Ever since I was little, I knew how I felt about dating. I didn't want a boyfriend for a long time...and that meant at least not until highschool, and maybe not even then! I knew that most of my friends didn't feel that way. That was fine with me. But, even though I didn't allow their opinions to rub off on me, I don't think I was making a dent in their perspectives, either. I started thinking about this earlier today, and decided it was time to try my hand at another blog post. (My last attempt having failed....) Why, I asked myself, have I not influenced my friends? What I came up with was simple. I didn't know what it was that I believed. And, not knowing what I believed, how was I supposed to pass it on to my friends? There was no way. So, here goes my feeble try at explaining what I believe.
Have you ever heard the term "hustle while you wait?" What it means is that while we are waiting for something to happen, we should be preparing for it. I imagine this as how my mother prepares for our family to visit the beach each year. If my mom simply stated that we were going to the beach, and it was going to be exciting, then not much would happen. In fact, we would probably end up getting in the car and driving all the way to Garden City, realizing we were not packed, didn't have a place to stay, and, to top it all off, we had no money for gas to get home! However, my mom, who is extremely organized, has everything ready before we go, so that we don't have to worry about where we will stay or how we will get home...or what we will eat. So, even though we can't leave immediately for the beach, however much we might want to, all of our family is preparing for when we will leave. Now, picture the same scenario...but a little differently. If you are a teenager, or even in your twenties, chances are, you aren't ready to get married. You probably haven't even met the right person yet. What if, instead of wishing that wonderful day will come...the day we meet our future husband/wife at the altar and become one...and spending all our time thinking how nice it will be then...we hustled while we waited? What if we spent our single years preparing to be better a better husband or wife to that person God has chosen for us? What if, instead of pining for things that shouldn't happen yet, we prepared for tomorrow?
Another thing I have noticed among people my age--boys and girls alike--is this feeling that they have to have a boyfriend or girlfriend. Is this right? Should we always be wanting someone to be a part of us...especially in such an intimate way? We mimic our broken society...always wanting something now. Inventions like microwaves (quickening the pace at which we cook our food), google (quickening the pace at which we research information), and e-mail and texts (quickening the pace at which we have conversations), show this. And while those inventions are not a bad thing in themselves, they certainly show our impatience as a society. I've seen this also demostrated through relationships. So many of my friends have boyfriends or girlfriends...when none of them are ready or old enough for marriage! It seems as though we, being influenced by the "have-it-now" attitude of our generation, have carried it so far as to want a serious relationship far too early. A good thing at the wrong time is just as wrong as a bad thing at any time. When we search for intimacy with someone of the opposite sex, whether through our physical actions or through our emotions, we are giving a part of ourselves away! We're taking a good thing (becoming one in marriage) and having it at the wrong time. Say you are a teenager or young adult and you have a boyfriend or girlfriend you are very close to. You talk to them almost every day, see them at least once a week, and pretty much depend on them for your happiness. Now, what if (just go with me), that boyfriend or girlfriend isn't the person you are going to marry? Well, that changes things a bit. What if you waste your time that you have to be single and prepare for marriage, developing a relationship that isn't even going to last? Because, be honest, what is the average lifespan of those middle-school, or even high-school relationships? I don't want to tell my husband I love him only to have him wonder to whom else I have said those words. I also don't want to have to wonder the same thing about my husband. But, how can we expect our husbands to avoid romantic relationships before he is ready if we aren't willing to do the same?
Maybe you don't agree with my idea of waiting until you are ready for marriage to date someone. That's okay; I didn't write this so everyone would agree with every word I said. I just wrote it to say some of what I was feeling. But, maybe you agree with me that most relationships tend to move too quickly. In that case, it would be wise to make a list of boundaries for yourself...and a list of things you can avoid to keep from overstepping those boundaries. For instance, I have decided to save my first kiss for my wedding day. Yes, that is extreme. Yes, I know you don't think I will be able to wait that long. Yes, I am different. I just feel that even a simple kiss can lead to much more...and can you imagine sharing your first kiss with the man with whom you are going to spend the rest of your life? Maybe for you, saving your first kiss is too much. I'm not saying it's for everyone. It's just what I want to do. But making a list of boundaries will not only help you to re-examine your relationships, but if a moment ever comes where you feel uncomfortable during a date or elsewhere, you will know exactly what you feel you should do. So, just give it some thought.