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" These lyrics from The King and I aptly describe the way Western culture views dating today -- an exercise in "knowing" and a continual quest to "find out more" about the other person. First dates used to evoke images of sweaty palms, nervous preparation and a whole bunch of anticipation.Two people are drawn together to share time, experiences and each other in the quest to satisfy "the need to know." The challenge for Christian parents is "how can we continue to provide for the needed supervision and guidance for our children within the confines of our cultural settings? First dates were events and normally both parties treated them as something special.Martin Luther wrote in his explanation to the Fourth Commandment, "..distinguishes father and mother above all other persons on earth, and places them next to himself" (Luther's Large Catechism).

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God expects parents to take the reins when it comes to parenting.

Parents are God's representatives here on earth, and, as such, are afforded by Him great responsibility.

Whether or not a date will be allowed is totally dependent on whether or not the activity is God-pleasing.

This may be a difficult decision for a parent since, on the surface and possibly to your teen, it may seem to be a pretty subjective decision.

To properly understand our God-given roles as parents, we must first come to an understanding of what God expects of us as leaders within our families.

Parents, and especially fathers, should begin preparations for leading their children through these exciting times long before their children reach the teenage years.

Dates that revolve around unknown departure and arrival times should be avoided.

Although your teen is responsible for knowing what time it is, you are the timekeeper.

Make sure that decisions facing your family are decided expeditously by you.

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