Dating plays a vital role in the marriage-discernment process, giving young people experiences with the opposite gender so that they can learn what types of personalities may be a good match for them.For Stu and Liz Sigmund of Oconomowoc, Wis., dating was an indispensable factor in their marriage discernment.Dating and discernment are important and require the right intentions and approaches, based on individual personalities and holy purpose.Gregory Popcak, who, with his wife, Lisa, authored (Ascension Press, 2012), says that age is less important than maturity when it comes to dating."It’s more about having accomplished certain developmental and moral tasks," he said.Popcak recommends that parents ask themselves certain questions when deciding whether and when to allow their children to date, including: Does my child know how to be friends with the opposite sex?And so that they may not deplore for the rest of their lives the sorrows arising from an indiscreet marriage, those about to enter into wedlock should carefully deliberate in choosing the person with whom henceforward they must live continually: They should, in so deliberating, keep before their minds the thought first of God and of the true religion of Christ, then of themselves, of their partner, of the children to come, as also of human and civil society, for which wedlock is a fountain head.
Added Stu Sigmund: "It takes a lot of silent prayer and reflection to hear what God has written into your heart.
Southern Californian Leslie Lenko depended on prayer and the sacraments to guide her through a tough discernment process before marrying her husband of 20 years. "I remember many times, after work, driving to a beautiful Catholic church for prayer.
I took great comfort in praying before a statue of holy Mother Mary," she said.
Also know that the devil will try to break up a good relationship; he is not happy when you are faithful to God and your significant other." And parents help their children to discern true love by modeling healthy and holy love themselves.
"Parents should be affectionate in front of their kids," Hart advised.