The Dating Game
Bible Reading: Galatians 5:16-18
Live according to your new life in the Holy Spirit. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves. Galatians 5:16
Joshua and Kayla were masters at hiding their relationship from their parents. They snuck around and built a relationship on high-pressure lip locks. Joshua thought it was true love. When the parents of this high school sophomore found out he was going steady with Kayla—and communicated their disapproval—he pouted. “If we ever break up,” he hollered, “it will be your fault!” But a month later when Kayla dumped Joshua, he wondered if he had just wasted half a year on a girl who drained his wallet and then ditched him.
Do you want to come out a winner in your experience with love? If so, here are five massively important questions to ask yourself about dating:
- Am I mature enough to date? A person isn’t ready to date until she has developed the character—spiritual, emotional, and physical—to look a person who is pressuring her straight in the eyes, say “No,” and put off immediate gratification. Sex is fun, especially in God’s timing and context. But it takes maturity to say “no” now so you can say “yes” to something better later in life.
- What kind of person will I not date? Will you date—even once—someone whose moral convictions and choices are significantly different from yours? If you will, you’re headed for situations where you might face great pressure to compromise your own standards.
- What are my standards for physical affection? Here’s where maturity—or immaturity—shines through. It’s easy to tell yourself, “Hey, I’m not going to do anything stupid. But I can at least enjoy myself.” There’s nothing particularly wrong with that, but in a world that often promotes warped sexual values, it’s tough to think straight. If you think enjoying yourself means lots of physical affection, and if getting physical is a high priority in dating, you might not be ready.
- How will I control my passions? To be ready to date, you have to be prepared to control the sexual passions God means for you to unleash only in marriage. That can get tough for some people. The best thing you can do is set your standards long before you head out on your first date. Decide now to avoid any situation or event that will get you sexually heated.
- If I blow it, what will I do? Admit that you blew it, be restored through honest repentance and forgiveness, and commit yourself to standards of purity.
REFLECT: What are you doing to win at love God’s way?
PRAY: Tell God what is going on in your love life—and how you would like him to guide and guard you.
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