“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing.” – Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

Timing is everything. There is a great deal of truth to this common phrase. For example, timing is often critical when dealing with people. You don’t ask for a raise when the business is losing money. You don’t ask someone to cover for you when you didn’t cover for them last. Timing is important in cooking. That beautiful steak you bought was left on the grill too long and now it is like shoe leather. And one last example, timing is important in finance. When you buy a stock and when you sell a stock is the difference between making money and losing money on your investment. Selling the stock at the right time is critical. And as I talked about on Sunday, timing is important for your dating life.

In Ecclesiastes 3:1-15, Solomon tells us that life is really a matter of timing, for timing is everything. It is hard to argue with that since we have calendars and schedules and clocks with us wherever we go. What would we do without our smart phones? Timing is everything. If there is a season, a time for everything, how do we apply that to dating? Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 is not about how we view the various seasons of life, but how we view God in the various seasons of life. In Sunday’s message I talked about three seasons.

The Season of Perfection: We’ve been groomed by society to look for the “perfect man” or the “perfect woman.” Reality shows portray groups of contestants vying for the heart of one person believing they are the “perfect” person. In this season we believe the person may be perfect, and why not. The person pursued me, and I couldn’t wait to enter into a relationship with him or her. This is where parents or the person in the relationship must exercise caution to make sure it is not just a temporary euphoria. We can slow the process down by limiting the time the couple spends together, not getting ahead of yourself or the relationship by saying “I love you” prematurely and by limiting the opportunities for temptation. 

The Season of Preparation: This is the area where we do the due diligence on the relationship. This is where we assess what we want and what we expect in a relationship. This is where we establish our deal breakers. This is where we get a handle on what’s happening and evaluate where you are headed as a couple. And we need to do all of this introspection through the lens of biblical standards. These are high standards and we need key people in our lives actively involved to help us meet those standards as best we can.

The Season of Purity: This season is pretty self-explanatory. Sex was designed to be a deep bonding experience between a husband and wife. So if you’re going to develop a healthy dating relationship and make a wise decision about getting married or not getting married, you’re going to have to draw away from this obsession with the sexual part of the relationship for the season of dating. This is the area where we should not compromise.   

Discussion Questions:

  1. How important is timing in the seasons of life?
  2. Did you think the person you were dating was perfect? Why or why not?
  3. How important is preparation before marriage? What did you do to prepare for your future relationships?
  4. How did/do you deal with temptation in dating and relationships?