“A love came to me that I never thought could…
Because I did something I nearly died to do…
I believed in that love that was unbelievable,
And it led me to a love that was.” -Unknown
I don’t really know how to share my heart with you. It’s hard to take what I know and put it into the form of an opinion, because an opinion is just mine. I want what I know to be what everyone knows.
I don’t have a story of what I did right or what I did wrong. I can’t give you examples of amazing or terrible dating experiences in my own life. But I can tell you what I know.
God didn’t create dating, he created marriage. He created love and beauty and purity. Not to say by any means that dating is wrong, but dating should be a prologue to marriage. A beginning. A prelude.
I do believe in dating with the intention of marriage. I think it is great to really consider if the person you become in a relationship with might become your future you know what (I hate the word spouse, it reminds me of a potato). If your answer is ‘probably not’ or a straight-up ‘no’, then you have absolutely no right to play with that persons feelings (or your own) if it’s inevitably going to lead to heartbreak and regrets. If your answer is probably or yes, then do it and do with the following things in mind:
1) Don’t skip the friend part. How can you expect a relationship to work out if you don’t know each other backwards and forwards beforehand? Nobody can honestly say “I thought he was the One!” when they didn’t know that persons dreams for their future, their passions, their ideas and what inspires them. I know lots of people do it this way and yeah, it pulls through sometimes because who you’re with turns out to be who you want to be with. It’s just an incredible risk to take.
2) Have God as the center of your understanding for each other. You have no idea how much it will stink for you to end up with a potato that you can’t pray with. I’ve heard someone say “The way I see it, if you plant a seed, you can make a beautiful flower. No matter what happens from now on with our relationship, I’ve planted that seed” as a justification for dating a someone who didn’t share the faith that she did. Trust me… some things don’t just happen when you want them too. Sometimes it can take forever and that road is hard.
3) Put up boundaries that are right for both of you (within reason… there are limits that should apply to everybody). Some people don’t even hold hands until their married. Others have no problem flinging public displays of affection around. What your boundaries are, in that way, should be up to you and God. Just don’t forget that God created us to be pure right down to our hearts.
God does have somebody right for us if we agree to be patient. No matter what, people will always make mistakes, argue, and sometimes get hurt. A mistake I think a lot of people make is thinking that God has someone perfect waiting around for us to become mature enough. That’s not true because God does not have a perfect one, nobody is perfect. He has a right one. They’re not going to wait around forever and they’re not always going to be ready right when you want them, either. That’s why it’s so important to wait on God’s timing, because he is the only one who can see the big picture. (Imagine what it would be like for pieces of a puzzle to have to put itself together without the help of a bigger person with a view of everything. It just wouldn’t work, and pieces would fall off the table, get missed and get lost).
My dating philosophy is this: focus on the biggest love in life that you know will be around forever (the unbelievable love; God’s love) and he’ll lead you to that smaller humanly love when you’re both ready.
-“Run as fast as you can towards God, and if anybody keeps up, introduce yourself!”
Carlee – age 16