Monday, February 15, 2010

The Dating Game

Because yesterday was valentines day we spent the evening with high school students discussing love, sex and dating. I'm not going lie, I really dislike the way the American high school student dates. I've never read "I kissed dating good bye" nor do I have a desire too, but I believe strongly that students need to consider a different way to play the "dating game", and we need to help them.

There has to be a better way for students to get to know the opposite sex than the current system. The way it happens now almost seems like marriage without the sex, well sometimes without the sex. A guy and a girl get to know each other, romance wins out over reality and then they start "going together".

From what I remember and understand "going together" means you're in a exclusive relationship and if you pursue or talk to another person jealousy grows and you could be "cheating" in the relationship. For a student who wants to follow Jesus this can be a struggle.

Here's a couple of reasons the current system is concerning for students, especially students who are pursuing Jesus.

The sacrifice of other friendships.

Many times other friendships are sacrificed because there's so much time and energy put into the boyfriend / girlfriend. I know a guy who dated a girl for 3 years during high school. He still struggles having deep friendships into college. Could it be that he never learned what it means to have a friend and be a friend? It can easily disrupt the community God intended with so much focus on one other person.

Boyfriend / Girlfriend Worship

It can also result in "dating worship" which means the boyfriend / girlfriend becomes God and is expected to meet the emotional and many times physical needs of the other. Not only is this unhealthy relationally but God isn't thrilled about it either. At some point they will do whatever it takes to please the other and find acceptance from them. You know where that ends us.

There are many more to add here but you get the point. Here are a couple of principles that challenge the way most teens are doing dating. If students were to consider these seriously it may cause them to take a deep look at how they play the game.

Number 1

1 Tim 5:1-2
Treat younger men as brothers, 2 older women as mothers, and younger women as sisters, with absolute purity.

Pretty simple. If you wouldn't do it with your brother or sister you probably shouldn't do it with your boyfriend / girlfriend. A student asked last night, "how can I kiss my boyfriend if I think of him as my brother"? Great question isn't it?

Of course there is a time in relationships when the person becomes more than a brother or sister, but that person can still be treated with absolute purity if the relationship shifts to engagement and then marriage. Radical thinking I know, but it's something we and high school students should consider.

Here's the 2nd principle.

Phil 2:3-4
3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. 4 Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.

In my experience most dating relationships are driven by self centeredness. It's all about how it makes me feel and what I can get out of it. The dating game doesn't have immunity. The Bible's teachings on how we treat each other also apply to our boyfriends and girlfriends. In the context and craziness of young romance it's difficult to put the others first in a healthy Godly fashion.

Now, I know there are many dating relationships out there that are healthier than others, but can't we find a new system? Is there a way we can help students relate to one another that is better? This is a big deal because deep romance is in the air high school students breath. It consumes their time, energy and discussion. We have to find a way to be different.

1 comment:

  1. love this...I like the way you think. maybe i actually listened when you used to teach. probably not though