Today I’m sharing with you an excerpt from an exceptional book I read recently!
Today I’m sharing with you an excerpt from an exceptional book I read recently! It’s called “Waiting and Dating by Myles Munroe”. Without saying much I hope it helps you as much as it’s helping me…ENJOY!
Waiting and Dating- Myles Munroe
Preparing to Date
Young people all over the world, regardless of culture, share at least one thing in common: the challenge of growing into successful adults. Every society has its own customs in this regard, certain rites of passage through which its youth must navigate successfully in order to be recognized as mature, responsible men and women. In Western countries, one of the most common and socially significant of these customs is dating.
The word “dating” comes from the idea of “setting a date,” where two people (or more, if on a group date) agree to get together at a certain time and place for recreation and fellowship. Dating is an important vehicle in our culture for giving young men and women the opportunity to get to know one another in a socially acceptable manner.
Although dating as we know it today is not a Scriptural concept, it nevertheless has become thoroughly imbedded as a social norm. From a sociological standpoint, dating trends and practices indicate overall societal health, because the way people behave while dating usually reveals how they will behave when married. Habits and attitudes established during the dating years generally carry over into marriage.
As important as dating is in our society, however, questions remain in the minds of both parents and young people alike. What, exactly, is dating? What is its purpose? When is a person “ready” to date? What guidelines are appropriate for a dating
relationship? These are important questions that deserve solid answers. Understanding dating is essential not only for teenagers and their parents, but also for older, newly single people who, because of divorce or widowhood, are re-entering the dating scene.
Habits and attitudes established during the dating years generally carry over into marriage.
One of the most common questions that parents and their teenage children ask is, “How old should a person be before dating?” The answer is not as simple as some try to make it. In reality, the question of when a young person is ready to date is very subjective, depending on the parents’ attitudes and the developmental level of the child. There is more involved than simply assigning a chronological age. Adolescents mature at different rates, and girls usually mature faster and earlier than boys do. Some children may be ready to date at the age of 13, while others may be 18 before they are ready. A person’s readiness to date is largely a matter of maturity and environment.
Part of maturity is knowledge, and there are four principles or prerequisites that every person should meet before they begin dating. Knowing and applying these principles will help ensure dating success regardless of a person’s status: younger, older, never married, or newly single again.
THREE PRINCIPLES OF DATING READINESS
1. First of all, you are not ready to date until you are fully aware of both the benefits and the dangers of dating. Once you understand not only the perks but also the pitfalls of dating, you are mature enough to begin opening yourself up to more serious relationships.
The primary benefit of dating is the opportunity to get to know someone new, to build a new friendship with a member of the opposite sex. This is important for developing self-confidence and social interaction skills as well as for learning respect for each other as persons of worth, value, and dignity. At the top of the list of potential dating pitfalls is the danger of becoming physically and emotionally involved too quickly at too deep a level, leading to inappropriate behavior.
Human beings are social creatures, and we relate to each other on three levels: spirit, mind, and body. To put it another way, we interact with each other in the spiritual, soulical, and physical dimensions. This progression is very important. Healthy relationships should always begin at the spiritual and intellectual levels—the levels of purpose, motivation, interests, dreams, and personality. The physical dimension is the least important of the three, yet that is where we usually start. Our Western culture has completely reversed the process. Everywhere we turn in society—the media, the entertainment industry, the educational system and even, many times, the church—the focus in relationships is on physical attraction first.
Healthy relationships should always begin at the spiritual and intellectual levels—the levels of purpose, motivation, interests, dreams, and personality.
Before you start to date someone you are interested in, ask yourself, “Am I aware of the benefits as well as the dangers of dating this person?”Young people today face great temptations and are under tremendous pressure from every quarter to jump immediately to the physical in a relationship. Physical attraction leads quickly to deep emotional involvement and the couple hasn’t even had a chance to find out whether or not they share similar interests, dreams, or views on life. By the time those things come out and they begin to discover that they are not on similar levels spiritually or intellectually, it is too late because they are already emotionally entangled, making it extremely difficult to break off the relationship. Too often they simply plunge ahead with their emotional connection, resulting in frustrated and unfulfilled life dreams.
