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Integrating Compassion with the Wisdom of God’s Word

askauntdara@gmail.com


The purpose of Aunt Dara’s Christian Advice Column is to glorify God by addressing human needs with compassion and the wisdom of God’s word.


Sunday, November 27, 2016

Too Young to be Dating

Part One

Dear Aunt Dara,

I am 14 years old and in the eighth grade.  I have never liked the idea of dating in middle school, which is why prior to this year I never have.  In October I was asked out by a boy in my grade.  Every teacher would tell you all about how smart and mature he is for his age.  I agreed to date him to see how it would go.  Another reason I agreed to date him is because he loves the Lord, which is very important to me.  Many of the teachers that I trust have told me that they think our relationship is completely okay to have in middle school because we are both seen as more mature than the rest of the grade.  However, being in the relationship, I'm not sure I believe that anymore.  After all, we are only 14.  How mature can a 14-year-old really be?  Right?  Getting to the point, I'm not sure this whole dating thing at my age is a good idea.  But also taking into consideration that I have problems with stress and often question a lot in my life, I wonder if I am overreacting.  I have also recently been trying to find my identity in Christ and grow in my relationship with Him.  It is the most important thing in my life right now to have a good, strong, relationship with the Lord.  I am trying so hard to have better faith in Him and not struggle with doubt so much.  I feel like a 'romantic relationship' does not contribute to my needs right now.  I also have stuff at home I am trying to juggle, and I don't know that I want to be juggling a boyfriend on top of all of this.  I have been praying so much trying to figure out what to do, and I just feel stuck.  If I break up with him, I know it will introduce drama into my life and stress me out.  If I stay with him, I'm right back where I started.  I don't think he'll just want to be friends, because he is very serious about me and our relationship, more serious than I have ever been about us.  What do I do?  Do I break up with him and potentially throw away our friendship?  Please help, thanks.


Too Young 

Dear Too Young, 

Thank you for writing to me and trusting me with your situation.  I can see why people tell you that you are mature for your age.  Your letter shows that you have wisdom beyond your years.  You are correct in saying that 14 is very young to be dating.  You are also demonstrating wisdom in saying that your priority is finding your identity in Christ and growing in your relationship with Him.  May I suggest that you can keep your boyfriend and build your faith in Jesus both at the same time?  I shall explain.  You said that your boyfriend is intelligent, mature and he loves the Lord.  Who better to help you grow spiritually than someone who loves you and loves the Lord, and is developing his own relationship with the Lord also?  What I am suggesting is that you back off a little on the "romance" and dating and develop the friendship side of your relationship by working toward mutual spiritual growth.  He sounds like someone who would be healthy for you.  Keep him. 

God bless,
Aunt Dara 

Part Two 

Dear Aunt Dara,

I really appreciate your advice.  Unfortunately, we broke up.  It seems to be the best choice since my parents are not totally supportive when it comes to me dating, and I'm still not completely for the idea of dating at my age.  I still really want to stay friends with him, but we both took this pretty hard and I'm not quite sure how to get over him to the point where we can become friends again.  Any advice?

Too Young 

Dear Too Young, 

I am so sorry to learn that you broke up and that both of you are taking it pretty hard.  As I said before, you could have helped each other to grow spiritually if both of you backed off from the romantic "dating" and developed your Christian friendship.  The Bible is very clear that we need other Christians to encourage and support us (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12; Galatians 6:1-2; 1Thessalonians 5:11; Hebrews 3:12-13; Hebrews 10:24-25; James 5:16).  Not knowing the circumstances of how you broke up, it would be difficult for me to give any suggestions on how to repair the relationship, except to say that open, honest communication, heartfelt apologies and forgiveness, and much prayer are called for at this time.

God bless,
Aunt Dara

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