Now is the time, or at least it is coming when the idea of dating will become a reality in your life. As you and your body mature, you will become attracted to the opposite sex. In some cases the attraction will be very compelling and you will need to deal with it. The question is, how will you deal with it. How you deal with it will become a major influence in the quality of your life and your service to the Lord as long as you live.
Now is the time to develop your biblical strategies for how you are going to deal with the opposite sex and temptation. These decisions will be far reaching, even to the point of reaching into the lives of your children and grandchildren.
At some stage in your life someone or something is going to set the standard for you in relation to dating and sex.
What sets that standard is the burning question. What sets your social and moral guidelines that you will live by?
I want to ask you a series of questions and I just want an honest thoughtful answer.
If we look into your phone address book, who are we most likely to find in there? Friends (Christian – non Christian)
What/Who mainly influences the way you speak? TV, Friends, magazines
What/Who mainly influences the way you dress? TV, Friends, magazines, current fashion (Who determines that)
What/Who mainly influences the way you act? Friends, current trends (Who sets these)
What/Who mainly influences where you hang out? Friends, Cool places to be seen (Who determines cool)
OK, from that, where does most of your influence come from, who are you allowing to set most of your standards? (Friends, World)
If these same people where to set your standards on dating and sex, what do you think that might look like?
Here we come back to our original question, who or what is going to set your standards. Who will you allow to set your moral and social guidelines?
Gods idea of dating(Matthew 19:4-6)4?Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female, 5and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’ 6 So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.”
Now I would like to make a series of statements open for discussion, please respond in any way that comes to mind.
Statement – True or False:
The fall of Adam and Eve has a great bearing on the subject of dating today.
When Adam sinned we no longer were innocent, our eyes were opened and we knew evil as well as good. From that point onwards we had a tendency towards sin rather than towards God, a tendency towards disobedience rather than obedience. So this affects every aspect of our lives including dating. We need to be aware that our natural propensity is to sin, so that we can challenge that when we are in situations that demand that we challenge it. Dating falls into this category.
Statement – True or False
One of the first things we need to realise about Christian dating is that it is definitely different from worldly dating. Why?
In fact it is so different most would not call it dating but instead call it courting. What’s the difference?
The idea of dating is to go out with someone, have some fun and see what happens from there. This is not a biblical concept or principle. Although dating may eventually lead to marriage, it is not intended to lead directly to marriage.
Courtship on the other hand is about finding a lifelong partner, being prepared to marry this person whom you are courting if that is what God has planned.
Statement – True or False
We should not start dating until we are ready to find a life partner
What is the ultimate goal of courtship? To find a life partner
God’s way is not the world’s way.”My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,’ says the Lord.
‘For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:8-9
“…present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service…. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” Romans 12:1-2
“For all that is in the world — the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life — is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.”
1 John 2:16-17
Statement – True or False
It doesn’t matter if my potential partner is not a Christian, l can convert them during the relationship.
This is called missionary dating.
What do you think would be the likely result for a Christian in this position? It’s usually the non believing partner who ends up being the missionary and converting the believing partner to their way of thinking.
I have rarely seen this any other way; it is usually the Christian who compromises their faith in some way to appease the non-Christian partner. Then a falling away occurs.
Why is this important that the partner be a Christian?
2 Corinthians 6:14 Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness?
What is often the result of these unions (disagreements arguments, different paths, a falling away of the Christian)
What does the bible say about this?
Matthew 12:25. ‘And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto them, every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand’.
The same can be said of relationships and marriage between a Christian and a non Christian.
And this does not mean someone who comes to church on Sundays or Easter and Christmas, not even someone who professes faith but it is superficial. God wants you to even consider marrying a committed Christian. In fact you can rest assured that God will not be the one to bring you into a relationship with a partner who does not love Him
With that in mind you need to ask yourself these questions before considering any potential partner
Has the person been born again in the Spirit of Christ? (John 3:3-8)
3In reply Jesus declared, “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.”
4?How can a man be born when he is old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb to be born!”
5Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. 6Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. 7You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.
Do they share your same desire to be like Christ? (Philippians 2:5)
5Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:
Are they willing to have you defile your body by encouraging pre-marital sex? (1 Corinthians 6:9, 13, 18)
9Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders
13?Food for the stomach and the stomach for food”-but God will destroy them both. The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body.
18 Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body.
Statement: True or False
When you are dating and you believe this is the person God has for you, that person should be your priority, the first thing of importance in your life.
To say or believe that another person is “everything” or the most important thing in one’s life is idolatry, it’s putting the creation before the creator which according to Colossians 3:5 is sin.
God made us a relational people. Our faith is based on a relationship with God. We need a relationship with God to fulfil us.
Satan knows this, so he tries to replace your relationship with God with a wrong relationship with another. If he can succeed, you will discover that your relationship with God will suffer.
Dating can certainly distract you from God. As I said before, once you put someone or something first in your life it becomes your idol. The Romeo and Juliet syndrome takes place.
We start to say “Oh, I can’t live without you! I need you! You are everything to me!”
Like Romeo and Juliet you will began to ignore or even detest the advice of your parents and others who care for your spiritual well being. You will soon give more and more time to this person. You will begin to spend less time with your family and Christian friends. Before you know it, you rarely attend church.
