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December 2, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Sept. 12, 2011 / 13 Elul, 5771

The case for early marriage

By Betsy Hart



http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | So my teen and tween daughters are at it again: pushing me to allow dating relationships for them now, or in the cases of the younger ones, pushing for a promise that I will allow them to have such relationships when they are teens.

I think the advent of the school year has something to do with revisiting the issue. Sigh.

In February of this year, just before Valentine's Day, I wrote about this very thing. How I feel confident that intense, exclusive dating relationships for teens, when they are in no position to marry, are a little crazy. Yes, I realize that pegs me as being slightly insane, at least according to my children. No, I don't think I can fully prevent such relationships even with my own kids. I get it. Eventually, I won't, I can't be their conscience anymore.

But with my oldest daughter being only 15, I think I still have a lot of "conscience duties" in their lives. Anyway, what I didn't talk about so much in that piece is what I have long believed in, and it's the flip side of the "I think dating relationships in your teens are nuts." It's that I advocate young marriage (meaning, finishing college at a minimum) or moving any legitimate dating relationship along quickly toward marriage. And if it's not clearly moving in that direction and in a reasonable time frame -- end it.

Back to kids. I know parents who know their teens are in an intense dating relationship and assume (often rightly) that they are having sex in some form. But I also see parents, particularly in my evangelical world, who focus on helping teens have chaste romantic relationships for long periods, since the young people are in no position to marry. And so there is a lot of focus in this world on "chastity balls" and "purity rings."

In contrast, I think long-term chaste romantic relationships -- teen or otherwise -- are, well, unnatural.

Sure a lot of Christians, and even Christian parents, will disagree with me. But here's my point: Even where truly chaste romantic relationships are possible over the long term, barring some extenuating circumstances, it's not supposed to be that way. Romantic love and sexual love go together. Hello. That is simply how we are designed. It's how we are wired. We are supposed to combine the two. They are good things and are meant to go together.

In fact, I've come to believe that having a long-term, sexually chaste romantic relationship can be just about as perverted as having a sexual relationship without marriage.

No wonder, as sociologist Mark Regnerus pointed out in his provocative Christianity Today piece, "The Case for Early Marriage," almost 80 percent of young adult, conservative, churchgoing Protestants who are dating are engaged in some level of sexual activity. When it comes to young people, where evangelicals have tried to kick it up a notch and promote chastity balls and promise rings, it's for the most part not working -- at least, if the youth enter long-term dating relationships. Hello, again. It is not supposed to!

Regnerus says that what we should be doing is better equipping our youth to marry young and have successful marriages. No, not just so that young people can have legitimate sex, but so that they can grow up and live fully. He laments, I think rightly, that even the Christian world increasingly sees marriage not as "a formative institution, but rather as the institution they enter once they think they are fully formed."

Regnerus' research shows that it's not young marriage, per se, that is the problem in many marriage breakups, but, rather, a lack of preparation for the realities of marriage.

Back to my children. I would love for them to delay serious dating relationships until marriage is an option. Then date a lot, but not for long, and get married in a reasonable time frame and at a relatively young age. With the understanding, of course, that marriage is about a covenant, it's not "all about me."

OK, I admit it: It would be so much easier for me if my children would just let my conscience be their guide.

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JWR contributor Betsy Hart, a frequent commentator on CNN and the Fox News Channel, can be reached by clicking here.

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