From the Archives: Is It Okay to Date Just for Fun?

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From the LYWB.com Team: Every once in a while, we like to dig up content from our archives and repost it here on the blog. If you haven’t spent time rummaging through our archives, we’d encourage you to do so. (There’s gold in them thar hills!) You can start your search with the archive drop tab on the right side of the homepage.

Here’s a classic post we dug up from 2011. (You remember, the year Prince William married Kate? Sigh). Since these truths come straight out of God’s Word, they’re timeless. (Even more so than Princess Kate’s out-of-this-world wedding gown!)

One of you recently asked, “Is it okay to date just for fun?” In a word—yes. The Bible doesn’t specifically condemn dating. That being said, I think there is a more important question we should be asking. Is it wise to date just for fun? In two words—probably not.

Since I am an old married type, I understand that you might not be overly interested in my take on this issue. (In case you are interested, here is my personal dating testimony. I dated A LOT of guys. The result was a lot of unnecessary turmoil and heartbreak. Then I met and married my man and suddenly wished I had saved every moment of romance for him. He was so worth the wait!) Since I realize this is a difficult area to hear truth, I’ve come armed with God’s Word! Here are four points to consider when choosing whether or not to date for fun.

1. Timing is everything.

Song of Solomon 2:7 says, “Daughters of Jerusalem, I charge you by the gazelles and by the does of the field: Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires.”

Song of Solomon 3:5 says, “Daughters of Jerusalem, I charge you by the gazelles and by the does of the field: Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires.”

Song of Solomon 8:4 says, “Daughters of Jerusalem, I charge you: Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires.

What’s up with the repetition? God knew we might need some help getting this point through our thick craniums!

God created romantic love, but if the timing is off, romance can lead to a heap of trouble.

Romantic love is a great thing. God created romantic love, but if the timing is off, romance can lead to a heap of trouble. Since we’re asking tough questions here, I have to wonder, is it wise to fall in love long before you are ready for marriage? Wouldn’t it be better to wait for a season of life that would allow you to marry the one you’ve fallen head over heels for?

2. Broken hearts stink!

Proverbs 4:23 says, “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”

The truth is you will have little control over the feelings of your heart once you’re in a relationship.

Guarding our hearts isn’t easy. It becomes nearly impossible in the context of a dating relationship. You can say you’re just dating for fun all day long, but the truth is you will have little control over the feelings of your heart once you’re in a relationship.

The best way to guard yourself against a broken heart is to stay away from romantic entanglements until they can take you toward marriage instead of a breakup.

3. God’s purity standards are high.

God asks us to save sex for the marriage bed (Heb. 13:4). He also tells us to refrain from lustful thoughts (Matt. 5:28). These standards are easy to agree to when you’re at a rally with your youth group or shopping for purity rings with your mom, but they are tough to stick to when your heart is fully engaged in a romantic relationship. Just ask the hundreds of Christian girls who have grieved over mistakes in this area through this site. These aren’t girls who don’t love Jesus. They aren’t girls who were wishy-washy in their stand for purity. They are girls who got caught up in a romantic relationship too soon. The best way to guard your purity in the years before you are able to marry is to avoid romantic relationships all together.

4. Parents rule.

Colossians 3:20 says, “Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord.”

The best way to guard your purity in the years before you are able to marry is to avoid romantic relationships all together.

I don’t know many Christian parents who are saying to their kiddos, “Go on, date just for fun!” Most of them are setting some fairly strict parameters on if and when they will allow their children to date. I don’t think they are doing this to torture you. It seems likely to me that they’ve already realized points 1–3. God’s Word asks us to obey our parents in all things. That means stick to whatever boundaries they have set for you when it comes to dating.

I’ve worked with young women for many (many) years. In all that time, I’ve seen more tears shed over this issue than any other issue. I wish I could line up and show you the girls who have sat in my living room and wished they had never started dating until they were ready for marriage. The line would be too long, and the tears would be too many. But I think I know what they’d each tell you—”Wait! It’s worth it.”

About Author

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Erin is passionate about pointing young women toward God's Truth. She is the author of several books and a frequent speaker and blogger to women of all ages. Erin lives on a small farm in the midwest with her husband and kids. When she's not writing, you can find her herding goats, chickens, and children.

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