Skip HeitzigSkip Heitzig

Skip's Teachings > Life in the Single Lane > The Dating Game

Message:

SAVE: MP3
BUY: Buy CD
Player will resume where you were momentarily. Please wait...

Cancel
Loading player...
Enter your Email Address:

or cancel

The Dating Game
Skip Heitzig

Previous | Next Cookies must be enabled to support these options.
Life in the Single Lane

In this series, Skip Heitzig examines the unique challenges for unmarried Christians in today's world, dealing with the subjects of loneliness, dating, and finding true love.

FREE - Download Entire Series (MP3) (Help) | Buy series | Buy audiobook

Transcript

Open as Word Doc Open as Word Doc    Copy Copy to Clipboard    Print icon    Show expand

As we said last week, being single is a gift; there's nothing wrong with it. I had some single people this week say, "Thank you for sharing that. People act as if you're weird if you're not married." You're not. It is a gift. But also, marriage is a gift. And that's the gift that I have. And I'm thankful to the Lord for that. The first step is obviously dating. I have a series of questions in my hand. One of 'em says, "Skip, please address single's ministry," last week we talked about that and singleness, "dating and marriage." Another question is one you've heard, "What is wrong with premarital sex with someone you love?" Another one asks, "What are the chances of success between a believer and a non-believer?" In other words, in a marriage, one believes and believes the Bible to be the word, while the other doesn't. One has accepted Jesus as Savior, and the other has not. One, the believer, is fifty years old and the other is fifty-four. Another question, "Is there sin in a relationship of a black person and white person providing they go by the laws of God in their relationship?" Another question, "Skip, what does equally yoked really mean? I'm engaged and would really like know all the facts about this important issue that I never knew existed. Thank you and God bless you." The questions that I have read and all the questions that I have on my desk show a general desire where people are genuinely interested to know the answers to this from a Christian perspective. I think that they genuinely want biblical answers. However, some, um, have a wrong view of oGod, as is seen in many of the questions that I've received; this idea that God is the bad guy and he wants to keep them from the fun things in life and God has an insipid, dull, boring life ahead of you and if you don't go God's ways, that's where the action, that's where the funs at. If you go God's way- Dullsville. When Jesus said, "I have come that they may have abundant life," God has, whether you're single or whether you're married, He wants you to live life to the fullest in that position. Now, for you who are married, and you've had to listen to singleness and dating, hang on. Your day will come. Cause all the single people are going to have to listen to marriage and all the problems of divorce and remarriage. In fact, hopefully, even for the married people here, you can learn how to date your wives and husbands again through this study. Now, I'm gonna ask for a show of hands. Don't be afraid cause I'm not gonna do this every week (light laughter) because some of them would be embarrassing. How many are living in sin, raise your hand (laughter). No, I would never do that. Let me ask you this this morning. Heh heh. Could all of the single people raise your hands up please, again, so we can see. Great. Look at it. That's fabulous. Of all the single people, how many are now dating, raise your hands. If you're presently in a dating relationship. Great. How many are between teenage and say, college, raise your hands, in that dating, that are dating. Okay, how many are say, from college to thirty years of age, raise your hands, who are dating. How many are above thirty dating? Anyone? Wow, I know that's a large area to cover. We won't break it down anymore than that (light laughter). I often get asked the question, "Skip, does God have a perfect mate for me out there?" My answer is no and yes. No one is perfect, but yes God, I believe, has someone specifically picked out for you to bring you to complete fulfillment. I don't buy this issue that if you're a Christian, it's just whomever you choose. I think if you're a Christian, then the Scripture says, "The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord and He delights in His way." It says in Genesis 2, "God brought the woman to the man." And I think God intervenes in a person's life and God will take the initiative and bring the right mate to you. Now I know someone who has a checklist of all of the qualifications of the super woman that he wants to marry. This woman, of course, does not exist on the planet earth (light laughter). Able to leap tall buildings with a single bound, go faster than a speeding bullet, pray ten hours a day, still fix up the house and look beautiful all the time. And I always ask my friend, "Even if she does exist, what makes you think she wants to marry you? (Laughter) Do you meet those qualifications?" The truth is, God has someone suited for you if you are not married. If God is leading you to that gift, God has someone picked out for you. You can begin praying and preparing now. Even though you haven't met that person, even if you aren't dating, you can prepare by praying so that when you do meet, there will be a beautiful establishing of a relationship in the Lord, so that it will work.

