How Long do I wait?
Because the right thing at the wrong time is the wrong thing.
I think a lot of young people have a question: When is the right age to date? What is the magic number? How young is too young?
Here are my opinions on the subject.
What are the motives
Because I love the idea of courtship, I'm going to focus on this view. In courtship, you are looking for someone with whom to discern if you can better serve God together in marriage. Key words in that statement? In Marriage. The purpose of courtship is discerning marriage.
Why discern marriage with someone when you are not eligible for marriage.
What do I mean by eligible? As a woman, are you ready to be a mother, wife and heart of a home? Are you ready emotionally, physically, psychologically, financially, and spiritually? As a man, are you ready to be a father, husband, provider at protector of a family? Are you ready emotionally, psychically physiologically spiritually and financially?
Back in the "Old Days...." When it was common for young men to be the ones to get a college education, the term "bachelor's degree" was born. Have you ever wondered why it is called a bachelor's degree? Simply because of this: When a young man completed his degree, he was ready to go into the work world and become established as a eligible bachelor. During his college education, his vocation was a student. Now his vocation, if God called him to marriage, was to prepare himself for marriage.
What are you called to be now?
So what about you now? What if you are a female senior in high school Are you called to be some guy's girlfriend? Or are you called to be fully dedicated to Christ and preparing yourself for your future vocation?
What if you are a young man in college? Are you called to dedicate yourself to your vocation as a student and prepare yourself by practicing financially sound budgeting? Are you preparing yourself for a vocation to marriage, including strengthening your own spiritual life so you can be a leader in a future relationship? Or are you clouding your judgement by making relationship choices that are mainly based on emotions?
Don't buy when you can't afford
Being in a relationship when you cannot commit to a discernment of marriage is like looking at a menu when you can't afford anything. It is hard to look at all the things you are offered, and then understand that you can't afford that.
A different analogy (for girls) is that being in a relationship without the ability to commit is like shopping without money. You go into the store and, lo and behold, you find the greatest outfit. Ever. The only problem is that it isn't going to fit you for another five years. So, you think to yourself, "I'm just going to try it on." And you do, but it doesn't look right and it isn't where you are right now. What can you do? Go up to the counter and ask them to hold it for five years? Sure, but then you spend those five years so focused on that outfit that you want so badly that you miss everything those five years have to offer.
It's not fair.
Being in a relationship before you can commit to discernment is unfair. It's unfair because you are robbing both you and the young man/woman whom you are involved with of the beautiful gift of singleness. We live in a culture where being single is a disease. You are in the prime time of your life for developing a relationship with God. You don't have a heavy schedule. Your expenses are low, your debt is low, your worries are low. You don't have to juggle kids or your husbands schedule to do something. Do you know how beautiful this freedom from the world can be - and what beautiful things God can work through you? But instead this world sees this freedom as a prison. Why? Because you don't have a guy/girl friend who you "completes you."
Already Complete, Thank you.
This is a season in our life when we have to find our completeness in God. Why? Because you can't look for perfect love in a faulty human. We all make mistakes. And we are going to be deeply hurt if we look for someone who is always there, always cares, always loves, and is perfect for us. That guy/girl isn't out there. But Christ is. And you are going to be disappointed when your boyfriend/girlfriend lets you down. So don't look for perfect love in another human - look for perfect love in the perfect lover - Christ himself.
Thoughts or comments? Let me know in the box below!