“Who cares, I’m in love!” you say. Remember the end of Romeo and Juliet: they killed themselves! That is not exactly a romantic ending.
What is the desire of your heart? Who have you given your life to first and foremost?
“To You, O Lord, I lift up my soul. O my God, I trust in You…. Show me Your ways, O Lord; Teach me Your paths.
Lead me in Your truth and teach me, for You are the God of my salvation; On You I wait all the day.” Psalm 25:1-5
If I could offer you any advice in relation to Christian dating these are the points I would make.
Find a Potential Partner Who Shares Your Faith
Not just someone who says, yeah I believe that stuff but you need to be only dating someone who shares your level of commitment to your faith in Christ. Someone who has similar goals and ideals when it comes to family, worship, and commitment to Christ is going to be more understanding of your desire to live and act according to your beliefs
Take it slowly
Get to know your potential partner, in fact be friends, just friends first. Don’t give away your heart in a flash or to the sudden impulse of emotion, it may not be this person God has for you and you can only get hurt by getting in too deep to soon. Be patient, talk to the person and be friends first. Go to public places and don’t spend time alone where temptation can take hold, like in the bedroom.
Discuss Limits, Expectations, and Needs with Each Other
As your Christian friendship progresses to something more there will come a time when you will both need to sit down together and discuss your limits, your needs, and your goals regarding intimacy and the physical nature of your ongoing dating relationship.
Open communication is the key to any successful relationship but is very important when you are attempting to live and date as a Christian. When you have a Christ-centred relationship you will still face the same temptations that other dating-couples experience. The difference is that you will be in a much better position to resist temptation if you are in agreement on firm dating boundaries.
Pray Together As Christians
There is a wise old saying: “The family that prays together stays together.” This is also true for relationships. Praying together strengthens your commitment to one another, and shows both of your commitments to God. Any successful Christian relationship must include God.
Worship Together As Christians
Attend church services together. Go to Bible study groups together. Build a relationship jointly within the safety net of your Christian faith. As you become more committed to one another and to God you can expand your outings to more secular activities if you should keep a Christ-centred relationship as your main focus.
After all, a Christian dating relationship is like a triangle with God at the top and the man and woman at each corner of the base, the closer a man and woman get to God, the closer they get to each other as they move up the triangle.
Surround Yourselves with Positive Christian Role Models
There is very little that can compare to fellowship with other Christian couples who share your commitment to Christ when it comes to helping you stand your moral ground while dating. There are many temptations that you will face as a Christian dating in today’s world, a fallen world that views dating and morality far differently than Christians do.
Wait on God and pray. He is The Best Matchmaker
Do not allow anxiety or desperation compromise your relationship with God. Relax and trust God to bring along the right person as you mature in Christ. Enjoy every stage of your Christian life. If single, enjoy singleness, keeping in mind that someday you will probably have far less free time with a spouse and possibly kids to love and care for.
Everyone close your eyes for a few seconds. I want you to picture this world for a minute. You know what the world looks like. There’s a lot of craziness around: murders, world hunger, threats of war, sicknesses, fighting, deaths . . . the list goes on. Well, I want you to picture this world- this same exact world . . . with one change. Only one change. Picture this world still with murders, world hunger, threats of war, sicknesses, fighting, deaths . . . but with one change. Picture that in this same world EVERYONE BELIEVES GOD’S PLAN FOR MARRIAGE.
That’s right. Everything is the exact same, except for some weird reason, everyone believed God in the one area of marriage. Picture this world right now. Everyone believes God’s way. That is, find the one person that you want to spend the rest of your life with and enjoy sex for the first time with them and for the rest of your life. Enjoy your relationship with them for the rest of your life. No cheating, just enjoying each other loyally to the end. Everything else is the same in this world, just this one thing is different.
Picture how different this world would be with this one simple little change. First of all there is no divorce. No one would be divorced. Mom would stay with Dad, Dad with Mom. No Step-mom and Step-dad. No Dad cheating on Mom, no Mom cheating on Dad. No family splits, no fatherless children through separation.
This world would have no prostitution. Everyone would be committed to their spouse and Gods idea of the marriage union so there would be no need to go outside of marriage.
This world would have no pornography. If people are happy with their spouse or saving themselves for their spouse then they don’t need to look elsewhere.
There would be no sexual abuse of any kind. No child abuse, no molestation of any kind . . . nothing! Everyone would enjoy intimacy with their spouse.
There would be no rape in this world. Even though rape is an act of violence, it is also a sexual crime. Rape wouldn’t exist in a world where people listen to God’s plan for marriage and intimacy.
Abortions would be reduced by 90% in this world because over 90% of abortions are executed outside of marriage.
The list goes on- everyone living as a family unit, loving and caring for each other.
So if people in this world would just try God’s plan for marriage, sex and relationships, instead of their own plan, we would see a world without divorce, without family splits, without fatherless homes, without marital infidelity, without prostitution, without pornography, without sexual abuse, without molestation, without rape, without a huge percentage of abortions, and without sexually transmitted diseases. None of these! Does Gods way sound so bad? Is there a chance that God knows what he’s doing- and we don’t?
See, a lot of us are trying things our own way and we end up hurt. Then we wonder why? The reason is simply this: God’s way is the best way!