Holly T. Ashley

Oh? Did I type that outloud?

#RaiseTheBar

The husband is head of his wife, just as Christ is head of the church. Therefore if any man desires to be a husband (leader of the home) he is one who has developed and is able to maintain the character of Christ and his actions toward his spouse must be like those of Christ to the church (1 Cor. 11:3; Eph. 5:23–24). Every husband must love his wife as he loves himself (Eph. 5:25–33), showing her great consideration (1 Pet. 3:7), honor (1 Thess. 4:4), and gentleness (Col. 3:19). A husband must provide for his family, not to do so, according to the Bible, would make him worse than an unbeliever (1 Tim. 5:8).

So why, if this is what the Bible says to be true, are we allowing our daughters to date men that do not measure up?

For that matter – have you discussed the purpose of dating with your daughter?

The tragic reality is that most of us have not – only because we cannot answer that question ourselves.

Since there is no instance of “Biblical dating” in the Bible, it is imperative that we come to the realization of the fact that there is no instance, because it does not exist. God made a woman and presented her to man. They became one flesh.

The man, made in God’s image, stood as a perfect specimen and God presented him with a perfect specimen.

Romantic?

Depends on how you look at it.

When you determine in your mind, heart, and body – that you were made for God’s glory and therefore, the image of marriage that God gives to His chosen is that of Christ and His church – maybe your perspective will change.

If dating is for the sole purpose of movies, dinner, fellowship – that can be done in same-sex friendships – or even as mixed sexes as a group.

God’s design for men and women is as husband and wife. To become one flesh. Therefore shouldn’t the purpose of dating to be finding that life-mate? And if so, why is a 14… 16… 17-year-old child allowed to “date”? No one needs to be married at 15… 18… even 20 is a stretch in today’s world! It’s not like they are staying home raising children to become disciple makers – let’s face it- that’s not even in the wheelhouse of most of our adolescents – let alone young adults who are struggling through high-school and college and trying to figure out how to avoid bullying, online stalking, date-rape drugs, dating violence, rape, and maintain a passing grade in their classes.

Aside from the cognitive functioning of those who are so very young – I must say to the parents – What is wrong with you? Why have you allowed this to happen?

Well, I happen to know – because I did it too… I wanted my son and daughter to have fun, be popular and believed they were safe if I met their prospective dates, made sure they had a verifiable plan, asked about the plot of the movie… all while knowing, somewhere in my heart, that this would not end well.

And it didn’t.

I begged my parents to let me date – the answer was always the same: “When you are mature enough,” but there was never an explanation as to what that meant – I was only 15 years old, I thought it meant to bring my grades up, help my mother with the cooking, cleaning and show respect for my parents …

And no one told me anything different.

No one ever asked me why I wanted to date. No one asked me about the man I was looking for or any Biblical expectations I might have…

No one ever explained to me God’s design for marriage and therefore the relationship between men and women.

Even at church, this wasn’t a topic of discussion.

Which left me – like the kids of today – to find out via my social circles…

It is absolutely no wonder that we are in the mess we are in.

Dating violence, bullying, stalking, rape, binge drinking, and abortions – are all at an all-time high – and promoted on nearly every single show your child watches on television or on Youtube, Netflix, online pornography –

Don’t even say “Not my kid!” Because it is your kid. It’s my kid. It’s your neighbor’s kid and your Bible study teacher’s kid. The statistical fact is that it is 98% of all kids according to the National Center on sexual exploitation.  Knowledge networks say that 1 in 3 college women have been abused in their dating relationships and another 52% have a friend in dating relationships that are currently being abused.

According to a TRU research, 72% of “tweens” (11-14) say that they have been in a dating relationship and 28% believe that sex is a part of the “tween experience.”

What is alarming is that 26% of the tween parent’s agree with that statement but only 7% believe it is their kid.

Half of the teenagers researched, who are allowed to be in dating relationships have gone against their religious beliefs in order to satisfy or appease their boy/girlfriend. 1 out every 5 are physically abused, 68% have been humiliated or embarrassed by their boy/girlfriend’s sharing of “private, personal, and intimate” pictures online. A quarter of teenagers who are in “dating” relationships reported being pressured to “go all the way” with their boy/girlfriend.

One in six women report being raped before the age of 25 with 42% being raped before the age of 18.

And the statics only grow with each year we allow our children to walk down this dangerous path.

