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For a laugh, I bought a clearance t-shirt that says, “No Boyfriend. No Drama.” My dad thought it was hilarious. And brilliant.
I’m seventeen and I don’t date right now. That’s intentional. I am too young to be looking for a spouse, and thus if I dated now, it would be strictly casual and totally for fun. I don’t want to do that right now.
But it’s not just because of the well-known drama that comes with twitterpated teen romance. Here are seven Biblically-fueled and parentally-influenced convictions for why I don’t date right now.
1. Dating will abuse my time.
I have a lot of responsibilities and many good pursuits. I’m in college, working a part-time job, involved in ministry at my church. I have a lot on my plate, and so I must be selective and careful in how I use my time.
When the famed British abolitionist William Wilberforce became a Christian at twenty-five, he wrote in his journal: “To endeavour from this moment to amend my plan for time. I hope to live more than heretofore to God’s glory and my fellow-creatures’ good.”
If I date, good things I do will suffer. The activities I am doing to glorify God right now will wane and I simply won’t have as much time to attend to my fellow creatures’ (e.g., friends’, family’s, acquaintances’, enemies’, Wal-Mart clerks’, telemarketers’, teachers’, everyone’s) good. I will miss out on daily good works.
There are better things I can do than date.
Colossians 4:5 says, “Walk in wisdom … making the best use of the time.”
2. Dating will hurt my relationships.
A boyfriend will take me away from fostering godly relationships with my parents, my brother, my church family, and my friends. And it is these relationships that God has given me and called me to tend to right now.
My brother is more important than a boyfriend. Loving the people that God has placed in my life right now is more important than pursuing a new time-consuming romantic relationship.
3. Dating will distract me from the gospel.
Jonathan Edwards resolved “that I will not give way to that listlessness which I find unbends and relaxes my mind from being fully and fixedly set on religion, whatever excuse I may have for it–that what my listlessness inclines me to do, is best to be done, etc.”
A boyfriend would unbend my mind from the gospel. I have an obsessive heart, and I know that my soul has the proclivity to fixate on serving him at the expense of serving Christ.A boyfriend would unbend my mind from the gospel. I have an obsessive heart, and I know that my soul has the proclivity to fixate on serving him at the expense of serving Christ. Click To Tweet
I want to spend my teen years maturing in my faith as I study the gospel. I want to stay active and diligent in my pursuit of Christ, and I believe dating right now would hinder that pursuit.
4. Dating will hurt my opposite-sex friendships.
I don’t want a boyfriend, but I do want friend-boys, members of the opposite sex who I am simply and innocently friends with. Why do crushes and who-likes-whom always have to be brought into it?
I want diverse friendships that will help me grow. And I like boys. They’re funny and crazy and over-think stuff less and don’t nurse grudges below the surface. What you see is what you get. Girls need boys in our lives, not to romance us, but to be our friends.Girls need boys in our lives, not to romance us, but to be our friends. Click To Tweet
And I hope that when I do look to marriage, I will be friends with my future spouse first. Friendships reveal a true heart and real character.
5. Dating will not help my marriage.
Right now I am too young to get married. Thus, if I dated it would be purposeless and all about social fun. I don’t see how giving away my heart to multiple guys will help my future marriage. Because my boyfriend – no matter how innocuous our relationship – would get a piece of my heart.
I think of the illustration that opens Joshua Harris’ book, I Kissed Dating Goodbye. A girl named Anna told him of a dream she had of her wedding day. As she stood at the altar with her fiancee, David, all aglow, one by one other girls suddenly appeared, stood up, and formed a chain behind David as he said his vows.
“’Who are these girls, David? What’s going on?’ she gasped.
‘They’re girls from my past,’ he answered sadly. ‘Anna, they don’t mean anything to me now… but I’ve given part of my heart to each of them.’”
She later revealed what so sickened her: “How many men could line up next to me on my wedding day? How many times have I given my heart away in short-term relationships? Will I have anything left to give my husband?”
6. Dating will provide unwanted temptations.
I consider myself a very virtuous person. Yet I am neither so naive nor ignorant to think that I am immune to sexual temptation. While I would like to believe that I would make the pure decision if I was put in an intimate situation with my boyfriend, I can’t be sure.
And I don’t want to find out. Right now I don’t want that unwanted physical temptation. I struggle with enough temptations. My heart already is drawn toward sins like pride and anger and idolatry. I don’t want to add someone who will tempt me – even unknowingly – now. I want to mature and grow in my love for Christ before I pursue a spouse.
7. No boyfriend, no drama
I deal with the daily drama of being a seventeen-year-old girl. I don’t really need the drama that comes with having a boyfriend – decoding text messages, interpreting emotions, debating boundaries, dealing with hurt feelings (real or perceived).
Right now I want to devote my affections to my family and, most importantly, to Christ. In His mercy the Lord might one day grant me a spouse. I look to that day with joy, but I will not spend my teen years giving my heart away.
Instead I will use them to foster a greater love for my God.
Originally Published April 29th, 2015
Yay first comment! great article actually this really helps enforce a decision about dating I’ve been thinking about a lot lately Thanks!
I can’t believe this is your first comment! I feel like I’ve already seen you around a ton. 😀 Well, welcome to the comments, Sydnie!!
I think @disqus_Zg1ulAAPsD:disqus meant the first comment on this article. 😁 lol am I right?
*facepalm* This is what happens when I try to sort the comments by best. XD lol thanks.
Lol! =P yeahhh I did that for a while, but for me it just turned into a popularity contest/horse race ya know? Like this….
“And it looks like Trent Blake’s comment has a solid lead with 15 upvotes! In second is Brooklyn with 8, followed by Haylie in third with 7. Wait no! Nathan Tasker’s comment has a whopping 17 upvotes in merely thirty minutes! It looks like we have a new leader!!!!! XD
And I’m over here like…”I have one upvote!!! No, two!!!!” Then someone who posted something right after me has like 37 and I’m like “yeahhhhh my comment sucks.” lol XD
So all that to say, I prefer to sort by newest. =PPPPPPPP
Hahaha!! I know what you mean. Every so often, though, I’ll get a lot of upvotes and I can’t help using it.
But hey, I’ve always thought that your comments are really popular!
Aww thanks! It really depends, honestly! Like sometimes I’ll know just what to say, and other times it’s like…well how about I just put something out here lol. =)
Haha, yup. It’s kind of like blogging. If you write something really long, less people will “upvote” it (even if it’s awesome) than if you’d written something short. (And funny. Short and sweet and funny. That’s the recipe for success!)
Haha like @gbingo:disqus lol. Well, unless it’s really really good. ‘Cause honestly, I’m not going to read more than the first paragraph unless it’s from someone I know or has a bunch of upvotes. (not ‘uproots’ dumb spellcheck lol).
Hey, I gotta go get some work done now! Good talking to you! =D
YES. He mastered that art. XD Yeah, I’m with you on that. Lol, my autocorrect hates upvotes too.
All right! Thanks for the chat! =)
Haha. Yeah. Guilty here as well.
Hahahaahahahahaha!!!!!!!! I just saw this… And you deserve the lead with this one, just sayin’ 😉
Awww thanks! =P
You’re welcome! 🙂
I’m going to go hide under a rock now. XD bye y’all
XD bye! =)
Ok, Josh cleared it up. XD my bad!
lol yep I’ve been around a while
That’s what I thought, but for some reason I couldn’t think of another explanation for what I was seeing!
Love this!! I recently decided not to date until I’m 18. It is so sad watching friends break up with guys, and get their heart broken. If they just waited until they were older, things would be a lot better. They would be more mature, and would probably not get into a relationship that wasn’t going anywhere. I know that I won’t regret not dating as a teenager. I love just being friends with guys, and hanging out with groups of friends with no awkwardness!
I suppose she meant you’re legally an adult when you’re 18.
But teenager is usually used to mean “13 years old till graduation.” After that they’re college kids.
Yeah, I agree.
And yep, I think when they made it up it meant 13-19. ;D
Haha 🙂 not everybody is going to get that joke I don’t think.
True… Didn’t notice that 😛 I guess it would be “I won’t regret not dating in high school”.
It is funny though, when you’re 18 you’re classed as an adult, but you’re still a teen.
“Right now I want to devote my affections to my family and, most importantly, to Christ. In His mercy the Lord might one day grant me a spouse. I look to that day with joy, but I will not spend my teen years giving my heart away.
Instead I will use them to foster a greater love for my God.”
Inspiring! I know your resolve to give your affections to God during this time is dear to His heart!
I am 18 and a half…closer to the time when God could bring someone into my life. My parents heard Joshua Harris speak about courtship years ago and my parents chose that for our family. So glad!!
Awesome Post! Great job!
