I received an email the other day from someone who has been reading my dating stories and seemed a bit concerned for me. The email had this phrase in it: “just remember the traditional method of dating is a reminder of the preeminence of Christ.” Say whaaaat? Jesus Juke much?
I love the scare tactics that were used by youth pastors and religious leaders of all sorts throughout my childhood. I grew up with the impression that there was a very long list of do’s and dont’s when it comes to dating. SO…. in case you are not already aware here’s a few things I learned:
- the beach= Satan’s sandbox. Forget the fact that GOD HIMSELF created the sand and ocean. No no, the beach is where Satan sets up camp and destroys our lives. Bikinis=hell and eternal damnation.
- dancing leads to sex and sex leads to babies. (Seriously, this is why I believe Christian music is impossible to slow dance to.)
- You must model each and every one of your prayers after the great Billy Graham. “Dear Lord of hosts, from whom ALL blessings flow, please don’t let me look like a damn fool in front of Bobby Smith at lunch. I mean, he’s HOTT God. Umm, I mean Jesus, he’s a beautiful image of you. Blessed Lord please hear my heart’s cry. In your precious, holy name, Ah-men.”
- Men do in fact like hearing about a woman’s Precious Moments collection. Yeah, who knew! Those tiny, scary looking creatures with the Farrah Fawcett hair and a bathrobe that’s just a liiiiitle too short, yeah that’s an angel right there. I just wish we could customize those. I’ve got a couple of people I’m dying to see the Precious Moments version of.
- First dates should always be at a Chick-fil-A location. They are closed on Sundays, have positive music and there’s a very likely chance 67% of the people you see there look familiar because they are in your church directory….perfect!
- Holding hands should only happen while praying. Or (maybe) on the 18th date.
- Check your True Love Waits card before a date. Make sure it hasn’t expired yet.
- Ladies, if your date says ““Hey, let’s pray, to candlelight, while lying down on my couch, listening to Led Zeppelin and then act surprised that we ended up making out.”, expect lightning bolts. Yeah, God saw that too.
- And lastly, dating is the wrong way. Courting is the Godly way. Get it right.
All joking aside, I’ve had to deconstruct this idea in my head that dating is wrong. I was taught for too many years that I was automatically doing something wrong. Well, no wonder I wasn’t fully engaged in any situation because I was living and operating out of fear. Good thing is, I’ve changed my thinking, gotten rid of the lies and established boundaries for myself that I believe are good and keep me focused just as much on Christ as when I’m not dating.
What rules and ideas about relationships did you grow up hearing that you are now having to leave behind? Do you see the scare tactics still being used on kids and young adults?