Most teens don’t think that scripture covers this topic, but it does!
“Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Honor your father and mother, which is the first commandment with a promise; so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.” -Ephesians 6:2-3
Did you get it? You can start dating when your parents say you can! I know, that doesn’t help you very much. I find that when students ask me this question it is usually because parents have restricted any dating or have some very high standards. So if that’s you, hear me loud and clear: respect the parents God has placed over you or you will never be able to respect someone He puts beside you!
Maybe the solution lies in the definition of love. Students! Consider this: you can love someone without dating them! Yes! It’s true! Do you love your friends? Some of them? Do you have any same sex friends that are always there for you? Guys, do you have a best bro? Ladies, do you have a bestie? They hang out with you and care about you, but you are not dating them! I am saying this because I see so many teens chasing a title or exclusive rights to someone instead of a healthy, biblical, loving relationship.
Love is wanting the best for someone else, no matter what. Ladies, this means that a guy wants the best for you, no matter what. So if your parents say no dating, a guy who truly loves – wants the best for – you would want you to do what the bible says.
Consider this scenario going down at your school:
“Hey, Stacey. I’ve been trying to get the courage to tell you something.”
“What is it, Ryan?”
“Well, I’ve kinda had a crush on you for a while. I think you are beautiful, caring, and funny; and every time I see you, I have this desire to take care of you.”
“Wow! I kinda had a feeling. I have been hearing from a lot of people how you’ve been too shy to say anything. I’m really glad you did.”
“Really? You’re glad? Do you, ya know, kinda, wanna, sorta ‘go-out’ or something?”
“I would really like to, but my parents don’t allow me to date.”
Ladies, what are you thinking right now? AHHHH! Dreamy guy wants me and I can’t have him because of my stupid parent’s rules! Believe it or not, your parent’s rules are about to make things get even better! Just wait…
Guys, what are you thinking right now? Stupid parents! We could date and no one would have to know! (These are actual responses from guys I’ve talked to.) Men, you have been given an opportunity like no other. Look in your heart and ask yourself if you want the best for this girl no matter what, or you just want exclusive rights to her affection.
This conversation can have two outcomes:
- Ryan says something like, “Well, that’s too bad that you’ve got stupid parents,” and starts looking around for some other girl to put the moves on. Or…
- Ryan says, “I think it’s cool that you want to honor your parents, and I also think that you are totally worth the wait. Can I just sit here and talk with you?”
So ladies, following your parent’s rules either saved you from some smooth talking bum or solidified the resolve of prince charming. Either way, Ephesians 6:3 was right!
Dudes, either you get a healthy dose of reality and you realize that women are not just objects to collect, or you get the option to be the hero in your woman’s story!
But perhaps you are allowed to date, and just want to know when you know you are ready. You want to make sure that you have the necessary information to make good decisions. You want to know the signs that make someone ready for a human-to human relationship. You want to make sure the person you are considering – or you yourself – has the capacity for a lasting, loving relationship. You are one of those really smart people who knows that you need to have a criteria in your mind before you start to date’ because in that moment you are going to make an emotional decision, and maybe a wrong one!
To you, I would refer back to the definition of love. Do you want the best for this person no matter what? Do they want that for you? Would you give all you have to take care of this person? Having a strong foundation like this can help when a relationship gets a little weak.
The number one reason couples split up is selfishness. People in a relationship thinking of themselves first and not the other person first. With that in mind, ask yourself if the person you are wanting to date cares about others. Are they courteous and kind to everyone? If they aren’t (but they are nice to you) chances are, this person will soon be disrespectful to you, too. An indicator that someone is putting you first in a relationship is that you become a better version of yourself. You become “more you”, and vice versa.
So when should you start dating?
- When your parents say you can.
- When you love – want the best for the other person no matter what – someone.
- When you see yourself becoming a better person because of this other person.