Thank you for this awesome article, Jaquelle!! And three cheers for friend-boys! (Am I the only one who calls them guy friends?)
Naw, that’s what i call friend-boys too… I just don’t have that many! 🙂
Haha, me neither. But the few that I have are awesome friends, and that’s what counts, right? 🙂
How many is not many? Cause I have…. well, 4 I can really call friends, and lots more ‘on the fringe’ of my friendships. 🙂 It’s funny though – two of the four are over 2 years younger than me!
Hmm…I have one guy friend that I’m very close to, one that I’m good friends with but don’t know very well, and maybe two or three more that I consider friends but…eh. You know?
Haha, I’m kind of the opposite! The first guy I mentioned is almost two years older than me. The second is five years older! And I know what you mean by “the fringe”…
Yeh, I getcha.
Haha! Well, I guess I’m balanced by the other two – one is two years older, on is 3 years older! Actually… Oh wow, I just realised that is is exactly balanced! 2 years younger, 3 years younger, 2 years older, 3 years older… O.O
Is your mind in the process of being blown right now? XD Do you get along with the older or younger guys better?
Pretty much! Hmm… I don’t know. I’ll say… mature guys. 😛 The younger boys I both know are incredibly mature (while retaining their boy-ish craziness :P), and of course the older guys are mature as well.
Well said. 🙂
And then there’s the guys on here! Some older (actually, not many are older), and many younger. All mature though. 🙂
YES. Everyone on here is really mature. 🙂
I have a handful of ‘on the fringe’ friends too, but other than that i have like, 2 or three guy friends. And my big brother who is my best friend… seriously 🙂
Haha, that’s awesome!
Yeppers 🙂 I’m very grateful for the few i have 😀
Yes! It’s hard to believe that the thought of having a guy as a friend used to terrify me… XD
@disqus_0EPlfBsVWj:disqus @a_haylie:disqus I just realized, you guys replied to the same comment, and together you said “I know right”!
Lol, that was just kind of weird. XD
Despite the fact I am interjecting in a conversation I have no place being in, I was wondering: does anyone else hear the word yeppers a lot? I had literally never heard that word until I met Haylie and God’s Thespian. =)
I’ve only heard it on here, too! And maybe one of my friends (who’s also a girl) used it in texting once. I think it’s a girl thing. =P
That’s what I wondered 🙂
Hmm…I was about to disagree because I don’t think I’ve ever said it, but then again, I can’t really picture a guy saying that. XD I guess I’m just the odd one out!
I’ve heard it before. I think I’ve used it once or twice when I felt particularly crazy!
Occasionally. It is sort of strange, come to think of it…
I don’t say it in real life much, if at all. It is kinda weird, but I’m weird, so it fits 🙂
Haha, that explains a lot of…me in general. XD
I’m a percussionist and most percussionists are guys, so….I’m kind of surrounded by them all the time. So (fortunately or unfortunately) I have a vast amount of male amigos.
Lol, I can imagine!
Nope, I call them that!
And wait a second…how early is it where you are?
8 in the morning. Not too unreasonable. 🙂
Oh, ok. I was getting my times confused and thinking it was like three in the morning or something. XD Well, good morning to you! 🙂
Haha, no way! Good morning to you too!
Lol 😀 So it’s…Thursday for you?
Yes! Off to co-op today…
Cool! It’s funny, co-ops always seem to be on Tuesdays or Thursdays, or Fridays…or Mondays….
There went my point. XD
Being morning, I should probably get on with my jobs and school. 🙂 Catch you later!
I call them that too! 🙂
Yay!! I don’t think I ever actually heard anyone call them friend-boys until I came to the Reb. 🙂
Though that doesn’t work for us. (Sadly) Since there are:
For guys and only:
chicks (which i find it offensive to say)
For girls. So I guess I’m stuck with “friends-that-are-girls” or “friend-girls”
lol. Thanks Christy!
Haha, I didn’t think about that. I think the girl version of guy is “gal”… But gal friend…no, let’s just not go there. XD
(And I appreciate that you don’t like the word “chick”. Unless it’s referring to baby chickens–in which case, aw!–just no.)
Haha. I almost bought s shirt that said, “How to pick up chicks” with picture instructions on how to pick up baby chickens.
Step 1: Bend over and extend arms.
Step 2: Pick up chick.
Step 3: Stand up
Something like that. lol
I know a guy with that shirt! It made me laugh 😀 It is refreshing to know that there are still guys out there who frown upon calling girls chicks 🙂
Haha yeah me too! =P
Hahaha! I love that. XD
I saw a guy wearing that shirt a few days ago 🙂
This is the best thing I’ve heard of all day. XD XD
my brother has that shirt…cracks me up every time! 🙂
I’ve seen those…
Yes! “Chicks” is offensive to girls, too.
This is absolutely fantastic, Jaquelle! I have been thinking about this lately. I’m not allowed to date right now, but i wondered to myself, if i was allowed to date, would i? Now, i think i can honestly say that i would CHOOSE not to… for the right reasons. Thank you very much for you biblical insight!
Thank you, Haylie! This is something I’ve really had to think through for myself, especially since my parents didn’t let me date either. Yet I had to formulate these convictions for myself. I am so glad my article could assist you! Many blessings!
LOVE!!! I trust that when I am ready to date and a man I could consider marrying comes my way, all these reasons will fade away. He will be worth my time, he will help me foster my relationships, he will push me towards Christ, he will be the one I want to give my whole heart to, etc. But for now, all of those reasons why not to date are very firmly in place! Thanks for the great article, Jaquelle!
Love this! Thanks, Jaquelle. 🙂 so true.
I love the new profile pic, Amanda! =)
Haha, I wanted to say something too, but I didn’t want to be weird lol. (this goes for other girls who have changed their pics too haha). =)
Aw! Does it apply to girls who got a (noticeable) haircut (in real life)? Because I’ve always wondered about that… 🙂
And if that was totally weird I apologize. XD
YES!!! Well sometimes…especially if the guy thinks it’s ugly. 😁 XD It would be like
Guy: “hey you got a new haircut!”
Girl: “yeah, thanks! What do you think?”
Guy: *chirp chirp chirp* uhhhhhhh….*gulp*
Girl: *runs off sobbing*
at least that’s how it would be in my mind. =P
Haha! XD Yeah, if you think it’s ugly just don’t mention it. But…so you’re saying you still might not say anything even if you think it looks good?
As you can see, I’m rather insecure about this. 😛
If a guy doesn’t say anything, don’t take it the wrong way. If a guy does say something, don’t take it the wrong way. XD
I’ve never mentioned to a girl that I’ve noticed her haircut…honestly I only remember 2 times ever seeing one obvious to say something about lol and one time it was ugly (but the other time it was….the opposite lol).
So…I’ll ask your opinion now: if you got a haircut, what would you like for a guy to do?
Lol, thanks for the advice! XD
Just something simple, I guess.
Guy: “Hey, did you get a haircut?”
Guy: “Cool! It looks good!”
Me: *dances off into a meadow* (lol, jk…sort of)
That being said, however…there are girls out there that will totally fall for you if you compliment their appearance (especially if they already had a crush on you). XD But it’s pretty easy to tell who those girls are. Personally, I really admire a guy who has the courage to pay me a compliment. 🙂 Does that help at all?
Haha! Really…ok I have a friend that will compliment like that…I always thought he was being flirty. XD But really, thanks for your advice! =P
Well, I mean, it depends. It can definitely come off as flirting, which is not good. 😛 But if you genuinely want to give a girl a comment and you’re not in the habit of being flirtatious, I think she would appreciate it. 🙂 Just don’t overdo it, haha.
Glad to help! It’s so awesome to be able to ask for advice about this kind of thing on here. It would be really awkward in real life. XD
Yes. I know girls like that. It reminds me of when I was 11 with my first crush. *shakes head*
Aw. XD Yeah, when I was 11 I was definitely like that. Boys were…like totally foreign to me, so if a guy had complimented me I would have fallen so hard. 😉 Grew out of that, thankfully!!
Thanks Christy! 🙂
I love this! Very well said too. Your viewpoints on dating are so rare these days, even among christians, sadly. I’ve had my reasons why I don’t date right now as a christian, but I’ve had some doubts. After reading this, I was like “Yes, yes, yes!” You totally solidified my reasons why I don’t date right now. And I also love how your convictions are biblically-fueled as well!
Hey Marcus. Your comment was so encouraging to me! And I’m glad I could be an encouragement to you. 🙂 Many blessings to you!
I’m not afraid to say no, to decline when the suation, comes again u want to go on a date, if its a non believer of Christ I’ll politey say no,. even I’m physical ready just the emoital part isn’t ready.
(First comment on this site! Woot woot!)
