Question

Hi,

I'm a 16 year old girl. I'm a believer and am active in my church.

In my country there's no such thing as dating because the girl is never allowed to go out with a boy on date or for just about anything else. The replacement for dating is the Internet and the phone. When a boy tells a girl he loves her, they just talk on the Internet or on the phone by calling and texting. Most of the girls my age do this (believers or not).

I've never been in a relationship before, but I really have a hard time covering or denying my feelings. Many boys have told they like me, but I never said the same to them, even if I do like them. I always try to say we are just friends and I can't see us as a boyfriend and girlfriend. The reason for this is that I don't know if it's right to be in a relationship according to the Bible. I don't know the answer. I never do this because I don't want to sin!

Sometimes I think that dating has a purpose, one of them is to find someone to marry, but I'm too young to think about that now. When I like someone my feelings are so strong and I am very sad about not being with that person. It makes my life hard. I can't focus on one thing in my life. It is hard to study. I can't stop thinking about him because there's that feeling in my heart that reminds me of him. If I'm not preparing to marry someone, but I really love this guy and wish to be closer to him what should I do? Can I be in a relationship with him? What can I do about my feelings? They are really strong and pure for this guy.

I love Jesus. He is my everything and my best friend, but I never want to do something wrong, so please help me.

God bless.


Answer

If you have concluded that dating, liking, or being in love with someone is a sin then you are claiming that you know of a law in the Bible that these things violate. Sin, after all, is the breaking of God's law (I John 3:4). If you don't have Scripture to back up your position, then you are adding rules to God's law, which itself is a sin. "Do not add to His words, lest He rebuke you, and you be found a liar" (Proverbs 30:6). Right and wrong is not a matter of feelings and uncertainty.

The truth is that people in the Bible often knew each other and fell in love with each other prior to marriage. For example: Jacob and Rachel who were in love for seven years before they married, Ruth and Boaz who knew each other for about a year before getting married, or the heroine in Song of Solomon who was clearly in love with Solomon and declared her love all before getting married about a year after their engagement. What is happening is that you are placing restrictions on yourself that are not stated by God and because of that making yourself miserable.

You are not ready to get married, but it does not follow that you cannot prepare in advance to find a suitable man to marry when you are ready. Finding a suitable companion can take time and you may find that your first attempts will end up in failure to select the right person. Yet, you cannot expect to find a suitable man if you isolate yourself.

None of this means that you can let your interests in a young man dominate your life at the moment. But you can talk with young men and have an interest in a young man without it filling up every waking moment of your life. Much will depend on your priorities and your self-discipline.