comes to teenage romance, most parents seem to think that their child is the exception. You hear wonderful phrases like:
They are so CUTE together
They are such good kids
They always keep us informed as to where they are and what they are doing
We have a good relationship and they are honest with us.
If you ever find yourself defending your teenager's romance by saying any of these things, then, I have something just for you...
Pessimistic? Yup. Accurate? Yup. Sadly so.
Caution: Very sad statistic ahead...
While researching his dissertation, Bruce Monson found that by 11th grade, half of the kids who had been in a steady relationship had violated the Law of Chastity. HALF! And these were LDS kids. (1)
And it isn’t like we haven’t been warned… there are a bunch of references cited below.
I enjoy irony, but sometimes it makes me uncomfortable. Such as this:
Isn’t it ironic that when a young man leaves a girlfriend behind to serve a mission, he spends two years testifying about the very prophets and apostles that he chose to ignore while preparing to serve?
President Gordon B. Hinckley: “When you are young, do not get involved in steady dating. When you reach an age where you think of marriage, then is the time to become so involved. But you boys who are in high school don’t need this, and neither do the girls”
“Steady dating at an early age leads so often to tragedy. Studies have shown that the longer a boy and girl date one another, the more likely they are to get into trouble."
President Boyd K. Packer “Avoid steady dating. Steady dating is courtship, and surely the beginning of courtship ought to be delayed until you have emerged from your teens.”
Elder Larry R. Lawrence: “Parents can prevent a lot of heartache by teaching their children to postpone romantic relationships until the time comes when they are ready for marriage. Prematurely pairing off with a boyfriend or girlfriend is dangerous. Becoming a “couple” creates emotional intimacy, which too often leads to physical intimacy. Satan knows this sequence and uses it to his advantage. He will do whatever he can to keep young men from serving missions and to prevent temple marriages.
The New Era: “Before his mission, a young man should not be looking for a serious relationship. It may distract him from the call to full-time service he will receive from a prophet of God. It just doesn’t make sense to add the complication of a steady girlfriend when a young man is trying to prepare for a mission, and especially when he’s on his mission. It might create temptations and even expectations regarding the relationship. It’s not fair to him or the young woman. Neither of them needs that sort of distraction or pressure.”