So I've said a few time before and promised an explanation of not having rules especially in departments where some expect us to have rules.
Our daughters, all four, have never dated and won't. Two are now married. Some folks then wonder what our "rules" look like, how it is we "do" that. How do we keep them from dating, what our definition of dating is, when they will get to make that choice for themselves and what the consequences for rule breaking in our house looks like.
They seem to have at least a brain strain or more like a brain fracture when we say we don't have a no-dating rule. "Then they can date if they want to?"
"So then you have dating rules."
Eyes glaze over and they shake their head and wonder if we are just being obstinate or silly or knowing us slightly, both.
We see it like this.
We don't have rules about walking on the window ledge when you are in a building five stories up and better.
But we seem to live in a society that once you are above the fifth floor, the only accepted way of getting from room 502 to 534 say, is to climb out on the ledge and walk hopefully to the corresponding window and then climb back in.
We stand in room 502 knowing that we need to get to 534 and listen to insane people talk about how easy and sort of fun it is to go by way of the ledge. They seem to think we are nuts for thinking it absurd to go about in this manner. They have always gotten from room to room that way, they are fine. Only a few folks fall to their death, and some survive to come up and climb right back out on that ledge.
Sorry, but we think you are crazy. You have perfectly good hallways. Why would you want to risk the fall, the chance that you might not be at the right window, so many other pit falls of taking the window ledge instead of the hallway.
But because we live in a society that refuses to take the hallway from room to room, we seem to have a no-window-ledge rule. Because what do you say when someone starts climbing out on the ledge and looks back at you and says, "Are you coming?"
"No, what are you, nuts? We don't use the ledge."
"Oh, you have a window ledge rule don't you?"
"Well I didn't before today, didn't know I needed one."
That is how we feel about dating. We don't really need a no-dating rule because quite frankly it is as ridiculous as getting from room to room via a window ledge. It doesn't assure you that you will actually get to the room you are seeking and on top of that it is plum dangerous and unnecessary to boot. It is just that nearly everyone in our society climbs out the window and goes along the window ledge.
We firmly believe and it has been proven that God will bring along your spouse when and where you need them. It will be evident, not necessarily just to the couple involved, but to their immediate community. It will be confirmed and known to those who need to know.
If God cares about the hairs on my head, the job I hold, the house I live in, the vacation I take, why would he not care about the second most important relationship, topped only by my relationship to Him? And care enough to bring the person that I need, and needs me, into my life at the appropriate time?
I do not need to entertain myself until then, get to know the opposite sex, and play around with falling off the ledge. This is baggage that gets in the way of the eventual relationship He will bring to me, and is the makings of footholds in my life that allows Satan to climb all over me.
And that is just the stuff that is bad for me personally. Dating also allows for me to defraud others. The people I date, when they think I care more about them than I do, they are defrauded. I can't possible be honest with how little I do care or they would break it off and I would not be able to gain the personal pleasure that I get from having someone to do things with. Having to do things alone or with your brother or your mom or dad, is a pitiful drag and down right embarrassing why would I be honest and make myself have to get through day to day life in that embarassing uncomfortable manner?
I also defraud their family and mine. They become close to me and my family to them, only to loose when we say it didn't work out. They are left with an unusable Christmas gift in the closet when we timely break up in November so that we don't have to do that uncomfortable Christmas, but we aren't really that into one another, thing. They are left with emotions that have no place to go now, or they continue to get together with my ex because for some reason they seem to like them better than me and they waited so long for a brother or a sister and now it looks like they will have to wait even longer and won't that be weird when I finally do get hitched what will they do with my old ex that they still like?
Not to mention the constant danger of slipping off the ledge and plummeting to the death of our purity. Physically and emotionally as well. And it is not enough just to "avoid" actually falling. We believe that to constantly tell yourself you cannot do a certain something, but enjoying getting up to certain edges only to exasperatingly back off before it is too late, is as dangerous to future intimacy as actually doing what you are not supposed to until you have committed yourself before your God and community.
So no, we don't have rules against dating any more than we have rules of walking on the fifth story window ledge.
More later. As always. Please pelt us with comments and questions, it spurs us on.