I was with a group of high school girls recently and they were complaining that boys didn’t really ask girls out on dates anymore.

As a teacher and mother of older children, it seems to me that there are basically two camps of kids that have grown out of this digital atmosphere:

The Great Hesitancy” and “The Free For All”.

The Great Hesitancy” are Christian kids who seem to be afraid to interact with the opposite sex. They are convinced that their purity is at stake. The girls I know are so guarded and unapproachable that they have little experience or skills in communicating face-to-face with guys. The guys in this camp tend to be anxious & cautious towards initiating or clarifying their intentions with girls. Texting and messaging create a buffer that can go on for extended periods of time because they are plagued with “The Great Hesitancy”. I wish this whole group could learn to relax with God and enjoy the process of being friends with the opposite sex, learn to date appropriately, and perhaps prepare for marriage someday.

Sadly, “The Free For All” camp is where I would have landed. With no boundaries, this is a scary scenario with recorded material and 24-hour access. Things are typed and pictures are snapped by both parties that would most likely never be said or done face to face. Hook-ups are discussed and planned, and hearts are shattered.“The Free For All” camp desperately needs boundaries. But what matters most about boundaries is where they come from.

Are boundaries a list of rules, rules motivated by fear (for example, fear of making God mad)?

Or, are they healthy guidelines motivated by love to keep students from harm’s way?

1 Corinthians 13:7

“Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.”

God is a loving Father Who wants to protect them.

I want kids to know that in Christ they possess all the self-control they will ever need. Enough power all day, every day, to say “yes” or “no” to anything. Christ’s Spirit lives in His children at all times.

Colossians 1:27

“…And this is the secret: Christ lives in you. This gives you assurance of sharing his glory.”

Galatians 2:20

“My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me…”

Here is how I see it…

Fear + Rules = Pride or Failure

However, by God’s Spirit,

Love + Boundaries = Protection and Peace

Click here to read Part 2 of “Digital Dating and Your Kid” by Tracy Levinson!

 Tracy Levinson is the best selling author of “Unashamed – candid conversations about dating, love, nakedness & faith.” Visit her website: www.tracylevinson.com