Are You a Dating Legalist? (Because I Can Part 1)

indexWe’re kicking off the first of the TOP10 Dumbest Reasons to Date this weekend with…

#10: Because I can

Some people date just because they can.
– Their parents told them they could date at a certain age, and when they turned that age they did.
– Their parents told them they couldn’t date at all, so they waited until they left home to start dating.
– Nobody told them they couldn’t so they did.

I call this person the legalist. They can and so they do.

However, there’s a danger in making your decisions based on permission or ability alone: license and liberty are not the same thing. 

In I Cor 6:12, Paul says (in the NASB), “All things are lawful for me, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be mastered by anything.”

Did you know that living your life by license – by what you’re permitted to do – could wind up enslaving you; that you might wind up “mastered by the consequences of your choices?”

Now, Satan wants you to think that God’s law is there to limit your freedom. (“Did God really say you can’t…”) In reality, God’s law is there to preserve your freedom. God’s not some bossy supervisor who wants to control you. If God wanted to control you He could. In a snap. He wouldn’t need rules to do it.

No, God actually wants us to live in freedom. Freedom was His idea, not Satan’s.

Adam and Eve actually had the freedom to eat the fruit from the forbidden tree. (How else could they have eaten it?) They had the freedom to break the one rule they were given. Until they broke it – and then they couldn’t stop lawbreaking. Indeed, things deteriorated rapidly from stolen fruit right down to murder in just one generation.

The truth is, Satan’s the one who wants to take your freedom and control you. He wants to master you. More often than not, he tries to accomplish this by tempting you to do what you aren’t permitted to do, but sometimes he does so by tempting you to do what you can do. This is a subtler deception.

That’s why when it comes to something as significant as dating, the question shouldn’t be simply, “Can you, but, “Should you?” Not, “Is this lawful,” but, “Is this profitable?” Is this good for me? Is this right for me at this time? Is this the right kind of person I should be getting to know?

In essence I started to date just because I could. My parents never said I couldn’t, by the way. They didn’t have to. The only two girls I managed to drum up the courage to ask out during my entire high school experience took care of that. They turned me down (took me a year to get over each rejection).

But there was another reason why I only asked two girls out in high school: I had high standards. I wouldn’t date just any pretty girl. She had to be a Christian too. And serious about it.

That’s why my whole life changed the day I arrived on the campus of Baylor University – gorgeous, Godly girls everywhere (and, unfortunately for them, not very many guys on campus brave enough to ask them out).

I was like a kid in a candy store. I went nuts. One might say I went slightly overboard. I finally could date and so I did. In fact, I went out with over 30 different girls my Freshman year alone. (Some will be impressed by this statistic while others will be disgusted that I even know it.)

To clarify, I never did anything on any of those dates that I could be ashamed of. There was never any “speaking in tongues” or “laying on of hands” (if you know what I mean). Contrarily, I would usually share about my personal relationship with God and I wanted to know how my date saw God at work in their life as well. This was often the best part of the evening.

However my dating overindulgence had a dark side. And we’ll get into that next week. I’ll also share some probing questions to ask yourself or a friend to help you discern the difference between can you and should you.

DNA: It’s What’s For Dating

Here’s something you should be doing for sure: intentionally and intelligently preparing for relational success when it counts – before you fall in love. That’s precisely why I wrote the the LoveEd study guide series, Beyond Sex & Salvation. Don’t wait until the love chemicals kick in and you have a relationship to defend. You can check out Part 1: Three Critical Life Lessons for Relational Success NOW on iBooks, Kindle or Nook.

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Categories: Because I Can, DATING, Learn from My Mistakes, TOP10 Dumbest Reasons to Date, Whoops-Proof Your Dating Life