Then and Now Daily Devotional and Bible Devotions for Teens
<< Then & Now for Teens, with Dan Darling

Then & Now - Week of September 28

  • 2020 Sep 28

Dating 101 
2 Samuel 22:31

At the risk of a lot of teenage eyerolls, I'm writing a column on dating. I realized I'd written ninety-two columns for teens and have written scarily at all on the subject most often on your minds.

Dating. Rather than sound like the angry old scold who likes lecturing teenagers on dating, I'm just going to dispel a few myths. 

Dating God. In high-school and college I heard girls tell me they were dating God. They could have just said they didn't like me. (Honestly I wouldn't have blamed them). 

The truth is that to want to get married is not a bad thing. It's a thing worth pursuing. What is bad is when marriage becomes an idol and we pursue it more than we pursue God. But the desire—that's God-given. If you're single, pursue marriage, but pursue only as you pursue God. 

Center of God's Will. I could write a whole column on this. Actually I've written lots of columns on this. We have this mistake idea that if we don't hit the bulls-eye perfectly with every decision we miss God's will entirely and fall into the "God's rejects" pile of people who are living Plan B. 

So not true. God gives us wisdom, counselors, His Word, experiences, gifts, talents, our appearance, our looks, available people—all that to guide us into making a decision. So make one. Is there a Christ-honoring person of the other gender interested in you? Are you interested in them? What are you waiting for? 

Some people hem and haw their whole lives waiting for God's will, when honestly God's will is right in front of their nose and about to pass them by. Stop spiritualizing. Guys, ask that girl out. Girls, say yes already if you like this guy. 

Missionary Dating You see a cute girl, but she is not a Christian. So you begin to rationalize. Well, maybe she is, but she just doesn't talk about it. or Well, how will she hear if I don't share Christ with her? Or, I'll take the huge odds and be the person who marries un unsaved girl and converts her and all is well. 

The Bible says not to be unequally yoke for a reason. Not because God wants to reduce your pool of available people. But because God knows marriage between two redeemed sinners is hard enough. But between a sinner and an unsaved person, it gets much harder. Don't let those emotions and hormones push you into a poor decision. Don't date an unbeliever. Now, you can be nice, share Christ, etc, but don't carry on a relationship with them. 

Now before you send me an email that says you know of a situation where this worked, I realize God's grace shines in everything and can work even through bad decisions. I hear that. But why make a bad decision if you don't have to. 

I'm incomplete if I'm not with somebody. So you want to be married, but there is no one. And you're making a good, honest effort to meet people and be likeable and be the person someone else would like (big if's). 

Here's something you need to know. You're not incomplete if you don't have someone on your arm. Sure, marriage, companionship, etc are all wonderful blessings of God. But you can live a life of purpose and completion without someone. That boy or girl doesn't define you. You are God's masterpiece without them. And remember, you're never rejected by God. You're chosen and loved and adopted. Rest in that. You're Savior loves you. 

Daniel Darling is an author, pastor, and public speaker. His latest book is Crash Course, Forming a Faith Foundation for Life. Visit him on Facebook by clicking here, follow on him on Twitter at, or check out his website:

More Then & Now for Teens, with Dan Darling Articles