I can relate to this article soooo much. Right now, as a high schooler, I’m working on becoming a better person in general and I think a relationship would only complicate that.
However, I do have a thought about the story of the wedding. Love doesn’t divide, it multiplies. If a man marries a woman and loves her with all his heart, that doesn’t mean that if she dies and he marries another woman that he loves his new wife any less. So if, while we’re trying to find someone to spend the rest of our life with, we fall in love with someone who we don’t end up marrying, do we love our spouse less because of it? I don’t think the analogy of giving pieces of our heart away really fits. (I hope that makes sense!) However, that’s just my thought, and please do tell me if I’m not getting the point or if you disagree.
Welcome to the Reb! Prepare for all the welcomers to flood your Disqus inbox!
Yes I agree “…Love doesn’t divide, it multiplies…” Because if we didn’t give pieces of our heart away to others what a loveless world we would be in. (I don’t just mean Boy/girl friend relationships)
Hey, like @disqus_oMHOgFTIn3:disqus said, welcome to the Reb! =D
Congrats on your first comment! Welcome to TheRebelution! I agree with you that if someone remarries after losing a spouse that that does not diminish their love for their first spouse.
But the point of the quote from Joshua Harris’ book is that the commitment that happens in the covenant of marriage is very different from the casual relationships that often happen in dating. He – and I – are not saying that dating with the intent of marriage, or even being hurt in or removed from a relationship is ruining your future marriage. But I believe that casual dating (i.e., with multiple partners strictly for fun), especially right now as a teenager, will diminish my capacity for the purest, most intimate, and most loving marriage I could possibly have.
Thanks for your comment, Mary!
Thanks for the sweet welcome, guys! <3
Jaquelle, thank you for your explanation! I can see where you're coming from a little better now, and I do agree. 🙂
Woot woot! 😀 Welcome to the Reb, Mary!!
Welcome Mary Cole! =)
Thanks for all your kind welcomes, everyone! I’ve been “stalking” the Rebelution for a while and finally decided to jump in. 🙂
While a very well written post, as an older individual I am reminded of the scripture
Proverbs 19:21 Many are the plans in the mind of a man,but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.
While your points are good things to think on. Don’t be too adamant about them. God often has a way of showing us that He will determine our steps in spite of our well laid out plans.
I pray the best for you. You are a beautiful girl.
Thank you for taking the time to read and respond to my article and for your sweet encouragement. My point is that this decision to not date is not for the rest of my life. This is why I am not dating right now. These principles will all change once I am actually looking for a spouse.
But you are absolutely right that it is the Lord who is sovereign, and He is the one who has control over every aspect of our lives.
Blessings to you!
Great verse “…Proverbs 19:21 Many are the plans in the mind of a man,but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand…”
Yes I agree, It is lovely to have these as an ideal but don’t get too caught in them as a plan
This article should be bookmarked; to give people proof why they shouldn’t date =) Love everything you said here, and I love the way you said it. Thanks Jaquelle!
Yep, I’m bookmarking this one too 🙂
The example of “giving away part of your heart” is one that I’ve heard a lot in connection with this topic. Can somebody explain what is meant by that, because it doesn’t make a ton of sense (I think I’m miss-reading it) to me?
The way I’m reading it, it seems to say you have x amount of love, and everytime you love someone, you have it subtracted from x. So, the less you love, the more love you’ll have left more marriage. That doesn’t quite make sense, since we’re supposed to love the whole world. Love isn’t a fixed amount that I need to ration out to make sure I have enough left for my spouse. Can someone please set me straight here on what is meant? Thanks!
By the way, this isn’t meant as criticism of the article. I’m just trying to understand that part better!
I like the comment “…Love doesn’t divide, it multiplies…” by @Mary Cole -she gives a good example below
I tried to type in something like three different ways…I kind of know the answer, but I can’t put it into words. XD Hopefully someone else will be more help than I am. 😁
Ha, ha, that’s fine! Been there, done that!
Thank you so much for being open and honest with your question. I feel Josh’s pain as it’s not the easiest to explain, but I will do my best. 🙂
First of all, your heart does not have a certain amount of love that will be depleted or stored depending on your giving or taking. You’re right; that doesn’t make sense.
I see giving your heart away as meaning that you are devoting your heart’s affections to someone (or something). If you are constantly “giving your heart away,” or devoting your affections to different guys or girls, this will hurt your capacity for relational stability and emotional intimacy.
Now, as I mentioned to Mary Cole below, this situation changes if your spouse dies and it changes when you are even actually looking for a spouse. I may very well intentionally date a guy in my future and devote my affections to him only to be hurt. I hope that I can “protect my heart” (another phrase Christians throw around that basically means guarding your affections in the most godly way) so that I only “give my heart away” once – at the altar.
I hope I made sense! And really, thank you for your question.
Thank you for your response! That makes sense. That cleared it up!
No 5. “Dating” can help a marriage, learning to treat each other with respect &
serving one another for Christ & with Christ at the centre can be a great tool God uses for His glory for now & future relationships weather
“social” relationships or “romantic” relationships (be it “dating’ ‘Courtship’, ‘Going steady’ or
just ‘hanging out as mates/friends) God designed us a relational beings, He created us to desire relationships (of all levels), What is important is that your relationship with Christ should be 1st, this allows the Holy Spirit to guide you in ALL your social
relationships. Don’t get caught in formulas of how it should work, yes it’s good to have guidelines but allow room for it to grow & change, because as beings with a
wonderful Creator who relates to us, He doesn’t treat us all the same, His is
attentive to our individualities & guides us accordingly. May Jesus continue
to be your source of wisdom.
Thank you for taking the time to comment. When I am referring to dating, I am referring here to strictly casual dating as a teenager – with no intention of marriage. I absolutely agree that God has designed us as relational beings and the intentional pursuit of marriage is a worthy and godly one.
Yet keeping Christ at the forefront must be number one – not just in romantic relationships but all of our relationships. You’re absolutely right!
Blessings to you!
It sounds like what you call “dating” & I call “dating” aren’t entirely the same thing. Yes pursuing a “romantic” relationship CAN be a distraction, IF you allow it to dominate all your thoughts & plans. But no more so, than someone’s obsession with food, sport, work, personal hobbies and so on. I guess the difference is that another person is directly related, where the other things are “secret sins?” – individual distractions, to which there is not another keeping you accountable.
This verse is used a lot at weddings (Ecclesiastes 4:12) “And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.” but it emphasizes the importance of human relationships amidst our work or vocation as opposed to individualism or isolation. I guess what I’m trying to say is that “dating” is God honouring, if we ourselves have Christ as number one 🙂
Your article has the back bone for some thought provoking ideas, keep researching (The Scriptures) & writing & May Jesus continue
to be your source of wisdom.
Love this! I agree with everything you said. I personally don’t see much of the point in teenage dating, unless you are ready for marriage then. Great article!
Hey Rebekah. Thank you so much for your sweet encouragement! 🙂
Thanks for your comment, Sam. It is definitely a thought-provoking idea, provoking a lot of thought in my own life for sure. 🙂 I’m glad you could be encouraged!
I’m not sure I agree with number 4. Just recently one of the girls in my youth group started dating one of my close friends. Before she started dating, having real conversations and discussions was kind of awkward because of the opposite sex factor. Now that she is dating, we can talk and joke around and its not awkward at all. Since she has started dating, our friendship is really cool and I’ve got to know her a lot better.
Thanks for engaging with my article and offering a comment (even if you possibly disagree :). When I say that dating will hurt my opposite-sex relationships, I am referring particularly to the one I would have with my boyfriend. What would happen when we broke up? Or even before we started dating, I wouldn’t want it to be all about romance; I’d want to be friends first.
My point was just that dating often handicaps pure boy-girl friendships – and that those do exist! I think there are exceptions for sure, but those are my thoughts on it.
Thanks again for your comment, Rylan!
Blessings to you!
[I posted this on Facebook, so if you’ve already read this, disregard it!]
Though I understand the intent behind this article, I think some of the ideas are a bit skewed. A lot of this article speaks on the individual pursuing God above all else, and making sure that you’re “ready” before entering into a dating relationship. Though this was not explicitly stated, such speech communicates that we are in control of our spiritual lives, and that we have to pursue God isolated from relationships (romantic ones specifically) because they are “distracting”. Rather, I believe that our spiritual and personal growth is a continual process through which God uses all aspects of our life — romantic relationships, friendships, jobs, etc, to mold us into the image of his Son. Likewise, I believe that God uses others to bring us closer to him — since God created within the loving community of the Trinity, we are developed in God’s image through community. The greatest interpersonal union we can experience on earth is marriage, so in avoiding dating for the sake of focusing on God, what is the purpose of marriage? Would it not distract you from the gospel even at this later point on life? Though this article specifically addresses dating, I believe that this mindset taken to its full logical conclusion means avoiding relationships because they are distracting from your own personal growth.
