Christian youths – even teens – have been following the worldly practice of dating, which is thoroughly unbiblical. Many seem to be totally unaware of the dangers of “dating”. What is biblically wrong about modern “dating”?
What is called “dating” today generally refers to maintaining a romantic relationship with someone of the opposite sex. To an increasing number of youngsters in our society, dating is simply “having fun” with someone of the opposite sex with no strings attached. In Singapore, dating is becoming common among even young teens of secondary schools. The dating of youths from tertiary educational institutions frequently involves booze, drugs, holidays together, sexual intercourse, etc.
Dating is largely patterned after what is portrayed by the entertainment world in movies and suchlike – a relationship based on sensual feelings and fantasies. In dating, friendships are forged through fleshly attractions, such as good looks, cute smile, sensual appearance, amorous voice, flirtatious speech and behaviour, fashionable and trendy attire, a groovy car, etc.
Even Christian youths begin dating on the basis of such sensual appeal. Christian couples, who date much like the world, fall into many spiritual, moral, emotional and social problems. Dating opens the youths to temptations of sin. Improper sexual conduct, sin and damaged testimony often plague such youths. More troubles and evils ensue – disappointment, depression, guilt, shame, quarrels, resentment, vengeful spirit, etc. The relationships with parents and friends also become tumultuous.
When a dating couple agrees not to date others and stay together for an extended period of time, they are considered “going steady”. They become attached romantically, emotionally, and often sexually. They often behave like a married couple. However, it does not have the commitment of a faithful marriage relationship. Their relationship is generally unstable and unpredictable. It is a phoney, sensual liaison, a counterfeit marriage relationship. Then, when the boy or girl gets bored with the relationship, or suspicious of the other, or get caught cheating, or simply decide that someone else is more desirable, the relationship is ended.
So often, dating is a temporary flirting, rather than a permanent, godly relationship. Many of them do not end up in marriage. Breaking up often involves heartache, anger and many negative emotional consequences.
Some “succeed” only after going through several dating experiences. People who enter marriage after a string of failed dating relationships often manifest the distasteful experiences of distrust, suspicion, anxiety, etc. It is not uncommon that such marriages end up on the rocks.
Dating, which is founded on worldly principles, promotes fornication and destructive behaviour among young people. Hedonistic attitudes maintained in such relationships engender disrespect, ill-treatment, and desensitizes moral discernment. The resultant marriages are like the houses built upon sand, ready to collapse.
In the Corinthian church, some have been living sensually. The apostle Paul was very disapproving of those who conducted themselves in an impure and sensual manner. He warned, “And lest, when I come again, my God will humble me among you, and that I shall bewail many which have sinned already, and have not repented of the uncleanness and fornication and lasciviousness which they have committed” (2 Corinthians 12:21). Paul’s point was that members of the church who conduct themselves in sensual and worldly manner bring shame to the Lord and His church. It is utterly humiliating to a godly congregation that some members live worldly and in fornication. Earlier he had warned, “Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand” (1 Corinthians 10:8); as well as, “Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body” (1 Corinthians 6:18). A life of fornication not only destroys relationships, but also one’s emotional, mental and physical health.
Dear youths, do not engage in the worldly kind of dating. Let every young Christian know that “this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication” (1 Thessalonians 4:3). God’s Word admonishes us in Colossians 3:5-6 that we should “mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: for which things’ sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience.” Again, we are told, “fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints” (Ephesians 5:3).
Mission Update from Pr Donald
We thank God for last Lord’s Day worship, which was attended by 24 adults and youths, plus 8 children. Praise the Lord also for enabling us to hold our first post-service fellowship group meeting last Sunday, beginning with the Men’s Fellowship. 4 of us gathered together to encourage ourselves to fulfil our Godgiven duties both in our family and in the church.
We also thank God for the safe arrival of our visitors. My mum and cousin arrived last Saturday night, followed by Sister Joy-joy on Sunday morning (5 am), which enabled her to also attend our worship service.
Thank God for helping the livelihood of our brethren. The rice harvest is now ongoing and the Lord has given those who are farmers in our midst good produce. Some other brethren, whose livelihood is fishing, also had their harvest this week. Thank God for His bountiful blessings from both land and sea. My constant prayer is that their trust in their great Provider will grow stronger.
By the way, this week, we are planning to resume our Bible Study / Home Visitation at the Pogaro area, to be scheduled every Thursday. After praying earnestly, the Lord moved my heart to conduct a weekly Bible study to strengthen the faith of the brethren and also to encourage more people to seek the Lord. The place is more than an hour’s drive from our Pangasinan mission station. May the Lord grant us a great harvest of souls.