You are a good, safe driver. You are focused and alert and have your hands at 10 and 2. And still, you can end up in an accident.
Safe driving requires both defensive and offensive practices. Courtship and dating with marriage in mind have similar requirements. Teens may not be ready for a formal relationship, but they are learning and observing from social interaction. Typically, when a teen is living at home, there is a safety net called “parents” that minimize the risk of harmful situations. As a teenager prepares to leave home, we want to be sure they are equipped to handle any situation with calm maturity and be able to identify right from wrong.
Offensive driving means you have done your homework and feel good about the safety of the vehicle. Good brakes, airbags, and mirrors adjusted for high visibility. In dating, it means you feel confident that an individual has a history of integrity, making good decisions and a solid reputation. What parents teach their children makes all the difference and can encourage wise choices.
Proverbs 4: 1-9
Get Wisdom at Any Cost
Listen, my sons, to a father’s instruction;
pay attention and gain understanding.
I give you sound learning,
so do not forsake my teaching.
For I too was a son to my father,
still tender, and cherished by my mother.
Then he taught me, and he said to me,
“Take hold of my words with all your heart;
keep my commands, and you will live.
Get wisdom, get understanding;
do not forget my words or turn away from them.
Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you;
love her, and she will watch over you.
The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom.
Though it cost all you have, get understanding.
Cherish her, and she will exalt you;
embrace her, and she will honor you.
She will give you a garland to grace your head
and present you with a glorious crown.”
Defensive social skills mean that your teenager is immediately able to recognize danger and instantly steer clear of the situation. Developmentally, teens might have a difficult time assessing their surroundings to determine the risk. When the emotions of courtship or dating are at play, it becomes even more challenging for teens to put safety first.
Praying for our children is vital. Instructing them about the realities of unhealthy social environments is a responsible approach. Our Christian teenagers do not live in a bubble and preparing them for the world around them is part of our parental duty to keep them safe. Make sure Jesus is always clearly in view and a part of the journey to adulthood.