The past two weeks we have been running with the theme of “Don’t Waste Your Life.” Specially, we have applied this theme to three areas of life: relationships, responsibilities and religion. God’s word is very clear in these areas. Let’s take a moment to look at relationships.
Don’t Waste Your Life with Relationships
As a teenager, its hard to avoid the culture’s accepted mentality when it comes to relationships and dating in particular. Standards for relationships are driven by what comes forth on our televisions and movie screens. Our relationships are guided by emotion and not devotion. They lie to us and say that love is an uncontrollable and unstoppable force and we have no control over who we choose to love and how we choose to act. In a word, this is garbage. Scripture tells us not to waste our lives with relationships.
In relationships, we are called to truly love as God loved us (1 John 4.19). This love is guided by the submission of the Son to the Father and the Holy Spirit turning our hearts to look more like Christ (Luke 22.42, Titus 3.5, 1 Pet. 1.2). This kind of love is only explained by a God who is three in one and sharing the intimate aspects of love without perversion or selfishness. This is the God we are called to love, and in doing so we will love one another (Matt. 22.37-40). Our relationships are commitments, first to God then to others. Love is a state of mind not ultimately determined by emotion. Sure, we should have the mushy kind of love for our spouses and sure we should be emotional about the people we love, but ultimately love is a commitment to one another to serve and honor the other despite the immediate feelings we may have.
Let’s take a moment to look at dating. As mentioned earlier, culture has really given us a skewed picture of dating and marriage relationships. So much so that it’s hard to view certain aspects of the cultural point of view as wrong. Now let me first say that I don’t think we should be in the business of denying culture and turning our backs to the world to inwardly do our own thing. We should embrace and interact with culture and draw people to the Lord. If we’re committed to Christ, we’re committed to culture. In doing so, we are called to offer a different perspective and a picture of hope. In dating, what’s our motivation? Are we motivated by a picture of what culture says is right for a dating relationship, or are we looking at what Scripture might have to say? Is it better for such relationships to remain on the friend-level? Can you stay committed to a biblical-picture of purity while still deciding to date?
There are many questions we need to consider when dating in today’s culture. In the end, my encouragement is to look at dating relationships from a different perspective and ask yourself this question: what is being gained in my life by dating this person over just being friends? Here are a few considerations when it comes to waiting to date:
- Sexual purity (1 Thess. 4.3-8; 1 Cor. 6.18-20)
- Taking time to know God and yourself (2 Tim. 2.22-26)
- Other things to do besides date (1 Cor. 7.32-35)
- Waiting until you know you’re ready for marriage (1 Cor. 7.36-38)
These are not easy questions to consider, especially with such a different cultural mindset than we see depicted in Scripture. I want to encourage every student to think about how they view relationships with friends, family and dating. Are you committed to love on a deeper level, or is it shallow and selfish? Are we being guided by emotion or a commitment to follow Christ and obey God’s word? What does your view of dating look like and are you sure that there might not be a better way? My overall encouragement is stay in the Word and acknowledge that God knows best when it comes to how our relationships should be modeled. Don’t waste your life with relationships by denying the truth of God’s word and our calling as Christ-followers in a world that does otherwise. Be a light and beacon of hope for those trapped in a skewed cultural mindset of love and relationships. Take care and have a great week in the Lord!
Peace in Him,