I've included the topic of modesty in a few sections. If you are unsure as to the importance of modesty, you may want to read that section first.
Modesty can be a consideration in our dating actions. The dating world can be a great challenge for Christian students, and their ability to maintain a standard of modesty. I believe that the following scenario encompasses some of the situations Christian students find themselves in, and the conflicts they are forced to deal with. I hope the questions in this section help to give you a more complete perspective in this challenging area.
Suppose that you found out an attractive and popular person wanted to date you but you didn't know much about them. Others would think you were crazy if you were to turn down a date offer from this person. You decide to agree to go on a date with them but then found out before the date that they usually dated people who were willing to be quite intimate with them. And maybe that this person had expectations as to what they felt they were "entitled" to because they were spending money on the date. Would you still accept the date, or would you cancel knowing that others would look at you as that type of student who turned down a date with one who others would jump at the chance to date?
This may seem like a difficult question but if you think about the following questions, they might help to put this scenario in perspective.
Is it important to find out about the reputation of another person before agreeing to date them?
Can you think of possible consequences of accepting a date with this person, even if you plan on keeping your modesty?
If you do accept the date, what conclusions do you think others might come to about your modesty?
If other students think you are “that kind of girl/guy”, do you think a committed Christian student would then be more or less interested in considering going out with you on a date?
Similarly, if others know you are a Christian, do you want to risk your reputation by going out with someone as was indicated above? And if you did go out with them, knowing how others would think of you, how seriously do you think non-Christians will consider your Christian commitments and message?
Considering all of the above, would dating this person be worth it?
I hope these questions illustrate how important your reputation is, and the potential impact to your reputation if you don’t think through the choices you make. I believe a fairly well-known saying applies in this situation. The saying is,
“You never get a second chance to make a first impression.”
Here are a few other questions to think about:
What kind of first impression do you want others to have of you?
If you focus primarily on the looks or popularity of another person, what does that convey to others about your character? Remember, does God look on our appearance or our heart, and what should we consider as important in others?
Is your character and reputation worth protecting?
Are you willing to sacrifice personal satisfaction, and possibly ridicule from other students at times to maintain your personal integrity and character?
It’s natural to want to try to fit in, but is fitting in at the expense of your character worth it? Statistics indicate that there is little difference these days between the sexual ethics of many Christians when compared to the sexual ethics of non-Christians. If the world sees no difference in how Christians live, why would they be motivated to become a Christian? Another quote which made me really think about how others see me is:
“If you were arrested for being a Christian,
would there be enough evidence to convict you?”
To show the importance the son of a friend considers the subject of dating, he decided that he would not kiss a young woman till he was in a serious dating relationship with her. And he decided that he wouldn't consider entering a dating relationship with anyone that he didn't feel could possibly lead to a marriage. The result is that he didn't date or kiss anyone through his high school years, and is now in a relationship with a beautiful young woman who as it turns out has not had a boyfriend before.
This may sound very strange but could it be that because so many are influenced by the culture to just have fun over having integrity? And in case you were thinking that he probably couldn't get a date in high school, he is a 6ft, dark featured, handsome, intelligent young man with a great sense of humor. He had plenty of offers to date, but his focus is on the future with a partner for life who values his integrity.
Would you be willing to be this disciplined and have you tried? Again, when we invite Christ to be our Lord, Christ will convict us of our sin. If you call yourself a Christian and are living no different than your non-Christian friends, and you are not feeling any conviction about aspects of your lifestyle which are unpleasing to God, you should really consider whether you have truly accepted Christ or have only said a phrase. God knows our thoughts, motivations, actions, and he knows our heart. Since your eternal destiny is at stake, isn't this important for you to consider?!
What are the Biblical guidelines for dating relationships?
Should Christian Teenagers Date?
The Top Five Myths of Christian Dating
Biblical Dating: How It's Different From Modern Dating
Dating & Relationship Advice
Jefferson & Alyssa Bethke – Dating Series
Christian Dating Culture – Part 1
Christian Dating Culture – Part 2
Christian Dating Culture – Part 3