Every week, I go through the “Girl Talk” section of Project Inspired and look for those seeking advice and counsel. I want to help answer some questions you may have about living out your Christian life and walk of faith! We want PI to be a safe place where you can ask questions.
This week, I want to talk to those who are considering dating or who want to ask their parents if they are allowed to date. A PI Girl asked, “How do I approach asking my parents if I can date?” (Click here to read more.)
Here are some personal tips and pieces of advice for those of you wanting to evaluate whether you should date or how to ask for your parents’ permission.
First and foremost, you will want to ask yourself: Am I at an appropriate age to date? Honestly, I don’t think you should date until you’re at least 18 because so much changes in life, and this is just a wise choice if you want to really focus on school, the Lord and simply enjoying your life in high school. Some people do meet their high school sweethearts at age 15 or 16, and I’m all for young lovebirds meeting their sweethearts, but you should really consider if you’d want to take your friendship to another level beyond that in a courtship. You want to use wisdom at a young age because most boys ARE NOT mature enough, even if you are. If you aren’t planning on marrying the person, you could date or be courted for fun…but the truth is, if you don’t marry them, it could very well end in heartbreak.
Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. (Proverbs 4:23)
In life we have many choices, and I don’t look down on anyone who wants to date, but you also need to ask yourself: Is this person mature enough to date? If you like the person as a friend, then keep them as a good friend. You never know…years down the line, you could end up remaining lifelong friends, or even end up dating when you are both mature enough to handle a strong commitment to each other.
Next, before you even consider dating this person or asking your parents if you’re allowed to date, you should ask your godly friends if they approve of and like this person. If your friends think this person is not good for you, then most likely your parents won’t, either. Also, is he a strong believer? Will he draw you CLOSER to Jesus or further from Christ? This is vital in deciding whom to date because you don’t want to be pulled in a different direction from God’s BEST for you! Read more on being unequally yoked.
I would add that before you ask your parents if you should start dating, ask yourself: Where is my relationship with the Lord? If you have a solid relationship with Christ, then you will want to continually focus on Him without distractions. Of course, we all need balance in our lives and need to maintain relationships and friendships, but again, if you feel you’re mature enough and strong enough in your boundaries, your purity walk and your faith, and you feel you can handle a relationship, then I would prayerfully consider it. Read 1 Corinthians 7 for more about the Bible and what it says about marriage, singleness, purity and ministry.
If you’re uncertain about whether you’re mature enough, then ask yourself: Do I crave attention and affirmation from guys? or Am I trying to fill a void in my life? If you answered YES to either of these, then I don’t think you’re ready for dating yet. You should feel completely whole and confident in your identity in Christ before plunging into the dating world. I know it’s hard, but trust me, girls—you can avoid a lot of confusion and even more emptiness if you don’t date prematurely. That’s sort of why I said age 18—because I think when you become an adult, you grow and learn what you can handle and what you can’t handle. Life is a journey and we are all in different seasons, so take all of this to the Lord’s throne of grace.
For more dating advice, read the book (for mature Christians and young women) Sex and the Single Christian Girl: Fighting for Purity in a Rom-Com World by Marian Jordan Ellis. It has great godly wisdom and is relevant. There are many references to the media, film, TV and other sources in the world that send the WRONG messages about dating, courting and marriage. Check it out here.
My final piece of advice? Seek God’s Word and respectful counsel.
Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers, they succeed. (Proverbs 15:22)
To recap my advice, here are the seven tips on what to ask or consider before dating or asking your parents to date:
- Ask yourself: Am I at an appropriate age to date?
- Ask yourself: Is this person mature enough to date?
- Ask yourself: Is the person I’m interested in mature enough to date? Is he a Christian?
- Ask your godly friends if they approve of and like this person.
- Ask yourself: Where is my relationship with the Lord?
- Ask the Lord for wisdom and counsel, and read his Word (the Holy Bible).
- Ask your youth pastors or counselors for guidance.
PI Girls, do you have any tips or questions regarding this subject? I know it’s a popular one! I am praying for you that you will heed wise advice and make good choices!