The Dating Game

December 22, 2012

The Dating Game

            Often boys go prematurely from playing with toy trucks and tractors to playing the dating game.  Girls put away their dolls and turn to cosmetics in hopes of attracting the attention of the boys.  There is nothing wrong with playing house.  When I was a boy my sisters and I would mark out the perimeters of rooms of our house with some old boards or tree branches.  We had tin cans and pails for kitchen utensils.  Cardboard boxes served as furniture.  We made mud cookies with small stones for raisins.  We set them out in the sun to dry.

No doubt children still make play houses and play house.  It’s unfortunate, however, that as soon as they are teenagers many start playing the dating game, long before they are ready for it.   Teen age boys seek prestige.  Some find it in athletic achievements.  They also look for it by having a girl friend.  Some teen age girls struggle with a low self esteem.  They look at themselves in the mirror and say, “horrors, with a face like mine it’s doubtful that any boy will look twice at me.”  When some boy does give her some attention it helps her self esteem.  If that boy says “Your beautiful. I admire you” her self esteem is greatly elevated.

Please, young people, let me explain some things to you.  There is nothing wrong with boys having a friendly relationship with the girls they know; and girls visa versa.  You can talk to one another, play games together, and just have fun together.  That is healthy and wise.  When you begin to notice that you have a special attraction for someone of the opposite sex you need to suppress it and say, “It’s not time for that.”

Young people, you need to give priority to getting an education and being prepared to make a living.  That way, when it’s time to think about looking for a wife or husband, you will be ready to accept the responsibility.  Your teen years are meant to be a time for making the transition from being a child to being an adult.  Please take into consideration the dangers of premature dating.  Some of them are:

1.  Premature dating hinders young people from getting an education.  It’s difficult for them to concentrate on their studies.  Their mind is occupied with their girl friend/boy friend.  When they sit down to study all they can think about is their girl friend/boy friend.  “Does she love me?”  “What’s he doing now?” “What should I say to her the next time I see her?” “How should I take what he said to me this morning?” How can you give serious thought to math or science when those thoughts keep going through your mind?

2.  If you are in a premature dating relationship, instead of making friends with others you will be spending most of your free time with one another.  Friendships you already have will be neglected.  Friends are a valuable asset.  Just being friends with those of the opposite sex gives you time to evaluate the type of person you would like to spend the rest of your life with.  When it’s time to make that decision you will be prepared to make it more intelligently.  Making a poor choice of a marriage partner often ends in the trauma of a divorce. Boys, the first date you have with a girl should be with the one and only motive of getting to know how she thinks.  Oh, of course you will want to have some fun with her in good clean entertainment. You may never date her again.  You can date others with the same motive.  Girls, don’t start thinking “it’s romance” the first time a boy asks you for a date.  If you do you will feel hurt if he doesn’t ask you for another date.  It’s just a time to talk together and evaluate one another.

3.  Premature dating hinders young people from enjoying all that the teen years have to offer.  They are only six or eight years.  There will still be time for dating, but you will never be able to go back and relive your teen years.   Use your teen years to take advantage of opportunities to advance your knowledge.  You may be able to take extra courses in subject like photography or computer science.  Later, when a family comes,   there are work responsibilities. There may neither be time or money for those things.  Youth is also the time for summer camps, excursions or a missionary trip.

4.  Premature dating often results in broken hearts.  The friendship develops into an intimate relationship.  This happens for girls sooner than for boys, They are too quick to give their heart to their boy friend.  It’s an emotional shock if the relationship has to be broken.  Sometimes they fall into depression and it may take weeks to recover.   Boys may turn to drinking or drugs, or even commit suicide.

5.  .  Premature dating almost always ends in distress.  If it isn’t the emotional distress of breaking the relationship it’s the distress of an unwanted pregnancy.   As the relationship continues it gets more intimate, and carnal desires are harder to suppress.  If the couple find themselves in a favorable situation, they can’t resist the temptation to have sexual relations.  That, of course, may result in pregnancy and the embarrassment and emotional stress it brings upon them and their parents.  Yes, dating is exciting at the moment, but later there may be an awful price to pay if you enter into it prematurely.

Parents, you need to be diligent in teaching your teenagers the dangers of premature dating.  Prepare them to “flee youthful lusts” (II Timothy 2:2).  Call to their attention young people who are distressed as a result of premature dating. It’s never beneficial for young people to participate in carnal pleasures.   If, in spite of all your efforts, your son or daughter doesn’t  have the strength to resist the pull of the world, it isn’t cruel to prohibit them from doing what’s wrong.  You are doing it for their good and because you love them.  Some day they will thank you for keeping them in the way they should go.  What a boon it would be for parents if high schools would throw out sex education and replace it with a course that teaches  the proper attitude toward responsibility, sex, and marriage.

Young man, young lady, please be reasonable.  Enjoy your teen years.  Playing the dating game is like playing cops and robbers with real loaded guns.  It’s potentially dangerous.  It will leave you suffering and ashamed.  Look for pleasure in that which is pure and proper.  Another helpful suggestion would be for you to read a good book on the subject of dating.  Our recommendation is: “Passion And Purity”  The subtitle is “Learning to bring your love life under Christ’s control.  The author is Elisabeth Elliot.  The ISBN number is 978-0-8007-5818-9.  You can find it at amazon.com

Open your eyes and take notice of what young people are suffering as a result of playing the dating game.  Ecclesiastes 3:1 says “To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.”  There will be ample time for dating.  I can testify to the fact that it’s an exciting experience.  I waited until I was ready for it.  I never went through the distress of a broken relationship.  I’m still enjoying a satisfying marriage relationship with the girl I started dating over 50 years ago.  I challenge you to claim the promise of God in Psalm 84:11.  “For the LORD God is a sun and shield: the LORD will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.”

 

Our e-mail address is rusandmargaretgeorge@windstream.net

 

 

 

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