I agree, there seems to be a push “… that we have to pursue God isolated from relationships (romantic ones specifically)…” & I, too “… believe that our spiritual and personal growth is a continual process through which God uses ALL aspects of our life…”
“DITTO DITTO DITTO” to all you’ve written above 🙂 @disqus_IBM9sGlcf0:disqus
Thanks for taking the time to offer your concerns about my article. Let me see if I can clarify for you.
First things, as I mentioned to Elizabeth above, I think where we’re finding our disagreement is that people mean and understand the word “dating” in different ways. As I said to Elizabeth, “My article is seven reasons why I personally do not date (i.e., pursue casual, short-term romantic relationships) right now, being seventeen. These will all change drastically once I am of an age to start considering that the Lord might give me a spouse.”
And as for your first problem, yes, I do believe that we need to pursue God above all else, but not at the expense of all of our other relationships. God has given us those to glorify Him and we can do that by cultivating our present relationships. I agree wholeheartedly with you!
My point is that pursuing casual, short-term romantic relationships right now as a seventeen year old – who is not as mature in my faith and discerning as I would be in pursuing marriage – will distract me from learning more about the gospel.
I am not saying that this must be true for everyone. These are my personal convictions. I am still in the learning stage, and I believe that, for me, dating right now would distract me from growing closer to God.
I’m definitely not saying that we must avoid relationships. I am saying that we must be careful about which relationships we choose to have and why we choose to have them.
Jaquelle, thank you for taking the time to write this article! It was a blessing! If you’d like to answer, I have a question: You talked about being distracted from ministry and current relationships if you would chose to date without purpose. What about dating with the purpose of marriage? Do you feel like a man and women can date and glorify God together? Any verses that come to mind? I think this might help answer some of Tori’s concerns. Great article! God is teaching me the same things so it’s so cool to see the unity of the Spirit. (=
Thank you for reading and commenting on my article and thank you for your question. Sure, I’d like to answer! 🙂
I think the problem that is coming up here (and in other comments) is that people mean (and perceive) different meanings in the word, “dating.” My article is seven reasons why I personally do not date (i.e., pursue casual, short-term romantic relationships) right now, being seventeen. These will all change drastically once I am of an age to start considering that the Lord might give me a spouse.
Dating with the intention of marriage is not what I am talking about here, neither is courtship (or a mix of both). I believe that if you were dating with the intent of marriage, that you have discerned that God is calling you to that and is being glorified through that decision. You and your partner will still have to struggle to not get distracted from ministry and current relationships but since you are older, more mature, and making a bigger commitment (all things that are lacking from my dating now) it is different.
Furthermore, I do think a man and woman dating can glorify God together. I am not saying that no one should date. I am just reflecting on why I personally don’t date.
While the Bible never speaks explicitly about “courtship” vs. “dating” (since those labels and competing ideas are only fairly recent), it is not quiet on the subject of romance. The Songs of Solomon has that famous verse that is very wise for anyone considering a romantic relationship: “I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem, that you not stir up or awaken love until it pleases” (Song of Solomon 8:4).
You can also check out Titus 2:1-8, Proverbs 6:20-7:27, 1 Timothy 5:1-2, 1 Corinthians 6:9-7:19, and 1 Thessalonians 4:1-8.
Blessings to you, Elizabeth!
Very true. I also have been convicted that I want to grow in my relationship with God before pursuing after a relationship.
This article is a breath of fresh air, even though I normally have reservations regarding articles that sound like prescriptions. The way you wrote, however, didn’t feel very alienating (perhaps because I’ve a bias for it?) 🙂 I’m well past seventeen, and I continue to bring with me the same attitude you have about “no boyfriend, no drama”.
As someone who regularly talks to and walks with young girls your age, I have great compassion over their desires of being “with” someone, even though I know they’re smart enough to realize that they are not yet ready for marriage. Marriage isn’t even the goal, right? The goal is Christ-likeness, and Christ-likeness will mean a beautiful broken heart for those who do not know Jesus intimately, and the desire to share His heart with them.
Unfortunately, the push-and-pull of intimacy with guy friends is a tricky place to navigate, especially since the thick of it concerns the heart (that slippery thing!)
I would like to say something regarding young girls who HAVE HAD relationships (boyfriends, girlfriends, what have you’s) and have gone through pained feelings (perceived or real) — and say that we are all susceptible to our own forms of idolatry, and that you are broken just as much as the girls who seem immune to boyfriends or the desire to have a boyfriend. It’s okay, you’re normal, you’re human, you will fail and your heart will continue undergoing the lifelong process of refinement to look more like Christ’s heart. 🙂
Like Jaquelle here, there is real cost in being a follower of Jesus, and I hope we will all encourage each other to keep our eyes fixed on Him, and place our security SOLELY on Him (not on the attention you get from boys, not on how well you’ve guarded your heart, not on how smart you are, etc).
May He stir your heart towards HIM, and may you be given the grace to ABIDE faithfully. 🙂 Abide in Jesus. I am blessed by you, Jaquelle! 🙂
“The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.” 🙂
Thank you for taking the time to read and respond so thoughtfully to my article. Your words of wisdom to girls who have had relationships are so true. I would never condemn anyone for dating; these are merely my personal convictions.
And I 100% agree with you that marriage is not the goal. Becoming more like Christ is. Thank you, Najee!
Thanks for the post Jaquelle! I always am telling people I am to busy for a boyfriend! And I believe they think I am joking a lot of times! But seriously, I have a hard enough time dealing with me and my life now! I don’t need to add other pressure! I totally agree with you! I feel as though I am not ready for marriage, so yeah what the point of dating? Friends, absolutely! I have always liked boys laid back style anyway! 🙂 (And the fact that I am not a girly girl at all..) Ha ha!
Hey Christina. It’s nice to meet another girl “too busy” for a boyfriend. 🙂 I couldn’t agree more – life is crazy enough for us. When we get a little older, things will change. But romance right now? I don’t think we really need that. Many blessings to you!
This is exactly what I’ve been saving all along!
Yes! THANK YOU, JAQUELLE!!!!!
Thank you, Trent! The article you wrote is great; its basic ideas are the same as mine here: There is a better way than the casual, short-term teen relationships our culture has normalized. And it’s really important for us teens to think through this stuff now and make our own convictions.
Many blessings to you!
Thanks, Jaquelle for checking it out!
This article was a huge encouragement to me and put a (I guess ‘defiant’) smile on my face about rebelling against the low expectations of the short term dating as teenagers..
I think it’s more like a Rebelutionary smile 🙂
Wow, @trent_blake:disqus , I’ve rarely seen you so excited! It’s a great thing to be excited about though. I totally get the same way, especially when I see guys writing this kinda stuff. It gives me hope. The world is not totally full of non-thinking pleasure-seakers! 😀
This is a brilliant article and extremely well-written! There are so many people in the world telling us that short-term dating relationships are the norm and what we should just “do”. I applaud you for taking a stand on this as it is exactly the view that I think we should all strive for.
Hey Tom, thank you so much for this kind comment. It’s encouraging to meet others who are looking to God’s Word instead of the world’s standards to inform their decisions – especially about romance. Thanks for reading and responding to my article!
This is awesome! I’m fifteen, almost sixteen and I don’t date either. That may sound weird, dating at sixteen, but I know some people who do it. I agree with all seven of your points Jaquelle! Dating is for marriage, and I’m just too young to start thinking about it. And, opposite-sex friendships are important too. I have a couple of friend-girls, but if I had a girlfriend, they would probably treat me differently, and I don’t want that. I value my friendships to other girls. Thanks for this article and keep up the good work! We Christian homeschoolers may have some weird concepts of dating, but in the end, it will be all the more rewarding!
Hey Martial Artist. We Christian homeschoolers are totally weird (in all the best ways, of course ;), but to be serious, it’s nice to meet other teens with these views of dating. I’m so glad I could offer you some encouragement. Many blessings to you!
Thanks friend! It feels good to me as well knowing you’re not alone in your beliefs. Blessings to you as well!
This is what I say about being weird.
“Everybody is crazy, some just do a better job at hiding it than others.”
-Blake McBride (a.k.a. me)
As a family friend said, “Normality is a rut.”
When he and my dad taught my Sunday school class…
let’s put it this way: I will NEVER forget that it was Ebed-melech who pulled Jeremiah out of the cistern. (hilarious song…)
Unfortunately, sixteen no longer seems that young as far as dating goes. There are twelve year olds in my church who “date”…it’s a strange world.
