Welcome to my blog! Naturally, my first post is an expansion of my unpopular view of a touchy subject. By now, you’ve read the title and maybe even skipped into the meat of this musing, but I want to make something very clear before going any further: this is not meant to be dogmatic (except for the Bible verses; those are dogmatic). This is simply my developed conviction about dating in high school. The reason I chose high school specifically is because I feel that is a good starting base in terms of maturity, sensibility, etc., although it does have its exceptions. I disfavor dating in the high school years and any time preceding (come on guys..I shouldn’t even have to say that). This is not just a groundless statement, it is a logical one into which I have poured a great deal of thought.
To start with, it is almost always based on wrong intentions.
Probably the most common, the desire to be like the rest, is one such intention that really irks me because of two things. Firstly, this is in stark contradiction to a major instruction from God-to “not conform to the pattern of this world.” (Romans 12:2) You see, it’s our (sin) nature to want to blend in with the rest. The thing is, looking like the world means not looking like Christ; in other words, it tarnishes our testimony. If we are Christians (literally meaning “little Christs”), yet we look just like the unsaved crowd, we have become like salt that “loses its saltiness.” (Matthew 5:13) This whole “fitting in” quandary is perpetrated by our society creating standards that we feel pressured to uphold. How many times-whether it be at church or a family gathering-has someone asked you if you have a boyfriend/girlfriend? Probably countless times. The fact that this is often one of the first questions asked by a stranger supports my conclusion that one’s relationship status is seen (by society) as a pivotal part of your identity, when really your identity should be found in Christ alone. Secondly, a desire to have a relationship just because others do often leads to insincerity. Sadly, that limp desire will most likely take root and lead to a sham relationship that only finds worth its appearance: how many likes a cute photo of a couple can get, or how many people will comment “relationship goals.” Remember, it’s so easy to fake happiness or a “perfect” relationship.
A second intention is to give or get that which is meant only for the confines of marriage. God consistently commands “that you should avoid sexual immorality” (1 Thessalonians 4:3) whether adultery, or in this case, sex before marriage. I think the most common argument as to why we should give into this temptation is that God’s rule about this is meant to keep us from enjoying life, to deprive us of joy. This could not be further from the truth. God’s rules are protective barriers, but we often don’t see how they demonstrate his love for us until we break them and inevitably get hurt. I’m only going to expound upon one thing we are protected from (in regard to relationships) through obedience of this command-heartbreak. We are not completely protected from this, granted, but stick with me here; no matter what people say, sex bonds two people. Think about it: if touch, presence, and even words form bonds, how much more would that act of unity? This causes major problems in relation to heartbreak. One could see that the more stitches sewn after an injury, the harder it is to rip that wound apart, and the more painful it is when they have to be taken out. Similarly, the more bonds formed in a relationship without the intent or promise of marriage, the more painful it will be to end that relationship. If you keep granting people access to that intimate piece of your heart by way of premarital sex, you will have nothing but a fraction of a heart to give to an eventual spouse.
This leads me to another major flaw I find upon examining dating in high school, that of the sheer lack of thought and reasoning put into it.
A relationship cannot be based on often fleeting emotions only, there are many other factors that must be grounded in order to prevent crumbling. First and foremost, dating is to be carried out only with the intent of marriage. If there is not that end goal, what is to result? Usually, a dead-end relationship and thoughts of contempt for the other person. If not used to deeply invest in and prayerfully consider a possible spouse, dating is (typically) merely a friendship with spouse privileges. In high school, very few are mature/responsible (spiritually, financially, emotionally) enough to be heading into marriage.
Lastly, it is simply unnecessary and unfulfilling in its corrupted form.
Having a boyfriend/girlfriend will not permanently remove your loneliness or end your quest to find worth, only a relationship with God will.
Here’s how I see it: once you are alive in your relationship with God, you’re going to invest into and build lasting friendships now that you’re actively living in the Word and prayer. Those friendships will be so much more beneficial than fleeting relationships. Finish high school, delve into your educational passions in college, travel, serve others, go where God leads, and don’t worry about what you don’t have yet. We shouldn’t be molding our relationship with God and His commands in order to fit our desires, we should be devoted to living right with Him, allowing His perfect timetable to dictate our lives.