When Should I Begin Dating

Oct 2020, 04:30

A. There are two answers to this question.

The first one is 1. When your parents or those in authority over you say you are ready. You may not like it, but God put people over you to tell you what to do (Eph. 6:1-3). If they say you are too young, then you are too young. In fact in Genesis 24, it was Rebekah’s older brother Laban who had the final say over whether or not she could marry (verses 29, 50, 53).

2. The second answer is this: Are you prepared to think seriously about marriage? Are you ready to decide what qualities you are looking for in the person you will spend the rest of your life with? Are getting ready to take on the duties of renting or buying an apartment or house, paying for a car and insurance, raising kids, getting a job? If you are not ready to be serious about these things, then you are probably not ready for dating, because, remember, dating is just a step toward marriage.

B. But what if you think you are ready to be serious about dating and even thinking ahead to marriage, but your parents or other spiritual people around you think you are too young or not mature enough yet? Or, what if you are grounded in the Word, are thinking seriously about marriage, but you have not yet met that “special” someone who really sparks your interest?

1. The first thing to do is to focus on your own spiritual growth. God has already picked out your future mate. (By the way, you don’t need to be afraid that you are missing out on lots of experience by waiting to date: God has already selected your future spouse for you, and He will introduce you to him or her at the right time. Having lots of dates does not increase your chances of finding the right one, and having no dates or just a fewdoes not decrease your chances. God is in charge of this whole process – see the story of Isaac & Rebekah in Genesis chapter 24. As far as we know, Isaac did not “date” anyone before God provided him with exactly the right girl at exactly the right time). It may be that God is preparing your life and heart, and that of your future mate, so that you will be an exact match at the right time. The key thing to focus on is getting ready spiritually for when you meet her or him. Imagine what it would be like to meet the guy or girl that God wants you to marry, only to suddenly realize that he or she is a truly godly, committed Christian and you are not! You need to be in the Word of God and be a prayer warrior; be faithful to God in your home, church, and school so that you are prepared for the blessings and opportunities God has for you.

2. While you are waiting to date, you can be involved at church. This is great preparation for dating. You can learn to be friends with other believers your own age, as well as fellowshipping with godly adults. Hang around as much as possible with other Christians at activities, functions and all the church services you can. Doing activities in groups of young people may not qualify as the traditional type of “dating,” but it is a great idea. Incidentally, while you are doing this, you can be mentally working on the list of qualities you would like to find in your future mate.

Discussion Questions:

1. If my parents tell me I am too young to date, but I know that I am ready, should I do it secretly?

2. Everybody else is dating at 14 and 15 years old - won’t I feel like a terrible misfit if I am 16, 17 or 18 and I am not dating?

3. How can I know if I am ready for dating or not?


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