Now, the first question I want to address is, "What about dating anyway? Is it biblical?" Of course, there's nothing in the Bible that says, "Thou shalt not date." Nor is there anything that says, "Thus saith the Lord, this is how thou shalt date." But I wanna draw a distinction between the way it used to be and the way it is in our country. The Jews always had the parents prearrange the relationship. The kids had little, if anything to do with it. That is, the parents would choose the wife for their son at sometimes four years old. They'd say, "You know you have a cute little son and I have a cute little daughter. Why don't we draw up an agreement?" And the parents would do it because they felt they could make a better judgment, having grown up in seeing the pros and cons in relationships, that they were better suited to make that kind of a decision. Of course, the kids always disagreed. And there was sometimes conflict. Another reason is that the woman, the young girl, was becoming, in affect, a part of the young man's family and so his family was genuinely interested in what kind of a gal this was, this new person in their family. Can she work? Is she strong? Can she tend the sheep and plow the fields? Which was common in those days, it was a family consideration. When the negotiations began, the father of the young boy or man would begin negotiations, would find a young woman that he thought was suitable and the father would choose what was called the "friend of the bridegroom." It was a go-between. He would set up the negotiations, set up the dowry money, which was essentially alimony in advance (light laughter), he would negotiate the deal, the parents would come together, they would decide. Once the decision was made, it was sealed, interestingly enough, over a cup of coffee. Then the betrothal began. When the young man and woman reached the right age, there was a year before the marriage called the year of engagement or betrothal. He would give her a gold ring that says, "You are taken." But that is when the dating began; after the engagement. The would date, they would court, they would get to know each other. Once that year of betrothal began, they could not get separate unless there was a legal divorce. So if the young man after that time says, "I'm not going to marry this thing," he would have to go through legal divorce proceedings. Or if the gal said, "You think I'm going to be married to this guy the rest of your life? Forget it." Same thing. Interestingly enough, there are countries today that carry the same procedure. In the Orient, many countries the parents will decide who marries who. I was fascinated, of course I've travelled to India, Thailand, China, the Philippines and a few others, especially in India, today the marriages are prearranged by the parents. When I was over there I gave 'em a lot of hassle. I said, "Oh, that's weird man. That's, that's old-fashioned. Why do you guys do that?" He looked at me and he said, "Don't knock it. Our divorce rate is almost nil. So before you say it doesn't work, consider that our children grow up learning commitment from about five years of age onward. They know that this person is going to be with them forever and they build upon that commitment relationship." Dating, as we know it, is more of an American institution where by a young man and a young gal will get together, decide to hang out, build their relationship until the time they feel it's read to be married; they're read to consummate that. It is a big event in American social structure. A kid reaches a point. At first when you grow up, you don't want to have anything to do with girls or guys. You think, "Ew, cooties." (Light laughter) Alright? But then you reach that age of hormone development and that those kids can't wait to date. It's so important. Dating can be a great time. It can also be a very dangerous, devastating time. One fellow, I read, who was a counselor for singles for many years said, "I can always tell what is the time of year for the prom, because I have about twenty to thirty devastated young girls who didn't get asked, whose esteem was because they wanted a date and they didn't get one." Another fellow that I respect, Anthony Campolo, said that he is against dating altogether because it engenders putting on a mask sometimes. You see, we look our best, act our best, smile the best, always have the best. And then the guys get married and they find out what they're really like and then there's a year of adjustment that's very difficult. Because she wakes up and says, "You have horrible breath (light laughter). You, I've never noticed that before." And he'll say, "I never knew you looked really like that underneath all of that. That's what you really look like." And sometimes, because their so isolated and they put on the best, that hides a lot of what the person's like socially and spiritually. And so there must be more. For a Christian now, dating can be a terrific time of laying the foundation and that's the way you should look at it. Laying a spiritual foundation. It is a time where you are learning the type of person you want to be with forever. You're saying, "Do I wanna hang out with somebody like this for good?" Because once you're married, you are married. What God has joined together, let not man put a sunder. It should not be taken lightly, it should be dealt with very wisely and very soberly. Think of it this way: the person that you are dating now may or may not be your spouse in the future. But that person will be somebody's spouse. And somebody could be dating your spouse right now. How would you want them treated? Kindly, with reverence, as a special person. It is a time to find out is this the kind of person I want to be with the rest of my life? So, it is laying a foundation. My point in this section is this: whether your parents pick them, and whether they pick them a certain way in that country or whether you pick your mate yourself, you better make sure that it's God who picks that mate. That's the most important. In Genesis, Chapter 2, it says, "God said it's not good that man should be alone. I will make a helpmate comparable to that man. And the Lord brought the woman to the man." Make sure it is God bringing you two together. Any time people come in for marriage, one of my first questions is, "Explain to me the development of your relationship; how you began, how it grew, how the Lord matured both of you and brought you to a place where you are willing to make a lifelong commitment from your dating relationship." And sometimes they have very interesting answers. "Well I just love him." "How do you know you love him?" "Well, I just do." Explain it to me. Show me the development. God will pick your mate.

