Nothing generates more interest and controversy among young people than these topics- Relationship, Dating, boyfriend/ girlfriend, beloved/sex. Without dispute, the youthful period is an exciting time laden with a lot of opportunities, exposure, development and important decisions to be made. Most of these decisions can have a permanent impact on one’s life either for good or for bad and one of such decisions is concerning relationships or ‘dating’. And one of the big questions under this topic is the question of ‘When’.
Every young person will desire to date and be in a relationship at one point or the other and that is a natural desire and essential for anyone who hopes to get married. However, peer pressure and Hollywood have carved an image of dating which places undue pressure on the youth to enter into relationships which they are ill prepared for. That brings us to the question: “ When is the right time to start a dating”? Scriptures says in “Luke 14:28 For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it —NKJV
Many enter relationships without any knowledge whatsoever about what they are getting themselves into and just believe things will take care of itself. Sadly they find out to their own detriment things rarely do. To know when one can enter a relationship one needs to:
1. Understand the purpose of a relationship: in this rapid growing era, many do not even understand why they’re dating in the first place. A survey conducted among young people on why they entered relationships revealed reasons like sex, companionship, money, status, peer pressure, romance etc. These couldn’t be further from the truth. Only a few mentioned marriage.For the Christian the sole aim of relationship is Marriage. Dating for the reasons mentioned above destroys the purpose God brought the first man and woman together (Adam &Eve) Gen 2:24. Once we know this then the right question need to be asked: am I ready to marry?
2.Know the dangers of dating a person. Yes, you heard it right; dangers. What dangers, you may ask?Sexual temptations have been one of Christians downfall. The biggest cause of breakups in relationships has been sexual immorality which when unchecked can expose one to STIs (sexually transmitted infections), Teenage Pregnancy leading to early parenthood. The bible is against any form of sexual expression outside of marriage. 1 Cor 5:1, 6:13-18, 1Th 4:3. Our relationship must honor God above all things
3. Maturity: this has nothing to do with age. You hear a lot of young people especially the ladies giving specific ages they would want to get married. So you see them putting themselves under unnecessary pressure to enter into relationships they were not prepared for. You find people having a lot of ex-boyfriends/ girlfriends before they finally marry. A relationship is not for kids. To be ready to date one must be emotionally, academically, financially, relationally sound. We’re not talking about perfection here but simply put an adult is more ready to handle the rigors of a relationship more than a teenager.
4. One other reason young people cite to enter a relationship is needing a partner to complete them. This is so untrue. Our insecurities make us think that we need another human being to make us fulfilled in this life. True fulfillment can only be found in Christ “2 Cor 3:5 Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think anything as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God; KJV”. Only God can satisfy the hunger and vacuum in our lives because He put it there. Anything else apart from Him will leave us dissatisfied and frustrated. God has wonderful plans for each one of His children and it should be our ultimate desire to know Him and let Him manifest those plans in our lives. Stop searching for that person whom you think can add value to your life; rather exercise patience and let God develop you to be a single, confident, mature man or woman busy about His work, lacking nothing and complete in all things. “James 1:4 But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.KJV”
So my young friend, in conclusion, you can see the issue is not so much about when to date but how prepared am I to date. Don’t settle for the second-rate because you think you’re far behind when it comes to dating or your biological clock is ticking. Stick to those Christian principles for they are life to those who find them and health to all their flesh.
The time is when God becomes first
When your vision is clearer and you need a “helper-woman”
The right time is when it’s for companionship
The right time is when you are financially stable, emotionally strong and matured to handle issues