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Tim’s dating advice for Christian students

Dating advice for Christian teensI love talking with students about their dating relationships. It can be such a confusing time with lots of pressure and mixed emotions. Here’s some advice I have that usually comes up during a discussion with a student about their dating relationships. (Feel free to disagree.)

  • The question should never be, “What do I want to get out of this relationship?” The question is, “What am I willing to give to this relationship?”
  • Don’t be content with someone who only meets up to your list of expectations. Wait for someone who blows your list out of the water, redefines everything on it and adds things to it you never knew you needed until you met that person.
  • Trying to figure out what you’re looking for in a mate is not nearly as important as becoming who God wants you to be for your future mate.
  • The pressure to “find the right one” isn’t totally your responsibility if you live for God and follow His plan for your life to the best of your ability. When you’re in tune with God’s direction, the right person will come at the right time.
  • Hanging out just as friends in groups with the opposite gender makes more sense because then you can get to know each other without the pressure of a dating relationship and observe how they interact with other people. In a dating relationship, both people put their best face forward in order to impress the other person. It’s much more difficult to get to know the “real” person.
  • When a dating relationship is over, usually the friendship is, too. But getting to know each other as friends allows for a friendship to continue for the rest of your lives even if you both marry different people. Plus, your mate first needs to be your best friend anyway.
  • Put the breaks on physical expressions of your feelings for each other. As time goes on, the need to express your romance only intensifies.
  • Never date an unbeliever.
  • Cut it off if you ever start to base your identity, security, or self-esteem on the relationship. Find those things in God, not a boyfriend or girlfriend.
  • In school you already have so many other pressures and responsibilities, don’t be consumed with dating.

Posted on October 14, 2007

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  • Great list Tim. One I would add is, focus less on finding the right person, and more on being the right person.

  • Good points,
    One I always say which is hard for teenagers to digest it, have a final destination in the relationship, the destination should be marriage, if that not where it’s heading, why bother getting involved, you will only fall into temptation, and it’s not worth it. Just be mates.
    So some quick questions I ask are:
    Could you marry this person?
    If so when would that be?
    Can you wait that long?
    I realise that these questions are massive and somewhat unknown, but to get them to realise, relationships with the opposite sex are a serious thing is important.
    Some people think this is extreme, but the amount of pain I’ve witnessed due to premature relationships is not fun, I’ve also seen couple give away their faith because they gave into their lusts. Jesus is more important than a guy or a girl.

  • Great list. I pray that my kids will listen to advice. I was a teen once not long ago; there are so many times I wish I would have listened… (looking back as an adult)

    I love what Brian said too… “focus…more on being the right person”

  • Duke, I like the questions you ask the students.

    I was asked to help teach on dating at my Dad’s church, the youth director took the guys and I took the girls… afterwards when they were back together one of the boys came up and asked, “What did you say to them!?” I later found up that guy’s girlfriend broke up with him that week. God used me more than I thought.

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  • You made some good points there. I did a search on the topic and found most people will agree with your blog.

  • Great site! I am loving it!! Will come back again – taking your feeds also, Thanks.

  • It is a great place to meet people indeed! Especially when the two of you chat on IM and found that there's a connection, even if it's just a little bit. This might lead to real life dating and possibly marriage! I have seen people who met online and got married!

  • Really great concept. Where did you get this content? Do you write everything yourself?

  • "Trying to figure out what you’re looking for in a mate is not nearly as important as becoming who God wants you to be for your future mate."
    A great book for girls on that part of dating is "Lady in Waiting" by Jackie Kendall and Debbie Jones. One of our youth girls were reading books on dating for part of her homeschooling and asked me for what books I recommend, and Lady in Waiting was her favorite of all she read. Really good book for a woman at any stage in her life and relationships.

  • Well researched site – I love Bernard Cornwell’s work! – Will look to incorporate some of your ideas into my site. Thanks!

  • awesome post! glad i found your site, it was on accident though =/ check mine out if you want. im still really working on it but it should be great soon

  • Beverly

    My daughter is dating the youth director at a church she attends. He is very obsessed with her and within 2 months, has given her a promise ring (which IS an engagement ring) and for Valentines Day a 1.5 carat necklace. He says if they don't make it she can pawn them and pay for 1 yr. of college. This relationship to me is wrong. I am trying to figure out how to end it without it bringing them closer together. My daughter is 16, he is 23. She has never lied to me until "him", she is in this for the long haul, she says and he texts constantly and one texted said, "everytime we kiss I think of us at the altar on our wedding day." He is really scaring me and I don't know what to do. I do have an appt. with a couselor to help me go about this the best way, any advice is greatly appreciated. This is a very short blurb of a bigger story.

    • April

      Hi Beverly. I'm a young youth director at a church, too. This is something you NEED to bring to the attention of the church pastoral staff. They need to be aware of the situation. The youth director is definitely acting inappropriately, not just for himself…but also because of his position and influence, representing the church. Please schedule a time SOON to talk to the senior pastor about this. This will also help create accountability for him.

  • Great advice Tim. I too am christian. I've followed ur advice and found someone wonderful! thanks.

  • Danielle

    So teen dating… It’s pretty much the door to the rest of every “serious relationship” a person may or may not have in there lives. I see lots of people trying to get advice from the internet but the problem is THE INTERNET IS NOT ALL CHRISTIAN or even all religious. Our teens are too scared to talk about their relationships with us so they seek out the answers of the world, in which they will get answers but not the right answers. We as christians have to take the initiative to confront our teens and teach them how to date, and how to interact with the opposite sex. It takes a very strong Christian to resist the temptation that lies with dating, not only the peer pressure, but the hormones, and the overall confusion… As teens, christians are re-discovering as young adults or shying away from him… if we don’t give some advice directly to them while we have the chance, then we are leaving the gateway open for temptation.

    P.S. I am 15 years old, so all of my teen experiences are fresh and troublesome

  • Josh Evans

    I appreciate your thoughts on dating in youth group. I shared my thoughts here on my blog today actually, you can check it out here: http://joshhevans.wordpress.com/2012/02/02/should-we-allow-dating-in-our-student-ministry/

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