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Dating: Do's and Dont's...

This year we are talking ALLLLL about Identity. So many things make up our Identity and influence the kind of people we are. Our identities are always growing, changing, developing. However--as followers of Christ, one thing is SET IN STONE. We belong to Him.We are sons and daughters of God Almighty, We are made in the image of Christ, himself. We are loved. Treasured. Cherished. Valued. Important. Worthy. When our identities can be found in so many things this world offers, one thing is for sure...our identity lies in Christ first and foremost, because He Said So.

And, whatever Jesus says is usually a pretty big deal....very legit. Believe it or not, Jesus has some things to say about every aspect of our lives.

Including dating! Why? Because, God is our heavenly Father. He loves us with a father's love, and protects us, guides us, teaches us, and cares for us just like a parent. And, just like most parents out there, He has guidelines set for our well-being.

God ALWAYS has our best interest in mind. So, when it comes to something as delicate as dating---He definitely wants Christians to go about it a certain way.

Dating has a lot to do with our Identity.....especially, because dating is the precursor to MARRIAGE (yeah, no big deal!). Marriage = two people becoming one = a major impact on Identity for life. I'd like to share the lesson our group discussed about dating and identity...

  1. What do you think dating has to do with your Identity?

  2. When you are in a relationship with someone, it can consume or make up your identity. (FACEBOOK, social situations, tied to that person).

**The following information is gleaned from some awesome Christian blogs!**

Dating’ or ‘Going out’ can be defined as being:

“a friendship between a guy and girl that is: exclusive (they can’t go out with more than one person), committed (while they are going out with each other) and public (other people know about it).”

DATING can be a GOOD THING but it can also be a BAD THING. It depends on how it is done, when it is done, and with whom it is done.

So here are three things for Christian young people to remember about dating.....

1. There is a right way to date and a wrong way to date

“Now to the unmarried and the widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I am. But if they cannot control themselves, they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with passion.” (1 Corinthians 7:8-9)

The Bible is clear that the reason for starting a special kind of friendship with someone is for the purpose of marriage. It also says that when you are dating someone, you are to show purity and not take advantage of them.

Can you see how this is different from what your friends, the TV, movies would say about dating?

The message given by the world about dating is that:

  • It’s just a bit of fun.

  • It doesn’t do any real harm.

  • It will make you feel good.

  • Everyone else is doing it – why shouldn’t you?

  • People will think you’re cool.

But the Bible says that there is a right way to date and a wrong way to date. Dating can be a good thing if done in the right way. Jesus says that the right way is with the aim of marriage and with absolute purity.

2. There is a right time to date and a wrong time to date

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven: …a time to embrace and a time to refrain.” (Ecclesiastes 3:1, 5)

Joshua Harris has said that: “A right thing at the wrong time is a wrong thing.”

For example, driving is a good thing. It gets you from A to B quicker than walking. But driving through a playground full of small children is not a good thing. A good thing at the wrong time is a wrong thing. Dating (done right is a good thing) at the wrong time is a wrong thing.

So when is the right time to date?

If the purpose of dating is marriage, the question you need to ask yourself is this: Am I ready to get married? Am I ready for this commitment? Could I support a family?

If you’re not ready, dating is a wrong thing for you. (Within reason, of course!- dating is healthy, great, and an awesome way to prepare for marriage. So, you might not be ready to get married right now, but dating has to be done at the right time…AKA: too young, might not be too wise. Talk to parents about an age that is appropriate to date.)

When it comes to figuring our the "right time" to date, PRAYER is key. Ask God if the time is NOW or Later. He knows what is best for you, and will guide you!!

3. There is a right person to date and a wrong person to date

They must belong to the Lord.

“Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever?” (2 Corinthians 6:14-15)

Now why is it so important that a Christian only dates and marries another Christian? In the Old Testament, Moses teaches the Israelites about how God wants them to live and says to them, “Don’t marry outside God’s people because they will cause you to turn away from following God!” And that’s what happened, with Samson and Solomon being two famous examples.

So the right person to date if you are a Christian is someone of the opposite sex, who is a good match, but most importantly who loves the Lord Jesus.

Dating can be a good thing. It depends on how it is done, when it is done, and with whom it is done.

  1. What are some opinions/fears/thoughts you have about dating?

  2. Read 1 Peter 2:1-5, Matthew 5:8, Galatians 2:20. 1 Peter 2:1-5 = we are meant to be holy and God views us as holy. That applies to our dating and friendships too! Matthew 5:8 = same thing, Blessed are the PURE in heart. Galatians 2:20 = Our lives are lived for God and are important to God.

  3. Look up these verses and read about how God is TRUSTWORHY, we can trust Him with every situation, including our dating relationships and future spouse. 2 Samuel 7:28, Psalm 19:7, Psalm 111:7,

It is really important to figure out what kind of spouse you want, one day. What qualities do you admire in someone and believe would make a good life-partner? Think it through, write it down, pray about it. A really good rule of thumb is to date people who have those qualities. Why spend time romantically investing in someone you know that you wouldn't want to marry???

1. Don’t date because you’re impatient

2. Don’t date because you’re lonely

3. Don’t date because its popular

4. Don’t date because he/she is attractive

5. Don’t date unless God says YES

The Bible says: guard your heart, it is the wellspring of life. Dating someone has a huge impact on identity. so first and foremost it is IMPORTANT to guard your heart and enter relationships that are healthy, wise, safe, and blessed.

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