The Years of One's Youth, eight lessons by Jeff Smith. This series of lessons compose character studies of young people found in the Scriptures. This class book was written for high school to college age people. It could possibly be used for children as young as middle school although some of the themes in the class would be beyond their comprehension.
What is Dating?
The concept of dating varies from culture to culture. Dating
may be defined as “a special kind of friendship between two
people of the opposite sex that may lead to courtship, love and
For young people who are still schooling or under training,
they do not generally date acquaintances. How then would young
people get to know one another? It is through group dating.
Group dating is one in which a small group of those closer to you
is chosen from among a large group of common friends. Group
dating provides you with opportunities to learn about one another
through communication both verbal and non-verbal.
It is through
group dating that you learn to cultivate manners and learn how to
give and take, how to conduct yourself in company and to enjoy
the company of the opposite sex without being too involved
emotionally with one person. Hence group dating offers you
opportunities to grow socially in the right way. Many social
activities can be arranged such as picnics, fishing, concert going,
eating, attending fellowship meetings, etc.
Many a boy-girl relationship instead of being “just be friends”
relationship prematurely becomes a single dating relationship,
that is, they become lovers before becoming friends. This is
infatuation and not true love.
Difference Between Infatuation and True Love
Infatuation is likened to a passing cloud, now here, gone
later. Many people can be infatuated with more than one person
at the same time: And it is characteristic of teenagers. It is based
mainly on physical appearance. It is like the “real thing” to you
when you are in it. However, when an infatuated person
discovers more of the other party, the feelings often disappear as
fast as they appeared. Many are turned off and scared away
when the other party responds. It is love of emotion. It is “being
carried away by unreasoning passion or attraction” (Webster).
Love, on the other hand, is different. When a person is in love, he
learns to accept and love the other person more as time goes by.
Love lasts and progresses gradually and deeply; and there is
understanding and acceptance.
Time brings two people in love closer together, rather than
separates them as in the case of infatuation: out of sight, out of
mind. A person in love is not bound by chains of anxiety or
jealousy. The other party is free to be herself or himself. This
does not happen to an infatuated person. True love is giving, not
taking. Infatuation is a selfish and possessive emotion. This love
of emotion can cause you to be infatuated with someone, for
example, a Hollywood film star you don’t even know, and have
never met. Genuine love is “a growing experience, based on
mutually shared interests, beliefs, attitudes and goals.”
When are you Old Enough to Date and How?
This varies from individual to individual. Some manifest
maturity and responsibility earlier than others of the same age.
Readiness for dating therefore does not depend solely on
chronological age but rather on one’s values, one’s maturity, and
one’s understanding of the main purpose of dating which is to
develop close friendship. It is not to practice your sex technique
and petting skills. Keep yourself pure by taking heed to God’s
1. Be sure to walk in God’s appointed way.
forget not my law: but let thine heart keep my commandments:
For length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to
thee. Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy
neck; write them upon the table of thine heart: so shalt thou find
favour and good understanding in the sight of God and man”
2. Trust in the Lord, acknowledge Him in all your ways.
“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own
understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall
direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the Lord,
and depart from evil” (Proverbs 3:5-7).
3. Listen to parental instruction for your own good. “My
son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of
thy mother. For they shall be ornament of grace unto thy head,
and chains about thy neck” (Proverbs 1:8-9). Because of their
experience, wisdom and knowledge, God can use parents to
guide their children in their dating relationships. Parents, it must
be realized, do have the benefit of objectivity.
4. Hon our and obey your parents. “Children, obey your
parents in all things: for this is well-pleasing unto the Lord”
5. Exercise self-control.
There is a time for everything. To
be self-controlled is to do everything in its proper time. These are
words of wisdom from king Solomon (Ecclesiastes 3:1-4). Self control
is one of the virtues of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23).
Paul’s advice to young Timothy was to “Flee also youthful lusts:
but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace....” (II Timothy
6. Don’t be yoked with an unbeliever.
“Be ye not
unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship
hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion
hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with
Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And
what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the
temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them;
and I will be their God, and they shall be my people” (II
How to Stay out of Trouble
Ninety per cent of your temptations on a date will be
overcome if you remember and practice two simple guidelines:
GUYS a. You will have problems being excited by a look, since
most of your prime temptation will come visually; so guard
your eyes. Keep a “Job’s covenant,” and you will keep the
doorway to your mind and emotions.
b. You will give a girl a problem by touch, so keep your
hands to yourself! If you take care of your eyes and
hands, you will not be burned on a date.
GIRLS a. You are going to give a guy problems by the way you dress, so watch it! Don’t dress to stir lust in your
boyfriend; dress as if you were going to be ushered into
Heaven right on your date, and Jesus will not be ashamed
of you. Help keep him from temptation by the right clothes
(I Timothy 2:9-10).
b. Keep a “hands off” attitude with your date. It may be
hard to say “No” but you must. No heavy necking or
petting can develop this way. If your boyfriend doesn't’t
understand because he doesn't’t want to understand, repeat
it a couple of times, then use this “emergency” prayer:
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