Friday, November 25, 2005

Typical American Dating: Is This Really God's Best for Teens Today?

I can’t speak for most youth pastors in general or even most evangelical youth pastors, but for me personally the issue of dating is an extremely hot topic and burden on my heart regarding today’s young people. I strongly discourage young dating (under the age of 18) for several basic reasons.

First, because I have “been there-done that,” and I can speak from first-hand experience that not only is it a big waste of time, but it’s also a dangerous mind-field, loaded with the potential to destroy teenagers physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

Also, typical dating not only hurts individuals, but it hurts the unity of the youth group and church as a whole. There’s just nothing like a bunch of failed, romantic relationships in the youth ministry to destroy the effectiveness and unity of the group.

And finally, as followers of Christ, we should desire God’s best, and I am absolutely convinced that typical, American dating is far from being God’s best. But I guess what grieves me more is that most Christian teens (and adults for that matter) seem to just blindly accept the ways and methods the culture claims to be the norm when it comes to relationships without first asking, does God have something better for me now? Is this really God’s plan? Is this really what He has in mind for me? I submit that typical American dating is not God’s best, and in fact is highly defective for everyone that participates. God has a far better plan for us concerning relationships, if we will only be honest enough and care enough to take the time to find out.

In the next couple of posts, I will give 7 reasons that typical American dating is highly defective. The resource that I have found to be a wonderful resource on this subject is a little book entitled, I Kissed Dating Goodbye by Joshua Harris. In this book, which I strongly recommend, Harris takes a good hard look at typical dating from a Biblical perspective, and makes some very honest conclusions.


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