It's Not Too Popular, But It's God's Will...Still!
Romantic relationships today aren't what they used to be...
Used to be a young couple would meet. If they wanted to see eachother, they began what was called a "courtship." This often consisted of rather innocent meetings, possibly under the supervision of the parents, to allow the couple to talk and get to know eachother.
The male "suitor" and his "lady fair" would carry on in this way for some time. Eventually, they may attend a dance or party, again often chaperoned, with strict codes of chaste conduct, and an even stricter curfew time limit. If all continued to go well, in several months to a few years, the young man might ask her parents for "her hand in marriage." And no, there was no sex before marriage...
Oh, I can hear the "snickering" now! Many young people, especially teens, can't believe this stuff ever existed. To them, it seems so "old-fashioned," and "outdated!" If two young people like eachother today, they still go out to a party, or dance, but they are nothing like those of the past.
They stay out until all hours, and parental supervision is rare. In fact, most parents aren't even aware of who their kids are seeing, nor what they are doing! To be honest, in many cases, both parents aren't even together anymore in the same house. The kids live with what we polietly call "extended" families. Mom has a new husband, or boyfriend; Dad, a new wife or girlfriend.
Look, the point here is not to "pick" on sexually immoral groups alone, but all kinds of sin related to our human passions. These powerful desires exists in several forms: sexuality, greed, prideful nature, etc. and they are ruining so many lives today! As we move further away from the laws of God, both individually and as a society, things go from bad to worse for all people involved!
One of the most potent attractions of sinful behavior rests within our erotic desires. A great number of people want relationships of all kinds, romantic, companionship, even purely sexual encounters with "no strings attached." But we give no consideration to what God says about proper guidelines for these matters. And, because of this negligence, we are hurting ourselves and others as well!
Consider the passage found in (1Thessalonians 4:3-6), which reads:
"It is God's will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control his own body in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the heathen, who do not know God; and that in this matter no one should wrong his brother or take advantage of him. The Lord will punish men for all such sins, as we have already told you and warned you."
These words were written about A.D. 51, more than 1960 years ago! Yet they are as relevant to people and society today as they were then. Even right down to the point of hurting not only ourselves with such reckless, frenzied abandoned, but others too...(see V6a).
Yes, the "pressures" of our current day views on dating and sexual trends are very real. Almost anything and everything is acceptable, even expected. And they are driven by the forces of "instant gratification." We are becoming a people of no patience; we want everything right now!
But this is a result of Satan's influence. He wants to destroy as many people and lives as he can! The evil one has convenced many people to be "overly tolerant," accepting of anything people do or say. However, this is a direct perversion of God's law of love, of right and wrong...
Our Lord takes us in, no matter where we are in life. But He loves us too much to leave us there. His depth of concern for our well being includes not only our mortal lives, but our immortal lives too! However, we must be willing to accept His gift of grace through faith in Christ Jesus. This means turning away from all improper passions and persuits, and living for the rewards of heaven.
However, God will not force us to love Him. He won't make us accept His heavenly reward. We can choose to live any way we want to; rejecting His commands entirely if we wish to do so.
But know this: He will give endlessly of His love and blessings ONLY to those who truely love and accept Him!
On the other hand, while 'He wants no one to perish, but all to come to His love,'(2Peter 3:9), He will show no mercy to those who turn away from Him! Sadly, many will choose this path anyway, and will suffer much, not only in this life, but in the life hereafter. And then, choices will be gone...
Well, said, my friend. I used to work for James Dobson and he always told stories about courting Shirley, his wife. It was so innocent and you're right; I could almost, in my mind at the time, see my son rolling his eyes and laughing about it. We were never meant to "try things out with someone to see if we're compatible". Kudos to you for standing up for the right thing to do! Blessings! Hazel