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The Dos & Don'ts of Dating

by Tammy Darling

This advice will help you please God while you’re dating.

Dating is an exciting time in life. Before you start dating, it’s important to know what will and what won’t please God while you’re dating. To help you out, here’s a list of some—but not all—the dos and don’ts of dating.

•Do wait until you’re out of high school before you get serious about dating. High school is the time in life when you learn how to be a good friend to both guys and girls.

•Do seek a committed Christian, a person who shares the same theology and spiritual aspirations.

•Don’t seek a relationship in an attempt to fulfill your needs and desires. God can fill them for you, if you give Him a chance.

•Do be friends first. Building a friendship will lay the foundation for the entire relationship.

•Don’t rush or be too eager for the relationship to progress. Instead, patiently allow it to build over the course of a year or two before making any major commitments.

•Do realize that any potential mate doesn’t have to be perfect, but you both  need to be willing to grow and mature emotionally.

•Don’t seek a relationship with someone just to please your family, friends, or anyone else.

•Do know the type of person you’re looking for when it comes to goals, spiritual maturity, character, etc.

•Don’t try to date more than one person at a time. Put some space between relationships too.

•Do get emotionally and spiritually healthy before you start dating. Deal with any traumas and hurts beforehand.

•Don’t feel you have to be in a relationship to be whole. It’s OK not to date anyone even for extended periods of time.

•Do be respectful and courteous to your date. Let the fruits of the Spirit flow naturally through you (see Galatians 5:22, 23).

•Don’t treat dating as a game or your date as an opponent to be conquered. These are real people with real feelings.

•Do develop a healthy outlook on what real Biblical love and intimacy is. The Bible is full of practical and wise direction.

•Don’t get physical. God calls us to purity, so resist temptation.

•Do have your date’s best interests in mind so that his/her feelings and needs are of greater importance to you than your own.

•Don’t fear breaking off a relationship that isn’t meant to be. Guilt or fear of hurting the other person may hold you back, but be willing to make hard decisions.

•Do pray before going on a date. Ask for guidance, discernment, and strength to resist temptation.

•Don't dress inappropriately. Immodest clothing will only increase temptation.

•Do be selective. Avoid dating just for the sake of being seen with someone. People get hurt too easily to mess around with their feelings.

•Don’t try to change the person you’re dating. If someone needs changing, it’s up to the Holy Spirit to do it.

•Do seek to know the person behind the face. Superficiality has no place in dating—seek to know the heart of the person you date.

•Don’t give in to pressure from others. Doing so can cause you to make bad choices or force you into something that’s not meant to be.

•Do make an effort to get to know his/her parents. While most dating teens want to avoid the parents, making a sincere effort to acquaint yourself with them demonstrates maturity and respect.

•Don’t make an early commitment. A good relationship takes time to build, ideally one to two years.

•Do set up physical boundaries from the very beginning, and stick to them. Need some help deciding what they should be? Check out 1 Corinthians 6:12-20 and Ephesians 5:3.

•Don’t date someone based on their looks. Looks don’t last. A person’s real beauty is inside them.

•Do enjoy your date. Don’t get so caught up in dating that it’s not enjoyable.

Dating and pleasing God isn’t always easy. With His help you can do it and bring Him glory at the same time.

Tammy Darling writes from Three Springs, Pennsylvania.

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