April 16, 2009

How To Avoid Dating Disasters

Filed under: Pressing Toward the Mark — Katryna Starks @ 10:24 am

” I understand that sex before marriage is a sin and I’m really trying to live – and date- the way that God wants me to, but I have a problem. You see, I’m dating this guy and, well, he looks GOOD!”
— Jane Doe Christian

It’s difficult enough to keep our sexual desires in check when we don’t have anyone in our lives. Add a potential mate to the picture and what was difficult, but manageable can soon seem overwhelming and impossible. Since God’s word doesn’t change, our behavior has to. Here are some ways to help you and your partner navigate through dating while avoiding the temptation trap:
Stay Busy

You don’t necessarily have to add anything to an over-filled, hectic life, but try to cut down on the ability to always be available to spend time with your date. Spend time on a project or a hobby or with friends and family. This forces you to have to schedule times to be with your date, so you can plan things to do together. And speaking of planning:

Date, Don’t “Hang”
Contrary to modern beliefs, a date is something that takes place outside of your house. If you’re going out with someone, GO OUT! Go to the movies. Go to dinner. Go dancing. Go bowling. Go somewhere. If money is an issue, but you still want to spend some time together, you can take a Saturday and get both of your errands done (Okay, I know, running errands is boring. But it’s more fun if you have company!)

Indoors for Four
Sometimes your energy level and your wallet both scream “let’s just rent a movie!” For those times, try to coordinate with another couple who are also committed to celibacy. Things that can happen with two are less likely to happen with four.
If you can’t find another couple to spend time with, try to find a celibate couple to be accountable to. That way, you and your dating friends can help each other stick to the plan.

Bookend Your Prayers
Begin and end each date with prayer. For some of you, this may sound zealous or corny, but trust me on this one. When you begin a date with prayer, it puts both you and your date’s focus on God. It also helps to clear both of your minds so that you both start the date “on the same page.”
When you end a date with prayer, it helps to refocus you and make sure that the date ends on a Godly note. Also, you may be less apt to waver in the middle of your date when you know that you both are going to pray together later.
Perhaps the most important reason to begin and end dates with prayer is that it gets you and your date in the habit of praying with each other – and for each other. Since most Christians who date are looking for marriage partners, it’s a great way to build a prayer life together that could last a lifetime.