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Stories from CEF

Dating Defined

-Carol Nolen

If you teach preteens, you’ve heard giggling, flirting, and talk of who likes who. Behind all this talk are assumptions and beliefs about dating that need to be replaced.

I remember a group of fourth and fifth graders where a boy blurted out, “I had a date last night!” Amidst the laughter another worker began to ask him questions. Soon the entire class was involved in a revealing conversation about dating. We discovered many beliefs that were shaped by popular culture.

You too can ask questions as opportunities arise. Ask. . .

  • Why do people date?
  • When is a person ready to date?
  • Who should a person date?
  • What qualities should a person you date have?

Listen to their answers and ask follow-up questions as appropriate – “What do you mean by that?” or “What makes you say that?” These questions will help you get to the heart of why preteens believe what they do.

Once you understand what kids believe you can talk about the long-term implications and how some beliefs lead to pain and heartache. Then preteens will be ready to listen to what the Bible says and understand why it is the best way!

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