01. Singleness, Dating and Purity

ADOLESCENCE

Teenagers have been called the missing link. They dress differently; listen to certain kinds of music. Adolescence is a turbulent period but it is also a period of adventure and excitement. There are problems to face and difficulties to overcome; there is fun and enjoyment to be had. Adolescents do not want orders but advice they do not need rules but guidelines. It is the stage between childhood and adulthood. It is leaving the protection of parents and family of childhood and heading out into the world. It is not an easy being a teenager. You are not fully enjoying the comforts of childhood; you are in a process of making decisions that will affect your life long term. Your education, your values, your relationships are usually formed around this time. You are in transition between two worlds. At this age your parents watch for your well-being, care for you and are supportive of you.

Each person is different, teenagers are individuals.

It is an age of uncertainties and sometimes underlying insecurities. The bewildering physical changes, as well as sexual anxiety and guilt develop along with new desires. There is self doubt and feelings of inferiority. You worry about your appearance and if you will be accepted by others.

Enjoy yourself, develop friends, great an interesting hobby, pray about your life and ask God for His guidance. Never let others pressurise you to grow up before your time. Do not worry or become distant share your worries and concerns with your parents. If you’re being bullied tell someone like your teacher, your parents, and your friend. If you do not you will become quiet, introverted and even appear to be strange. Get it dealt with.

You need to take your time, and not allow yourself to be pushed, control your own life and your own body; the fruit of the spirit is self- control. You need to develop your freedom and slowly grow in these early teens. As you grow older you slowly collect more right sand responsibilities. There are certain laws for 13 year olds, for fourteen year olds, leave school at 16 years old, the right to gamble, drink alcohol, become a MP, and adopt a child and vote at 18 years old. There is an age for legal sexual intercourse, for marriage.

GOD HAS A PLAN FOR YOU

God has a plan for you and it is to do you good. He is not a kill joy or some sour old man in the sky, He made you, and wants you to enjoy life and have His peace and assurance. He gave you certain gifts to develop and guidelines so that you will not become confused.

Jesus said, “I have come in order that you might have life and that you might have it more abundantly (Jn. 10:10 ).

LIKE AND LOVE

Liking a person is not enough for you to make a date with someone. You like food, cloths, and animals. You are supposed to love people i.e. parents, family, friends. When you meet a boyfriend or girlfriend this love takes another step and you develop a sexual interest as well. This is special and is for one person. A young person may kike many people but only have that special love for one individual.

FRIENDSHIP

Develop a good Christian friendship. Good friends will help you and care for your well being. They will be truthful, honest and kind and will not lead you in the wrong way. “Bad company corrupts good character” (1 Cor. 15:33 ). Your friends will influence you a lot. Introduce your friends to your parents; ask can you bring them to your home. Go to parties and events with them, share hopes and dreams with them.

Spend time together and develop your relationship. Get involved in group activities or Christian events or clubs. Friends have the same mind, they help each other, they are good listeners, they are interested in you and will pray with you or for you, and they care about your well being. They stick with you in all types of situations.

We should treat each other with the fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22 -26).

PHYSICAL DEVELOPMENT

The physical changes in your body can cause peculiar attitudes, perspectives and emotions. If you can identify them then you will know what is happening to you. Between 12-15 can be a difficult and sometimes confusing age of development. Sometimes spot and acne become a problem, almost everyone loose these as they get a little older.

At 13 years old bodies are changing rapidly and hormones are stirring. At this age teens become focused on body image, appearance, and comparisons with peers. A young person this age is open, naïve, vulnerable. They get upset because of mood swings and need support of parents and understanding of friends. Body hair begins to appear, girls get curves. Sexual awareness begins, boys become interested in girl’s bodies. Girls worry about menstruation. The fear of not developing like other teenagers is a worry for them. At 14 Young people can become wilful, argumentative, and uncooperative. The moment they get what they want, they struggle over something else. Their mood swings go to extremes, passion rise, and self centeredness is apparent, and they are inclined to tantrums.

