Remembering My Creator – September 2010 – Theme: Dating

Remembering My Creator

Volume 1, Number 4

Theme: Dating

In This Issue:

  • “Dating – What is the Goal?” by Randy Sexton
  • “Taking Inventory” by Randy Sexton
  • “Rules For Dating” by Kurt G. Jones

Dating – What is the Goal?

By Randy Sexton

Young people, sometimes dating can be like interviewing for a job. As a “candidate” you try so hard to make an impression that you may appear to be something that you are not. You want to “put your best foot forward” so as to influence your dating partner to continue to go out with you, right? But sometimes this forces you into behavior that is deceitful. James Dobson says in his book, Love For a Lifetime, “Finding the right person to love for a lifetime can be one of the greatest challenges in living. By the time you locate a sane, loyal, mature, disciplined, intelligent, motivated, chaste, kind, unselfish, attractive and godly partner, you’re too worn out to care. Furthermore, merely locating Mr. or Miss Marvelous is only half of the assignment, getting that person interested in you is another matter (p. 19).”

Would you agree with me that the goal of dating is marriage? If this is the goal of dating, shouldn’t it dictate how you select those whom you are going to date? Author Ronald VanOverloop says this:

“Dating is really of recent origin. It is a development of the past few hundred years in Western culture. That is why the Bible says nothing specifically about dating. But this should not keep us from using the Bible when discussing dating, for the principles which must govern our dating are found in the Bible.

I would define dating as the middle stage in the process of finding a suitable mate. Dating comes between being friends and getting engaged.

Young people often send out conflicting signals about the seriousness of their dating. To their parents they often insist that dating is just “for fun.” With their closest of friends, on the other hand, they are more likely to treat dating as pretty serious business. Generally these conflicting signals reflect some of the confusion which they experience within themselves as they deal with and try to understand their own emotions. (And sometimes they may even purposely send out the signal which is most likely to confuse their parents.)

Parents want to respond to both signals. Sometimes they must say that dating is serious business, and other times they may advise that dating should be for fun. Both are true. When young people “fall” quickly head over heels in “love,” then their parents counsel, “Take it easy”; “Don’t get so involved with just one, look around”; “Date in groups”; “Don’t be alone a lot.” But when young people say that dating is just for fun and that they may date whomever they want, then parents must say, “Be careful, because dating does lead to marriage.” In fact, dating is the only thing that leads to marriage.

Because marriage is the goal of dating, you may not date just anyone. You may not date a person who may not be a lifelong mate. Why would you want to go out with an unbeliever? Why go with someone whom you know you should and could never marry? On the other hand, you may date anyone who is one with you “in the Lord” (I Cor. 7:39b).” (Source: Sex and Dating in The Christian Life at http://www.prca.org/pamphlets/pamphlet_16.html).

In his workbook for teenagers, Tough Choices, author and teacher David Banning suggests listing the top three qualities that are most important to you when deciding who you will date. He also recommends thinking about and completing these statements…

  • I would never go on a date to …
  • I would insist on going home if my date …
  • When it comes to sex, you know things have gone too far when …

Young friend, I realize that the challenge for you is great. As Jeff Himmel observes, “In our culture, most adults view sex as a natural and inevitable part of dating. Marriage is increasingly regarded as a needless burden. Worse still, many adults not only expect but encourage teenagers to engage in sexual activity. The realities surrounding us make it all the more important that Christians commit themselves to God’s plan for sexual fulfillment — even if that makes us a little odd by the world’s standards.” (“You Shall Not Commit Adultery” in Life Lines at http://www.bibleweb.com/lifelines/2006_05_01_LL_archive.htm). But I encourage you, as Paul encouraged the young man Timothy, “So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart. … Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity” (2nd Timothy 2:22 and 1st Timothy 4:12).

Rules For Dating

By Kurt G. Jones

Dating is a common concern amongst many teenagers, and young people. It can be a sad, sorrowful, blemish on the course of our lives, or it can be a joyous time of fun, and growth both as a person and as a child of God. The decision ultimately is yours. Will you follow the outlined precepts of a loving, caring, and just God? Or, will you allow yourself to give in to temptation and sinfulness? The Bible assures us that we shall be judged according to our works (Revelation 12:20). As we consider this, the application ought to be made as it pertains to relationships we have as we are dating.