And it is a dark, dangerous path of expectations, excitement, and no parental control. This path that they are walking down is completely and totally dependent on the foundation that parents have put in their lives, modeled in their behavior, and instilled by way of Biblical doctrine.

The Bible is clear as to what standards we are to set for those we allow to be a part of our lives, but if you are not informing your children and demanding that they measure up to the standards that God has set forth for them – and especially modeling that behavior for them to see and emulate – then you are failing to “train your child in the way he should go…” (Pr. 22:6).

It is time for women to raise a generation of women who put an end to the abuse and exploitation of women – and we can do that by raising up Biblical women who know who they are in Christ and believe that what He says about them is true and they won’t settle for anything less than His standard for them.

It is time for women to #Raisethebar

R3 is hosting  Raise the Bar mother/daughter one-day workshops. For more information, email us at: Holly@Redemption3.com

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Holly T. Ashley is the founder of: Redemption. Restoration. Recovery. (R3)  Under the direction and leadership of husband, David Ashley, R3 has been created as a domestic violence training program written by David Ashley, MAA, MDiv., Holly T. Ashley BS Psy., This training includes a Christ-centered teaching manual, class curriculum, and counseling guide for the church and ministries who wish to become domestic violence service providers. There is also an option to join a national network of Christian service providers including resources and referrals.
For more information on obtaining training for your church, please email Holly directly at: Holly@Redemption3.com or visit our website at www.Redemption3.com for information on our other workshops and educational opportunities.
R3 is a division of Cross Strength Ministries, A Christ-centered, non-profit 501c3 organization. You can donate to this ministry by clicking this link.
Please note that the views on this site are the sole opinions based on in depth study of the biblical texts by David and Holly T. Ashley.

 

 

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4 comments on “#RaiseTheBar

  1. pamelaparizo
    September 16, 2017

    Holly, I totally agree with you. I try to talk to Christian ladies about praying for a spouse. My former church encouraged youth fellowship rather than dating so that people would get to know each other in a group setting. And many I know would pray that God would bring their spouse to them. Dating is simply not the biblical answer and often leads to the error of our thinking, our understanding of how compatible we are.

    • Holly T. Ashley
      September 17, 2017

      About a year ago a woman and I were talking about an experience that she had at one of those “fellowships” – turned out it was at a church up the street from my house and one where my husband and I had recently visited and determined that there were some gross misinterpretations of Scripture.

      The woman explained that although she did not attend the church, she, like many others that were there, did not have to be members – it was an open invitation to anyone who wanted to come.

      “In the name of Jesus! Hallelujah!” (Sarcasm intended).

      A few weeks after attending the gatherings she determined that it wasn’t for her – something about it was just not to her liking.

      A couple weeks after she stopped attending a man began calling her – First, on her cell phone – then her business phone – after multiple attempts at letting him know she was not interested – he showed up on the doorstep of her home.

      She had met this man at one of the “fellowships” – he had no church home, he had no testimony to speak of, he had no job, no car, and was simply too pushy.

      The single’s pastor had given the “interested” man – with no church affiliation, no background to speak of, and no “Spiritual vetting” whatsoever, her personal information.

      When she confronted the pastor of the church – He asked her to “give him a chance…” and that “he really likes you… maybe if you go out with him, you’ll find some common ground…”

      I am dead serious! I was sickened and followed up with a letter myself letting them know of the legal ramifications of their actions.

      No response…. shocker, I know, right.

      This woman had been put in serious danger due to the irresponsibility of churches who want to hold these “fellowships” and open them up to the public – Predators are among us and there are troubling issues with the church’s lack of responses to the truth of this matter – or basic denial of that fact.

      But that’s a blog for another day…

      So be careful when attending these fellowships – Especially when the church does not adhere to the Biblical commands of keeping wolves out of the sheep’s pastures.

      -Holly

      • pamelaparizo
        September 17, 2017

        Holly, when I say fellowships, I mean that they are primarily people within the Church. Both churches I’ve attended are very small and so our women are aware of those within and without the body. And yes, I am aware of the predators that target young Christian women. It’s very troubling that churches allow this to happen, and should warn young women,as I have, about dating people, even those that claim to be a part of the body who have only been there for a short time. I was not aware this went on until I encountered a group calling themselves the Red PIll who do just that, target young Christian women, that is.

      • Holly T. Ashley
        September 17, 2017

        I’m so happy to hear that!!! We need more women like you.

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