At 15 calmness may come and a desire to be helpful and cooperative, even sensitivity to others, a high interest in the world and how it works. The teenager falls in and out of love regularly.

Boys. Aged 13-14 reaches puberty that is when the reproductive system begins to produce sperm cells. He undergoes a major change in growth and attitudes. It can be a confusing stage and parents can give help when necessary.

Aged 14-18 he is in the twilight zone, no longer a child and not yet an adult. He is uncertain about a lot of things and lacks self-confidence, searching for identity. He is wondering, what I should believe, what should I do with my life. He likes girls but is not ready to be serious. Is concerned about appearance and physical defects such has acne.

Girls. The average age of puberty is about 12-13 years old. Girl’s ovaries begin to produce egg cells [ova], her monthly menstrual cycle begins. She changes in height and attitude. She reaches 1 or 2 years ahead of boys. This can cause emotional strain, again parents can help. Girls should not be ashamed of these physical and emotional changes.

Men. Remember a woman’s cycle can cause moods, pain, tiredness, etc. You must show understanding and consideration.

Remember you are to guard that girl while she is with you; God has rusted you with her.

FANTASY AND REALITY

Throughout one’s teens they fall in and out of love many times, even fantasize love in their minds but when the right one comes along it is important to identify the real person you should date and eventually marry. You will have hopes and dreams. You may even see yourself marring some person who does not even know that you exist, and they are interested in another. Be real, do not waste time dreaming, get on with your life and enjoy your teens.

SEX SELLS

The culture we are living in is saturated with sexually, jokes and innuendoes. It is every where. Even day time advertising on TV the advertisers try to sell their products by sexuality. The temptation to follow out sexual fantasies has never been as strong as in your day. You are being bombarded with immoral message in music, drama and literature. You need good guidance if you are not to mess up your life or get confused. Staying pure is important mentally, spiritually and emotionally as well as stopping you from getting some sexually transmitted disease. Sexual thoughts are uppermost in the adolescents mind and the media take advantage of them, especially advertising.

You need to discuss the sex question with your parents. You may feel awkward at first but will be glad afterwards. Sex outside of marriage can bring shame, guilt and other negative emotions and feelings. Talk, take, and talk it over. Communication in your teens is so important.

In your youth group ask your leaders to have a discussion time to explain sexual purity and dating for the right reason. Remember, sexual emotions are very strong and even Samson fell, Solomon fell into a bad situation. If something or someone is bothering you talk about it.

Why don’t you sit down with a group of Christian friends and write out your core values. Stick with true values.

DATING AND PURITY

Purity has many blessings, it protect us from mental guilt, emotional confusion and sexually transmitted diseases. Moral standards have been destroyed, sadly at the expense of human dignity and wholesome purity. We do reap what we sow whether spiritually, mentally or physically. A few moments of sexual thrill may bring a lifetime of regret. What a price to pay. What we read, the films we watch, the company we keep. The way we treat a member of the opposite sex or a date is important.

Dating should be a joyful thing not an ongoing sexual fight or any other continual fight for that matter. We will look at some of the advantages here have being single and when ewe study marriage looks at the advantages of married life.

Purity has many blessings, it protect us from mental guilt, emotional confusion and sexually transmitted diseases. Moral standards have been destroyed, sadly at the expense of human dignity and wholesome purity. We do reap what we sow whether spiritually, mentally or physically. A few moments of sexual thrill may bring a lifetime of regret. What a price to pay. What we read, the films we watch, the company we keep. The way we treat a member of the opposite sex or a date is important. Treat a person the way you would want a boy or girl to treat your brother or sister.

