Sunday, May 10, 2009

Dating versus Waiting (pt. 1)

In the spectrum of human life, after salvation the most important decision with the most far-reaching consequences, is that of choosing a spouse. What single decision determines happiness, security, peace of mind more than finding that one with whom you will spend a lifetime? With all this on the line, why then, do we take such risks with our young people in this area of dating? This week and next we will take to look into different aspects of this topic. The Dangers of Dating will be addressed here, followed next week by the Wonders of Waiting. Having spent the last 20 years either as a teenager or working around teenagers, I've seen a lot of the dangers that are prevalent when people play the dating game. Unfortunately, by the time the dangers become evident( immorality, disease, unwed mothers, ruined relationships) it is too late to solve the problem. As we've talked much of the principles of sowing and reaping, in order to be able to prevent the problem in the first place, we must first be aware of what we are sowing. Let's look at the seeds of dating. 1.) First and most obvious is the seed of jealousy. When I first became youth pastor and administrator of our academy, one of the first things that came to my attention was the damage being done through the passing of notes. Talk about jealousy! Girls in junior high and high school were verbally shredding each other over who "this boy" likes more. Once Pastor Burke began teaching on Biblical waiting as opposed to dating, the problems of jealousy and strife became almost non-existent. 2.) Along with the seed of jealousy, goes that of bitterness. How many young lives have been ruined because of a broken heart. Many take that lightly, but that is damage not easily repaired. 3.) Biblically, the biggest argument against dating is it goes contrary to walking in the spirit. This brings us to the seed of impurity. What great work of God went undone because a young man got caught up in the web of dating and rather than following God, followed the lust of his flesh, leading him to destruction. 4.) As a youth pastor, it seemed the number one task that I once had was that of trying( most of the time in vain ) to repair the divisions among young people taking sides when one of these sweet, innocent, puppy -love romances went sour and turned into a junkyard- dog brawl. The seed of division, once planted, was very hard to remove. 5.) Dating plants the seed of selfishness and then reaps it tenfold. Just the opposite of what a true godly relationship ought to be based on, dating breeds and then feeds a mindset of ME. Dating is not, what can I do for you, but what can you do for me. Is it any wonder then, the majority of our modern marriages ends in divorce, usually over "irreconcilable differences"( a.k.a. - you don't make ME happy anymore ). 6.) When a person has been told "I love you; we'll always be together" by a half dozen people in their life, can there be any argument that dating sows seeds of mistrust? How many times can a person give their heart away before there's just nothing left to give? 7.) Finally, the biggest problem with dating is it sows seeds of rebellion. The search for a spouse ought to be done with the parents and pastor involved every step of the way, with everything being done openly having nothing to hide. How often in a dating scenario does one side ( usually the guy ) turn the other side ( usually the girl ) against the authority? In our church, in the last five years, there has been a clear line drawn; the seeds of rebellion have reaped a hard harvest for those who chose to go their own way and walk according to the flesh; those who have chosen to seek godly counsel, and walk in wisdom, have a peace and joy that only comes from living a life of obedience. It is heart-breaking to see a young person ruin their life getting involved with the wrong person. Let's beware the dangers of dating - sow the right seed that we might reap a good harvest.

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