Thursday, August 1, 2013

Dating and Relating in the 21st Century

As someone who has been married for close to a quarter century, I am beyond thankful that I don't have to navigate the murky waters of dating, mating and relating today. However, I have young adult children and I sometimes wonder if I've given them what they need to handle in this area.

So many of my Christian friends have children that are not married with babies - so this is an area where I see many Christians struggle. It's almost as if they don't believe what the Bible says about purity, the motivations behind it and the blessings you reap. I have had friends say to me, "They're going to have sex any way, so what's the point?"

What's the point? God's guidelines bring us happiness not discontentment. If we all recognized this we wouldn't be so easily bamboozled in this area.

So in communicating with young adults this is where I start. There has to be a standard, a benchmark. There is a standard. Who sets the standard? God.

Why does that seem so hard? If you've seen God at work in other areas of your life why not your dating, mating and relating life? Why not?

It is also helpful to have boundaries defined prior to being in a situation. The best book I ever read on relationships that discussed this issue was by Les and Leslie Parrot. From a Christian point of view it talked about things we dance around - kissing, petting, touching and knowing where to draw the line. It was not formulaic.

As your children get older it may get harder or easier to communicate with them depending on the child and the circumstances. As an adult your beliefs determine your actions (i.e. it does no good to believe something and then live and speak contrary to what you believe). As much as possible, the elders should keep communicating with the younger ones about this area especially if they believe the guidelines that God has set.

Don't change your standard based on the culture; stand firm. Someone needs to do it for the next generation.

There is a way that seemeth right, but it also ends in destruction (Prov. 16:25)
"Whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God" (I Cor. 10:31).

What are your views on the dating scene as it relates to young people? Do you think there are more negative than positive influences today? How do you maintain dialogue in this area? 

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