When am I ready to Date?
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. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. Romans 12:2, NLT
I thought we would start this blog by diving right into the question you have all been urgently waiting for me to address – “What is the appropriate age to date?”
First off, I am going to tell you that I don’t have the answer. Sorry, if you were waiting with bated breath for me to tell you – that such and such an age is the right age for dating. I know you girls were hoping to hear 16 or less! “No can do, girls!” I can tell you this though; no one can make “the age for dating” decision for you. If your mom and dad set an age for you to date, you will either rebel and do what you want anyway, or you will date in your heart (your desires will manifest in impure thoughts) and/or in your mind (your thoughts will obsess on the person you desire to date). These are both dangerous arenas to play in.
Rebelling against what your parents have stipulated for an appropriate dating age is going against the authority figures that God has put into your life to protect you. This action can cause real harm for your life. Not only is dating to early but also in destroying trust, therefore, changing the climate of your relationship with your parents. Now, I will say the age that your parents choose may not be fair, but this is where you work with your parents to come to an age you both can agree upon.
Heart and mind dating is just as harmful as dating when you are not prepared and not mature enough to do so. The Bible says, “Whatever your mind is set on thereto will be your heart”. This means whatever you think is affecting your heart. Your decision about dating is one of those monumental decisions that will affect your entire life. When to start dating needs to be an educated and well-thought-out process. You need to make this decision with the help of the people, who love you most – your parents, and close Godly-mentors. Most of all you need to seek God for wisdom. When someone else is to make any decisions for you, you will never fully own that decision. In turn, your heart will follow your mind, and it is as if your thoughts override any input you have received. It must be in your heart, on your mind, and in tune with God’s desires for your life to make an impact on the choices you make.
Over the next few weeks, we will discuss the topic of dating thoroughly. But to start with, girls, I can promise you this; no one can make the age-for-dating decision for you. My desire is to give you as much information as I can but please, don’t just apply what I have written in this devotional. Read information from other sources and ask questions of others you trust – become a student of dating. You spend 12 years in school just to get to the next step in your career choice. Dating and marriage are one of the most important decisions you will ever make. “How much time should you spend educating yourselves for that decision?” When you are sure, you will know enough to make the right choice for you, one that you will not regret later. Present all the information you have gathered along with your decision to the people who love you most – your parents. Then work together to make a good decision. Please note, it doesn’t end there. You must remain under their guidance throughout your dating relationship.
Just a note, and please listen carefully, the age your friends or relatives are dating has nothing to do with you. Dating is a personal choice, not a “if everyone is doing it I must too”.
So, for today, take away this – “the desire to know more about dating.” This will allow you to make good and well-educated decisions. Be open to what I have to say, what your parents share, as well as other wise counsel you receive. Remember, to always weigh any information you receive by asking the question, “do these people really care about me and my future, or are they just wanting me to follow their opinions?” “Do they really know anything about who I am?”
Another side note, I don’t know you personally, but I promise you I do care deeply about your future and your children’s futures. I’m making this statement last so it sticks most. Everything, I mean every piece of advice you will receive take it to prayer and confirm it with scripture. God knows absolutely everything, about everything and about you and He wants only the best for you!
A note for mom- please know that setting a house rule for dating age is not the best approach. Each child is an individual and each situation is unique. Your children mature at different rates, and therefore an appropriate set age for each individual member of your family would be the best practice. Also, please remember, not to look at what age your friends, your family or your parents set for a dating age. This is for your family, not theirs.
Mother’s Question: When did you start dating? At what age do you believe your daughter should date? NOW GIRLS, NO FEEDBACK ON THIS! WE WILL TALK MORE AS TIME GOES ON. TODAY, JUST HEAR YOUR MOM’S OPINION, AND THEN TAKE THE TIME TO PRAY ABOUT WHAT SHE HAS SAID.
Daughter’s Question: At what age are your friends dating? What age do you think is right to date? (MOM, SAME… NO FEEDBACK)
Agreement: We (your signatures) ______________ & ______________ agree to discuss dating age in an open and honest fashion, researching information as we go.
Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, give us your wisdom and insight into what you believe my daughter’s dating age should be. Amen.