Hello again. In case you’re just joining me on this series, please be aware that this is the 4th installment and some significant foundation has been laid in previous ones. You can directly access the 3rd part which addresses the question, “Should Christians Date?” via this link http://wp.me/p6rlMY-9J
You will find a link embedded in that post connecting you to the second part of the series as well, and so on.
WHEN SHOULD I START DATING?
Now that we have settled some background issues, we can move on to answering the first question that gave birth to this series.
There are two ways to go about this: I could just state my views and end it which would be much shorter or I could take on some of the common factors considered as the basis of determining who is ready to get romantically involved with someone else, discuss each one and see if they are worth the value ascribed to them.
I’ll take the second route, it’s going to be seriously longer but I think it might be more relatable.
When should I start dating? Common Reason #1:
🎶I am 16 going on 17…
I remember that line from the classic movie, The Sound of Music, perhaps you do too.
The young lady had just turned 16 and she felt she was set. She had spent her entire time waiting to turn 16 and when she did, she felt she was old enough to fall in love and be loved romantically. The young man was 17 going on 18 and he too felt he was the perfect age for a guy desiring the affections of a “sweet 16”. I think they did fall in love but things didn’t go quite as they thought; they fell out of love and they even became enemies.
This is one of the most common thoughts that people have as a determinant for when to get involved with someone else.
It’s quite common for people to get into potentially life long relationships because they feel they are getting too old to wait around for whatever reason.
In the past, age was a factor, perhaps the major factor because, as they thought, it betokened the readiness of the woman’s body for child bearing. Not much was needed from a woman back then anyway. Unfortunately, it didn’t occur to them then that a lot of the death around childbirth was because the mothers were too young.
Anyhow, it is the usual expectation that people get better prepared to handle life as they grow older but I have met teenagers who were absolutely fantastic and operated well beyond their ages and I have met much older folks who were absolutely disheartening. I am sure you’ve met some as well.
Age is merely a reference to the passage of time with regards to when you were born. It is what you’ve been doing with yourself throughout that time that is important.
Of course your body has grown and taken on shapes, figures and a physique that is considered adult but I expect you realise there is more to you than your body. If physical maturity was all that was needed to manage a relationship properly, then the story of Samson and Delilah should have ended differently.
Has your mind been groomed as much as you groomed your body? Is your spirit as fed and strong as your body?
If your emotions get the better of you all the time, you have a bad temper or get depressed once something goes wrong, or once someone offends you, it dominates your thought processes for ever and affects everything you do from that moment onward in spite of logical arguments to change your mind, then, you’re not ready.
Do you have to be reminded to pray or study the word of God? Or do you still think reading the bible daily is not your thing or something meant only for pastors and others who are taking this church thing too far, then you’re not ready. No matter how old you are, you’re still a child.
Of course, there are non-Christians who have great marriages. They don’t need to pray or study the word or go to church to have a good marriage. However, Jesus said the children of this world are wiser in their generations than we are in our own. Meaning, they know what they need to do and they do it, we mostly do not know what we ought to do so we copy them and wonder why it doesn’t work for us. And, by the way, no matter how good anything is, without God, it can never be as good as it was meant to be.
So, age, though it has attendant pressures and is one of the factors that suggest readiness to get into a romantic commitment, by itself is not enough to prove that one is ready.