I’m not even gonna say how weird I think that is. 😛 There are just so many problems I see with that. Anyway, how have you been Christy?
Me too! It’s sad. 🙁
I’ve been great! It’s pretty much life as usual. What about you? I haven’t seen you around much lately.
Oh! Actually, one of my cats is at the vet right now. He’s having surgery, so if you could pray for him that would be great!!
Same here. Life as usual, but I have been a little busier lately, that’s why I haven’t been on. You know, end of school year stuff, I started driving and may be going to community college next year, so lots of fun stuff.
I’ll pray for your cat. I’m not much of a cat person, but I have a dog, so I know what it’s like to love your pet. 🙂 And hey, that movie I mentioned seems to be moving along nicely, and hopefully, you’ll get to see it once we make it!
Cool! How do you like driving? 🙂 And I forget, are you graduating this year?
Thank you! Yeah, cat people, dog people…we love animals, and that’s what counts! =) Yay!! I’m really looking forward to it!
Driving is stressful! But it’s a part of life, so I have to learn it. No, I’m only a sophomore, but I could probably graduate next year if I wanted to (I almost have enough credits to graduate in Texas, but not required ones).
Yep, animals are cool! My little dachshund is awesome!
*can’t keep from jumping in*
Oohh, you said the movie’s coming along? I can’t wait to see it! 😀
Your enthusiasm helps thanks! We’ve casted our first few actors, so it’s moving along nicely!
+1 for Christian Homeschoolers. We lead the way in weird! Which is exactly what you need to be to break the world’s low expectations of young people and the shocking cultural standard of today.
This is so good. My parents have never made any dating rules for us. I never personally made a no dating rule but I did make some dayi
Thanks for your comment and your encouragement. Yes, as you said, these beliefs are for me right now, as I’m only seventeen. They will change once I am looking for a spouse. This article – with all its points – is a list of reasons why I am not pursuing casual, short-term relationships (i.e., how the word “dating” is used here), which I believe are harmful.
Blessings to you!
I want to congratulate you excellent choice for a young girl your age
I love your resolve and your drive to pursue Christ! It’s refreshing! I’m a 16yr old homeschooled girl and I’ve been on a casual date or so. It’s really not as bad as it sounds. I feel it does cause a little more drama than if I had said no, but from it I’ve learned a lot. I’m not desperate for a boyfriend, but neither am I selling myself into the whole waiting-and-then-courtship mentality. I guess I’m looking for a rare middle stance. I’m not actively searching for a dating relationship right now, but I’m not actively avoiding it either. Also, I don’t want to change my whole perspective and outlook on dating once I get into a more serious relationship. I’m not going to suddenly decide one day that dating is NOT a waste of my time and that it DOES bring me closer to God. I try to have a healthy view of dating and relationships, one that I can carry through my life as a young adult. I hope your approach works for you, I’m just adding in my slightly different view:)
Great article thanks for sharing it. I don’t date it’s just a waste of time it’s much better to spend the time on other things like you have said.
So do I start calling you my friend-boy? Lol 🙂 I know, a lot of girls aren’t really like that. I tend to be a very direct, open, straightforward person (most of the time), so it isn’t as hard to tell these days what I’m actually like.
Yeah I am really not shy anymore, just awkward sometimes. 😛 And I usually say guy friend or just friend, so no worries. 🙂 What do you mean by no literal ring? Of course it wouldn’t actually ring! Lol 🙂 just making sure everyone knows what you mean just in case they think you’re nuts? 😛 I don’t like having to decode people either. I usually get it wrong.
Lol 🙂 good comeback (I guess)
We are great at communicating. 😛
Lol. I was being sarcastic. That conversation was going downhill. Haha 🙂
Agreeing that you’re slow is the kindest thing I could ever do??
Hey Jaquelle, great post. Loved it. I see that you are a pastor’s daughter. Would you consider writing a post about things your dad did for and with you that fostered this kind of love for God and the Gospel in your life?
Hi Todd. Thanks for your kind words. My parents have definitely had a huge impact on me. I would certainly be open to writing a post about their influence. Really I think it boils down to what they taught me, how they taught me, and what they modeled for me. They showed me the beauty and value of the gospel and that has, naturally, had a strong bearing on my life.
So I guess girls are our friend-girls. 😀
But yeah. At least I can still use “bros” for the guys. lol
Oh yes! XD I love this, Jaquelle!
I will! 🙂 Love it!
Yay! Somebody who’ll make these for us! 🙂
haha. You wish! Actually though, downtown we do have a place that does custom clothing. If you’re interested….
That’d be fun…
well if you want I can look up their rates….not sure if they’re super expensive but my 4-H group did their shirts there.
Thanks, but I think we have a t-shirt place around here, too 🙂 Thank you, anyway!
ok, well if you do end up printing any shirts could you let me know? I’d get a couple. Thanks!
I don’t think I will… I’m a broke teenager. (And I’m trying to save up for some events this summer and next summer, so I’m double-broke!)
I’m broke too. Just bought a $1600 violin. My bank account officially has $4.16. So maybe we can do it when neither one of us is broke (like maybe ten years?) Thanks!
OUCH! A $1600 violin is waaay out of my price range! *shudders at the thought* Yeah, we can try in ten years 🙂
It took me five years! and a loan from my parents and grandparents. 😀
Okay, now I begin to see how this worked.
yep. I’m not rich! 😛
Hey man! “Old guys” are welcome here, too! “The glory of youth is their strength, the glory of the old is their wisdom.” We need both! 🙂
And thank you for your thoughts!
Tell me about it… yes, my guy friends are actually easier to hang out with than half of my girl friends.
Right?! Guys can be so much more down to earth than girls. 😛
Too bad we’re girls…
But what would a world with only guys look like????? lol
Oohhhhhhh I didn’t think about that part! XDDDDD lol. Guess we’d have to learn to regenerate! haha
Lol 🙂 (Literally, laughing out loud.)
XD hey I got my lyme disease challenge posted! Check it out: http://www.revivingtheredeemed.org/index.php?r=space/space&sguid=bf1b1669-54cc-4747-82da-9e7f1de4449e
I saw! XD (Is there a laughing face?)
Just like my brother… He’s like “Who needs girls?” And I’m like, “Well, I’m a girl… and, um, you wouldn’t be here without girls.” *silence*
Or maybe instead of complaining, we could do our best not to be the girls everyone complains about…
Ooo, I like that idea! 🙂
I’m getting impatient over here waiting for whoever’s typing 😉
You should have seen me watching the screen like a hawk.
“Someone’s typing?!? Whoever could it be?” XD
Hehe 🙂 And they’re still typing!
I guess I’ll have to find out later — it’s dinner time 🙂
Enjoy your dinner then 🙂 I gotta go warm up the oven…
I shall now forever picture you as a hawk. XD
Haha 🙂 (or should i say Cacaw!)
Lol! “Caw caw! Roar!”
Don’t be ashamed of it! Girls were designed to be more kind, gentle, and compassionate. Which in my mind is just as admirable as cool-headedness.
Thank you for the reminder. But actually I think I was saying that it’d be so much easier to hang out with guys if we weren’t girls. Cause that gets awkward sometimse…
How are you on after 9:00? Just asking, if you don’t want to answer I get it.
Yesterday I had forgotten to check the time until close to 9:30 ish.
Ohhh, okay. 🙂
Haha I’d rather hang out with guys than girls, I guess it might have something to do with the fact that I have 4 brothers and for the longest time I was the only girl.
4 brothers – wow! I have three… my brother and I were always together for years…
Yeah I love my brothers even though they’re immensely annoying sometimes
Me too! Are your brothers older, or younger than you?
all my siblings are younger than me 🙂
Oohhh. The oldest kid!
I’m third-youngest out of eight.
Nice! so you’re the middle child then
Yeah 🙂 I’m one of the oldest now, because three of my siblings are out of the house. During the school year, another sibling is away at college, while my older sister commutes. So I’m, like, the older kid at times!
Older kids now have my respect! 🙂
Nice haha yeah it’s not always easy because everyone always look up to you and expects you to be the highest standard and when you fail it’s even more disapointing
ttyl! It’s 11:00 here.
okay i need to go to bed soon too 🙂
Yep… And little siblings seem to know how to make the older sibling look bad, I know.
Thanks Jaquelle, you literally just repeated my thoughts to the t. And I love your name 🙂 I’m a pastor’s kid too, and I wondered if you had any thoughts on how to deal with the drama that comes through that. (people playing up to you etc.) Thanks!
Hi Liana. It’s always nice to meet another PK. 🙂 As far as thoughts on dealing with the drama of being a pastor’s kid, I would say that the most important thing is to make sure that you are really open and honest with your parents, especially your dad, about your struggles, fears, doubts, questions, dreams, etc.
