Are You Ready To Date?

By Jennifer Birch

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4 Questions to Ask Yourself
Before Taking The Leap

These days, it’s easy to be swayed by what we see on television screens and magazines. Most places you look, you’ll come across couples seemingly in love and caught up in their perfect bubbles. Of course, girls are romantics by nature. We fall for guys who go out of their way to make us feel special, whether that means bringing us flowers on a normal day or arranging a fancy dinner for an occasion. Watching couples like that can make you want to experience it for yourself, too — and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that! Humans are naturally social and want to feel taken care of, after all. 

But not so fast, girls. You can’t just dive headfirst into the dating pool without assessing the waters first. Though going out might look like it's all fun and games, it really isn’t. If not done the right way, it can lead to unnecessary drama and distancing ourselves from God. 

That said, how do you know if you’re ready to date? 

Do you have a solid foundation?

First and foremost, you must already be a whole person who is ready to give love instead of just taking it. Ultimately, it starts with having a good base grounded in Christ, from Whom you can draw your motivation and inspiration. 

Desiring God emphasizes the verse: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength” (Mark 12:30). This is important because if your heart isn’t with God, then that opens possibilities for your mind to get distracted by unessential things. In a relationship, that could lead to more drastic problems, like wandering eyes or not being able to love fully. 

Are your motives pure?

Like we previously discussed here on Teen Beauty Tips, flirting, romance, and dating all go hand-in-hand. Pop culture might make flirting look nothing out of the ordinary, but Song of Songs advises us: “Daughters of Jerusalem, I charge you by the gazelles and by the does of the field; Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires.” 

In this sense, flirting isn’t typical at all. Christians know that sexuality is a gift meant to be shared between husband and wife. Once you “arouse your sexuality” by flirting, it’s hard to go back to your old ways centered in Christ.

Don’t think that flirting just means saucy text messages or touchy gestures. Even dressing suggestively can be a form of flirting. According to an article on fashion site Pretty Me, how you dress on a date can be crucial to how your relationship will turn out. You don’t want to be distracted or to distract your date with the wrong choice of clothing. Questions such as “Is this skirt too short?” can not only ruin your evening, but it can also set yourselves up for impure intentions, which is the last thing you want to do. As such, it’s important to prioritize comfort over eye-catching styles. In this way, you’ll also be able to let your personality shine through instead.

Do you know your long-term plan?

Only date with purpose, and not for shallow reasons that won’t last. Pastor Mark Ballenger reminds us that intimacy and commitment are always paired in the Bible. Thus, dating without the goal of marriage can be considered unbiblical. While the Bible doesn’t give an exact age for when it’s right to start dating, it should be when you are ready to accept your Christian duty of becoming a husband or wife. 

However, don’t take this as pressure that you need to have a stable job and a house just to date. What’s important is you see a future with this person, and that you aren’t dating them just because it’s fun. Again, relationships aren’t always going to be high times. A partner for the long-haul should be able to stick with you through the lows as well. If you can’t see yourself doing so, then why waste time you could be spending serving the Lord in other ways? 

Are you ready to commit?

Many events we see on the news and in real life threaten to ruin the sanctity of marriage, especially with the prevalence of divorce. It’s important to understand that God designed marriage for two people to unite as “one flesh.” 

412 Teens highlights Ephesians 5:25, which states that “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.” This means that marriage is meant to reflect God’s relationship with His people. And we can only fulfill that if we are committed to living out this mission. It includes loving unconditionally and making big sacrifices, whether that means time spent on meaningless hobbies or fostering hollow relationships built on cheap thrills. While God doesn’t judge anyone based on their past, you have to be ready to repent and give those up for a life with your partner serving our one true God.

With all these in mind, do you think you're ready to date? If you answered yes to all those questions, then go ahead and live out your mission of becoming a loving partner in God's name. 

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