Now does that mean that I just sit back and wait for someone to walk up to me and say, "Hi. God told me I'm supposed to marry you." (Laughter) "Okay." Or do I go the other extreme and hand out applications, require a financial statement, go hunting? What do I do? What's the balance? I'd like you to turn to Genesis, Chapter 4. Hopefully you're already there. And we'll look at the dating relationship, the courtship, of Isaac and Rebekah. There are a lot of verses in this chapter so I'm gonna cut through a lot of them and explain what's happening. It comes a time when Abraham decides that his son should have a wife. He calls the oldest servant, he says, "I want you to go out. God will be with you, God will guide you. Let's pray about this thing and you go out and you find a wife for my son, Isaac. Not from the Canaanites, but from my own country." The servant goes out and he's tromping along and he comes to a nice little city and he thinks, "Now where am I gonna begin looking for a wife for this guy?" So what does he do? He prays, verse 12, "O Lord God of my master Abraham, please give me success this day, and show kindness to my master Abraham. Behold, I stand here by the well of water, and the daughters of the men of the city are coming out to draw water. Now let it be that the young woman to whom I say, ‘Please let down your pitcher that I may drink,’ and she says, ‘Drink, and I will also give your camels a drink’—let her be the one with whom You have appointed for Your servant Isaac. And by this I will know that You have shown kindness to my master. And so it happened, before he had finished speaking," Now that's an answer to prayer. Right when he's praying this, Rebekah walks up. He asks for a drink, she says, "Sure I'll give you a drink. I'll not only give you a drink, but how about your camels?" And he thought, "Bingo." Verse 21, "The man, wondering at her, remained silent so as to know whether the Lord had made his journey prosperous or not." Well, as it goes on, Rebekah and this fellow go back to her dad's house and he says, "This is what God is doing. I've been praying about this and I'm going to select your daughter to be the winner of a lucky jackpot prize, to be Isaac's wife." Laban, her father, being a very greedy man, sees the dowry outside, camels and all these riches and he thinks, "I bear witness. Yes, you can have my daughter." But they consult her. They say, "Do you want to go now?" And she says, "Yes, I will go. Sounds like a good thing to me." Let's see what happens over in verse 61 as they're coming back. "Rebekah and her maids arose, and they rode on the camels and followed the man. So the servant took Rebekah and departed.

Now Isaac came from the way of Beer Lahai Roi, for he dwelt in the South." Verse 63, "And Isaac went out to meditate in the field at the evening; and he lifted his eyes and looked, and there, the camels were coming. And Rebekah lifted her eyes, and when she saw Isaac she dismounted from her camel; and she said to the servant, 'Who is this man walking in the field to meet us?' The servant said, 'It is my master.'" It's the one you're gonna marry, gal. "So she took a veil and covered herself. And the servant told Isaac all the things that he had done." You notice in verse 63 that Isaac is out in the field meditating, which is a Hebrew word which means to seek the Lord in solitude. That is, he is praying.

