Monday, September 29, 2008

Youthful Romance... Dangers of Dating... Part 2

(Please make sure to read part 1 before this continuance...)

We need not only to focus on chastity
(as mentioned in part 1);
but romance opposed, to not only physical ,

but emotional purity.

Does God have a design there? I believe He does.

This is where the second part of 1 Thess. 4:6 comes in.
“That no man go beyond and defraud his brother

in any matter…”

He not only tells us ‘do not go beyond’,

but also ‘do not defraud’.
What does it mean to defraud?
In businesses, what is defrauding?
Essentially, it’s leading the other party to believe something
and make decisions based on assumptions that aren’t true.
You’re “ripping someone off”.
You’re cheating them by leading them
to believe something that’s not true.

In the area of relations between men and women,
is it possible for one or both parties to defraud each other?
To lead them on?
It certainly is! We call it ‘flirting’.
Paul is saying “Don’t even flirt!”
Now what about dating?
Let's say a married woman and a married man
(not married to each other) wanted to 'go out'.
But they say, “Well, it's nothing physical.
We don’t mean anything that’s really wrong.
Just kind of ‘getting to know each other’;

‘developing a friendship’.”
You’re not suppose to have that kind of relationship
with someone else’s spouse!

What kind of relationship is right
for one’s spouse to have with another’s?

What about the relationship

of one’s daughter and the other’s son?
Paul specifically wrote to Timothy about relations.
He said to treat older men as fathers, older women as mothers,
and to treat the young women like sisters!
Siblings?! How do treat siblings?

Or better, how should you treat siblings? :)
The thought of being romantic with a sibling
of the opposite sex is rather repulsive!
They may be a great person and all,

but… the thought of kissing that sibling?
No! No way! You don’t treat a sibling like that! Yuck!
Flirting with a sibling? No way! That’s abhorrent!
Paul says the young women and men are to treat each
other like brothers and sisters in the Lord.
We need to make the decision not to be
seeking each other out, but seeking the Lord.

There does come a time, however,

when God wants a man and woman
to move beyond the brother/sister-in-Christ relationship.
So how do we get there?
In our culture it's often said,

“Forget treating them like brother and sister –
treat them like prospects.”
And so many times young men and women

are looking for prospects…
And not just looking, but teasing each other,

and flirting with each other.
Leading each other on and defrauding one another.
Is there a better way?

A good idea would be to do a whole Bible study
for yourself on the topic of dating.
So, here comes the concordance:
D… D-a… D-a-t… dating… it’s not there!
God doesn’t say anything about dating,
so anything goes, right?
Not at all!
There is a phrase repeated in the Bible,
“given in marriage.”
Now that implies ownership.
How can you give something you don’t own?
But who owns what when God talks about

being ‘given in marriage’?

In weddings you clearly see it is the father,
but that’s not really real; just a formality-

everyone knows it was the bride’s choice, right?
Well, instance after instance the Bible shows that
there was parental involvement in marriages.
Lots of Scripture implies that parents need
to have some say in this whole thing.

Why, the Bible doesn’t say anything about dating!
Dating is a sin!

It’s giving ‘occasion to the flesh’! (Gal. 5:13; Rom. 13:14)

Here are some things that helped us come to the conclusion
that dating is, in fact, a sin.
1st argument can be historically.
Where did dating come from?
Dating is a real recent phenomenon; something new in history.
It hasn’t always happened.
Even as near as 100 years ago, the man went to the girl’s father.
The father would then ask, “Are your intentions honorable?”
Now what did he mean by that question?
What did he mean by ‘honorable’?
He really meant,
“Are you committing yourself to marrying her?”
And if the young man couldn’t convince the father
that that was his intention,
he wasn’t allowed to see the girl!
Essentially, he was proposing to the father!
Before any social interaction between

the young lady and himself.
Well, unfortuneately, not too many people

are impressed with or interested in that answer,
so we move on.

Before we move on, let’s define our terms.
We currently practice something we call dating.
Well, essentially, we can define dating as:
A social relationship between and guy and girl
that both parties understand to be temporary.

It’s a temporary romantic relationship.
Now both parties may harbor the hope that it may
some day grow into something more permanent,

or they might not.
But in any case, they both understand it to be temporary here.
And the whole focus is enjoying each other now.
Even if you have ‘high moral standards’;
and intend that ‘you’re not going to cross the line’,

still, the whole focus is on current, temporary enjoyment.

Now to propose an alternative – betrothal.
Some would say, “What about ‘courtship’?”
Courtship has, for the most part, become
‘Christian’ dating! – still no permanent commitment.
Now, betrothal doesn’t necessarily mean
that the parents make an alliance with a complete stranger
or someone you particularly don’t want to marry.
It really means that a man and woman are
committed to marry each other
before having any romantic relationship.

Now, let’s go back to dating.
Typically, a guy sees a girl he ‘likes’ and asks her ‘out’.
They go out and maybe talk or something or other…
it’s just so fun to them!
They want to do it again. So, another date and more follow…
soon, the things that were so special at first

start getting a bit dull.
Say they move on to something new… slowly.
Maybe they hold hands, sit with each other in church, etc…
They just keep rolling downhill, but how do they stop?
Well, they decide it best to ‘brake up’.

This hurts and is very painful.
So, he decides soon after to ask a different girl out…
they have fun, but it wasn’t the same

as the first time he’d gone out.
And they could ‘move forward’
a little easier and quicker than the first time.
People watch and are saying,
“Awww, how cute! They’re preparing for marriage!”


‘Breaking up’ and pairing off

is more preparation for divorce than marriage!
There is much pain and wounding.
Do we need to see youth groups as ‘happy hunting grounds’?
Where you’re either the hunter or the hunted-
where everyone is enticing each other,

flirting with each other …
We should, instead, be focusing on the Lord.
To seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness,
and then trust that all other things will be added unto us.

God the Father knows what we need –
He’ll provide what we need…
at the right time!

Can we trust Him?

{{more to come next week}}

May we spend some heartfelt time
in deep meditation and prayer,
seeking God's Truths, will, and best...

in this, particular, area
as well as all areas of our lives.

"Search me, O God, and know my heart:
try me, and know my thoughts:
And see if there be any wicked way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting. "
~ Psalm 139:23-24


Jennifer said...

Great post!! Your such a blessing to me:)

~*Laura*~ said...

My Husband and I courted, the best way to go all they way! I'm very happy to see more and more young maiden's waiting for the one, and selecting courtship to find if he is the one God has made them for. :)


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