If you’re in a bigger church context, Barnabas Piper’s book, “The Pastor’s Kid” is really applicable. I’m not, but there was still some really worthwhile stuff in there. Also, this old article that was published on TheRebelution two years ago was a big encouragement to me: http://therebelution.com/blog/2013/06/my-life-as-a-pastors-kid/#.VULF3iGrTIU.
Most importantly, I would say pray. Being a PK is definitely not always easy; we face such unique pressures. But I believe that it is a really marvelous blessing, and that we have an advantage over so many other kids. Plus, other PKs always understand you! 🙂
Hey, i’m a PK too! I’ve toyed with the idea of writing another article about it, but, i don’t know. It’s certainly nice to know that you guys get how hard it can be sometimes 🙂 But it’s true, i’m very blessed 🙂
Thanks so much! This is really helpful. I’ve been in small churches, large churches, missionary kid, and we are moving again. So I can use all the help I can! lol. Thanks for the resources too. I will definitely look these up.
I am also a PK, but I have never felt like anyone treated me differently because of it. Actually, I can’t name anything negative about being a PK… maybe I am just in a different type of church…?
lol, just realised that while I have seen 6-12 girl PKs on the Reb, I have yet to see a boy say that he’s a PK… 🙂
I guess it does depend on the church and the community where you live. I happen to live in a small rural area where you are labeled for everything you do! 🙂 And I agree, we need more guys who are pk’s on here!
right on sister!!
Yep! Cool but hilarious profile pic!
hey, what can I say? I am a hopeless Ben and Jerry’s addict! how could I resist the opportunity to visit a scoop shop?!?!?
Ha ha ha lol…
THERE’S A BEN AND JERRY’S SCOOP SHOP?!?!?! I thought they just sold it in stores!
I love your new profile pic! It would have taken me a while to figure out who you were, but…well, I recognized the enthusiasm! XD
Hahaha thanks! I’ve had a few people tell me they didn’t recognize me on here without the big black mustache. 😉
I’ve also been told that I have constant enthusiasm. They’re right, though. I’m a very enthusiastic individual.
Lol XD I can tell! And I love it! 🙂
Dude, you gave me my 900th upvote! Congrats! I’d award you with some Ben and Jerry’s but I don’t think you can do that over the internet.
That’s awesome!! I always try to keep track of milestones, but I always barely miss them. 😛 in your case, it would be like realizing I’d just gotten my 901st upvote. XD
Aw! Maybe I’ll just go Google a picture of it to drool over. 😉
Here you go! It’s toothpaste and orange juice flavored… hope you like it! 🙂
I’m eating my lunch. I don’t want to be eating anymore. XD oh…wow, I was not expecting that!
I know! I thought it was disgusting! I’ve had orange juice and toothpaste before on accident… I can’t even describe to you the horror my taste buds experienced!
Wait…that’s not an actual flavor…is it??
My hope is that its photoshopped. But you never know with ice cream nowadays. There’s some wacky flavors out there, man. 🙂
If it is real, that would be yuk extreme.
It looks truly horrifying. 🙂
Haha, yeah. Actual toothpaste ice cream would probably taste like mint, come to think of it… 😛
Yeah, but if it has chunks of toothpaste in it, it would be thick and gritty. Oh that is so gross.
*shudders* Why are we still talking about this? First we were talking about it during my lunch, now I’m having breakfast…it’s a conspiracy!! XD
You’re eating breakfast? Wow. Time zone difference! I just finished lunch. 🙂
Well…it was a very (very) late breakfast. My parents aren’t home, so (as the result of my inner procrastinator) I eat all my meals much later than normal. 😉 What time zone are you in?
Oh! Makes sense! Though I never procrastinate with meals. 🙂 I’m is Eastern Time Zone. 🙂
Haha, I never imagined I would procrastinate with meals either, until I had to cook them. XD I’m in Central, so you’re only an hour ahead. 🙂
Double yuck! 😉
That has got to be the worst flavor I’ve ever heard of….eew…but kinda amusing at the same time. 🙂
Oh yes there is!!! I visited one on vacation in Colorado. It is an unbeatable experience!! (Try the seven layer bar flavor)
Good reasons! I especially love #5!
Hey, you older guys are welcome! We can learn a lot from y’all’s experience that we don’t have! Thanks for commenting!
Amen! Especially considering no. 5, I would definatly agree that so often us teens will try to pass off dating as Something that doesn’t really matter, but really what dating is for is preparing to get married and nothing else. It is really encouraging to see other Teens with the same view on Dating!
My favorite is #4 because i have seen friend’s relationships break apart because they dated. (this is also one of my biggest reason i chose not to date)
!!! I’m not the only one…
I can totally relate. I was the same way. Now I’m friends with Sam S., though. It just kind of happened. I guess you can talk to them like you would talk to a girl. Except I tried that and he thought I “liked” him. Whoops. Cleared that up, though. Sorry I don’t have a good answer to your question 🙁 I don’t know how to explain how we ended up being friends. Sam do you have a better answer?
It’s fine to talk to a boy. Actually, like the author of this article stated, it’s great to be friends with a boy! But you shouldn’t go out of your way to be “bff’s” with boys.
My older sister, who is married, told me that girls cannot be best friends with boys. It doesn’t work. Eventually something gives and then there’s the whole drama issue.
So yes, it’s fine to interact with them, or to join in a conversation. Definitely don’t avoid them! 🙂 But never put yourself in a convo where you are the only girl, and don’t try to be super outgoing toward boys.
Think about how you would act around your brother. You wouldn’t be weird. You would just be… sisterly. Boys who are in our churches are our brothers in Christ. So we treat them with respect and kindness, “in all purity” (I Tim 5:2). I hope this helps!
Thank you very much…
I would like to throw out here, many say that you can never be best friends with a guy, and it work out. I would like to say that my current best friend is a guy. He and I have no romantic feelings for each other. We simply click in such a way that we understand each other. Perhaps down the road romantic feelings could evolve (How else would people be able to say they “married their best friend”). However, right now… there are zero feelings, we have tons of fun together, and can truly enjoy the same things and encourage each other to strive to put the important things first in life.
Absolutely. I have some guy friends and we just hang out at youth group together AS FRIENDS. In fact, I love being with them because there’s way less drama in guy-land. They just have fun minus the gossip! Guy friendships have always worked out for me.
Exactly. Just because sometimes it may not work out for some, that doesn’t mean it cannot work for anybody. I wouldn’t give up my guy friends for the world! They help me face tough times with a smile, and remind me of the importance of God, and simply give me a chance to have fun doing things that my girl friends may not enjoy. A win, win on so many counts!
Pretty much. Especially as a percussionist, I’m faced with guys a lot (there aren’t that many girls that play drums :D). Guy friendships are kind of a necessity seeing as I spend so much time with my drumline.
A good point! In future environments you may have to work with men. To learn now, how to be a friend without becoming something else is an important thing. To learn to get along outside of a romantic relationship is (what I consider) a rather important skill set.
Very true. I like the way you explained that.
I’m glad it made sense, and that you liked how I said it. ^_^
Hey! I just subscribed to this blog and I’m already finding it helpful and learning a lot! I personally don’t date because like Jaquelle,.. Actually, I agree with most of the things she said!
I used to have a best friend; he was a boy and it’s true! Someone told me the same thing, That girls cannot be best friends with boys. Which thankfully we learned at the same time so we decided to be just friends and honor God with our friendship.
And the rest of what you said really helped remind me how a girl must act around guys and how glorify God with our actions.
Thanks a lot! 😀
I would like to say that many people have problems with being friends with guys. Hormones, and feelings just run to high with them. If that is the case with you… be careful. In any case, be careful!
I personally have many guy friends… and I find them to be super fun, encouraging, and helpful. That being said, I am very good at focusing, and being aware when feelings may be clouding things and I need to take a step back.
Hey l’m fifteen I’ve never been out on a date with a girl. There’s a lot better things to do then going out with girls!
I am 17 and have gone on many, many dates. All with just really good friends. We have fun, do group dates, and really get to create greater friendships. I have met many people I wouldn’t have ever met if I didn’t go out on dates. Plus, I have had friends who I have gotten to know better/meet because of these, who have really helped me see God better, and focus more on important things like faith, family, and school.
That being said… maybe your just trying to say that you haven’t ever had a girlfriend. In which case, good job! You really should be focusing on other things. And a boyfriend/girlfriend usually doesn’t help with that.
I’m with you there!
