Dating is important to all young people. It is a matter of urgency to us that we find the person we would like to get married to. It is still the deepest need of even those who just want to be in a relationship, want to ‘enjoy’ life and create the impression that they don’t want to get married, to have a husband/wife for life, someone they can trust and who will be true to them.
How should I as a young person think and pray about this?
- It is your privilege and responsibility to pray for your future husband/wife. Ask the Lord to show
you the right person. Don’t lose heart if he or she doesn’t make an appearance within the first
week. Carry on praying about it regularly. Over and above giving your heart to the Lord, your
choice of a husband/wife is most likely the most important decision in your life.
- Ask your parents to pray for you about this matter as well. It is also important to listen to your
parents. Never go out with someone or get married against your parents’ wishes. If you differ
on this matter, talk to them, ask why they are against it and pray until you and your parents
have peace about who this person should be.
- Choose not to go steady with someone before you know this is your husband/wife. This is a
choice one does not make easily. Do not be in a hurry. Many young people say, “But how will I
know if I don’t have a steady relationship with someone and make sure?” This is not the way
to go. God will show you. You don’t have to try to find out for yourself. God alone knows the
hearts of people and He knows who the right person for you is.
- It is fine to have friendships. But keep these friendships at a healthy level. Stay in a group.
Make sure that as far as possible, you are always in the company of more than just one
person of the opposite sex. Don’t form intimate relationships and start holding hands, kissing
and going further before you know who your husband/wife for life is. Remember, if you have
an intimate relationship with someone and that person might not become your husband/wife,
you are in a relationship with another person’s husband/wife!
- When you feel that you have found your husband/wife, do things together and get to know one
another, but do this within the protective context of a circle of friends. When there are enough
indications that this person might be your husband/wife, you can spend limited periods of time
together, but within all the perimeters of a pure and clean relationship.
- When such a relationship develops, go to mentors who can help you. Allow these persons to
ask you difficult questions: Are you mature enough for a relationship? Can they tell by what
they see that you are suited to one another or do they see warning signs? Are you drawn to
this person because of his or her appearance or is it about this person’s character and that
you and he or she will be able to have a deep relationship?
- Make sure your husband/wife is a Christian. Do you understand the consequences that this
relationship is for life? Do your parents approve of the relationship? Are you satisfied that God
approves of it and that it is His will, or are you trying to twist His arm so that He will give His
permission? Search your heart prayerfully.
- Young people often confuse love with emotions and hormones. A person’s sexual urge is
particularly strong at a young age and it is easy to confuse these desires in your body with
love. Make a determined decision not to become involved in an intimate relationship before
you are married. I don’t know of anybody who has regretted this, but there are literally
hundreds of millions who regret not having waited.
- You always have a choice how you wish to handle this situation. It is so important that you
make the right choice about how you will handle it. Your choice must always be in line with
God’s will, purity, respect for your own body and the body of the other person and for the
person herself or himself. Know that your choice, whichever way it goes, has consequences.
There is no middle-of-the-road here. Make a radical choice about this matter, no matter how
difficult it is, or if your friends find it ridiculous. Don’t become known as a cheap girl. Don’t be a
guy who destroys the lives of young girls, who breaks their hearts and even robs them of their
virginity. Choose for sex within marriage. Sex outside the marriage bed is a sin in the eyes of
- Never make the mistake of thinking it’s all right to marry an unsaved man or woman and once
this person is married to you, you can lead him to the Lord. It hardly ever works out this way.
- Love is not the only condition for marriage. The condition is the will of God. If you marry for
love you might think the marriage can break up if there is no love. In the eyes of the Lord
marriage is a permanent institution. For a Christian, marriage lasts a lifetime, until one of you
dies. God’s intention with marriage is to bring forth a spiritual offspring (Mal.3:15). Most people
in western culture get married because they love each other and do not understand that it is
also God’s intent that a spiritual offspring will be brought forth. Ask the Lord what this means
and make sure the man/woman you marry, wishes to pursue and practice it as you do.