Friday, August 19, 2011

Dating, And All Things Similar

I've decided to not date till college. Because of a few messed up relationships in my first two years of high school, I've come to believe that dating in high school does no good. Of all my friends, I can't think of a single couple where both persons are strong Christians, rooted deep in faith, and involved in church, and who have been together longer than three months. I've seen dating destroy many of my friends' friendships, whether through lust, bitterness, or just poor decisions. I've experienced enough heartache to know it's pretty foolhardy to wait till after high school, or better yet, the teenage years, to enter into a romantic relationship.

But that doesn't mean I don't yearn for that relationship. I'm not saying I don't lust. I'm not even saying I don't crush on girls anymore. In fact, I've done some research on myself and found that at any given time, I have a light crush on a girl. That crush rarely lasts longer than two weeks, and at that time, I have another light crush on another girl. Those crushes are so small and insignificant that it really only comes down to the fact I really enjoy being around that girl or I text that girl a lot.

The crushes that last longer than two weeks are always become lustful crushes. With those crushes, which I've had probably a dozen or so, I spend too much time and attention on a girl, and eventually, my attraction and attention become sinful. Apparently, I can't focus on a girl for that long without eventually thinking lustfully of her. That's one of the key reasons I don't date. I'm waiting a few years and using my time to build my defences to lust and temptation. When I do fall in love with my future wife, I want to be mature enough to not lust over her. Is that totally realistic? No. Unfortunately, as a teenager, with hormones running high, lust is something I can't stop 100%, so I get in the trenches with it to defeat it. I don't always win; unfortunately, I don't always lean on God when I'm bombarded with temptation. In those times, I fall. But when I do lean on God, I prevail. It's an on-going war between my flesh and spirit. So how do I counter temptation? I remind myself of Scripture. I pray for strength; I pray for my wife; I pray, pray, pray. And when necessary, I leave the room, change the subject, or go to something else. Now why, you might ask, do I put myself through such a grueling experience? It's because I want to love my wife purely. I want to love her for her heart, her personality, and her spirit, not her body. I respect her too much to want to disrespect her with my thoughts.

So why do I not date? Dating distracts me from God. As previously mentioned, if I crush too long on a girl, my thoughts on her turn impure. I desire pure and Godly thoughts. Dating doesn't spur me on to think such thoughts, so I have to cut dating out of the picture. Jesus talked about cutting your arm off or gouging your eye out to keep yourself from sinning. I apply to same principle to dating. Logic and common sense also encourage me to not date. How? Well, if a drunkard is trying to quit drinking, he's going to have to stay out of bars. Bars tempt him too much, so he has to avoid them at all costs. The same with dating. Dating tempts me too much, so I avoid it at all costs. And I could mention the drama, heartache, gossip, less money, less time with friends, and other things that are a downside to dating. But I won't :)

How do I know when the right time to date is? This is something I really struggled with earlier in the year. I went through a emotionally tumulus time battling with insecurities and a lack of trust in God's timing. Out of that dark time, I came out with a new mindset. It's now my conviction to not date until I'm ready for marriage. I'll know when that is when the time comes. My guess is that it'll be a few years, maybe more. I start college at age 17 and graduate at 21, and I'm not sure I want to add a girlfriend/fiance/wife to the already monumental stressful, time-demanding, money-draining years of college. My parents were married at age eighteen (Mom) and nineteen (Dad) and lived in an apartment together through the rest of college. But that was almost thirty years ago, and times have really changed. I turn eighteen in 13 months, and I know for sure that I can't get married then. I'm pretty sure I won't be mature and ready enough, let alone that I'll be broke thanks to college. And because of the uncertain times ahead, I doubt marriage will be the best option for me. Craig Groeschel, lead pastor of Lifechurch.tv, said, "You'll know you're ready for marriage when you ask yourself, 'Can I serve the Lord better, or worse, with her or him as my spouse?', and your answer is 'better'" (paraphrased). When I'm at the point when I meet a girl and our friendship has blossomed to the point that she as my wife would only benefit my relationship to the Lord will I even seriously consider a romantic relationship.

