BeijoToday’s culture for teens is a lot harder to navigate than when I was a teen. Our society has fully embraced sexually as something to explore during your teen years, and it makes it extremely difficult for parents, like me, who try and teach their children that sexual exploration should happen between a married couple (oooo, so “antiquated!”). I was ignorant of how things had changed since I was in high school, and was shocked to learn the definitions have changed.

“Going out” doesn’t mean the same thing it did when I was in high school! I made the mistake of thinking that when my daughter was asked to “go out,” she was simply going on a date. I was wrong! Today that means you’re “going steady.” My daughter had a boy ask her to “go out,” and I thought it meant on a regular “date,” like to the movies or mini-golf. She was asked to “go out,” and said yes because she thought I was okay with it. I misunderstood, and thought she was simply going on a date! After all, I thought, how could you “go steady” with someone you haven’t even dated yet? That’s just dumb! But she was this boy’s “girlfriend” for about two-months in the 9th grade, until she realized she didn’t really like him. I thought, ‘well if you just would have dated him a couple of times, then this whole drama would have been avoided!’

Today, “going out” often times means “hooking up,” or having sex. My daughter is a senior now, and hasn’t “gone out” with any boy since she realized that wasn’t for her. Since the ninth grade, despite the fact that she is gorgeous, and has a lot going for her, she’s not been asked out on a “date.” Since she is a Christian in a public school, she doesn’t want to “hook up,” and perhaps boys don’t ask her out because of it? I am not certain. Nevertheless, it is a pathetic thing that our culture has stooped so low that if a girl doesn’t have sex, she won’t get invited to go out on a “traditional date” to play a game of bowling, or something innocent like that!

I do tell her I would love it if she simply “traditionally dated” boys as friends, to see a movie, or play a video game together, or whatever fun and innocent thing kids can do nowadays. She told me kids at her high school don’t date. It’s “going out” or nothing. That is just wrong! How is she supposed to learn about herself around the opposite sex if she never has the opportunity to socialize outside the school classroom with boys? Has it really become “hook up” or nothing in today’s teen culture? If that’s the case, I feel bad for kids that are missing out on innocent fun. It’s tragic, actually.

Just this past couple of months, however, she has gained a new guy “friend” who is a Christian! They hang out, play video games, go to the youth group together , and simply enjoy being buddies. I am OVERJOYED! She has a guy friend who really respects her, hasn’t “tried” anything on her, and just enjoys her company (we’ve been praying for two years that God would bring her a good Christian friend). So, it IS possible that your kids can find friends of the opposite sex to simply have a good, old-fashioned time. But when that happens, thank God for it, and recognize it is, unfortunately, rare in today’s over-sexed culture.