RULES ABOUT DATING

1. Girls, God has definite rules about dating, you; should set your rules before dating a boy.

Seek God’s leading before you fall in love, as once you are in love your heart will play tricks with you. Keep it on the right track. (Matt.6: 21)
Ask God for help about whom and when you decide to date. (Eph. 5:17).
Be spirit filled when you date, this will manifest itself in love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self – control. (Eph. 5:18, Gal. 5:22).
Look him over asks questions.
Date a sensible believer.
Date a person with character not one with just personality.
Choose someone who is kind and thoughtful to you; now.
Choose a man who treats his mother and other females right and who shows respect.
Choose someone who is not selfish
Choose someone who is concerned about morals and character.
Choose someone who wants to live for the Lord’s glory.
CHOOSING A PERSON TO DATE

The Bible encourages people to get married. [Prov.18: 22, Heb. 13:4]. It is natural and normal to be attracted to a member of the opposite sex. You must study at close range the conduct, attitudes capabilities and the real person. This will help you make an intelligent choice in selecting a life partner, not on the basis of a fun person what soap, perfume or after shave they wear.

You must lay the proper foundations in court ship and obey the rules.

Be committed to; God with all; your heart. [Prov. 3:5].
Acknowledge Him in all your ways. [Prov. 3:6]
He will direct your path in life. [Prov.3: 6] We know nothing of the future behaviour of those we date God does. We decide on the past and present record, God decides on the future one. To let him guide means we will have no regrets or disappointment, we know it was with His blessing we made the choice.
Your desires and delight will be in God. [Ps.37: 4, 23] Practice what is rights not other peoples standards or way of life. Put your date to the test of God’s work. Watch out for lies or deceit. Remember marriage is not to be a gamble but a part of God’s plan.
Your body is God’s Temple . [1Cor.3:16] Do not engage in anything you cannot ask God to bless you in. How you treat your body or let others treat it is important to God. How you dress it, wash it, personal hygiene, etc, is important to God. Look well, dress to please Him. A misuse of sex and passion can cause unhappiness and remorse.
Do not compromise. The person you may win by lowering your standards will not bring you the best happiness, later they may even detest you for it. Affection that comes out of kissing, caressing or fondling has very poor foundations on which to build a lasting relationship, use your head not your lips and hands.
Seek first the Kingdom of God . He will add the rest. [Matt.6: 33] Be convinced of God’s leading, timing and control. Do not panic. Honour Him first; He will bring the best to and for us.
When you plan a date, make sure you have somewhere to go, something wholesome to do. Do not invite the flesh or the devil on the date. Be careful of a girl with low ideal or principles, they will date any one, this shows a weak character. Girls do you want quality; or will any old thing do? You must live to; the standard you expect.

SINGLENESS AND A TIME PROBLEM 1Cor. 6:13 -23; 7:28 -35

You must remember the background and the time Paul was writing. Christians were being killed and ostracised for their faith and at that time it was advisable not to marry in those circumstances.

Vs 13 Paul says no to permissive heterosexuals who argued that because Christians are not bound to food laws they are not bound by sex either. He gives the reason why.

vs. 13 “The Lord is for the body” if He is Lord of the body it is important what we do with it.
vs. 14 “God raised the Lord and will also raise us up by His power”. We will have to live with it forever or have the same destiny as Christ’s. Sex involves the whole person and it affects the future body.
vs. 19 “Know you not that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit”? Immorality grieves and quenches Him.
vs. 18 “Every sin a man commits is outside the body”… then Paul says, “The immoral man sins against his own body” Our body is harmed by immorality. These sins leave the stain of fornication. It harms people deeply.
Vs. 15-16 “Shall I … take the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? Never! Do you not know he who joins himself to a prostitute becomes one body with her? For it is written, “The two shall become one flesh”. Wrongful sexual relations constitute a rebellious act of independence. It is robbery from Christ because you violently wrench your body from Him and His Lordship.
VS 19-20 “You are not your own; you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body”. Your body belongs to Christ not yourself. He died to bring you out of the slave market of sin and possess you. For al these reasons Paul says “shun immorality” (1 Cor. 6:18 ).
1 Cor. 7:28 Love will find a way. In your relationship with your boyfriend/girl friend there will be many hills and valleys. There will be clouds and rainbows it will not be all sunshine. Sometimes you will feel as I you had wings at other times a body of lead. Do not be discouraged or deflated at trifle things.

