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Arranged teen dating by parents

DerekMK

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Why does it seem that the most outwardly Orthodox people that are most concerned about the "evils" of the world seem to have the least faith in Divine Providence?  I met my fiancee entirely by chance in a sort of random way when I was most definitely not looking for any sort of relationship. 
 

Riddikulus

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Schultz said:
Bravo!  I feel like sending this to my sister-in-law who is in the process of alienating my niece (and goddaughter) by trying to control her dating life.  My niece has a very good head on her shoulders and is not, at least to my eye, making any bad choices.  But I always get the "You don't have any children so you can't understand" thing thrown back at me as her and my brother conveniently forget that I went through adolescence alot closer to my niece's time than they did and I still have friends (and fans) who aren't that much older than her.

I never did much dating myself until I was in college (and even then it wasn't alot) because I was a very shy and reserved kid.  My wife, by contrast, was a serial dater.  I'd like to think that when we do have children, we'd let them make their own choices and, as Mr. Y posts above, give advice when asked for.  One thing I have learned with dealing with my mother-in-law is that unsolicited advice is often perceived as criticism.  Much like how I made a conscious decision to not be as distant with my children as my father was with me, I'm going to try to keep my opinions to myself.
^^Well said, and I wholeheartedly agree! Genuine love requires freedom, not manipulation.
 

Riddikulus

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Quinault said:
In theory one should have increasing freedom as they grow older. That is the model we are holding to. Input and control are different things. One would HOPE that your children desire your input on a potential spouse.
I think that one might HOPE it, but still be prepared that their children will desire very little imput from them at all. :)
 

Riddikulus

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Νεκτάριος said:
Why does it seem that the most outwardly Orthodox people that are most concerned about the "evils" of the world seem to have the least faith in Divine Providence? 
It's fear, Neckarios, plain and simple. I suppose it's understandable; we all want the best for our children and hate to see them suffer, but this kind of fear for others (and it doesn't just happen between parents and their children) so often manifests itself as domination and control freakism - and it's terribly damaging to relationships.
 

Pravoslavbob

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Rosehip said:
I know this is off-topic, but I'd like to hear more about this. Could another thread be started?
Go ahead and start one.  You've got the power!  8)
 

Heorhij

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Rosehip said:
I know this is off-topic, but I'd like to hear more about this. Could another thread be started? It always nags away in the back of mind-if Christianity is such an adult thing, shouldn't we wait until our children are adults and can consciously dedicate their lives to Christ and request baptism?
No, I did not imply that we should wait until they are adults and then baptise them. Baptism is a Holy Mystery and I am copletely cool with infant baptism. But yes, I am absolutely confident that Christian summer camps etc. do not do much more for the growth of Christian faith in American and Western European and Australian chidren than Young Pioneer-Young Communist League summer camps did for the growth of Communist convictions in me. :) :) :)
 

Rosehip

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Heorhij said:
No, I did not imply that we should wait until they are adults and then baptise them. Baptism is a Holy Mystery and I am copletely cool with infant baptism. But yes, I am absolutely confident that Christian summer camps etc. do not do much more for the growth of Christian faith in American and Western European and Australian chidren than Young Pioneer-Young Communist League summer camps did for the growth of Communist convictions in me. :) :) :)
What about Orthodox Christian summer camps?
 
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I entered Orthodoxy after being exposed to all the 'I kissed dating goodbye" via our hs group. I never read it, but in theory I can understand that today's casual dating practices are just divorce practice. Every time your average teen gets fed up with someones trifling behavior, they break things off and move on to the next person. Or they think that girl is better looking, so they dump the current one.  It's very shallow and physical only, so these young people only learn that dating is for what makes themselves feel good for the moment. Teens don't learn to work through communication problems, or minor frustrations by just ditching the current attraction for a different one. It's really quite silly if you think about it, and it's relatively short track record as the way to meet your future spouse isn't exactly stellar.  A lot more messes and hurt along the way than the previous methods with at least SOME parental oversight at first. There is NOTHING wrong with protecting our girls especially, because I know today's boys are taught that girls are for their personal enjoyment-and you can take that in many ways. I went to a private christian school and I am far from naive. Boys should be taught physical and emotional purity just as much as girls, it works both ways when standing before their creator!

Now, completely arranging a mate for my child seems just as absurd to my mind. As converts to the Faith, I know that you can find the one God intends in a lot of different places. I also know that even with the broader Christian community there are people that wear their faith when convenient and then remove it when they want to live it  up.  Those are the kinds of people I don't want hanging around my daughters. I don't happen to believe that my daughter's should be anyones 'flavor of the month!'  I teach my sons even now, at 10 and 12 and 7 that women aren't just created for their pleasure and usage, and that men were in fact created to provide for those that were weaker than them or in more need. That include the elderly, the young, the infirm, and their future wives. (I am not a doormat but today's feminism revolts me) Meaning that men weren't created simply to pursue their lusts and pleasures at the cost to everyone around them. God's descriptions of each gender's responsibilities and duties hasn't gone out the window because we are more enlightened and feminized as a society.

I think our kids need to be in Orthodox surroundings while they grow up, and if possible be taught to look in the Orthodox community when considering a mate. I just think it's hard enough being Orthodox when your spouse is as well, I can't imagine being divided on that issue when marriage is already hard enough. So why saddle yourself with a protestant that is at times diametrically opposed to your Faith in practice.  Since I have been a baptist much longer than an Orthodox believer I happen to know how opposed that former faith can be. 
Camps like Ionian village seem too far away and unreasonable, and we are only in a Greek parish-not Greek. So Greek dance and language isn't all as important as it is to some. Sending them to camps from other jurisdictions can be tricky at times, but if they are closer to ones home I suppose it could be just as helpful. Meeting people within your faith is important at any age, and of course it does increase the likelihood of meeting your spouse. It's not a given, but a better possibility.?
 

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I once belonged to a parish which had several Palestinian families as members. Our priest had an adopted son, who expressed a desire to date one of the Palestinian girls, who also went to his school. The priest conveyed this message to the girl's father. The father was pretty noncommittal when given this message by the priest, but that same day, after the trapeza, one of the Palestinian men (not the girl';s father) approached the would-be Romeo. He told this kid that, "If you go near that girl, we will put HEAVY PAIN on you!" That was all he said, and then he simply walked away.

I guess that could be one aspect of arranged teen dating, eh?
 
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