Thank God for Parental Involvement
Here is Jonathan's testimony of how parental involvement aided his courtship experience
From the time I first realized I had feelings for Katie, it seemed futile to do anything about them because she was beginning to pursue a relationship with someone else.
I was utterly confused by mixed signals from Katie, and these factors combined to make me miserable! While driving up to Idaho to see my grandparents, my mom called to find out how I was doing. I poured out my anguished heart to her, and after listening supportively, she recommended that I talk to Katie. This I refused to do, and she then STRONGLY recommended that I talk to her parents. If Katie had made up her mind already, her parents would know and could help me save face.
After an almost sleepless night before talking to my mom and another one after talking to her, I realized my health was going to get worse and worse unless I acted. New Year's Day I decided to call, but I did NOT want to talk to Katie's mom because she would not only figure out why I was calling, but would likely share it with Katie. I called her dad's cell phone instead, and when he didn't answer I left a vague message. A few minutes later my cell phone rung and I saw it was her dad's cell phone. I answered and realized that the voice on the line was not his voice! Her mom had called back instead of her dad! I wished her Happy New Years and avoided giving the main reason why I had called. She then told me it was a good thing I called, because she had been wanting to ask me about something. With much foreboding I asked her what it was she wanted to ask me.
She proceeded to ask me what my opinion was about Katie's relationship with the other guy! After giving my honest opinion that she didn't seem any happier or better off since they started talking about a more serious relationship, I realized that God was working through circumstances to get me to act on my feelings for Katie and tell her parents then and there. I asked Katie's mom if her dad was around, because there was something I needed to tell them. She sensed immediately that it was serious and rushed to get Katie's dad. After shoeing the kids out of the house they put me on speaker phone and gave me their full attention.
I told them how I had come to realize my feelings for Katie, and explained my desire to not interfere with Katie's tentative relationship with the other guy. After clarifying a few things, her parents, who were very surprised to discover that I had deep feelings for Katie, affirmed that both the other guy and I had positive characteristics and they liked both of us. They said that they would have to talk to Katie, though, to find out what she thought. I asked that they not tell Katie the information I had revealed to them. They agreed, and hung up.
Later that afternoon I got a call from Katie's mom. She had talked to Katie that afternoon and wanted to describe what happened. Observing that Katie seemed to be torn between the other guy and I, Katie's mom affirmed their support of her decision and asked that she make a decision between them. Katie replied that that wasn't a fair question to ask because I wasn't an option for her. After trying to persuade Katie that I probably did, and bound by her agreement not to tell Katie about the conversation I had with them, Katie's mom became frustrated with her and offered to call me up and ask me if there was any possibility that I liked Katie.
Katie immediately agreed to this arrangement after sobbing that she really wanted me more than the other guy, but that seemed to good to be true. When Katie's mom asked me if I liked her, she also wanted to know exactly what she should tell Katie. I told her that if God should someday lead in that direction, I would open to that! This she said she would tell Katie, and call me back later.
Within a short time she called me back and told me what had happened. After giving Katie my answer, Katie wouldn't believe it. She said it would take a lightning bolt to get her to believe that I liked her. She also said that when she had asked Katie which one she would pick between me and the other guy Katie started crying and said that her heart was really with me! Katie's mom asked me how I felt about it, and after sharing I talked to Katie's mom and dad for a couple of hours. They shared what was important to them, asked me a lot of questions, and prayed with me before hanging up.
Later, before officially asking Katie to be my girlfriend, we talked to her parents about our dating. They helped establish some guidelines for our relationship that I found very reasonable, such as not going anywhere at night with each other if no one else was with us, not being exclusive and ignoring family and friends, and doing as much as possible in groups. These guidelines helped Katie and I immensely as we started officially dating. We were able to avoid the appearance of evil, get adjusted to being together in different social environments, and continue to maintain our other friendships.
Being open with her parents and enlisting their accountability and support earned their trust, which proved helpful when I wanted Katie to come with me for a weekend at a beach house with my family, when she flew out to visit me for a weekend, and when we visited my grandparents at the end of the summer. I think being open with them has helped my relationship with Katie because she knows that I respect and care about her parent's viewpoints and ideas. Her relationship with her parents is a close and important one, and since she knows it's important to me too, it helps us to be closer to each other.
If it were not for the advice and mediation of our parents, it does not seem likely that Katie and I would have gotten together, and continued as strongly as we have in our relationship. I believe that God has blessed our faithfulness to the "first commandment with promise," that of honoring father and mother, and circumstances allowing, I recommend honoring parents in any dating relationship!