Monday, October 4, 2010

A List of Good That Comes From Dating in High School (or Younger)

I've compiled a list below of the good that can come from dating in high school (or younger).

(For purposes of clarification, I'm talking about positive outcomes from a male and a female being involved in an exclusive, romantic relationship. I'm assuming that they are too young to get married within the next few years; if they intend to get married soon, then this may not apply.)

So here's the list:

1.


Well, I never made it past number 1. The reason for this is not lack of thought. In fact, I've pondered this issue quite a bit. I simply don't see any positive outcomes from dating while in high school. It may seem fun at the time, but the end result is usually heartache or worse for at least one of the parties involved.

More importantly, dating is nowhere modeled for us in scripture. When we look at the broad picture of what God wants from His followers, He gives some of them the joy of marriage. Others He blesses with singleness. Nowhere does God sanction or even hint at approving of multiple dating-style relationships.

Dating is a modern, secular idea. Of course society will embrace it. What is problematic is that so many Christians approve of and get involved in dating relationships without giving any thought to whether or not God approves of it.

Dating is a train wreck waiting to happen. The younger the people involved, the worse the problems. Let's say two Christian teens begin dating at age fifteen. Maybe they really like each other. Maybe they would even like to get married. The problem is that they are now "all dressed up with nowhere to go." They probably have intense feelings for one another that are very real. They may want to get married (with all that involves). However, unless they plan to get married soon, they will end up frustrated, tempted, or worse.

I implore you. Please think through the problems dating brings. The good is minimal at best, while the bad can be hugely devastating.

Let's try our best to think what God thinks about dating. Wait until you are old enough to marry, then ask God to find someone godly to be your spouse. Court that person, get married, and rejoice in Christ.

9 comments:

Eric said...

Well, I never made it past number 1.

Whew. Ok folks, please disperse...nothing to see here...fall back to DEFCON Level 5... ;)

(the other) Eric

(PS - can only post comments using explorer, firefox isn't cooperating on comments, but the page loads ok)

Aussie John said...

Eric,

You sure had me going with your introduction :), but, the rest was such excellent advice!

Eric said...

Eric and John,

I'm still working on number one.

jessica_auner said...

I completly agree... and my friend and I have had this discussion several times. I wish that things had gone differently when I was a teenager and because of it I want to do things differently when our little guys get to that "stage".
The only hang up I have is ok, so you throw out dating at any age, so now what? I'm not sold on the whole courting thing, I haven't done enough research into it but what are ya'll going to do? both for the girls and for your son, unless thats a bit to personal, then you can tell me to go watch a cowboys game :)~ I'm just curious, its a topic that has me baffled really.

Eric said...

Jessica,

The Cowboys don't play this week, so you can't do that. :)

As for us, our kids get to be around both girls and boys in the homeschool co-op. Also, they will know other kids their age from church (no matter where the church is). We do plan to court in the sense that our kids won't be going out on dates - especially alone. We want to give them opportunities to be around and get to know other kids their ages from the opposite sex. If they become interested in someone, we will want to get to know their families well. After much prayer and discussion, if all parties are agreed, then a courtship will begin. This has the specific purpose of moving toward marriage. This may seem very structured, but I believe it both follows biblical ideas and also protects the kids from heartache and sin.

We don't have it all figured out, but we are going to try. We'll tell you what we learn along the way.

Bethany W. in mid-MO said...

Great post, Eric!

Jeffrey said...

It's been my experience that teens are much more likely to follow a given course if they know it's in their best short-term interest. When one of my sons was interested in dating, I asked him to take a month or so and observe his buddies that were "paired off". Did they have more fun, or less fun than when they were unencumbered. After less than a week, he had clearly observed that they were not as happy as before. Problem solved.

Don't get me wrong, I believe scriptural guidance to be far more important than utilitarianism; This approach just seems to help get everybody moving in the same direction.

Jeff

Eric said...

Bethany,

Thank you! I hope it is an encouragement.

Eric said...

Jeff,

It's great to watch kids see scriptural principles and life experience match up together. I'm not surprised at all at their observations.