DATING

Pastor James J. Barker

Text: I TIMOTHY 5:22b; II TIMOTHY 2:22




INTRODUCTION:


  1. I am going to speak today on a subject I would rather not have to deal with. But every now and then, it must be dealt with.
  2. On occasional, I might be quite plain.
  3. First, please let me assure you that I am not mad at anybody. I was once a high school student myself and know what it is like. (You probably didnít think they had high schools back when I was a kid!)
  4. The reason why preachers have to address this subject, and the reason parents, schools and churches have to set down strict rules is because we love you and do not want to see you mess up your life.
  5. As a pastor, I frequently have to deal with marital problems. Many times I have heard this sad statement: "I wish I had gotten married on some other day" or even worse: "I wish I had never gotten married. Our marriage is like hell." Many young people are in the depths of misery because of this.
  6. Someone has said, "Love is blind, but marriage is a real eye-opener."
  7. Many times I have counseled unmarried or divorced mothers with children. Oftentimes I have talked to women who were very depressed because they had an abortion. As a matter of fact, I know a few people who have had nervous breakdowns as a result of pre-marital sex, and now they are on "medication," mind-altering drugs that keep them docile so they donít have to think about their sinful past. One of them is in a mental hospital right now.
  8. I have talked to people with herpes and other horrible diseases, even AIDS. One night I led a woman to Christ and a few days later she died of AIDS and I preached her funeral.
  9. Many of these peopleís lives would have turned out much differently if they had the opportunity to attend a good Christian school, or attend a good Baptist church, or listen to a preacher who really cared for them and did not want to see them mess up their lives.
  10. So please pay close attention to what I am about to say. Remember the Lord sees you no matter where you go, no matter what you do, and no matter who you are with. He even knows what you are thinking at this moment, whether or not you are tuning in or tuning out.
  11. There is a Scripture I learned many years ago: "Be sure your sin will find you out" (Numbers 32:23).

 

I. YOUNG PEOPLE ARE TO KEEP THEMSELVES PURE (I Tim.5:22b) and THEY ARE TO "FLEE YOUTHFUL LUSTS" (II Tim.2:22).

    1. First, we must ask why are young people to keep themselves pure, and then, secondly, how are they to do it.
    2. First, obviously they are to keep themselves pure because God commands it. That should settle it, but unfortunately there are many people who will not accept Godís Word as their authority.
    3. Therefore, let me give another reason. Because, those young people who keep themselves pure stand a much better chance of having a successful marriage and a happy family Ė in other words, a better life.
    4. If you were in the grocery store and saw a man slobbering all over some grapes and apples, and licking them and squeezing them, and so on, how would you feel? And what would you think if that man threw the fruit back on the display and walked away? Would you want to purchase that fruit?
    5. When a decent man (not a bum or a hippie or a lazy loafer) is getting ready to choose a wife, believe me he does not want some gal that has been around the block a few times. He does not want a girl with somebody elseís fingerprints all over her. He doesnít want "spoiled goods." He doesnít want a girl with a questionable reputation. He wants a girl that is pure and clean and godly. A girl that can look him in the eye and say: "You are the first man I have ever dated."
    6. Likewise, a good girl wants a decent and clean man, not some rascal with the morals of an alley cat and arms like an octopus.
    7. Let me say a few words to the girls: if a boy ever tries touching you or kissing you, you ought to give him a punch in the nose (cf. I Cor.7:1,2).
    8. Some things should be obvious but perhaps are not. Playing "footsie" usually leads to holding hands and then that usually leads to "necking" or "making out" and that always leads to shame and disgrace.
    9. Once young people start heading down this road, it may already be too late (cf. Pro.6:27).

 

II. HOW ARE YOUNG PEOPLE TO KEEP THEMSELVES PURE?

    1. By being very careful around others. For example, do not associate with worldly or rebellious teenagers (cf. I Cor.15:33). The #1 reason for teenagers getting into trouble is hanging out with the wrong crowd.
    2. Secondly, dating should not be allowed. Any students who start dating in our school will be immediately suspended. Dating includes being alone together, going out on dates alone, touching or holding hands, kissing, etc.
    3. Dating is basically courtship and preparation for marriage. Sixteen and seventeen-year olds are not ready for any serious consideration of marriage. Teenagers can develop strong friendships, but they are not ready emotionally for any romantic involvement.
    4. Some worldly-wise people will object and say that while it may be true that teens are not emotionally ready for marriage, they certainly are physically ready. Yes, and this is the problem!
    5. We are living in a wicked day and age where our society is drowning in a tidal wave of dirty jokes and filthy stories, crude and vulgar language, immodest and indecent dress, raunchy movies and TV shows, disgusting rock music, and all sorts of ungodliness.
    6. Even the commercials on TV are dirty and suggestive. Because of this onslaught of filth, we need to be extra careful. Let me give a few more safeguards.
    7. In addition to not associating with bad company, and not dating, another important issue involves how we dress Ė neat and modest, not worldly, indecent or immodest.
    8. Girls should wear their dresses long and not tight-fitting (cf. I Tim.2:9,10). Immodest clothing stirs up lustful thoughts and could lead to immorality (cf. Matt.5:28).
    9. Police statistics showed that rape declined dramatically in the 1950ís and early 1960ís. Then it shot way up in 1964 Ė 68% increase in America and an incredible 90% increase in England. What happened? That was the year the mini-skirt came out! One police study said: "No other adequate cause for this strange reversal has been found."
    10. Your clothing sends out a strong signal. So does the excessive use of "war-paint." The only woman in the Bible who got all "dolled up" was wicked Queen Jezebel.
    11. When one sees a young lady with a clean complexion, long, carefully combed hair, and a modest dress or skirt, it indicates that she is a decent young lady (e.g. Fairhaven students).
    12. On the other hand, when a young lady is wearing too much make-up, and she is wearing a tight mini-skirt, she looks like a tramp (cf. Pro.7:5-10).
    13. Girls should not wear skirts with the slits in them, shorts, bikini bathing suits, skimpy halter-tops, and low-cut blouses. All these outfits appeal to manís sensual, carnal nature. It is a bad testimony for a Christian girl or lady to wear this type of clothing.
    14. Also, boys and men ought to dress decently as well. They should not take their shirts off in public or wear tight, immodest clothing.
    15. Furthermore, the Bible teaches that women should not "wear that which pertaineth unto a man" (Deut.22:5). No matter how you try and get around it, pants are menís attire. Also, pants on women are not modest because they accent a ladyís curves.
    16. Do not allow peer pressure to influence how you dress. Set your standards according to the Bible.

 

III. OTHER AREAS OF CONCERN

    1. Many people (both teens as well as adults) go astray after watching lewd and raunchy TV shows and movies. Christians should not watch such trash. It amazes me how many people watch these dirty soap operas, filled with adultery and all sorts of immorality!
    2. Another major problem is worldly music Ė perhaps some of you are listening to rock music with its nasty, vulgar lyrics Ė "Letís Get it On," "Letís Spend the Night Together," etc.
    3. Rap "music" is particularly dirty, even more vile and disgusting than rock. And yet some Christian parents allow their kids to listen to this garbage! And some kids listen behind their parentís backs.
    4. Many a young person has been caught in Satanís trap through dirty music. Do not allow these dirty, nasty, trashy songs to get into your mind. It may be difficult to get them out once theyíre in.

CONCLUSION:

Young people, do things Godís way. He knows what is best for you. He puts up fences to help us, not to hurt us. If you stay close to the Lord, and do things His way, He will guide you and direct you and keep you out of trouble. However, if you rebel against God, you are asking for trouble (cf. Gal.6:7,8).



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