Recently my parents were given a video called God’s Plan for Finding Your Future Mate. This video is designed for teens and their parents to warn them of the dangers of dating and to show them the biblical pattern. I admit, when I looked at the title of the video I figured that my parents were going to say, “No dating. You’re going to court.” My parents watched this video first and then my sister and I watched it. I was very skeptical at first but I asked God to help me have an open mind and learn what He wanted for me in my life. So this is what I ask you to do before you continue reading.
First of all, dating is not biblical whatsoever. It is a tradition. In fact, its roots are in the feminist movement. When a teen decides that he is going to date, he usually doesn’t include Mom or Dad in it.
Therefore, dating is a threat to purity—one is exposed to extreme temptation when a girl and a guy are together, alone, at night, in a car (you catch my drift?). Dating threatens emotional stability – one gets so attached to a girl or guy that one would kill to be near him or her. Dating hampers spiritual growth—one’s focus is to get a boyfriend or girlfriend instead of growing in grace and knowledge. Spiritual fellowship also suffers—a girl and a guy among a group of committed teens are “going” together and then they break up and the girl is jealous of the girl that the guy is now “going” with, and the focus is again on the girl/guy thing instead of good Christian fellowship. Future happiness is threatened because a person gives his emotions to the wrong person or to the right person at the wrong time.
Now, let’s look at the biblical pattern. Think of Christ as a bridegroom. He, under the direction of His Father (God) sought a bride (the Church) to win her heart. So it is in the process of courtship. A young man tries to win a girl’s heart for the purpose of a life-long commitment. First of all, teens must give their heart to their parents, who must teach them that God has only one person picked for them to marry. Teens who are too young to be married should concentrate on their spiritual growth and seeking God instead of a boyfriend or girlfriend (Matt. 6:33). Teens should be friendly to everyone, but a girl should not seek a boyfriend at all. She should be the responder not the initiator. A guy should be mature enough to be married before he, under the direction of his father, begins seeking a wife. He must also be willing to pay a “price” for his bride (that way he will appreciate her even more once he gets her). When planning a wedding, make sure that God gets the glory.
This biblical pattern for finding the one God has picked out for you is better than dating because it bypasses the danger involved in dating because of parental involvement. It keeps the parents in charge because someone who is in love does not think too clearly. Parents and children will have a better relationship. It prevents breaking off engagements and gives the opportunity to see the virtues and faults of their child’s future mate. Most importantly, it keeps the focus on God and not emotions.
If you have read this and want to submit to God’s will for your life, praise God! Yet even if you have committed yourself to God’s plan for your life, which means not dating, there can still be a dating, spirit in your heart. This is a fantasy in the heart—a friendliness that is actually flirtatiousness, an attempt emotionally to attract another person, a dating in the heart, and an uncontrolled “crush”. When a person has a “crush” on someone he gives a piece of his heart to that person, and then these affections drift to another and another piece of your heart is given away. This goes on and when you think you want to be married to a certain person you only have a little piece of your heart to give to that person on your wedding day. The bond in your marriage will be weak and you will still remember and bring into your marriage all those previous “crushes” or romances.
You can have victory over this dating spirit and become a one-man woman or a one-woman man. There are five things that parents can do to help their teens with this problem area. They are 1) make it your biggest goal to get and keep your child’s heart (see Proverbs 23:26). To do this, be interested in what your kids are interested in and give them your undivided attention when they are speaking to you. Ask your kids, “Do I have your heart?” They will tell you the truth. 2) Teach your kids to be meek – meaning to surrender their rights and swallow their wills. When they learn meekness they will be able to control their emotions. 3) Don’t encourage boyfriend/girlfriend relationships in any form, not even in joking or teasing. 4) Teach these rules regularly and diligently. Teach! Teach! Teach! Every day! 5) Keep protection levels high. No child can be overprotected, only underprotected. Remember. The most loving thing a parent can say to their child is, “No.”
Now, there are things that young people can do to have victory over the dating spirit. First of all, give your heart fully to your parents. Trust them. They know and want what is best for you even though it may not sound too appealing. Think of how wonderful it will be to give your whole heart to your mate on your wedding day. Think of it like this: two whole hearts welded together equals a strong bond in marriage. When you are looking over at so-and-so and you think he is really cute or she is absolutely gorgeous, your heart starts beating hard and you are tempted to become emotionally attached to that person. Tell yourself right away to stop and pray for your future mate, whoever it may be. Pray that he or she will keep himself or herself pure and that they too will be a one-women man or a one-man women. Second, get a vision bigger than yourself or your future mate. Think of how you are going to raise your kids in a godly manner and that they too will do the same for their children and so on.
You may be thinking, “Who in the world is ever going to go along with this?” I thought that exact same thing, but then another thought took it’s place. If I only trust God for His best for my life, He’ll take care of it and give me just that. Don’t settle for second when you can have God’s best if you just wait on Him. He will show you and give His best for your life.
Oh, and by the way, there are many stories of successful courtships and on this video there were two told. There were pictures of a guy and a girl who were in this type of a relationship. The guy was really good looking and the girl wasn’t too bad looking either. The same was true with the other couple. It was really romantic only without the kissing and stuff (it was a blessing to see how the couples disciplined themselves in this way when, I am sure it was difficult). What I am trying to say is that using the biblical pattern of finding God’s plan for your mate is not at all boring. It is exciting to see what God can do. Just seek His kingdom and righteousness and all these things will be added unto you. That is a promise, but to get the other things you must first seek God with all your heart and He will take care of the rest.