What was he doing during this dating relationship? Number one, he was actively involved in the dating procedures of his time. But number two, he was not so frantically looking for a wife that he forgot to seek the Lord. He was meditating, he was seeking God when the Lord brought his wife to him. And that's an important concept. That we don't get so freaked out and frantic over seeking a mate, that we forget to seek first the kingdom and let the Lord add it to us. Delight ourselves in the Lord and let the Lord bring that person to us. Even as Isaac's father provided a wife to the guidance of God, your heavenly Father has a wife or a husband chosen for you who are seeking one. Let the Lord bring them to you.

Many times people get so frantic in looking for mates, it can be destructive to their fellowship. Every time the guy meets the gal, he wonders, "Is this the one, Lord? How will I know?" So he never sees anyone without asking that question. And it can diminish his pure fellowship in seeking to build that other person up. And so, I'm saying be actively involved, but be cautious. Make sure it's the Lord. That's why it's best to go out with groups, watch the interaction, be involved in that person in a group relationship, and then seek the Lord if you're to get involved in a closer relationship, a dating relationship. It usually works much better.

I remember being single, I got to a point where I was just frustrated. "Lord, when are You gonna provide? I wanna be married, when are You gonna provide? When are you gonna, I mean, why don't You provide one for me now?" I was delighting in my will, in my desire. I was delighting in seeking a wife and I came across a Scripture in Psalm 37, which says, "Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart." And when I reached that point of frustration saying, "I give up. I'm not going to go anymore looking for a wife. I'm just gonna seek the Lord and forget this nonsense." I found that my heart became pure and God blessed me with one, God gave me one. But I was delighting then in the Lord. You see, many times people delight in themselves. They delight in their desires and then they want God's desires to conform with their desires and if they don't, heh, they get mad. "My kingdom come, my will be done, in heaven as it is on earth." Isn't that how it goes? Instead of saying, "Lord, I'm just going to seek You. You know best and You know the best timing. I'm gonna be actively involved, actively open, but I'm not gonna let it rip me off and destroy fellowship and become counterproductive." Why is this important? It's important so that we don't settle for second-best. Before I married that beautiful girl out there in the audience, who's blushing, I was a young Christian, I was engaged to a girl. Simply because I didn't know what I was doing. And I am so glad that I did not settle for second-best, and she didn't settle for me, second-best. God had someone the best picked out for her and someone the best picked out for me. So caution is always good.

Now, I wanna look at a person who I think is a classic dating failure. Let's look at his life. Over in Judges 14. His name is Samson. Judges 14. An amazing kind of a guy. He was the superman of the Old Testament. Made Jack Lalanne look like a sissy. This guy could rip lions apart. He took a jawbone of a donkey and he killed a thousand men. He took the gates of an entire city, the two metal gates in the posts, and walked with them and ran up to the hill of Hebron. You know, some people work out with weights, he works out with gates (light laughter). Strong, virile, giant of a man. But he was a moral wimp. He could not establish a long-term, meaningful relationship with a woman. His dating life was a failure and his married life was a failure. Over in Chapter 14, Samson went down to Timnah and saw a woman of Timnah, a daughter of the Philistines. Now this was an enemy. God told him not to look for wives among the Philistines or the Canaanites, that God would give them one from their own people. He didn't care. "He went up and told his mother and father saying, 'I have seen a woman in Timnah of the daughters of the Philistines; now therefore, get her for me as a wife.'" No "please," no, "Is it your permission?" Just, "Do it mom and dad. I'm bigger than you are." "And his father and mother said to him, 'Is there no woman among the daughters of your brethren, or among all my people, that you must go and get a wife from the uncircumcised Philistines?'" Notice Samson's congenial response, "Samson said to his father, 'Get her for me, for she pleases me well.'" He marries her, it ends drastically. Her and her dad get burnt to death. In Chapter 16, verse 1, "Samson went to Gaza and he saw a harlot there, and went in to her." This guy had a real woman problem. He saw a woman and he just said, "Look, she's pretty foxy. Get her for me, would you? Now." Then, he's off to Gaza, and he goes and sleeps with a whore. Then we go down to verse 4 and, "Afterward it happened that he loved a woman in the Valley of Sorek," this is another Philistine, "whose name was Delilah." Delilah, by the way, means lustful. That's her name. I'm sure her parents didn't give it to her. Probably it was an acquired nickname because of some of the jeering and comments that men gave her, her name was Lustful. And he looked at her and he said, "I'm in love." He was not in love. He was in infatuation. He has a problem in this area, of building meaningful relationships, this is his third try and this doesn't work out. She obviously doesn't love him, because she wants to trap him. She's only interested in bucks, in getting money from the Philistines. But Samson was too weak to know this. It was not love, it was infatuation. Infatuation is a physical attraction and sometimes an emotional attraction. But there's a difference between that and real love. There's nothing wrong with infatuation. Most relationships begin with an infatuation. In fact, most dating relationships begin by noticing each other physically. He'll say, "Boy, she's cute." That's what I said when I dated my wife. I thought, "She's cute. I'd like to get to know her." When I met my wife, I was attracted to her. I was infatuated with her. Some of the emotions of infatuation and love are very close. The major difference is, love will stand the test of time. Infatuation will not. Love develops a commitment through thick and thin, which is a decision that a person makes. Infatuation will not. I knew that I loved her when, after three years, I still was attracted to her, and I'm still attracted to her today. It stands the test of time. One survey, interesting study that I found, said that the average person has five real loves between ninth grade and second year of college. "I know he's the one for me. I just know it." Five real loves that they're serious about between ninth grade and second year in college. Now that's a general thing, that doesn't happen with everyone. But infatuation and love, which is agape, which is commitment, is long-lasting. Infatuation is not.

