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Iíve never had a girlfriend, and donít know where to start.

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Iím 19, and Iíve never had a girlfriend. I want one, but I donít know where to start.óMountain Man, 19, NC


Shayna Answers:

Dear Mountain Man,

The most important thing any of us can do when we’re looking for a significant other is to seek God’s will. After all, Matthew 6:33 reminds us that when we do this, everything else in our life will fall into place.

First let me point out that dating is a precursor for marriage. That’s why the editors of Insight encourage readers to wait to date until college or later.

Maybe you’re in college or will be entering college soon. If that’s the case, to get yourself ready for a dating relationship, start by praying about how you can be a good partner to someone. Then commit to doing certain things, such as “I’m going to pray for our relationship every day” and “I’m going to respect my body and my girlfriend’s body.” Thinking in advance about how you want your relationship to work will make many of the temptations and hurdles in dating a lot easier.

Also, take some time to think and pray about what you need from a significant other. What fulfills people in relationships extends beyond how a significant other looks. Likely you’ll want to date someone who has similar morals, family values, and religious beliefs.

Once you know the kind of girl you’re looking for, you can start putting yourself in situations where you might meet her. God is the one who has a plan for your life (Jeremiah 29:11-14). However, you can play a role in God’s plan by the activities you engage in.

Here are some ideas: get involved in your church by helping with a ministry, teaching a Sabbath school class, or joining a small group Bible study. These activities will not only enrich your spiritual life and contribute to the church’s needs, but you may also meet other young people who share similar interests.
Social activities will also help strengthen your platonic friendships—an important step before having a romantic relationship. If you happen to live in an area where there are little or no young adults at your church, you can also join one of the many Adventist dating Web sites.

When you do start meeting people, concentrate on just being a good friend first. Even if you know that a girl you meet is someone you potentially want to date, being friends for a while will help to control some of the anxiety you may initially feel. You will also have the opportunity to get to know each other’s habits, tastes, and interests.

Being friends will also give you time to pray about whether or not the relationship is one God wants you to pursue. You will know that it’s the right one when the Holy Spirit gives you a sense of peace and contentment after you’ve sought God’s leading about it.

When you do ask that special someone to be your girlfriend, I hope you’ll both commit to seeking God’s will first in your lives. It’s easy for a lot of us to get caught up in pleasing our significant others when we have them, but the only way that good relationships work out is when God is at the center of them. And make sure you keep Him there!



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