We can want to go out with someone for all sorts of reasons; but not all reasons are good reasons. Thinking seriously first can help you avoid heartache later.

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

1. Why go out?

Though it is important to have fun while dating it is most important to think seriously about it. After all, when you start a relationship there are a lot of feelings involved. You need to be careful with your own and the other person’s feelings, regardless of whether they are the one you marry.  It is a time to get to know someone and to have fun in doing so. But ultimately, we go out to find out whether this person we like is the one we will marry.

So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.

1 Corinthians 10:31

2. What do you want?

Remember that going out is a step to marriage; it is not actually marriage. Now is the time to think about what would be important to you in a marriage. Would you be able to respect this person as a husband or wife? Would you be able to trust them? Could they trust and respect you? A relationship isn’t just about what the other person can offer you, but also about what you can give them.

3. Are they a Christian?

Being able to work together in a relationship is very important. Although husband and wife have different roles and responsibilities to fulfil, they should have the same goal in life. If you, as a Christian, marry a non-Christian, there will be a continual tug-of-war over your core beliefs and you will not always win. Remember that being a Christian is more than just using the name, there needs to be evidence in both your life and theirs.

Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness?

2 Corinthians 6:14

4. What is it you like about them?

Do you only fancy them because of their looks? Or do you admire their character? Do you like hanging out with them and can you talk easily about your interests? Do you have that freedom to be honest and open with each other? It is good to know what you like about someone. That way you can be sure that your liking isn’t just a shallow thing that disappears when they get a new haircut. You are looking for someone who you might establish a lifelong bond with.

Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgement.

John 7:24

5. Is now really a good time to be going out?

Finally, we approach the question of timing. Most teenage relationships fizzle out as it can be a very busy time of life and our feelings change a lot. Relationships at that age  may be more prone to make us vulnerable to sexual temptation and demand a lot of time and energy. Not only that, but they tend to happen at an age when marriage is not a likelihood or even a possibility. Instead of going out, it may be better to use your teenage years to enjoy lots of activities, work on your education and develop a Godly character.

For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven.

Ecclesiastes 3:1

Yes, think about your future, but you do not need to have it all mapped out now. Everything has its season.