We just read the story of Isaac. Now, that's a classic story because that was great timing. I think a lot of people would like that timing. "Lord, just send me a wife." And as they're praying, she walks up. "Alright!" Now that was God's timing. But we read his son, Jacob, looking for his wife. Found a beautiful young lady that he wanted to marry named Rachel. And he goes to her dad or grandad and says, "What must I do to have your daughter?" He says, "Oh you can have her if you first work for me for seven years." "Seven years?" You know the story. He ended up working fourteen years because he loved her before he married her. Now that's not exactly a quick courtship. And I recognize that does not give a whole lot of people a lot of joy if they think that this guy waited fourteen years. However, the Scripture says in Genesis 29, he worked fourteen years but they seemed but a few days to him because of the love that he had for her. Love is willing to wait. It is patient. 1 Corinthians 13, "Love is patient." So when a couple says, "Skip, we gotta get married now. We can't wait." My first question is, "Why? Is she pregnant." "Well, no." "Well then why do you gotta do it?" "Well we're in love and we can't wait any longer." "Well why not test the relationship a little longer? I'm not saying you have to, why not?" Many people are afraid of a courtship like that because, what if it doesn't work out? They're afraid that it might not work. God's timing might be quick. God might wait a little longer. But it is God's timing and you should be willing to wait and to develop that relationship.

We go on in verse 5, "Now the lords of the Philistines came up to her and said to her, 'Would you entice him and find out where his great strength lies, and by what means we may overpower him, that we may bind him to afflict him; and every one of us will give you eleven hundred pieces of silver.'" They wanted to buy her off. There's something wrong here. This lady is a Philistine. She is one of the enemies of Israel, one of the people God said, "Don't marry. Don't be involved with." Which brings up this question of, what is an unequal yoke? The Scripture reference, I'll read it to you, is 2 Corinthians 6, "Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers, for what fellowship has the righteous with the lawless?" The RSV translation says, "Do not be mismated with unbelievers. For what communion has light with darkness or what part has a believer with an unbeliever?" The issue of not being unequally yoked is not an issue of what color of skin you have, it's what is the condition of your heart? The question is what about blacks and whites? To God, that's not as big of an issue. Now realize that you will face prejudices out in the world, they're going to exist, you will have problems for that reason. But God's issue isn't what color you are, it's what does your heart look like? What about the spiritual atmosphere of your mate? Is it compatible? Is that an equal yoke? Picture it this way. Picture two oxen being linked together at the neck by a wooden crosspiece so that they can be bound together to do work of pulling a plow. A wise farmer will select the same species, the same strength, the same kind of temperament so that they'll go the same direction; so that one won't go right and the other won't go left so they can do the job. In relationships, God is concerned that there is not a tug of war going on in life. If a believer marries and non-believer, if that believing woman wants to seek the Lord and that man does not, they're not going in the same direction. She will never be able to fulfill all that God intends her. Now even marrying Christians sometimes that happens. But the unequal yoke deals with relationships of the children of God and the children of darkness. That is, one who loves Jesus Christ, and one who does not follow after Jesus Christ. That is the unequal yoke. God doesn't want you to go through the misery of a tug-of-war continually in life. And that's why in, in Chapter 7 of 1 Corinthians, God says when you marry, marry only in the Lord. Because Father knows best and He has the highest for you.

