Opinions on church/dating

   / Opinions on church/dating #1  

Sigarms

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Curious as do different perspectives on kids "dating" and church...

My one boy (17) is dating a pretty nice all around girl about 30 minutes away. Both my wife and I genuinely like her.

They've probably been going together for the last 6 to 8 months I guess.

Thing is, now the parents of the girl are basically going to make it a requirement that my son goes to church with them at their church on Sundays. If he doesn't go to church, apparently per the parents, the relationship "is off" and she won't be allowed to see him anymore.

We go to church, don't consider ourselves agnostic by any means.

For some reason, this "request" by the father is kind of rubbing us the wrong way as parents. Going to worship should not be motivated by wanting to date a girl IMO. Reality is they're both young, both want to "leave the area" and grow outside after they graduate, and they both seem to have their heads on their shoulders pretty good in our opinion.

The girl already told my son she doesn't care what he does, and she will still "see him" if he doesn't go to church with her, but my son is obeying the fathers request because he doesn't want to cause issues with her family.

I remember being good friends with a Jewish girl long time ago up in NY, and I asked her out for dinner, but I wouldn't be able to pick her up at her house because her mother wouldn't approve of her dating a non jewish guy, and although I thought it was "weird", I kind of just blew it off. I get some religions wanting to ensure people only date within their religion, but didn't realize this was the case per "Christianity" and requirements you go to a particular church.

Just curious, am I off base for feeling kind of odd about the parents request?
 
   / Opinions on church/dating #4  

Yander

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Should be a big red flag for your son that he will have to deal with the FIL, if he marries, or the daddy if he continues to date her. Only your son gets to decide if this is over the top or not. Even though he is still a minor, you should not intervene.

What i would say to my son is, you decide if you want to continue to see this girl given what is being asked, your mom and I will support your decision and suck it up and try to be the bigger family. That will score points with you and your son and make him feel adult. He will make the right choice and it could become a non issue.

However, if he does continue to date her and eventually marry her, he may have issues with that FIL and he needs to be ok with that and be an adult about it. By be the adult I mean, he may have to have a respectful talk with the guy and put him in his place as the new husband. He wouldn't be the first who did. He should respect the girls father if he is dating her, he doesn't have to like it, I wouldn't it.
 
   / Opinions on church/dating #5  

Doughknob

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Definitely not good of the girl’s dad. He does not understand christian faith very well at all if he wants to impose that. “True” christian faith comes from within individuals - not from the outside imposed by others.

Whomever mentioned the ‘invite’ thing is more on track. But as others have said, I’d let the kids work it out. It actually will be a good test of their devotion to each other as to how external forces affect their bond!
 
   / Opinions on church/dating #6  

Dftodd

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That's pretty common around here for people to be pretty pushy about attending "Their" church. Of course I'm in the Bible belt.

I would explain your feelings to your son about it and let him make up his mind.

It would rub me the wrong way though. As far as I'm concerned it doesn't matter what church you go to or if you even attend church. That's a personal choice and decision that shouldn't be forced onto someone else.

I've met quite a few hypocritical A-holes that claim they are Christian and attend church every Sunday. I've also met quite a few really good people that don't attend church period.

As far as I'm concerned it's not just what you do on Sunday that is important. It's how you carry yourself those other 6 days that truly matter.
 
   / Opinions on church/dating #7  

Jstpssng

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At 17, what are the chances they will spend their life together? I agree with "inviting him", but making it a condition of dating her is a bad precedent to set.
 
   / Opinions on church/dating #8  

2manyrocks

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Could be the father's way of checking out your son to see if he really is a solid potential husband for your daughter. A good father would be as concerned for his daughter as you are concerned for your son.

One thing I would say to your son if I were speaking with him personally is that the family comes along as part of the package.
 
   / Opinions on church/dating #9  

Root Cause

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A big red flag for me. Demanding church attendance is just the first step that sets a standard.
He needs to decide if this relationship is worth her Dad making all the future decisions as well.

This opportunity to understand these dynamics may help him as he navigates this and other relationships. Here is an opportunity to learn that you marry the family not just the girl before he reaches that stage in life.

If he continues going to their church, I would let dad and daughter duke it out when the time comes to make their own decisions. The dad will lose his daughter if he doesn't let her grow up. Meantime, she may go through a few boys before she rebels. Sounds like 2 nice kids. Hope it works out for the best for all of them.
 
   / Opinions on church/dating
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Sigarms

Sigarms

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Thanks for the responses guys.

Out of all the social forums I visit, I respect the people's opinion here more than anyone else online for whatever reason.

I honestly don't think they (boy and girl) are looking at marriage.

My parents didn't get married until they were 33, and myself at 38. One thing I try to instill in my kids to to live their lives first, learn to love what you want to do, love yourself first as a human, then look at sharing your life with someone else. I was too much of a arsehole in my early 20's loving the stupid things in life before I found out what was real (in that aspect, my son is way ahead of me at age 17, which I'm grateful fo).

The added reality is having a kid in your early 20's puts WAY too much of a financial burden on yourself (perhaps selfish thinking, but kids do cost money to raise).

We do see a big red flag over this situation, and we did talk to our son about it (I can respect him as man as not wanting to cause issues with the girls family). The girls family does seem "controlling" and we can see it with the girls interactions with ourselves, but she is trying to assert herself (her sister did assert herself when she left the family and went to college).

And yes, I've warned my kids that when you get older and marry a spouse, you not only get the spouse, but the family as well LOL

I married my wife at 38 when she was 37. We met in NC. We had the wedding at my old church (where I was a altar boy) in Pennsylvania because it split the distance between Vermont (where my wife is from) and NC (me bign originally from Pa). When we met the priest to talk with us (I served underneath him as a altar boy and he was getting old), even though I was Russian orthodox and my wife was of a different faith (her grandfather was a preacher when my wife's parents met), my priest told my wife after talking with her that she believes in the same things faith wise, and he'd have no issues marrying us in his church even though she wasn't Russian Orthodox. That priest has since retired and we know the new priest who replaced him would not marry us because she (my now wife) wasn't "officially" Russian orthodox, nor would she want to convert to that religion, nor would I even ask her to.

Ironically enough, my dad got kicked out of the Catholic church for marrying my mother in a Russian church (they really eloped and pissed everyone off, so to make my grandmother happy, they married in the church later LOL).

Ironic that Christians worship the same God and Jesus Christ IMO yet how many different faiths are there and Christians can amongst themselves on how they conduct a service?

We still want a relationship with our son as he grows older and into a man, and we'd never give him an ultimatum of going to a particular church just because he's "dating" a girl. This was the first red flag...

Funny thing... the girl's grandfather my son is dating is the founder and minister of this particular church this family goes to, and looking at their website, honestly, not the place I would want to go for worship and prayer, but that is only my opinion.

Joe 10:18 - Different strokes for different folks ;)
 
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