I feel like she contradicted herself a bit…..in #4 she said “… I like boys. They’re funny and crazy and over-think stuff less and don’t nurse grudges below the surface. What you see is what you get.” but in #7, she says “I don’t really need the drama that comes with having a boyfriend – decoding text messages, interpreting emotions, debating boundaries, dealing with hurt feelings (real or perceived)”
As a guy, I feel like I need to say that we aren’t dramatic. 😛 for most of us, there really isn’t any “decoding text messages” or “interpreting emotions”. We’re pretty straight forward, like she said, “what you see is what you get”.
Feels a like a bit of a contradiction there…
I am very much with you on this.
I felt like a lot of this post was a contradiction… and I was a little confused as to how she was defining “dating”
Yeah, I wasn’t sure if she meant dating or courtship or whatever.
And also, I felt myself thinking with all 7 points, “Yes, that will happen, only if you let it.”
Like, yes, dating (or a relationship) will distract you from the Gospel, but only if you let it! If you have a God-centered relationship, it can be very beneficial to both of your spiritual walks.
Being that I go on dates rather a lot (group dates, and as friends) I was interested to read this. As I read I was confused, since… I have never felt distracted from my Lord due to a guy. In fact… I have only chosen to go on dates with good friends, who strengthen my faith and focus on important things. But then, I think she was talking about dating someone, as in courtship. Which, then I was further confused. Because, why would you date someone who pulls your focus from the Lord?
Yeah I agree, when you’re a Christian, it should be natural to surround yourself with people who are like-minded and want to build each other up in the Gospel.
If you’re a Christian and your relationship is taking you away from the Lord….you’re doing it wrong lol 😛 this goes for friends as well, not just boyfriends or girlfriends.
Exactly. Thus, some of my confussion about this article.
I am glad I found a like minded person. ^_^
Haha same! 😀
I had some of the same confusion too. I’m interested in what responses you get!
I saw some of the same of what you and @Thomas Gehman are talking about. I did think I’d answer your question about definitions.
I think (and the author can certainly step in and adjust this if I’m wrong), but she’s speaking of recreational dating, simply going out with a particular boy solely for the fun of it. I hope that helps!
I think you may be right, but still, as I said in a previous comment, as long as you keep Christ at the center of your relationship, then you shouldn’t have to worry about these 7 points. When you have Christ at the center, you won’t abuse your relationship and go on dates just for the fun of it.
Thanks for your comment Taylor! 🙂
Agreed. I was simply trying to shed some light on what she might by the definition.
The way I look at it, the “drama that comes with having a boyfriend” can totally be on the girl’s part. For example, you may mean exactly what you say in a text message, but we will try to decode it anyway. 😉 We can perceive drama where there is none. I’m not saying all girls are like this, but it happens, and I think that’s what she was referring to.
I can see that lol. Still, tho, I believe that as long as you keep Christ at the center of your relationship, then all 7 of these points are well, pointless. 😛 Of course, that is assuming that you got into the relationship for the right reasons, not just because you can.
Very appreciative of your comment, Christy! 🙂
Absolutely! If we could keep Christ continuously at the center of our lives, a lot of the things we talk about would be rather redundant.
Of course! And I appreciate your respectfully pointing out something that didn’t make sense to you. It gave me something to think about. 🙂
I think maybe what she means with #7 is all of the drama that comes from other girls. Girls can bring A LOT of drama into relationship, even if its not her own. Of course, if a girl is dating a guy that does carry a bit of drama with him (I’ve known a few guys like that. It’s a rare thing but its out there.) then that can make for a dramatic relationship as well.
Hi Thomas. Brooklyn and Christy really offered excellent points. I was never putting all the onus for drama in a relationship on boys. Yet at the same time, I do think that there are times when boys can misunderstand or misinterpret things – though probably not as much as us girls. 🙂 We’re all fallible. I hope I cleared up your confusion.
Ah, that does clear that bit up, thanks 🙂 Although, again, there doesn’t *have* to be drama…..but I guess that just depends on the girl or guy. 😛 Thanks for replying to my comment! Wasn’t expecting that lol
I’ve been thinking about this post on and off for the last several days (cause it’s been up for a while). I’m going to just put down a couple of thoughts and see what comments I get from people. Maybe they’ll answer some of my questions!
First off, I’ve never dated before and I don’t intend to, particularly not for quite a while. To me, dating is for finding a spouse; so I won’t be doing it for a while, since I won’t be getting married for a while.
However, #1-4 aren’t necessarily true. They can be true, but they aren’t necessarily. The way they’re written in the article seems as if they are simply an irrefutable fact.
So, I guess what I don’t understand is where you draw the line between what at this point in your life is abusing your time, distracting from the gospel, injurious to friendships, and what x years from now will be a blessing? I’m having trouble saying this clearly, but in x number of years when you’re ready to get married, you won’t consider dating an abuse of time or injurious to relationships, and certainly not distracting from the gospel. You’ll just consider it a part of finding a spouse, correct? So, what changed? Is it your readiness for marriage that transforms what is now a “distracting from the gospel” to no longer be so? In x years, will dating still be distracting from the gospel, because if so, we’ve got problems! The gospel is supposed to be our focus in everything!
Otherwise, every couple that every walked the earth trying to get to know each other for marriage is distracted from Christ! So, to me, this list (while good) is a list of things to be careful of while dating/courting/whatever you call it, rather than a list of reasons why not to do so. I think these are well-thought through ideas that we need to be very watchful for falling into while getting to know someone.
None of these things are necessarily true if, as Thomas said below, we keep Christ at the center of a relationship. If Christ is the center, the relationship can be glorifying to Christ, even point people to Him, rather than distract from the gospel.
I think the distracting that shes talking about comes from dating too early. Like shes trying to list why not to date at this age.
I don’t think that the points apply to dating forever. I think that eventually, at the right time, this list becomes something to watch out for in dating instead of a list of why not to do it. Does this make any sense, because I feel like I’m not getting my point across very well?
Yes, I think, she is really saying she is too young to date.
Now I am still unclear of her definition of dating, but I assume it is with the intent of later marrying the person.
What’s different though? How is dating any less distracting from the gospel at 25 than it is at 19?
I’m not asking this because I just can’t wait to go date (I’m not), but I just feel like I’m missing something, so I’d like to understand better! Thanks for trying to help!
Her opinion seems to be hinging on something that she didn’t voice. At least, that is what I get from it.
I’m pretty sure its a maturity thing. Or as @Josiah J.:disqus pointed out, it could be something that she didn’t voice.
Sorry, I keep replying to your questions. I know I don’t have everything figured out, I’m just sorta kinda thinking as I write. 🙂
You’re fine. I’ve done the same! I appreciate anybody trying to help me out here! I glean from all the information that’s put out here.
Makes sense to me! 🙂
I don’t “date” ether. I try to make friends.
Then there are making friendships with the intent of marrying someone (courting/dating). I would like to make one of those friendships one day, but keeping God at the center of my life.
Hey Josiah. Yes, that is exactly what I am saying. “Dating,” as I refer to it in the article, is pursuing casual, short-term romantic relationships right now as I’m seventeen with no intention of marriage. These will change once I am actually looking for a spouse. Thanks for your comment!
Gotcha, I am glad that there are people striving for a moral, God serving, lifestyle. 🙂
Intimacy is only for after being married, not during the courtship/dating process. This is so important for everyone to remember.
Oooooh… I understand now.
I would say short term intimate relationships are just plain wrong for anybody.
Thank you for the clarification. 🙂
Totally agree, Josiah. And I’m glad we’re on the same page here. 🙂
I agree, and thank you.
Okay, I understand. I made that comment before I knew what how you were defining “dating”, obviously. 😛 Since I know what you meant by that, I do agree. 🙂
“Why do crushes and who-likes-whom always have to be brought in to it?” What I ask myself just because I’m friends with some girls…
Thanks soo much! Very insightful!
Excellent article, Jaquelle! Thanks for writing so transparently and honestly!
Also, kudos on using the word “proclivity.” Well done! =)
Hey, thank you, Christopher. And I must geekily admit that “proclivity” is one of my favorite words!
YESS! Exactly my reasons! Thanks for a wonderful article.
good post! i agree. and also the point on number 4. why is it always who-likes-who? i mean i have ‘friend-girls’ and people are always bringing it up
Totally off-topic, but I seriously love your pic!! I am a huge Captain Jack Sparrow fan. Okay, I’m done. Bye
ok lol thanks
So SO glad to see someone who understands this! Honestly, although I “know” that there are a couple of others that choose not to date for these reasons, it can be hard to actually realize it. (I’m not sure if that makes any sense, but it’s the only way I can think of to describe it.) Thank you so much for writing this!
Hi Krysteen! That does make sense. It is so encouraging to meet other people that share your convictions – and for many of the same reasons. Many blessings to you! 🙂
Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh I get it even more now! Thanks for clearing that up.
