Dating – Dating versus Married

Good morning, Five Minute Families. Take a breath with me. No matter what is happening in your life right now, breathe in God’s Word and trust Him to help you take the next step, even if you don’t know the full picture yet.

Not knowing the full picture… That’s what dating is. This is week three in our dating series, and last week, we made a mistake – misspoke – about the definition we had wanted to give for the all-encompassing dating term. We stated, “So, let’s define what we call dating… basically, any type of meeting up -and interacting- for the purposes of getting to know someone in order to decide if you want to get married.” We mistakenly added the part at the end about deciding about wanting to get married. Our teens should not always be thinking about getting married. They SHOULD be thinking long-term as in what behaviors or characteristics do they find appealing to them, but the person they date in high school or college does not have to be the person they marry.

We point out our mistake because even though we knew the point we would be making this week, we still added it on without realizing we did it. Dating is NOT just spending time in order to decide if you want to marry THAT PARTICULAR PERSON. Some folks date when they know they have no intentions of marrying. Sometimes the person is too young to marry, sometimes the person has just gotten out of another relationship, sometimes he or she has never dated before and needs to meet and get to know a few people to truly see who God has in store for them as a lifetime marriage partner.

Five Minute Families, when we parents or our young people wrongly adopt the attitude that EVERY dating relationship should end in marriage, then we are asking for many complications and unnecessary difficulties. Because, unfortunately, some folks date with an “already married” mindset instead of a “dating” mindset.

Just as we discussed last week, we must all first learn how to relate. We must learn how to relate – not imitate – marriage. So, let’s go deeper into five more relating principles and how they apply differently in a dating relationship than a marital relationship.

First, we must have mutual respect of separate identities. While a married couple is biblically one and must make decisions based on that oneness, young dating couples must have a mutual respect for the individuality and unique plan God may have in store for them. For example, if two high school seniors are dating, and one plans to go to university in Washington state and the other plans to attend technical college, then both should be encouraged by their families and by each other to continue to pursue those goals. If God plans for these two young people to end up together, He will direct their paths back to one another.

Second, trustworthiness and honesty. Now, obviously, all relationships need trustworthiness and honesty. But, the depth that these go will look different while dating. If a young person isn’t certain about the future with their dating partner, it is ok to step out of the relationship without in depth explanations as to why. There is always honesty but the requirement to share deep details can actually be detrimental in a dating relationship where there is not yet a lifetime commitment.

Third, in the realm of fairness and equality, a married couple must make all efforts necessary to preserve and protect the sanctity of the marriage. In dating, a young couple needs to understand that freedom to speak with friends of the opposite gender and ability to do things that do not require checking in with your dating partner are both acceptable ways of relating. Each couple needs to apply that communication we mentioned last week to make sure that both partners feel the relationship is fair and equal.

Fourth, being supportive in a dating relationship, quite honestly, should not involve the same level of sacrifice that is required in a marital relationship. In marriage, sometimes there are big sacrifices to be made to keep the marriage together, to put food on the table, to get the kids the medical care they need. But, in dating, support should be in the form of cheering the person on in what goals and desires God is calling them to, again, just as before, even if that means the dating relationship does not last.

And, last but never least, the dating couple should be growing closer to the Lord – independently first and then together. In marriage, the couple as one must pray fervently for one another and consistently work together to engage in and deepen their Christ-connection — to Him and to one another. Spiritual intimacy is one of the big four intimacies that married couples.

Thanks for joining us today, and join us next week as we close out our dating series. Be blessed!

Leave a reply

Dating – Dating versus Married

Good morning, Five Minute Families. Take a breath with me. No matter what is happening in your life right now, breathe in God’s Word and trust Him to help you take the next step, even if you don’t know the full picture yet.

Not knowing the full picture… That’s what dating is. This is week three in our dating series, and last week, we made a mistake – misspoke – about the definition we had wanted to give for the all-encompassing dating term. We stated, “So, let’s define what we call dating… basically, any type of meeting up -and interacting- for the purposes of getting to know someone in order to decide if you want to get married.” We mistakenly added the part at the end about deciding about wanting to get married. Our teens should not always be thinking about getting married. They SHOULD be thinking long-term as in what behaviors or characteristics do they find appealing to them, but the person they date in high school or college does not have to be the person they marry.

We point out our mistake because even though we knew the point we would be making this week, we still added it on without realizing we did it. Dating is NOT just spending time in order to decide if you want to marry THAT PARTICULAR PERSON. Some folks date when they know they have no intentions of marrying. Sometimes the person is too young to marry, sometimes the person has just gotten out of another relationship, sometimes he or she has never dated before and needs to meet and get to know a few people to truly see who God has in store for them as a lifetime marriage partner.

Five Minute Families, when we parents or our young people wrongly adopt the attitude that EVERY dating relationship should end in marriage, then we are asking for many complications and unnecessary difficulties. Because, unfortunately, some folks date with an “already married” mindset instead of a “dating” mindset.

Just as we discussed last week, we must all first learn how to relate. We must learn how to relate – not imitate – marriage. So, let’s go deeper into five more relating principles and how they apply differently in a dating relationship than a marital relationship.

First, we must have mutual respect of separate identities. While a married couple is biblically one and must make decisions based on that oneness, young dating couples must have a mutual respect for the individuality and unique plan God may have in store for them. For example, if two high school seniors are dating, and one plans to go to university in Washington state and the other plans to attend technical college, then both should be encouraged by their families and by each other to continue to pursue those goals. If God plans for these two young people to end up together, He will direct their paths back to one another.

Second, trustworthiness and honesty. Now, obviously, all relationships need trustworthiness and honesty. But, the depth that these go will look different while dating. If a young person isn’t certain about the future with their dating partner, it is ok to step out of the relationship without in depth explanations as to why. There is always honesty but the requirement to share deep details can actually be detrimental in a dating relationship where there is not yet a lifetime commitment.

Third, in the realm of fairness and equality, a married couple must make all efforts necessary to preserve and protect the sanctity of the marriage. In dating, a young couple needs to understand that freedom to speak with friends of the opposite gender and ability to do things that do not require checking in with your dating partner are both acceptable ways of relating. Each couple needs to apply that communication we mentioned last week to make sure that both partners feel the relationship is fair and equal.

Fourth, being supportive in a dating relationship, quite honestly, should not involve the same level of sacrifice that is required in a marital relationship. In marriage, sometimes there are big sacrifices to be made to keep the marriage together, to put food on the table, to get the kids the medical care they need. But, in dating, support should be in the form of cheering the person on in what goals and desires God is calling them to, again, just as before, even if that means the dating relationship does not last.

And, last but never least, the dating couple should be growing closer to the Lord – independently first and then together. In marriage, the couple as one must pray fervently for one another and consistently work together to engage in and deepen their Christ-connection — to Him and to one another. Spiritual intimacy is one of the big four intimacies that married couples.

Thanks for joining us today, and join us next week as we close out our dating series. Be blessed!

Leave a reply

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