Now there is this term that I have heard called missionary dating which is, "Well, he's not a Christian now but he will be someday. I'll marry him and I'll get him saved." You know what, sometimes it's worked. But those are quite the exceptions, not the rule. Usually, she gets dragged down. Now can you imagine if that was in a literal sense, missionary dating? Girl goes out to the mission field full of zeal for God, gonna win all the Ubangi's for Christ. She's out there in the jungle and all of a sudden has a special burden for the chief's cute son, who's a heathen. And she's gonna date him and win him to the Lord. And she writes back from the mission board, "Please pray for me, I'm dating this heathen idol worshipper, but it's the Lord." And she gets married and tries to set up a Christian home in a hut full of idolatry. You'd say, "That's not going to work." It doesn't work, you're right. So the unequal yoke is what Samson was involved with. That's what Paul spoke against.
I do, however, believe it is wrong to completely severe friendships with non-believers. Become so isolated, we are not feeling the pulse beat of the unbelievers. We're called to be salt, we're called to be light. But even as the Scripture forbids marrying an unbeliever, guess what? Dating can lead to marriage. So it would only follow that it's wrong to date an unbeliever. Now that's fine if you wanna just have a friendship, but not a dating friendship. And certainly not a marriage friendship. And what I mean by a friendship, is use that opportunity to win them to Christ; God does not need a date to do that. Because dating is preparation for marriage. It prepares you and gets you to know the kind of person and the type of person you wanna live with for good.

Now let's look at Samson and see how he kind of plays with temptation. Now remember, he has a sexual problem. He has the problem of getting too close with people too soon. He went out and slept with a harlot and now, in verse 6, "Delilah said to Samson, 'Please tell me where your great strength lies and how you may be bound to afflict you.'" With that soft, little alluring voice. Now notice what he does. He says, "I rebuke you." No, he doesn't. Heh. He says, "Well, if they bind me with seven fresh bowstrings, not yet dried, then I shall become weak like any other man." So she, she does it. And he lets her. Dummy. He's just sort of playing with the temptation. He has other things on his mind. He sees the temptation coming. She's just playing around with him down, "Oh, this is fun." Then the Philistines come and she says, "(Gasps) The Philistines are coming, Samson." And he gets out and rips 'em up and dukes it out with the Philistines. And then she goes, "You lied to me. Please tell me the truth. Where's your strength?" He goes, "Well, if they tie me with seven new ropes not yet dried, then I won't be strong." So she does it and he let's him. "Oh, this is great." Philistines come on and he rips them out again. And then again she says, "You're lying to me." Verse 12, verse 13, "Until now you have mocked me and told me lies. Tell me what you may be bound with." And he said, "Well if you weave the seven locks of my head into the web of a loom." So she wove it tightly. Now, this guy's an airhead (light laughter), and I'm accusing him of that. He saw the temptation coming, he knew what he wanted, and he sees it, he sees what the enemies are doing. He's letting her do it. This shows you how powerful, how strong the flesh can be in blinding you from the truth. He saw that it was tempting, but in affect he was saying, "I like to be tempted. Tempt me more. Let me see how far I can go without going all the way. Let me see how far I can go without getting in trouble." But don't you see? With an attitude like that, you're in trouble already. If that's your attitude, "Let me see how far I can go without getting in trouble," man you bit the dust. You're already in trouble. That shouldn't be the attitude. And we see Samson fell and it cost him his whole life because of this.