Oh, and I forgot to mention that I believe in courtship, not dating. No, courtship is not "Christian dating." It is so much more than that! If you don't know what courtship is, pick up Boy Meets Girl: Say Hello to Courtship by Joshua Harris. I simply don't have the time or energy to explain that complex topic.

9 comments:

Belle said...

I believe that courting is simply dating with the intent/purpose of considering marriage. Eh, a loose definition, but I think that sums it up.

As for dating, I applaud your intentions. However, I do know a couple who are teens, both seniors and have been together for about five months. It's a matter of maturity, not age. I know an engaged couple, the girl has just turned eighteen.

It still works sometimes ;)

The Bible talks about "the wife of your youth." Of course, times were different back then, but the principle is the same. You could arguel 21 is young, but I think it meant younger than that considering the times in which it was written.

Aaaanyway, I don't think you can universally slam all young dating/courting couples who are under the age of eighteen.

One has to be careful they become so focused on NOT dating, they forget the purpose (I'm certainly not accusing you of this, it's just a thought.)

However, the Christian culture tells me to keep my heart for my future husband. I refuse to do that. Honestly, I'm not worried about keeping myself for him, I am keeping myself pure for the Lord. It may be His plan I never marry, that way I devote myself to Him and for Him. Soo, in a sense I think we elevate our future spouses that we take the glory away from God. Does that make sense?

When you say you're saving your first kiss for your future spouse, that is laudable. However, I am choosing to keep myself for the Lord and He can give me away to whoever He chooses, that way I'll never be disappointed...Mmmk, I'll get off my soapbox now :)

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Elizabeth said...

I just wanted to say that I can identify with this post and I admire your decision not to date at this time. My parents don't let me date and have always said that we have to wait until we graduate (in other words, when we can start thinking about marriage). I used to be kind of mad about this rule until I was hurt by a friendship with a crush (who liked me for a time and then stopped).

Now I realize that waiting (at least for me, right now) is much better. I've realized that I don't want to "date" until I find someone who I know really, really well and who I really, really care about (and someone who cares about me, too). And I've realized also that this time in my life is for waiting, trusting, and learning about God. It may not be the right way for everyone, but for myself, I've realized my place and I'm sticking to it.

Anyway, I just wanted to applaud you for your decision. It is so encouraging to find someone else with a similar conviction who is also striving to please God! May the Lord bless you as you continue to seek Him!

Elizabeth

Daniel Gregory said...

good post bro, ive felt that way a long time,but ive been chalanged lately(and im applying this to me only) if you feel that you are on the path to being prepaired for merrage(down the path far enough you can see the end) is it still trusting god to stay in your confortable box of being alone, although you know you want out one day, or are you trusting your self to protect your self, when his will is for you to move out of the box into the scarry world of relationships, weather you call it dateing, quartship, pre quartship, friends with a purpose. thats kinda the stage im entering, and its terifying, just saying, what if im wrong, it nolonger would just effect me. so yah just thought id shair

Ashley said...

Hm. Good question Daniel. I think most peeps our age have that question. I want to see how Logan answers. :)

Jessica said...

So, I've realized that you miss a lot of great posts when you stay off of Blogger for 5 months. :) I've been catching up with your blog and you always seem to blow me away. As a girl who is committed to courtship and is still faithfully waiting, might I add, I'm refreshed by knowing that there are young men like you serving God and taking such a godly stand. Keep standing strong, Logan! Know that God will reward your efforts.

Often girls like me look to characters such as Mr. Darcy from Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice as the epitome of a man of character. If I could, I would send all of those girls to your blog so that they could see a real man of character in action.  You are an encouragement!

Be patient and continue to seek God’s direction….and remember you aren’t the only one waiting.

Jessica said...

Btw...I Kissed Dating Goodbye and Boy Meets Girl are two of my favorite books!! Have you read anything by Eric and Leslie Ludy?? If not, you should definitely check their books out.

Logan said...

Thanks so much for the praise and encouragement, Jessica! It means so so much to me :)

And I'm familiar with them but haven't read any of their books yet. They're on my list though! As soon as I finish as these servant leadership books, I'll try to read one of theirs.

Anyway, thanks again!!! And thanks for reading!