In an article in the Washington Times by David Hill (Monday, September 3, 2012), an environmental specialist offers this advice to area hotel guests (in rooms where the creepy bugs are found), “you could take such steps as keeping your luggage in the bathroom or putting washable items in the dryer immediately after returning home.” He goes on to say, “You may get bites, but you’re not going to bring any bedbugs to your home…..as long as you don’t bring bedbugs to your home, YOU SHOULD BE FINE.” (Caps are mine and are purely for fun because this really freaked me out)
Who wants to take the chance? Why would you sleep in a room that had bedbugs and assume that YOU SHOULD BE FINE?
This got me thinking about areas in the lives of young people that we take the same approach. Not teaching my kids about the harms of dating non-Christians is a bit like sleeping in a hotel room with known bedbugs. You may not bring any home, but it’s not worth the risk in my mind. Telling my girls and the kids in my ministry that it’s ok to date non-Christians is like me saying I’m comfortable sleeping in a room known to have bedbugs and hoping for the best.
I’ve raised my kids and the kids in my ministry to follow this rule for marriage: the person they marry has to love Jesus more than he loves them. Plain and simple. The idea behind dating is that you would find the person, ultimately that you will marry and spend your life with. If we allow our kids to date those who do not have a solid commitment to Jesus Christ and are not completely committed to their faith, we run a risk.
In their book, “Lies Young Women Believe” Nancy Lee DeMoss and Dannah Gresh address this topic in the following way: “ It is so important for you to realize that as Christians we need to only be considering other Christians for dating relationships. It is also important to know that God desires for you to marry (and therefore date) a hristian. But that's not all. He desires for you to marry a man who can lead you spiritually. If your only dating qualification is to find a guy who goes to church, you may find yourself in trouble. The consequences of being "unequally yoked" are painful!”
Gresh & DeMoss issue the following truth-seekers relationship pledge
Truth-Seekers Relationship Pledge
"I purpose never to become involved in a relationship with a guy who is not a true follower of Jesus Christ and whose character and lifestyle are not consistent with the kind of man I believe God wants me to marry someday."
What a concept. What if we teach our kids to “Seek FIRST his kingdom and his righteousness" in all areas of life? (Matthew 6:33) The next part of this verse says “all of these things will be given to you as well.” God has better things for us than we could ever design on our own.
As I sit in pre-marital counseling sessions with kids who have grown up in my ministry, I’m often saddened by the fact that young people, brought up in Christian homes and raised in the church, settle for less than God’s best. Many times, couples I work with enter marriage assuming that THEY SHOULD BE FINE. Scares
I realize that there are exceptions in the lives of people I know. I have friends who have married non-Christians who, later became Christ followers and are awesome examples of a life transformed. On the other hand, I know far too many who are frustrated because there is a division in their home about priorities and principles. While it does work out sometimes, to me it’s like sleeping in a hotel room with bedbugs and assuming “I SHOULD BE FINE”. Why would we aim for less than idea when it comes to the future of your kids and their future families?
Begin early to talk to your kids about what a Godly spouse looks like. Dannah Gresh’s book, “Six Ways to Keep the Little in Your Girl” addresses this issue by teaching you to dream with your daughter about her future prince. This is applicable for your sons as well. Let them know how important this concept is early on.
What about you? Does your family have guidelines yet (even though your kids may not be of dating age yet, it’s important to establish and discuss
these) when it comes to dating non-Christians?