Getting too close physically, as it's called, too close too soon. Listen up. It will never satisfy you. It will not satisfy the emotions, it will only excite them more. Jim Burns, who wrote a book, had a couple come in to visit him. And this is what he wrote concerning them:

When I first met Linda, I knew that she'd be a real asset to our youth group. She was enthusiastic and fun loving. When it came to talking seriously about our faith in Christ she could settle down and really dig into the Scriptures. What a joy to be around her Now, two and a half years later, Linda sat in my office and sobbed uncontrollably. Her story' went something like this:
Although she had dated in high school. she had never been serious about anyone until Tony came along. Tony was in the leadership corps at church. He was popular at school, active in student government and a real gentleman. At first most of their dates were double dates or church functions. Very quickly, they both fell head over heels for each other. For Linda, life began to revolve around Tony, and the time that they spent together. A few weeks passed into a few months and the perfect couple began to spend more and more time together. After youth group, instead of going to Hamburger Stand with the rest of the gang, they would make an excuse and end up spending an hour or so kissing. They both had high moral standards but they were so much in love that over the next few months they found themselves slipping. In Linda's words, from 'light kissing to heavy kissing, to light petting to very heavy petting.' Slowly but surely, their dates changed from doing fun and active things to situations in which they could be close. Almost every date was filled with very heavy petting.

Sometimes Tony and Linda would talk about their relationship. Although they both were in high school and wanted to go to college, marriage was a possibility. Now, however, both Linda and Tony felt guilty about their physical relationship. They tried to talk about it, but it was a difficult subject to discuss. Although they both tried to stop being so physical, it was getting harder and harder for them to stop. They found themselves communicating less and less verbally and more and more sexually.

The Linda who now sat in my office was a serious young woman struggling with guilt and confusion. It was difficult for her to share her experiences She and Tony had been, in Linda's words, 'going all the way" for about two months. The night before, though, Tony had opened up to her and shared his true inner feelings. He loved her, but he felt a tremendous guilt about their physical relationship. School was going badly and he wanted to be more involved with church. Although he loved Linda, he felt that the best thing to do was to break up. Linda was crushed, yet she knew that most of what Tony said was true, and now she came to my office looking for answers.

In the words of one young lady after an experience like this, she said, "I feel mad. I feel cheap. I have high standards, and now I don't even like him. How could I have given so much of my body to someone I thought I liked, but now I can't stand? I sure didn't count the cost." That's insight. Unfortunately, it was a little too late. There are consequences in getting too close too soon and they can be kneaded out throughout an entire marriage relationship. Call it free love, free sex, there's nothing free about it. Boy, it costs big time. It costs emotionally, it costs in a relationship. There's study that have been, uh, done that show that because of premarital sex, it is more likely that relationships break up, because of that reason. You got too close, too soon.

Now, I wanna close up with some helpful hints. You might think, "This is pretty stiff, man. This dating stuff. This sounds pretty legalistic and stiff." Fine. You ask those people who've made those decisions who have the wrong mates because of lack of prayer and lack of counsel and pusing God's voice to the background. You talk to the people now. You don't have to talk to me. You talk to the people who'd wished they would've waited and done it God's way. They couldn't do that. I would suggest that, number one, you have a spiritual checklist and set a goal in your relationship of dating. I told you about my friend who has his checklist of that gorgeous woman who doesn't exist. How about a spiritual checklist, a realistic checklist with people who do exist? Setting spiritual standards. Make sure that there's compatibility, not only physically and emotionally, but spiritually. At least a three-fold compatibility. Yes, you're attracted, yes emotionally, intellectually you're together, but also spiritually. That there is a spiritual compatibility. It's good to date in a group with a whole bunch of people. To watch how they interact socially. To see if they're too dependent on you or if how they can act and be themselves in a group situation. Is that person a representative of Jesus Christ to you? Does that person have a high spiritual outlook? Is he a male, is is he a spiritual leader? Because if you marry him, he's going to be the spiritual leader. Is he a representative of Jesus to you? Does he look like Jesus? And that doesn't mean that you look for someone with a staff and long hair and a robe. It simply means that someone has spiritual priorities. He or she who has put that relationship with God first. When you consider physical beauty, that is something to consider, because we are attracted to a certain type of individual. But the Scripture in Proverbs says, "Beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised." I'm going to be flat honest with you. If the Lord tarries and does not come back soon, we're not going to be as good-looking as we think we are. As the skin flabs, as the hair falls out, what will really last is her or his inward beauty, which is the most attractive force I can know of.

