Ahhhh Valentine’s day...or as some people view it, Single Awareness Day! It’s a day that many look forward to and many dread. Even though I never fully understood the point of Valentine’s day, I am looking forward to spending my first Valentine’s day with my husband, as man and wife (not that we need one day to celebrate being a couple). With Valentine’s day quickly approaching, it has caused me to think about dating relationships and the trials and struggles that come along with relationships or with not being in a relationship. As humans, we have been created to not want to be alone. God created a longing in us to be with someone else. Take a look at the Creation story when God created man and woman.
First, God created man who He named Adam. Genesis 2:7 states, “then the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature.” In the following verses, God explains man’s duty to take care of the earth and He ordered Adam to name the animals (see Genesis 2:8-20). God then realizes that He does not want man to be alone, so he created woman who He named Eve (Genesis 2:22-23). God saw the Adam had no helper to assist him, so He creates Eve. How awesome is that? As part of God’s Perfect plan, He wanted man and woman to be together. Genesis 2:24, “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” See, God has built in us a desire to want a companion, a boyfriend, a friend, etc. We all want to feel accepted and needed and that is normal. However, as young women, we begin to want to be noticed my boys and we begin to inch closer to that age where we can begin to date. Coming from someone who has been a teenage girl, I understand the desire to want to feel pretty, popular, smart, and funny, but also for someone to notice those things about us.
All through middle school and high school, I was that super talkative girl in class who loved to laugh and not alway pay attention. I played sports throughout my entire life and just loved being social with family and friends. I was hardly ever into boys until about the time I hit high school (of course). That is about the time girls start taking a serious interest in boys and parents may slowly start allowing their children to date. However, I was never allowed to date until I was sixteen and of course, I jumped right on that! Oh yes, I dated a boy in high school and he was the first boy to really take an interest in me. He told me I was beautiful and said all the kind, nice things that girls like to hear, but it did not last. Yes, we dated for almost two years, broke up before college, and I was heartbroken. Ohhh yes, that horrible first heartbreak. I shed many tears, ugly cried for days, and I seriously thought my life was over. Obviously, it was not and I got over it. (But you know it had to be a little dramatic...it was HS). I tell you this, not to make you sad or fearful about dating, but to enlighten you and encourage you to make smart dating choices when that day comes (if it hasn’t already). There are three “Don’t” points I want to share with you to encourage and help you as you begin or are in the dating stage of your life. So here they are...
1. Don’t be afraid to Wait...wait on the Lord, wait on your parents, and wait until you are ready. Wait on the Lord as Psalm 37:7 so plainly states, “Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him;fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way,over the man who carries out evil devices!”
Listen ladies, if you are truly seeking God in your life, reading His word often, and praying to Him; He will speak to you and guide you in your life and in your relationships. God has created us to want another person by our side and do not ever be ashamed of wanting that, but don’t push or force the relationship. As long as you are seeking first His will and keeping Him first in your dating relationship, He will be honored through both of you. Wait on your parents.
Ohhh if I would have only waited on my parents and listened to their advice. Yes, they gave me excellent advice when I started to date and warned me to be careful with in who I dated. Do you think I listened though? Absolutely not. I pushed the boundaries and was too stubborn to listen to them or anyone else. Warning signs were there, but i ignored them and I ended up hurt. I know as young girls it is easy to ignore your parents and other leaders/authorities in your life, but they truly are older and wiser.
They only what was is best for you and I encourage you to listen to those who have your best interest at heart and take their advice and warnings seriously. Lastly, wait until you are ready. Just because you have hit that age that you are allowed to date, it is okay to wait. Wait until you feel you are ready and that may not be until college. That is okay. You may date in high school and that is okay. Just make sure it is you who is ready and not just what everyone else is doing.
2. Don’t Settle. Ohhh the many times my dad has told me this. Ever since I can remember, my dad has told me to never settle in my dating relationship. What a true reminder we as girls need! It is hard not to jump at the first opportunity that we have to date a boy. That boy that first shows interest and makes us feel so special, but that may not be a person we should be dating. It is okay to step back and think about the characteristics he may show, his motives, and his intentions in dating you. Girls, be picky and know there is nothing wrong with saying no. Be intentional with who you seek to date and don’t settle!
3. Don’t forget you are Worth More….this is what our ministry is all about! Being worth more. As 1 Peter 1:18-19 explains, “knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot.” You are worth more than silver, gold, any jewel, or any other priceless item. Christ shed His own blood on the cross that we might be saved and have a personal relationship with Him. He wants to talk to us and be there for us. He sees that we are worth more and so should you. Know that you are worth more than what any friend, boy, teacher, or anyone else may think. If/when you experience a time in your life that you feel worthless and that no one loves you, know that God sees you as holy and blameless. He sees and knows that you are worth enough that He would die for you.
I could go on and on on this topic of dating and what to consider before dating, but I won’t. I wish I could tell all of your girls to never date until you are at least forty, but I know that is ridiculous. Do know that there is joy in the waiting and in being single. My college days ended up being filled with many friendships and and not so much dating relationships. I went through many good and bad changes throughout college, but God ended up bringing an amazing Godly man in my life who I ended up marrying and could not have chosen better. I can definitely say that I did not settle. Just remember to not be afraid to wait, don’t settle, and remember you are worth more! Be smart ladies and know that we are praying for each of you! Now, go enjoy your Valentine’s day with your beloved friends, family, or boyfriend!