In my teenage years, dating was one of the greatest parts of that time as well as one of the most stressful. My parents made it a bit easier on me in that I was not allowed to date until I was sixteen. Even then, I had three years of trying to plan the right date, putting on a good show, and thinking of new surprises every time.
At that time, I wanted to know what God thought about dating, kissing, sex, and marriage, but was not sure where to look. My youth worker was a great mentor and shared so much wisdom. We could have easily discussed the book of Song of Solomon, the writings by Paul, or Jesus’ words on the subject, but instead we went straight to the text of Adam and Eve. While all of that was great advise on relationships, it was all based on a world of sin, not what God had conceived for relationships.
Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.” Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds in the sky and all the creatures that move along the ground—everything that has the breath of life in it—I give every green plant for food.” And it was so. God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day.
A great article came out several months ago on how dating has changed:
Dating is about easy, quick, and affordable interactions. The whole nine yards that people used to go through have been condensed into one “new age of communication” with cell phones, text messaging, email, Facebook, bb messenger… Some parents who felt that things were too restricted in their time take a looser attitude toward their children dating, giving them greater freedom and ability to make their own decisions. [via YPulse]
God created marriage to be sacred and between a man and woman forever. The Bible tells us to stay away from sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. (Colossians 3:5) There are many reasons for this and I’m sure your students could repeat many of them. Maybe an approach they haven’t heard is that you are “making-out” or more with someone else’s future husband or wife. God gives us these boundaries so that we don’t have to regret our choices.
A healthy marriage is a beautiful blessing from God. Some of your students come from families where parents have done a great job of modeling a healthy marriage. Many students don’t have that blessing. Encourage your teenagers this week to turn to God and pray that he would help them develop the habits and patterns that will someday lead to a healthy marriage. Remind them of the value of being a learner—even in the area of dating relationships.