Whoever said that being a teenager is easy must’ve had a memory lapse. From navigating high school to dealing with hormones, it’s no picnic. And then there’s dating. Holy guacamole, talk about complex! But don’t hit the panic button just yet. This article is here to lend a hand in the wild world of Christian dating.
Let’s level with each other: dating as a Christian teen can feel like trying to find your way through a maze… blindfolded… with your shoelaces tied together. This is to help you understand how to navigate that maze while keeping your faith and values front and center.
Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 reminds us, “Two are better than one… If either of them falls down, one can help the other up.” Consider this article your faithful buddy ready to give you a boost when you need it.
Christian Perspective on Dating
Put on your biblical glasses, folks. We’re about to view dating through the lens of Christianity. And don’t worry, it’s not as blurry as you might think.
Biblical Foundations of Dating
Heads up, spoiler alert: The term “dating” is MIA in the Bible. No sightings, no whispers, not a single mention. But before you toss your hands up in exasperation, let’s break it down.
Sure, the Bible doesn’t lay out a step-by-step guide for dating. But it does serve a hefty platter of relationship advice. Take 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 for example. You know, the classic love-is-patient-love-is-kind spiel. It’s not just for the wedding vows, you know. It’s a pretty solid blueprint for dating as well.
FURTHER READ: Can a Christian Guy and Girl Be Just Friends?
Importance of Purity in Christian Dating
Let’s talk purity, and no, I’m not about to hand out chastity belts. But there’s no escaping the fact that purity plays a major role in Christian dating.
In the game of Christian dating, the goal is to get to know one another while keeping God at the center. Purity isn’t about tallying up what you’re not doing (wink, wink). It’s about love—how you’re growing in love for God and each other. 1 Thessalonians 4:3-5 underlines this beautifully: “For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor.”
Christian Values and Dating
It’s time to tune in to the Christian values frequency. This isn’t your typical Top 40 radio station. We’re playing the hits that keep you moving in your walk with God, even when you’re dancing the dating tango.
Honoring God in Relationships
Here’s a question to ponder: How do you sprinkle a bit of God-honoring flavor into your relationships? Well, it starts by realizing that every aspect of your life, including dating, should reflect your love for God.
Whether you’re texting, video calling, or sharing a milkshake, ask yourself: “Is this honoring God?” If the answer is a squinty-eyed “maybe”, it’s time to reassess. Remember 1 Corinthians 10:31: “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” Yes, even dating.
FURTHER READ: Is It Okay for a Christian to Date?
The Concept of ‘Courting’ vs ‘Dating’
In the red corner, we have ‘courting.’ In the blue corner, ‘dating.’ Let’s settle the score once and for all.
Traditionally, ‘courting’ has been about intentional, let’s-walk-down-the-aisle-together relationships. Dating, however, often feels like trying on different shoes until you find the right fit. But here’s a plot twist: In the Christian dating scene, both ‘dating’ and ‘courting’ should ideally be done with the same God-honoring intention.
Like Proverbs 18:22 says, “He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the LORD.” And let’s flip the script for our lady friends: She who finds a husband finds a good thing too. Whether it’s ‘courting’ or ‘dating’, as long as it honors God, you’re doing it right.
Key Aspects of Christian Dating for Teens
Navigating the dating scene in your teens can be like trying to walk a tightrope in a windstorm. One wrong move, and you’re tumbling. But don’t worry, your handy dandy Christian toolkit is here to help.
Boundaries in Christian Dating
Just like you wouldn’t want to cross the border without the right paperwork, it’s crucial to set boundaries in dating. And yes, I’m talking about more than just “how far is too far”.
In the land of teenage hormones, emotions are like the wild, wild west. Setting emotional boundaries means taking things slow, not pouring out all your deepest, darkest secrets in the first week. Or as Proverbs 4:23 puts it, “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”
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Let’s face it: physical boundaries are the Mount Everest of Christian dating. It’s a climb, and there will be slips and falls. But, as 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 reminds us, our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit. Respect for that temple and for your partner’s temple is paramount.
Spiritual boundaries? Yes, they’re a thing. Dating should be about growing closer to God together, not just getting closer to each other. Matthew 6:33 hits the nail on the head: “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”
Role of Parents and Mentors
Getting advice from parents and mentors is like reading the reviews before buying a product. They’ve been there, done that, and they can help you avoid some common pitfalls.
Guidance in Choosing a Partner
When it comes to choosing a partner, parents and mentors can provide an outside perspective. They can help you evaluate whether you’re choosing someone who will lead you closer to God or away from Him. Proverbs 15:22 says, “Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers, they succeed.”
FURTHER READ: What Makes a Good Christian Girlfriend
Parents and mentors can also be your accountability partners. They’re your own personal cheerleaders, encouraging you to stick to your boundaries and make choices that honor God. Galatians 6:1-2 points this out beautifully: “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way, you will fulfill the law of Christ.”
Avoiding Temptation and Upholding Faith
Remember the scene in the Lord of the Rings where Frodo has to resist the power of the ring? Well, you’re Frodo, and dating is your ring.
The Temptations that Teenagers Face
Temptations in teen dating range from pushing physical boundaries to letting the relationship become more important than God. As 1 Corinthians 10:13 says, “No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind.”
How Best to Tackle Those Temptations
When faced with temptations, the answer isn’t to don a suit of armor and hope for the best. It’s to turn to God, seek His wisdom, and rely on His strength. 1 Corinthians 10:13 again comes to our rescue: “And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear.”
