“If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.” – John 15:19.

Romans 12: 2 tells us, “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think…” The challenge is disengaging from the culture we live in. Let’s think about dating and relationships for moment.

For better or for worse? Really? With so many mixed messages in our culture that speak to the contrary, it is no wonder that young people don’t think of dating as the means of finding a spouse. Do we really, at a young age, grasp the definition of a commitment for life? We live in a throwaway culture. If it doesn’t click, discard it and move on. We get distracted so easily. 

It is hard for young people to stay focused on what really matters when they are dealing with so much coming at them that while acceptable in society is diametrically opposed to their Christian values and beliefs. The culture can easily become the norm rather than the exception. Those that are dating or contemplating marriage need to realize that it is a spiritual matter. Choosing your future spouse is more than just picking someone you’re compatible with. It’s a faith-filled journey of both joy and pain, but it’s through that journey that God reveals the very person that was created for each of us to fulfill his ultimate purpose for our lives.

By being open to God’s will in all aspects of dating, one can grow in our faith as God helps to shape the relationship. When searching for a spouse, it is essential to be open to God’s will and center one’s life around Christ. When you date with marriage in mind, you are, from the start, shaping a relationship that is built on character—a relationship that helps you to be a Godly partner. After all, it’s got to be much deeper, because we’re talking about for better and for worse, in sickness and in health, until death do us part.

A question for all the married people out there: what would you do different if you were dating today? How is the culture different today? Would you make different choices? Would you listen to family and friends who offer advice?  Would you be more purposeful about dating? Would you make more mature decisions? 

We might consider what we can do to help young adults to discover and understand the real purpose of dating. We can help them make wiser choices. We can talk with them about decisions and commitments.  We can help them with questions about their faith in Jesus Christ and in dating and marriage. We can keep them from making the mistakes that so many young people have made before them. 

Discussion Questions:

  1. What do you think is (or was) the best part of dating?  What do you think is (or was) the hardest part of dating?   
  2. How does our culture impact the dating experience? How does your relationship with God impact your dating experience?
  3. Read 1 Corinthians 15:33: Do you believe this verse includes dating? Why or why not?
  4. Read Song of Solomon 2:7: What does this verse mean to you?
  5. Discuss the idea of a mentor’s role in dating/relationship? Have you been impacted by the example of others?