Prom Night

Proms are still a couple of months away, but I have been asked by a friend to explore this topic now- so as always I am soliciting your wisdom in this discussion.

Did you know that Proms are big business? Literally- millions are spent each year on dresses, flowers, tux rental, limousine service, decorations, photo fees, etc.  Thousands of folk earn thousands of dollars every year during prom season.

Did you know that Proms are now basically a rite-of-passage for millions of American teens? It is now such a big-deal event that some even hire prom advisers and prom counselors to ensure the very best prom experience possible.

It is just simply not your grandparents dance anymore.

And in this all-consuming prom climate any voice that calls this tradition into question may get lost in all the noise.

But I am such a voice.

Now before I continue I will admit that I have no clue what may go on at your specific prom. It may be the most well-chaperoned “Let it to Beaver” type dance on the planet. You may just go there to hang-out, get your picture taken, drink punch and leave early. I am not discounting the innocent fun that proms can provide, the thrill they give young people who participate by getting all glamorous for one night, nor am I attempting to indict everyone who attends a prom.

My concerns have to do soley with my own personal experience in the dark ages of long-ago. Then I just followed my crowd to the dance. Now as an old Christian dad I would not want my daughters to go to a prom like I had. Here are my three main reasons:

  • The atmosphere- let’s just say that most dances do not provide an atmosphere in which spiritual health is encouraged. Do I need to elaborate?
  • The music- even in my day the music we listened to was very suggestive. Lyrics hinted of drug use and sexual experimentation. Now the lyrics have gone from suggestive to plain-talk to expletive. I know we can turn this type of music off, but not when we dance. Gotta have music to dance, you know.
  • The moves- many dance moves today are very sexually suggestive- even imitating sex acts. No way participating in these type of dances can please God.

All type of dancing is not sinful. Some dances are recorded in Scripture as done to the glory of God. (Psalm 149:3; 150:4) There are all kinds of dance disciplines today which are every bit an athletic endeavor as any other sport and are a beauty to behold.

And I am sure that not all Proms are cut from the same cloth.

But before you decide to prom or not to prom, I hope you will honestly consider how participating may affect your Christian witness or how in participating you can be a Christian witness.

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18 Responses to Prom Night

  1. Danny says:

    I object to school dances and “prom” on a different basis…

    Huge sums are spent… Why? To show off wealth and “artificial beauty;” those without the wealth are quickly relegated to second class status. A status which they acknowledge by not showing up, but rather suffer.

    Secondly, At most school dances,(the prom fares little better) so much centers on getting the date. Most are injured because no one asks them; another large number are injured because they don’t dare ask for fear of rejection. A huge percentage of the student body are either at home, or in the parking lot suffering in the status of rejection. Only 10 – 15% have the prom experience of reputation.

    No school function is worth injuring 85 % of the student body by labeling them “substandard” and unacceptable.

    That’s my diatribe on school dances.

    I agree with you that more and more the prom is becoming a “moral” (immoral) rite of passage. And where was the sense of the parents who hosted the first one in a hotel; or that rent out rooms for their teen and their friends.

    Proms, whether they go or not, call for heroic stands by teens. Lets pray for them… and set them an example of heroic living.

  2. dannydodd says:

    Excellent comment Danny. I especially like your last paragraph. Well said.

    Now which Danny are you? 🙂

  3. Jim says:

    One of my biggest regrets is that I sat “literally” at our prom and did not dance (because Church of Christ kids do not dance). I spent money and “bored” the young lady that I took. If I had it over….I would have taken her to dinner.
    Dance styles and music have changed AND they are the same. Some dancing is provacative and some music is sexually charged.
    But, not all kids go to get into trouble. We must prepare them for life. Hopefully, mine will (and did) conduct themselves as believers.

  4. bobbyvalentine says:

    I went to mine. Great memories. I recall the annual sermon on dancing in the congregation I grew up in. But I never heard the sermon that said if you were a racist then your soul was in more danger than if it went to a dance.

    Seeking Shalom,
    Bobby Valentine

  5. dannydodd says:

    Jim, did you sit our because you should not or could not dance. 😉

    Interesting take on this discussion Bobby.

    Thanks for the input guys.

  6. Teresa Jurczak says:

    I did go to my prom, in fact I went to several because my boyfriend was 2 years older and went to a different high school. Mostly we went for pictures, out to eat or some parent cooked breakfast. Even though my dad was a Church of Christ preacher I must say he was open on such matters. One thing I think is good today is you don’t have to have a date to go to the prom. Kids go with a group of friends. Jennifer is a good kid so I trust her to go with girlfriends but What I don’t like is “LISA’s going to ATLANTA to get her dress. I want an “up-do” and to go to a tanning salon, my nails done etc. Oh mom you don’t get it all the girls do this.” I didn’t do all of that for my wedding!

  7. lesjr says:

    We we weren’t allowed to go–so being the rebellious teenagers we were, some of us good church folk did much worse. The proms here are little more than social occasions and a chance for fancy dressing and pictures.

    i’ll never forget when the men of our church had a meeting with my father and insisted that his daughter had to be the example and not go–while their children did.