The wise man of God, Solomon, said, “Rejoice, O young man, in your youth, and let your heart cheer you in the days of you youth. Walk in the ways of your heart and in the sight of you eyes; but know that for all theses God will bring you into judgment. Therefore remove sorrow from your heart, and put away evil from your flesh…” (Ecclesiastes 11:9-10). In youth, we have the ability to do things we may not be able to do as we get older, yet that is no excuse to reject God’s commands. “For childhood and youth are vanity;” We are going to give an accounting to God for our decisions, thus it is ours to make decisions based on godly principals while we are dating. Let us consider some of God’s precepts.

Adorn Yourself in modest apparel (I Timothy 2:9-10). Children of God must realize that the clothes they wear give signals. Women should adorn themselves with “shamefacedness” and “sobriety” (KJV), in the manner “…which is proper for women professing godliness.” While this passage is addressed to women, it does not give men the right to dress in a sinful manner either.

Stay away from questionable places and situations (2 Thessalonians 5:22). It might be a common thought among some that “I can go to a questionable place and not sin.” While it may be true that you can go to a dance, and remain seated, or go to a bar and not drink, or be alone with the one you are dating and not engage in licentiousness, it still violates God’s principal, to “abstain from all appearance of evil” (KJV). We must be aware of what can be assumed by people based on appearance. If they see our car at the home of our boyfriend/girlfriend, and they know that there are no parents, people may assume the worst. While it may be true that all you did was talk or watch a movie, etc., it is much wiser to follow God’s precepts and not give place for wrong appearances.

Abstain from uncleanness and lewdness (Galatians 5:19). It should be clear that Christians shouldn’t dance, or engage in other activities that incite lust. It is a great temptation for one to follow after their temptations, especially when they engage in lewd behavior. Many have pierced themselves through with many sorrows because they have given in to the temptation to engage in lustful behavior.

Flee sexual immorality (1 Corinthians 6:18). In all actuality, if you have followed the other guidelines mentioned, you have gone along way here at fleeing fornication. By dressing modestly, staying away from questionable places, and from abstaining for lewd behavior, you have greatly lessened your opportunity for temptation to engage in fornication. Paul points out in this passage “…every sin that man commits is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body.” Great steps ought to be taken to flee sexual immorality. Also, fleeing something, is not flirting with it. Some try to justify their sin by saying, “We didn’t commit fornication, but we got as close as we could.” No, this is not a godly attitude, and in general is speaking of engaging in lewdness.

Yes, dating can be a fun, growing experience. But it also can be a hurtful, mournful experience. The decision is purely up to you. If you choose to follow God’s precepts, there can be in store for you a wealth of friendships, a potential life-long mate, and a time of following after your heart; letting it cheer you in the days of your youth. (Copied by permission from http://www.truthfortodaysyouth.com/dailyissues/dailyissues_rulesfordating.html)

Taking Inventory

by Randy Sexton

The process of dating will allow you, over a period of time, to narrow the field of “candidates.” Finally, when you have that “short list” narrowed to one, and you are pretty certain that this is THE ONE with whom you want to spend the rest of your life, you need to take a pre-marriage inventory with that person. There are two good books, that I am familiar with, that will walk you through this process with the aid of a good marriage counselor. That counselor will probably be the one whom you have chosen to perform your wedding ceremony. It could be your local preacher or one of the elders of the local congregation. You should meet with your counselor and determine which of the following resources you will use:

Before You Say I Do by H. Norman Wright & Wes Roberts or How Can I Be Sure? By Bob Phillips.

Mr Phillips says in the introduction to his book, “This inventory is not an answer book for marriage problems. Many of those type books have already been written and are available. This inventory is a discussion guide to help couples open up important channels of communication; express their thoughts, desires and feelings to each other; and enhance their growing relationship together.”

My wife and I took a similar inventory prior to our marriage and I can personally testify to the effectiveness of it, as a vehicle to stimulate the needed discussions of important issues. When you get to that point in your dating relationship, please prayerfully consider it.

Thanks for reading with me, Beloved. I pray that you have a Blessed Day!