KNOW WHO YOU ARE
If you’re a student reading this plan, I’m sure you’re already skeptical. You’ve heard all kinds of advice from people already: you should date, you absolutely shouldn’t date, only date the person you’re going to marry…it’s a confusing nightmare out there! And, let’s be really honest: if you’re already dating somebody and you’re madly in love, you’re worried this plan is going to tell you to end the relationship, right? Well, here’s the deal…I’m not going to tell you whether you should or shouldn’t date or whether the relationship you’re currently in is good for you or not (frankly, I don’t know you, and that would seem pretty presumptuous of me).
Here’s what I will do: I’ll lay out some principles from the Bible that relate to dating and relationships. I’ll even share a few examples that can shed some light on the subject. And in the end, you’ll at least have a more complete understanding of how God would want you to navigate this really tricky path of dating. Sound good?...I’ll assume you said, “yes!”
Before we start this conversation (and before you consider entering into or continuing a dating relationship), you need to start with knowing who you are. I realize that a huge part of adolescence is figuring that out, but it’s the foundational issue that I see trip students up all the time in their relationships. You need to have an identity on your own that is not affected by your dating status at all! I know that sounds really philosophical, so I’ll try to simplify.
You need to know that you are created by God, exactly the way that you are, and that you are His beloved son or daughter. The Bible tells us that you are His masterpiece (Ephesians 2:10) – like, when God finished creating you, He stepped back, beaming with pride, and thought that you are the greatest thing He’s ever created. You…all by yourself…no significant other in sight. When we can live from that perspective, suddenly our relationship status doesn’t matter as much. Whatever happens in your dating life, your identity as God’s masterpiece never changes! The problems start when that identity fades in our minds, and we become more concerned with who we are as “______’s boyfriend/girlfriend.” If your identity starts to get wrapped up in who you’re dating (or if you’re dating someone in the first place), that’s when things get rough, relationships don’t go as well, and breakups become extremely devastating.
So today, pause for a minute. Read the following Scriptures, and spend a few minutes having an honest conversation with God. Ask Him to show you if your identity has been wrapped up in relationships, or if you really are living from a place where you know that – no matter what happens in your dating life – you are God’s masterpiece, and you are unimaginably valuable to Him all by yourself.