2. The second prerequisite for dating readiness is a good understanding of God’s standards for relationships. You need to learn or work out a clear set of guidelines for behavior based on God’s Word, or you are not ready to date. This requires a certain degree of spiritual maturity. Waiting until you are in a dating situation to decide what is right or wrong or what you will or will not do is too late. Unless you settle those matters in your heart and mind beforehand, you will have little protection against temptation and could easily go too far. There are only two choices: either you will follow God’s standards by deliberate choice, or you will follow the world’s standards by default. Unless you plan ahead to keep yourself pure on a date, you probably won’t.
Our modern society has come up with some weird criteria for dating. Some say that a person is ready to date upon entering puberty, or upon becoming a teenager. The only criterion for a believer and follower of Christ is to find and follow God’s standards. If you do not know what those standards are or what God’s characteristics are for a balanced spiritual person, then you are not ready to date. Dating is no place for trial and error. You should not even begin to develop a serious relationship with anyone until you understand what God expects and requires. If you are not sure, find out first.
There are only two choices: either you will follow
God’s standards by deliberate choice, or you will follow the world’s standards by default.
3. The third principle for preparing to date follows closely on the heels of the second. Once you have determined from Scripture what God’s standards are, resolve in your spirit that you will not lower or compromise those standards for any reason, even if it means losing dates. Many people are willing to compromise moral or godly standards in order to get a date or to hold onto a boyfriend or girlfriend. That is immature behavior and will cause a lot of problems. Standing firm on what you believe in is a sign of both spiritual and emotional maturity. There are no second-class areas of life to God. He is after your best. He wants you to obey Him, follow His Word, and stand firmly on His standards. Anything less and you cannot expect to receive His best.
Close attention to these three principles will help ensure that dating is a healthy and fulfilling experience both for you and for the persons you date.
YOU ARE READY TO DATE WHEN YOU DON’T NEED TO
A fourth dating principle, which arises from the other three and is the most important of all, is simply this: you are ready to date when you don’t need to. If you feel that you “need” a date in order to be complete or fulfilled personally, you are not ready for dating. Need involves demand and implies that there is something lacking in life. The opposite of need is choice, which allows for a decision. A legitimate need eliminates choice. For example, if we need to eat a meal in order to stave off hunger, there is little deciding left to do; we sit down and eat. Once all our needs have been met, we are then free to choose based on personal preference or desire.
Consciously or subconsciously, the quest to fulfill our perceived needs drives our lives and influences all our decisions. This is just as true with relationships as with anything else. As long as you perceive lack or incompleteness within yourself, every relationship you enter will be, to one degree or another, an effort to supply that lack or bring a sense of completeness. If you feel deficient, you will build your entire relationship on that deficiency, because you will be looking to the other person to supply what you do not have.
Most people enter relationships with some sense of incompleteness or inadequacy. What they usually end up with is a weak 50-50 relationship. Neither person can give 100 percent because they both are focusing on what they do not have, which they hope to find in the other person. People in this kind of relationship live every day in insecurity, because they each are expected to supply the other’s lack, and neither knows how long they can keep doing it. The relationship may last only as long as either of them feels it is satisfying their needs or compensating for their deficiencies.
You are ready to date only to the extent that you feel whole and complete within yourself, apart from any other person (except God). When you regard dating as a matter of choice rather than necessity, you are ready. It is a matter of your ability to be happy and content whether you are with someone else or not.
When you regard dating as a matter of choice rather than necessity, you are ready!
The bible says to seek his kingdom first and everything else will be added …I guarantee that if you follow this principle then eve dating…finding that special someone would be added.