Friday, October 19, 2007
Devotional #16 (part 12 of 1 Timothy 4:12 study)
Hi, ladies! We are finishing up our devotional series on 1 Timothy 4:12, which says "Let no one despise your youth but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity." If you have not been able to read the previous devotionals, then please do so here before continuing on with this one.
In the previous devotionals, we have seen just how crucial it is that we preserve our purity- physical purity, mental purity, emotional purity, etc. And I would like to submit to you another "tip" for completely preserving your purity: don't date! Now, I know this may be a controversial subject for some people. But it is something that we must think about in terms of preserving our purity.
Is dating wrong? Personally, yes, I believe wholeheartedly that it is. Why? Because even if you are 100% physically pure during your dating relationships (which is pretty unlikely), the fact is, you cannot, no matter what anyone says, preserve all of your emotional purity as you ought if you are dating. Bit by bit, you are giving away parts of your heart to each person you date, and this is a sin! Your heart is to be given in its entirety to your husband on your wedding day, and you simply cannot do this if you are involved in dating relationships. Proverbs 31:12 says, "She does him good and not evil all the days of her life." I used to read this passage and think that it was just saying that the Proverbs 31 woman does her husband good during her married life-in other words, does not commit adultery, etc. But this is not what it's saying at all! This verse clearly says that she does her husband good and not evil all the days of her life! This means she does him good before she is married to him, and she also does him good during their married life together. Now, let me ask you this question: does going from dating relationship to dating relationship do your future husband any good? No! Not only does it not do him any good, but when you date you are doing evil to your future husband-you are sinning against him! All of your purity belongs to your future husband, but when you date, you are depriving your future husband of receiving the blessed gift of your whole and complete purity. And this is a sin. Period. But not only are you sinning against your future husband, but you are also sinning against the future wife of whoever you date. Because during your relationship, you are depriving that person's future wife of receiving the blessed gift of all of his purity. So, don't let anyone ever tell you that dating is not sinning against anyone, or that whatever you do during your dating relationship only affects the 2 involved, etc., because those are nothing but lies!
Some people say that dating prepares a person for marriage. That's a lie as well! In our country, we have the hightest divorce rate that we've ever had-nearly half of all marriages end in divorce. And I believe this is due in large part to dating relationships. Why? Because while you're dating, as soon as you have a small little argument or you hit a little rough spot, you break up. And this is to prepare you for marriage? All this does is prepare you for the sort of marriage where neither spouse works at the marriage at all, but rather as soon as there is an argument that arises, one of the spouses is usually out the door claiming irreconcilable differences. All that dating does is cause people to look at marriage in the same way they do dating-that as soon as they hit a bump in the road they can break up and everything will be ok. But the Lord hates divorce, and so should we! Marriage reflects and symbolizes the marriage of Christ with His bride, the church, and this marriage cannot be broken. Therefore, earthly marriage is binding and is not to be broken, but rather worked at diligently when the hard times arise. Now, please don't misunderstand me and think that I am saying that no one who dates can enjoy a Biblical and productive marriage. The Lord can and does work miracles according to His grace. For instance, my mother dated young men before she met and married my father 18 years ago. And despite this fact, they have a wonderful marriage. But she still wishes that she had never dated other young men.
You may be thinking, "If you're against dating, then how in the world do you expect to meet and get to know your future husband?" I am wholeheatedly dedicated to courtship. Please check back soon, as I will be writing an article on courtship, describing what it is, how it differs from dating, why it is the Biblical way of getting to know a future spouse, how courtship works, how it preserves your purity, etc.
Please click here for a wonderful article on this subject. And this is a wonderful story that is a must read regarding the sin of dating!
Please return on Monday, ladies for a devotional for all of you who may have already compromised on some part of your purity. There is forgiveness and a second chance to be found, and I pray that the Lord uses this upcoming devotional to be a blessing and encouragement to you!
Have a wonderful weekend and blessed Lord's day!