1 Cor.7: 29 Time is short- Paul is saying you will sometimes have to choose between your partner and the Lord.

Vs 30. To mourn, rejoice or buy in this verse, all require time.

Vs 31 ‘that use the world’ but are not engrossed in it. You may enjoy legitimate things, but remember time is short.

TIME AND THE SINGLE PERSONS ADVANTAGE

VS 32 ‘Without carefulness’ = no care, no worry, no anxiety or pressure. Without a wife he has more time to please and serve the Lord.

Vs 33 The married man has care in this life, as he has to please his wife. He needs time to make is marriage a successes.

Vs 34-35. The married person’s interests are divided and bring distractions; the single woman in the verse has more time for the Lord.

Marriage does not prevent great devotion to the Lord but because of commitment it can bring distractions.

ADVANTAGES OF BEING SINGLE

1. You have more time and energy to put into the Lord’s work.

2. You are not as restricted in your movements as a married person is.

3. You can live on less and give more.

4. You may have some more freedom for children’s work, youth work, missions, church activities etc. These will also help you through periods of loneliness.

5. You can move to a new location with out too much concern.

6. God has a plan for single people, do no get frustrated or be pushed into a relationship. Single people can and do have a full Christian life.

7. God will continue to work in you to an end result. [Phil. 1:6]

8. Someone who; is married 50 years may have spent a number of them working at the marriage. Being single means you will have saved this time.

9. There are many examples of single people being used of the Lord in the Bible i.e John the Baptist, Paul, Christ.

10. You do not have to consider your partner when you make choices, this means you can move quicker.

A HAPPY COURTSHIP

The Bible encourages people to get married. [Prov.18: 22, Heb. 13:4]. It is natural and normal to be attracted to a member of the opposite sex. You must study at close range the conduct, attitudes capabilities and the real person. This will help you make

an intelligent choice in selecting a life partner, not on the basis of a fun person what soap, perfume or after shave they wear.

You must lay the proper foundations in court ship and obey the rules.

1. Be committed to; God with all; your heart. [Prov. 3:5].
2. Acknowledge Him in all your ways. [Prov. 3:6]

3. He will direct your path in life. [Prov.3: 6] We know nothing of the future behaviour of those we date God does. We decide on the past and present record, God decides on the future one. To let him guide means we will have no regrets or disappointment, we know it was with His blessing we made the choice.

4. Your desires and delight will be in God. [Ps.37: 4,23] Practice what is rights not other peoples standards or way of life. Put your date to the test of God’s work. Watch out for lies or deceit. Remember marriage is not to be a gamble but a part of God’s plan.

5. Your body is God’s Temple . [1Cor.3: 16] Do not engage in anything you cannot ask God to bless you in. How you treat your body or let others treat it is important to God. How you dress it, wash it, personal hygiene, etc, is important to God. Look well, dress to please Him. A misuse of sex and passion can cause unhappiness and remorse.

6. Do not compromise. The person you may win by lowering your standards will not bring you the best happiness, later they may even detest you for it. Affection that comes out of kissing, caressing or fondling has very poor foundations on which to build a lasting relationship, use your head not your lips and hands.

7. Seek first the Kingdom of God . He will add the rest. [Matt.6: 33] Be convinced of God’s leading, timing and control. Do not panic. Honour Him first; He will bring the best to and for us.

When you plan a date, make sure you have somewhere to go, something wholesome to do. Do not invite the flesh or the devil on the date. Be careful of a girl with low ideal or principles, they will date any one, this shows a weak character. Girls do you want quality; or will any old thing do? You must live to; the standard you expect.