  8. Otis says:

    Much like Danny, proms in my day were just an avenue toward an immoral end. Times have changed and as a minister with two teen age sons the ball is in my court. Scripture teaches there should not even be a hint of sexual immorality among God’s holy people. We all know drunkards will not inherit the Kingdom fo God. Those are two very strong concerns of mine and as parents my wife and i discuss them with our sons.
    However, my son is more concerned about getting to ride in a limo with friends and going to a restaurant to eat. After the pictures and a dance or two they will retreat to a friends home and watch T.V. and have a breakfast together. I can handle that and i trust my son.
    What gets me is a person with out a dog in the hunt who stands on their moral high horse and forbids every child in every place to totally abstain. I have learned to seek a safe balance in times like these.

  9. Josh says:

    I went to 2 proms, one I had a great time at, the other just the opposite.

    I’d much rather raise my child up to make the right decisions regardless of whether they are at a prom or anywhere. Luckily, my daughter is 2 1/2, and I have a few years to achieve this.

  10. Darin says:

    God discussion. As a father with three who won’t be at prom for a few years I don’t know what I think.

  11. dannydodd says:

    I am really enjoying everyone’s input.

    It seems to me that common sense is prevailing with each of you as you make decisions on this topic.

    I think all of us parents can relate to what Teresa wrote.

    I think all of us preacher-types can sadly relate to what Les wrote about his dad.

    I am like Josh and Darin- with young kids- so I have a while still to grapple with this.

    And when I do, I will call Otis- welcome to the blog by the way- who seems to have found the right balance.

    But where are the old arguements against dancing? 😉

  12. lesjr says:

    They are locked in a closet fighting with lasviciousness and instrumental music…

  13. Everybody in the Mississippi Delta knows that it’s better to ask a Church of Christ girl to the prom because she can’t go dancing, but she can go parking!

  14. Adam G. says:

    My prom in 1994 was nothing special in and of itself. It was important for me though because my brothers didn’t go to their proms (I was the youngest of three sons). The very fact I went gave testimony to the change my new-found faith in Christ at brought about in me. I found what seemed like a natural courage to go and be involved, even though my tendency throughout high school had been to avoid social situations and keep to myself.

    My mother was really happy about it. She had the chance to experience taking her son out to rent a tux. I didn’t take a date. I just danced with some girls who were there, and then attended the official after-prom party that was chaperoned. It was good, and I’m glad I went.

  15. dagwudandblondy says:

    Our son went to his prom and his girlfriend’s prom. She was older, so actually, her’s was first. He rented a tux at the first and didn’t at the second. She looked beautiful both times in a prom dress, but not expensive. Kids like times to dress up for special occasions, splurge a little, eat a lot (if you are a boy) and goof off with friends. My son can dance better than me, but he doesn’t care to if it means he can’t talk with his friends.

    Our daughter likes to dance more. She is still a couple of years away from prom, and she has needed a litte more instruction than our son. If we don’t think she understands what she needs to understand, she won’t go. And she already knows this.

    Some proms in some places probably shouldn’t be attended. In our town, some of the kids get too close, and the chaperones break them up. My daughter has been to some other kinds of dances, and has agreed with the decisions of the chaperones she has observed. She is usually ready to go before the festivities end.

    The biggest problem on prom night here is after prom. Even kids who don’t go to the prom participate in the craziness afterwards, and most of it is immoral. Some of the kids in our school have motel rooms purchased by their parents to party in. Most pregnancies occur after prom.

    Tammie you are so right about the MS delta experience!

    A co-worker of mine used to say: You know what’s wrong with dancing? It always leads to mixed swimming.

    Dancing can lead to immoral activity. Christians must be careful. Tailgating in the Pizza Hut parking lot on Sunday night after church in Kosciusko, MS can lead to immoral activity, too. I had to be careful in my spot. My kids have to be careful in theirs.

  16. dannydodd says:

    Tammie, I am still cracking up at your comment. I am a Delta boy and can testify to that truth.

    I am hearing more and more statements like Adams- on this topic- folks glad they went.

    And Dag/Blondy makes some excellent points about after prom activities. I still remember the motel rooms with bathtubs iced down full of beer.

  17. Jon says:

    hi im kinda in a situation here my parents let me go to prom, but after talking with a couple of people in church they decided not to let me go. i bought the tickets and i am about to buy the suit, and this situation comes out and i am going alone too, just to hang out with friends.can somebody with exp. help??

  18. Shelly says:

    I don’t think this kind of matters make you lees Christian. You can go out and have fun and still live with your principals.
    My boyfriend hired a limo too for our prom, anything a girl would dream of. It was so beautiful ill never forget that night. The service was perfect, I really enjoyed it. They made our night very special. If you want you can check this limousine site.
    We are thinking about the US for our wedding, and people have to choose well the company. Its not a sin to rent a limo once in your life.

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