I dated my wife for eight or nine months. There was a physical and emotional compatibility. The spiritual compatibility was really not what it should be. We broke up for about a year and a half. When I went out to dinner and we resumed our dating relationship, and this is almost three years later, two and a half, two years later, at that dinner, I fell in love spiritually with her. I saw that there was not just physical and emotional compatibility; she knew the Lord in such a beautiful way, I just walked away so edified from that date. And we left and we prayed. Ah, it was great.

Compatibility in all those areas. Is that person a transparent person, able to show all that he or she is in front of you? Is that person too dependent on you? If so, watch out. Where they need just to be alone with you and nobody else and so dependent. And it's the philosophy of, "I need, therefore I love." Rather than, "I love, therefore I need." Watch out for that. Set goals in your marriage. What's the goal? Simply to edify that person in the Lord. You see the Christians are different than world and worldly dating. You know, you don't have to break the ice like the world has to break the ice. You've got a sisterhood and a brotherhood built in. you know the same Lord, you can seek the Lord together. Christian dating isn't, "Let's party, let's go ride." Listen, pray with that person. You will know more about a person if you pray with them and watch and listen to their communication with their Father; it'll tell you a lot. Before you get in that car and go anywhere, you pray. Another helpful thing is witnessing with someone. Before Lenya and I married we went witnessing together, it was very fun. It's like a team, it's like witnessing in stereo. One (inaudible) is quiet and the other shares, the other is quiet and you share. You develop a team effort, a team relationship. It's a beautiful way to develop.

Now, if nothing develops out of your relationship, what have you lost if you date that way? You have simply helped prepare that person for the spouse that he or she is gonna live with forever. And you've been more prepared. And you can communicate that. Let's test our relationship before the Lord, let's communicate our feelings as we go along, but we won't set on anything. We'll just watch and observe and trust the Lord. And what have you lost? You've gained a great fellowship with the Lord. Now if that sounds a little old and a little backwards and a little stiff, again, you ask those couples who made the mistake of not listening to the Lord and doing it His way, and they would tell you, "Please, for your own sake, do it that way." Before we were married, my wife wrote a little letter to me, I won't read it, but she said something in there that blew my mind. I'd never heard anyone share something like this before. We were already engaged, we were making marriage plans. But we were having a little bit of rocky times toward the end there and Mr. No-Commitment Skip (light laughter) was thinking, "I don't know if we really should do this or not. I mean, we really have to wait and wa-" And she wrote me a letter and she said, "Skip, I love you so much that if I am not God's highest for your life, I do not want to marry you." I said, "I gotta, I gotta read that again." Because what you'd expect is, "I love you so much I can't let you go." It was, "I love you so much that if I'm not God's best for you, I do not want to marry you." That's Christian love. That's a spiritual dating relationship. Not like Samson, wasn't infatuation, but love. God has the highest for you. You can be active, you can be open, but be cautious. Let's pray.

Our heavenly Father, we look to You, for You know us better than we know ourselves and You know what's best for us as Your children. Oh God, help us. Help those who are dating, that they would know the one that will spend the rest of their lives with is picked by You, that when they say, "I do," they know that You brought the woman into the man. That it would be true love that would withstand the test of time. That the relationship will not be destroyed by being too close too soon. Lord, give them goals, creative, creative goals, Lord, looking for the spiritual woman and spiritual man. In Jesus name, Amen.

Additional Messages in this Series

Show expand

 
Date Title   Watch Listen Notes Share Save Buy
1/1/1987
completed
resume  
Loneliness
Skip Heitzig
  Listen - Mini Player
Listen and Take Notes
Transcript Facebook
Twitter
Email
Audio (MP3)
Buy CD
2/1/1987
completed
resume  
Am I Singled Out?
Skip Heitzig
  Listen - Mini Player
Listen and Take Notes
Transcript Facebook
Twitter
Email
Audio (MP3)
Buy CD
9/1/2002
completed
resume  
Finding the Love of Your Life
Skip Heitzig
  Watch
Watch and take notes
Listen - Mini Player
Listen and Take Notes
Facebook
Twitter
Email
Video (MP4)
Audio (MP3)
Buy CD
There are 3 additional messages in this series.
© Copyright 2022 Connection Communications | 1-800-922-1888