FURTHER READ: Finding a Christian Boyfriend in College
How Your Faith Guides You Through These Challenges
As you navigate through the tempestuous seas of teenage dating, your faith is your compass. By keeping God at the center, leaning on His understanding, and trusting His plans, you can make choices that honor Him. And remember, as Proverbs 3:5-6 advises, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”
Practical Advice for Christian Teens
Drum roll, please! Here comes the nitty-gritty, the rubber-meets-the-road, the put-your-money-where-your-mouth-is part of our program: practical advice.
Building a Relationship on Faith
Okay, not to sound like your grandmother, but dating should be about more than just butterflies and swoon-worthy Instagram posts. It should be about building a relationship on faith.
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Incorporating Prayer in the Relationship
If you’re in a relationship and prayer isn’t part of it, it’s like trying to drive a car with no gas. Prayer is not only a way to grow closer to God, but it’s also a way to grow closer to your partner. As Ephesians 6:18 says, “And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.”
Shared Activities in Faith
And while we’re on the topic of gas and cars, why not take your relationship on a joy ride to faith town? Shared activities, like attending church, Bible study, or volunteering together, can deepen your connection to each other and to God.
Navigating Peer Pressure
Peer pressure in high school can be like a wave. If you’re not careful, it can knock you off your feet and sweep you out to sea.
Staying True to Faith and Values
When the wave of peer pressure comes, hold onto your faith and values like a life preserver. It won’t always be easy, but as Galatians 5:1 reminds us, “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.”
Seeking Wise Counsel
When the sea of peer pressure gets rough, don’t try to navigate it alone. Seek the counsel of trusted adults and mentors. Proverbs 12:15 nails it: “The way of fools seems right to them, but the wise listen to advice.”
FURTHER READ: The Ideal Christian Boyfriend
Dating Non-Christians: Pros and Cons
This one’s a hot topic, like a jalapeño in the middle of July. Let’s slice it open and see what’s inside.
Dating a non-Christian can open your eyes to new perspectives and help you grow in your faith. After all, as Romans 5:3-4 reminds us, “Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.”
On the flip side, dating a non-Christian can also present challenges, like differing values and a lack of shared faith activities. 2 Corinthians 6:14 warns us, “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?”
Whether or not to date a non-Christian is a personal decision, and one you should make prayerfully and wisely. But always remember, whatever decision you make, your ultimate partner should lead you closer to God, not away from Him.
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And there you have it! A survival guide for Christian dating in your teenage years. It’s not an exact science (nothing involving hormones and high school ever is), but it’s a start.
Remember, in this wild journey of Christian dating, it’s essential to maintain your faith in all aspects of life. Whether you’re single, dating, or somewhere in between, your relationship with God should always be your number one priority. 1 Corinthians 10:31 says, “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”
Let that be your guiding light in dating and in everything else you do. And no matter what, know that you’re not alone. God is with you, and He’s rooting for you, every step of the way.
God bless, Amen.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What does the Bible say about teenage dating?
The Bible doesn’t specifically address teenage dating because dating as we know it today is a relatively modern concept. However, it provides guidance on how to treat one another with respect and honor, which applies to dating relationships. Verses like 1 Corinthians 13:4-7, which describes what love looks like, can be useful for teens considering a dating relationship.
How can I keep God at the center of my relationship?
Keeping God at the center of your relationship involves regular prayer, studying the Bible together, attending church together, and encouraging each other in faith. In essence, it’s about making decisions that honor God, seeking His guidance, and striving to reflect His love in your relationship.
What’s the difference between ‘Courting’ and ‘Dating’?
Courting and dating are often used interchangeably, but they can mean different things to different people. Generally, courting is a more serious, intentional, and purposeful process aimed at marriage. Dating, on the other hand, is often seen as less formal and may not necessarily have marriage as its end goal.
Should Christian teens date non-Christians?
This can be a tricky question. While the Bible does caution against being “unequally yoked” (2 Corinthians 6:14), it’s important for teens to carefully pray about, consider their intentions, and seek wise counsel when considering dating a non-Christian.
How should Christian teens handle peer pressure related to dating?
Christian teens should remain steadfast in their beliefs, even when facing peer pressure. This includes setting and maintaining healthy boundaries, engaging in open and honest communication, and seeking guidance from trusted adults.
How can I set healthy boundaries in my dating relationship?
Setting healthy boundaries involves clear communication about what is acceptable and what isn’t in the relationship, both physically and emotionally. These boundaries should respect each person’s comfort levels, personal beliefs, and their commitment to honoring God.
How should parents or mentors be involved in a teenager’s dating life?
Parents and mentors can provide guidance, wisdom, and accountability for teens navigating dating. They should maintain open lines of communication, be available for discussions, and offer support and advice when needed, all while respecting the teen’s individuality and experiences.
How can Christian teens resist temptation while dating?
Resisting temptation involves setting clear boundaries, having accountability structures (like a trusted mentor or parent), engaging in regular prayer and scripture reading, and remaining committed to honoring God with their actions.
Why is purity important in a Christian dating relationship?
Purity is about more than just abstaining from sexual activity before marriage. It’s about respecting and honoring each other and God with your actions. In Christian dating, maintaining purity also involves guarding your heart and mind, setting healthy boundaries, and focusing on building a relationship centered around mutual respect and faith.
How can prayer be incorporated into a Christian dating relationship?
Prayer can be incorporated into a dating relationship by praying together for guidance, strength, and wisdom. It can also involve praying individually for your partner and your relationship. Making prayer a regular part of your relationship can help keep God at the center.