Dating is a very popular topic, especially in the Christian community because of the wide variety of views on the subject. This post’s purpose is not to compare the views, however it seeks to present an approach that glorifies God.
First, let’s establish the posture of one who desires to be married. It is important that one is whole ( Refined by God, having dealt with emotional past, committed to the things of God and has found contentment in God). Whole does not mean perfect in any way but it means that one is allowing God to complete the good work He had begun in them (which He will continue to complete until the day of Christ’s return.) It is also important that they know what their purpose is and are working toward fulfilling it in the Kingdom of God.
Now, if one is committed to the things of God and is serving in their area of purpose, that requires a level of focus which weeds out other idle activities and thoughts. This is not to say that one will not ponder the idea of marriage, however making personal decisions about who they will marry and when is no longer a concern because they’ve submitted those things to God’s timing and will for their life. </p
Song of Solomon 3:5 "I charge you, O daughters of Jerusalem, By the gazelles or by the does of the field, Do not stir up nor awaken love until it pleases." Simply put don't do it until you're ready and in the right position for the commitment of marriage. It is difficult because many other influences provoke you to pursue your human desires to have companionship and share love with someone special, which are natural and not wrong. The key is to acknowledge the season you are in and conduct yourself accordingly. Consider this passage: 1 Corinthians 7:32-35 "But I want you to be without care. He who is unmarried cares for the things of the Lord- how He may please the Lord. But he who is married cares about the things of the world- how he may please his wife. There is a difference between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman cares about the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit. But she who is married cares about the things of this world- how she may please her husband. And this I say for your own profit, not that I may put a leash on you, but for what is proper, and that you may serve the Lord without distraction."
Remaining single until you are lead to prepare for marriage is for our benefit so that we aren't distracted by the emotions and feelings that ultimately leads us to engage in illegitimate married couple's behaviors. (Sleep overs, joint finances, and other obligations which we are not ready to commit to full time.) Giving ourselves to God through serving Him will allow us to see ourselves bare before Him and be aware of the things we need to focus on in order to be ready for our marriage season.
It is not up to us to decide when our single season has ended. We should be lead by Holy Spirit in this step. This will occur in different ways for male and female and even from person to person. However, in your intimacy with God things will be made clear.
It seems the definition of a friend has change so much. What used to be regarded as acts of kindness has gone unnoticed. Now simply living your life has began to affect the quality of a friend. That all sounds really deep but this is what I mean. It seems like the biggest thing that tears apart friendships is boyfriends. People are so quick to say that you’ve just changed and forgotten all about them just because you spend a lot of time with your boyfriend. What ever happened to being happy for your friend. It probably is a lack of confidence that would make someone say something like that. No doubt there are some girls that do completely stop dealing with their friends and spend all of their time with their boyfriend however I am not the type to do so. And to have been accused of such is offensive.
My idea of a friend has multiple parts. First is being supportive.
Support -Whether I need advice or just someone to listen to me I feel like you’re duty is to be there. Even in whatever it may be that I am discussing with you, although you may not agree with it, judgment definitely should not take place. Part of me considering you a friend is the fact that I feel I can confide in you knowing that you won’t pass judgment on my situation. The biggest thing about friendship is just having that person you can talk to who understands where you’re coming from. At the same time it’s the hardest thing to find these days. I’ve found that some people listen but only for their benefit. They just listen so that they can say they know you’re business but they don’t sincerely care about your feelings or the situation itself. Which brings me to another characteristic of a friend which its trust.
Trust- If there’s anything that can hinder any sort of relationship it is trust or lack there of. Adding on to the previous statement about telling people you’re issues, unfortunately it is very difficult to find someone who won’t tell someone else your business. For me, even if you feel like it is a person that I would tell anyway, I don’t feel like it’s your job to spread the news about anything I tell you. I actually had someone tell me that they didn’t care about what people told her because at the end of the day she didn’t care and she probably would tell someone else what they told her. I have to say that I was one of the people who would get the inside scoop on a lot of secrets her other friends told her, but in my mind I had to make a mental note that anything I tell her probably will be repeated to those same friends.
Be Understanding- B2K was definitely on to something when they released their song Understanding on their first album. Being understanding falls under a lot of different umbrellas as far as friendships and communication goes. First thing you have to understand is that I may have more than one good friend. Jealousy is a huge pet peeve in a friendship. It is such a turn off when someone feels like they have to be THE ONE. Let’s remember that we are friends not lovers. No one person will be able to satisfy my every desire and need. And I honestly hope you have enough going on your life that you aren’t able to be there every time I may need you. Although it would be wonderful if you were ALWAYS there but I understand and don’t expect you to be. Therefore if I have another good friend I definitely will be spending time with them. It would be great of both of you could be friends but if not, no hard feelings. Understand that I have not replaced nor forgotten about you.
Some of these things people may say is too much to expect of someone. I feel that some people don’t really value the title of a friend. We aren’t friends after hanging out once and having one conversation. Our friendship is built on the fact that we have things in common, that even though we may disagree we respect each other’s opinions. I have always had a really small circle of friends that I deal with on a consistent basis. But I can say no matter what, having those people around I have never felt alone and that no one understood me. One should build friendships for the qualities they have to offer and not the material things. People learn quickly that you can not buy a friendship and you sure can’t fix one like that either. It’s important to have people around you that are adding positively to your life. It does you no good to have someone around you that is going down a path of destruction if you plan to go in the opposite direction. And as a friend you should constantly ask yourself if you are help or hurting the person you consider to be your friend.