This article is perfect for addressing the modern dating process! My family believes in courting mostly for what you listed on number 5. You made me smile reading this article because I know this will help SO many people.
Thank you, i believe the same. So many people can’t get it that you can be friends with a boy without liking them.
Absolutely love this article!!!!! I really couldn’t agree more!!!! Thanks so much!
Well, I know I’m super late as usual on reading this, but I have to say thank you! This is an excellent article, and just as applicable to guys.
Great outline and very logical.
I totally agree with this! I’ve been asked out a few times in my life, but I’ve never dated or had a boyfriend. Footloose and fancy free just makes sense. It’s like she said: no boyfriend, no drama. But then I have an 18 year old friend who is married. I think that is great also! I’ve been led to believe that dating is best saved for those who are serious about the possibility of marriage.
Lol, you got that T-shirt at Kohls in the Junior section. Had a laugh over the shirt when I first saw that. My mom said it was good that they sold stuff with that kind of “message”. I totally agree (with this article).
Im not sure if you meant for this to be applied to boys, but it was very helpful seeing all the reasons why its better not to date as I go through a hard time with girls right now. (Just now becoming a teenager)
Yes, I agree 100%! It’s my opinion that dating as a teen, at least mid to low teens, is rather silly. It seems like the media these days is really promoting the idea of having a bf/gf as young as in elementarily school, and not only is that annoying, it’s sad. Kids should not date. Also, most of the time with teen romances, it seems to be an image thing– “I want a boyfriend because it will make me cool”.
Personally, I’ve decided just to leave this whole dating thing up to God. If and when He wants me to meet the right guy, I will. Until then, I’m not going to worry about it. 🙂
I recently rattled off to my dad all the reasons why I DID NOT want to date now (I’m sixteen)–and this was basically that list!! 🙂 Especially the ones about how that would waste my time, my emotions, and my thoughts on something that I don’t need. I’m definitely not against dating, and I’m not passionately against high school dating–but for me, I don’t feel like I can gain anything from dating in high school. I’d rather dedicate my time and my thought life to Christ and pursuing Him with my whole heart.
lol, usually its my dad rattling off this list to me why i shouldn’t date 😛
I’m 16 and i’m glad to see that I am not alone with this type of thinking.
Roughly a month ago I was going to ask the most beautiful girl on a date, my first date. She is a Christian and everyone knew we were crushing on each other (I still am!). However, every time I went to ask her out I felt a heavy tug on my heart not to. After much prayer I was certain that God wanted me to abstain from dating. That crushed me! I had already told her how I felt about her and she had done the same for me but now I had to tell her “Sorry I can’t date you.” It killed me! Because of God’s grace she took it well and understood completely which helped confirm this was what God was wanting me to do. But it didn’t hurt any less. Its painful knowing any guy could just come in and swoop away this girl that I am madly in love with. Thankfully this hasn’t happened but in all honesty I don’t know if she is the one God wants for me.
It is still painful but its bearable knowing that I am in God’s will. I don’t know what he has planned for my life but I do know that I can trust him. The list you created is just the start of things that God has already blessed me with for obeying him 🙂
If she’s “the one” God will work it out. I just know that at our age, we can think that one person is the whole world and then we change our minds within a few months. I’ve had some serious crushes before (the ones where you can’t think about anything else) only to realize later that it wouldn’t have been the right thing! So good for you! And I hope that in the next few years things will work out! 🙂
Wow Cooper, thank you for sharing this. Recently I’ve been arguing with God over a couple of decisions, and… well, what you said here is exactly what I needed to hear.
That’s awesome! I’m glad to hear that 🙂
I’m also 16. I want some guy friends to prepare for marriage someday (I have very minimal interaction with boys), but like the author of this article, I don’t want to date yet. If I pass a guy from my class in the hallway who I worked with in class, would waving look like I’m friendly or like I’m into romance? I want to be friendly to people I know, but I don’t want guys to think I want to date them.
same question. Any answers??
I feel the same about girlfriends. In a sense
I am in college now, 18. I am to the age where I am starting to wonder, when is the right time to date?
Hey Abby. Thanks for your comment. It’s funny that you ask this question – since writing this article, I’ve turned 18 and had to think through it myself. I don’t think we can put rules on exactly when we should start dating. That would endanger us to fall into legalism.
Personally, I will begin dating when I am ready to look for a spouse. Really, that could be any time now. I’m trusting God for the timing. While I do hope that the Lord will bless me with a husband one day, I’m not just sitting around waiting for that to happen. I am pursuing hard things He has placed in my path and trying to be faithful where He has me right now.
Those are my thoughts. I hope they might help as you study God’s Word and consider this issue for yourself. 🙂
It’s the right time when it’s the right person. But don’t take my word for it though.
Hi Abby, I get what you’re saying. I think that it is not necessarily a particular age in which it all changes. But I think with you being in college that is your primary concentration right now, so it may not be the best time to actually be looking or considering getting married any time soon. But at the same time, if God brought a Godly young man into your life who is attracted to you and is interested in pursuing you with the intent of marriage in mind, I don’t think it would be wrong to be in a relationship with him. I think the main things is if you don’t feel like you’re in the place for getting married anytime soon than that is a good sign you should probably not be dating right now because that would mean you would have to be dating for a long period of time or else just for fun and that tends to lead to a lot of problems. I have a lot more thoughts, but that is just a basic rule of thumb to consider maybe. Hope that makes sense and is helpful! 😉
I am 25 years old and when I was 17 I also thought this way. This sounds SO good, but it does not work in the real world. I am here as someone who has lived this to tell you, dear Jaquelle, you are wrong. My peers, those who were espousing these ideas 10 years ago, Josh Harris contemporaries, are turning away from this way of thinking because it only brought us heartbreak and barrenness. Our parents never lived this, they don’t have a clue. Our younger siblings do not have the real life experience to see the holes in this argument. Please, please, please listen to those who have gone before you and do not make the same mistakes we did. Just because it sounds righteous, does not mean it is.
Read “Courtship in Crisis: The Case For Traditional Dating” by Thomas Umstattd Jr. It might change your perspective.
Well said, LadyAbigail! I’m 20, and getting married in a few weeks. That certainly wouldn’t be happening had I followed this model.
I also grew up in the days of Josh Harris and I Kissed Dating Goodbye. LadyAbigail is right, it doesn’t work.
Thank you for this article, I really needed to be reminded. I’m away from home, my family, and my friends for a while, so with no one to talk sense into me (and no close friends around) it’s going to quite tempting to date just for social purposes. I’ll be keeping this article in mind
interesting. I’m only 12 but reading this prepares me some what. i liked it. great job
This is exactly how I feel. Everyone who reads take note. Don’t feel pushed to follow peer pressure to just have “fun” with a boyfriend/girlfriend.
Thank you for posting this.
Thank you so much for clearing that up. I appreciated your article so much but wasn’t sure what you meant by dating and agreed somewhat with Collin but I really loved it thank you🙂
Pardon the necropost, but I found this genuinely disturbing and felt the need to make an attempt to correct your logic, so no uncertain young person subscribes to your (arguably) pernicious philosophy without seeing the other side.
1) “There’s always an undefined line with wondering if something could happen.” Why? If you want a line, make one. Boundaries are important, so draw a line in the sand if you want to but don’t write off an entire gender based on the mere possibility of discomfort.
2) “if you have really great guy friends that you depend on and confide in…..why would a guy look at you as marriage material? You’re already spending time with “friends” ?” Because friends and marriage partners are different… and both are important. As a guy, I have nothing against women with male friends, female friends, old friends, young friends, or animal friends. It shows strength and maturity to marry someone who isn’t wholly dependent on you.
3) “I see no where I’m scripture there girls were “friends” with men before courting or marriage.” I can’t think of any either. Because that was relatively uncommon in the Hebrew culture of the time. But that doesn’t mean that it’s the best way to live.
The Bible does say to love your neighbor though. And I can say without question that when I have poured my heart into that philosophy and have loved whoever should cross my path I have been blessed tremendously. Be prudent in all things. Set boundaries. Be smart. But don’t write off half of the people God has placed in your life because you’re afraid.
Not to mention the fact that to find a male as mature as yourself, he’d likely have to be more than twice your age.
Wow. I love it. I really think that this is one for the books. 🙂
Definitely good things to think about.
This article was really helpful. I feel so…lost sometimes. I recently realized that I was “dating” in a sense (I’m 14 BTW) without meaning to and giving a piece of my heart away. I really didn’t mean to do it, and I immediately stopped what I was doing (and I am much happier now TBH) but I still feel like I want the attention I was getting. The hardest part is that I still “like” the guy, so I just want to fall back into the habits I had developed. I am praying and asking God to help though, and I have faith that he’ll show me the way. This article defiantly helped though.