Today we will be discussing The Seven Habits of Highly Defective Dating.
#1. Dating leads to intimacy but not necessarily commitment.
"Intimacy without commitment awakens desires-emotional and physical...(and) is like icing without cake, can be sweet, but it ends up making us sick."
2. Dating tends to skip the "friendship" stage of a relationship.
"Intimacy without commitment is defrauding. Intimacy without friendship is superficial. A relationship based only on physical attraction and romantic feelings will last only as long as the feelings last."
3. Dating often isolates a couple from other vital relationships.
"By it's very definition, dating is about two people focusing on each other. Unfortunately, in most cases the rest of the world fades into the background. If you've ever felt like a third wheel when hanging out with two friends who are dating each other, you know how true this is." Pg. 41
4. Dating can distract young adults from their primary responsibility of preparing for the future.
"Being distracted by love is not such a bad thing, unless God wants you to do something else." Pg. 43
5. Dating can cause discontentment with God's gift of singleness.
"God gives this singleness, a season of our lives unmatched in it's boundless opportunities for growth, learning, and service." pg. 44
6. Dating can create an artificial environment for evaluating another person's character.
"On a date, a person can charm his or her way into a dates heart. He drives a nice car, and pays for everything; she looks great. But who cares? Being fun on a date doesn't say anything about a person's character or ability to be a good husband or wife." Pg. 45
7. Dating often becomes and end in itself.
" Because they can experience many of the emotional and, sadly, even physical privileges of marriage in their dating relationships, many people (men in particular) find little motivation for committing themselves to marriage." pg. 46
Like Mr. Josh Harris says, "the seven habits of highly defective dating reveal that we can't fix many of dating's problems by merely "dating right". The pastor in Eric and Jenny's story encouraged saving sex for marriage, but, advice like this is like the person trying to keep the swerving cart on course in the shop with expensive china, it doesn't work.
"We see the failed attempts around us, but we refuse to replace this "cart" called dating. We want to stay on the straight and narrow path and serve God, yet we continue a practice that often pulls us in the wrong direction(pg. 31).......Let's not waste any more time battling the swerving cart of dating. It's time for a new attitude."(pg. 43)
In my many dreams of being a wife and mother, I often forget that singleness is a gift from God, a time to serve others, to grow, and to prepare for my future marriage and serving my future spouse. I don't need to wish away my single years (even if I want to) but instead, treasure them and use them for preparation and service. I need to step up and take ahold of the gift that God has placed in my lap, using it for HIS glory.
"God gives us singleness - a season of our lives unmatched in its boundless opportunities for growth, learning and service." Pg. 44
"No, dating doesn't make us sin. And no, getting rid of it wouldn't solve all our problems in relationships. But it would be foolish to pretend that dating itself isn't at least part of the problem." Pg. 36
Like Josh says, dating doesn't "make us sin" but it's an environment that encourages us to give in to selfishness and temptation. If you have a certain weakness, the last thing you want to do is place yourself in a situation that will support compromising.
If you have any thoughts on this chapter, please share!