Why I’m Not Dating in High School, part 1: God’s Purpose for Romance

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Going into high school, I had no strong convictions about dating. I was wavering on the edge of truth, trying to convince myself that it was okay to date, you know, as long as he was a Christian and we stayed pure.

Then I read a book called I Kissed Dating Goodbye. Maybe you’ve heard of it. It presented a new philosophy of romance for the Christian young person in a thoughtful, honest way, and I was convinced. While I don’t necessarily follow all of the specifics the book laid out, the principles led me to decide, purposefully, that I would not date at all during high school.

The question is debatable, and choosing not to date in a public-school atmosphere for four years is hard! But there are very good reasons for my decision and I want to share them with you in a series that will go through January and February.

We’ll start by looking at the most fundamental reason: God’s purpose for romance, dating, and marriage. To do that we have to go way back to the first married couple of the Bible.

What is the Purpose of Romance?

As we see in Genesis, God designed human beings for romance. His design of marriage was a lasting, exclusive covenant between one man and one woman (Genesis 2:24), a design that was played out between Adam and Eve, the first husband and wife.

So what is the purpose of marriage? Primarily, to provide companionship. Eve was created so that Adam would have a helper, someone to live life with (Genesis 2:18). Humans are relational, and God gave us marriage as a way to have a deep relationship with one other person, a companion for us in the daily walk of life.

The other reason God created marriage is to have a model of His love for His people (Ephesians 5:25-26). The ideal loving, selfless relationship between husband and wife is the model for how much Christ loved us, that He came and died for our salvation. His love for us is pure, spotless, and beautiful.

Unfortunately, marriage has been marred by the fall in many ways, but the ultimate goal still stands, and as Christians we have the opportunity to pursue that goal despite the way the world has twisted it.

What is the Purpose of Dating?

With that foundation in mind, we can see more clearly the purpose of dating (or courting, if you choose to call it that). It is important to note that dating is a modern concept; there are many ways that people have found their spouse over the course of human history, some better than others, but there is not one perfect way to go about finding a husband or wife.

But that is what dating is: seeking a potential husband or wife. The goal of dating, courting, or whatever else you call it is to get to know someone better and see if they are the person God wants you to spend your life with in a marriage relationship.

Casual dating results in constantly giving your heart away to someone who is only in your life for a little while. We are called to date purposefully, seeking a partner in life, not for momentary fulfillment. Dating is not an end in itself; it is a means to a greater end. 

This is why I choose not to date in high school. I am not going to be ready for marriage anytime soon, and so getting involved in a relationship now would have no purpose to glorify God. All it would do is distract me, complicate my emotions, and add anxiety to my life.

Dating “just for fun” is not God’s best for us; we should always seek relationships intentionally, looking towards marriage and the future, and not just fun in the moment.

Have you been in a relationship before, and what wisdom can you share from that? Do you agree with me? Why or why not? Are you excited for this series? Tell me in the comments! 

love, grace

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17 thoughts on “Why I’m Not Dating in High School, part 1: God’s Purpose for Romance

  1. grace @ the lucent logophile says:

    I love this, Grace! You put it so well and I wholeheartedly agree with you. I’m not allowed to date until college, but I’m not super eager to start dating next year because, like you mentioned, I’m not getting married anytime soon — especially not during my freshman year of college!

    Like

    • graceevalyn says:

      I’m so glad you liked it! I’m not sure what I’ll do in college; I probably won’t pursue anything until later in college, or after I graduate. I think that’s definitely a wise choice!

      Like

  2. castlesandpens13 says:

    Grace I am happy you are starting this series! I think it’s important to have this focus. As a junior in high school, I am a trainwreck, and while I think having strong relationships with others helps us have focus on God through times we are drowning (especially in school work), having a romantic relationship is something I’d shy away from. It is a whole new level of relationship dynamics, and if the relationship were to model what you’ve described in your post, it just seems like more energy and attention would be used, and it can be harder to stay focused on school, too. I was in a “relationship” for like a month and a half and realized it was a mistake to try and venture into the romantic relationships of high school. and even if some people feel we are mature enough to handle the relationship (and some people are), I am not, so I am glad you are writing these posts I can relate to. I still need to figure out myself and especially my relationship with God before I can form a relationship as serious with anyone else.
    Sacrificial love is out of style these days, but us Christians are a counter-cultural bunch 😉 Can’t wait to see the next post!
    ~Grace

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      • graceevalyn says:

        It is! I loved it. It’s a retelling of Cupid and Psyche, from the perspective of Psyche’s sister. I do feel like I might get more out of it if I reread it though…I think some of it went over my head which is totally possible since it’s Lewis haha.

        Liked by 1 person

    • graceevalyn says:

      So true! I didn’t think about the fact that the kind of relationship God calls us to does, in fact, require more energy than casual dating, but that’s a really good thing to think about! If we have a romantic relationship, we need to approach it from the model of God’s Word, which requires a lot of investment of time and a choice to pursue love even when it’s hard. It’s very rare for us high schoolers to be spiritually mature enough for that. Glad you liked it! I’m excited for the rest of the series too!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. emily @ for the bookish says:

    This! I’m really excited to read your upcoming posts in this series, Grace. I’m a freshman in high school, and while I haven’t read any books about this subject (I have heard of I Kissed Dating Goodbye), I have given it a lot of thought.

    To me, teenage years are an impressionable and important time in your life. I think it’s so much more important to focus on things like God (hello, always! But finding out who you are in God and finding a firm footing in His foundation before going out into the world *is* important), school, and family than a relationship that isn’t mature.

    I’ll be the first to admit I’m a romantic, but my personality by itself is future-oriented. I dream of a long-lasting relationship, and *especially* as a Christian I want to seek a Godly, meaningful one. If not dating in high school saves my heart and makes more time for me to learn about myself before I try fitting myself into another person’s life… then it’s a win/win, right?

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    • graceevalyn says:

      Yes! I agree with everything you said here. Even if you are dating with intention, it is still taking your mind away from God, which can be disastrous if you aren’t firmly grounded first. That’s part of being mature enough to have a relationship.; I’ll talk about that more in my next post. It’s probably the second-biggest reason besides what I talked about here. Glad you liked the post!

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  4. agirlsavedbygodsgrace says:

    I would say that dating in highschool or not dating in highschool is a matter of maturity of sorts, and also of convictions. I know lots of couples who met young, dated in highschool, and got married. I’m not saying I disagree with you, and maybe you said this and I missed it … but I think that it’s ok to date in highschool, as long as you are doing it purposefully and if God is in the middle of it. If you’re mature enough to handle that, and to look at that person with marriage in mind, then it seems to make sense. I know that in highschool that seems like a ridiculous idea, but there’s nothing wrong with doing it that way. I respect your decision to not though! I have never really thought about it much, but have started to do so more now as I’m 17 and “stuff” gets more real 🙂

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    • graceevalyn says:

      I definitely think if you and the other person are truly, truly mature enough to handle it and if you find a person who you genuinely would want to marry in just a few years, it is okay. But I think that’s pretty rare, and there’s a temptation to try to justify dating with arguments like that when it would be better not to. I know in very conservative circles some people choose not to go to college and in fact get married at 18 or 19, but a lot of people don’t/aren’t ready/have other callings first. That’s more who I’m talking to here. And there are other reasons not to date early too, which I’ll be addressing in future installments. But also keep in mind that I’m coming from a public school environment so that may have made me a little jaded about high school relationships 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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