Can anyone suggest a good devotional for a young dating couple?

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by annsni, Apr 15, 2009.

  1. annsni

    annsni
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    There's a girl in our college group who is dating some dude who we've never met and she's getting a little obsessed. Fortunately, DH showed a Mark Driscoll sermon on dating that really opened up her eyes to some truths she didn't get before and now she's asking for a suggestion on a devotional that she and her boy can do together, while he lives in the next state. I'm not sure if he's a Christian (she says he is but then my girls said that he doesn't believe the Bible is true so....), and she's a very young believer and not too bright so I need something simple. Any ideas?
     
  2. preachinjesus

    preachinjesus
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    I don't recommend devotionals for dating couples in our singles ministry at the church where I get to serve. They create a spiritual and emotional bond that (imho) doesn't need to be there until marriage, or engagement.

    Anyhoo, I have (previously) used this text for some engaged couples during our marriage preparation time with them.

    http://www.christianbook.com/Christ...d=241455&event=ESRCN&item_code=WW&view=covers

    The whole dating thing is so messed up these days. Its just depressing. I hope and pray you continue to be a great Christian influence on this couple. We need more people like you out there helping those younger ones who need guidance. :)
     
  3. annsni

    annsni
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    Hmmm - I'm wondering if just a good "new Christian" devotional wouldn't be better or them than a dating one. I honestly am thinking that they need encouragement to grow closer to the Lord - not so much each other. You know what I mean?

    BTW - I can highly recommend this Mark Driscoll sermon on dating. I think it's one of the best, most well balanced teaching on it in a while.

    http://www.marshillchurch.org/media/religionsaves/dating
     
  4. Marcia

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    Especially if possibly the boy is not a believer.

    I've heard this before - that couples dating should not even pray together - at least on a regular basis. It makes sense to me but I am not sure why.

    Can you expand on the "spiritual and emotional bond" that should not be there until marriage or engagement? I ask because I often get emails from people who are dating and they ask my advice, even though my ministry does not deal with that. I'm usually giving them advice or info related to my ministry areas, but these kind of things (dating) often come up.
     
  5. annsni

    annsni
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    I've never heard of the "don't pray together before you're engaged" and I think that's weird because prayer is such an important part of a Christians' life that they should be praying with MANY people. It's no more intimate praying with a friend who's struggling in her job than praying with a boyfriend for his job. My husband and I prayed quite a bit before we were engaged - praying for others and praying for God's hand on our relationship and to lead us in the way He wanted us to go. It was very healthy for us. I also prayed with boyfriends before my husband and I never even gave them my heart.

    I do think that as a couple, if they are ready for marriage (able to be married - I'm not talking about 14 year olds but those in the position for marriage) SHOULD get more and more intimately involved with each other as their relationship grows - not physically but mentally, emotionally and spiritually. Of course, this is after a beginning time of getting to know each other and being more sure that this relationship is being blessed by God.

    But I am encouraging my daughter and her boyfriend to pray together - and to encourage each other in the Lord - to ask each other how they can pray for the other, ask each other questions like "What has God taught you today?" and stuff like that. They're not ready to marry for a while yet but if their relationship is not one that will lead to marriage, atleast they will have encouraged each other to grow in the Lord. And if they DO get married, they will be more mature in the Lord together. I think that's healthy, personally.

    But then again, I'm not asking them to do "couple" studies just yet. LOL We're not there yet.
     
  6. preachinjesus

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    Absolutely. He nails this one.

    I think an individual devotional might be a good start.:thumbs:
     
  7. Marcia

    Marcia
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    PreachinJesus, can you expand on what you said in your post and that I asked you about in mine? Thanks.
     
  8. annsni

    annsni
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    Did you watch it? Great, wasn't it?

    Yeah - I'm kind of thinking probably encouraging them to do each an individual study on their own but one that they can both do and talk about it on the phone (he lives in another state and they only see each other a couple times a month). I figure if she can mature in the faith - and he can either come to the Lord or mature if he IS saved already - couldn't hurt things. :)

    But I've not done this sort of thing in a long time so I don't know what's out there. Last study I did in an organized study was Experiencing God by Blackaby.
     
  9. preachinjesus

    preachinjesus
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    In my advice and personal history I usually limit the praying and spiritual bond to meals and special times where there is a need. I find regular, deep, devotional quality prayer is troublesome because it does create a bond.

    Well this isn't predicated upon any Scripture outside of a Song of Songs text, perhaps SS 3:1, 5. There are special parts of our relationships that are levels of intimacy in life. In dating (and I shall speak plainly here) we are openning ourselves up to a level of emotional intimacy that can lead to dangerous areas physically. Anyone who is in a healthy dating relationship will recognize proper boundaries and not cross them. The results would be disasterous.

    There is a deeper level of intimacy (not just sexual, but that is there too) when we cross into marriage. This relationship is one where we explore each other's nature and (literally) take away the artificial coverings and expose ourselves to someone else in a truly God blessed and sacred act of union. I believe this goes physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

    My experience has been that in dating we are learning about ourselves and others. There needs to be appropriate boundaries. Too often I've seen friends that began dating someone and would get way super deep spiritually with them and when the relationship ended (because of differences, etc) there was a spiritual schism that damaged them more than just the break up. Also, I've seen guys who have used this kind of spiritual position to break boundaries and damage young ladies deeply by allowing the spiritual and emotional barriers to be crossed easily (because they were dropped in trust) and suddenly there is a corruption of the physical bond.

    Both are damaging.

    One of the glorious things, imho, is seeing marriage as just not a sexual union but a union of two people in the fullest sense. The spiritual, emotional and physical unions are all important. Too often we see goodly Christian couples who have connected at the spiritual level in a way that only a husband and wife should do that are damaged (not necessarily physically) and have to take time to heal.

    Again, this is just my opinion. Your take might be different. While it doesn't have a ton of Scripture to support it (there are other passages to use also) it is a perferential belief I held until marriage.

    Thanks for asking.:thumbs:
     
  10. preachinjesus

    preachinjesus
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    Yes I did. He is one of the pastors I listen to on a weekly basis.

    Also he recently did sermons about marriage that blew me away. They are HUGE.

    http://www.marshillchurch.org/media/trial/marriage-and-men is for men

    http://www.marshillchurch.org/media/trial/marriage-and-women is for women

    I recommend them HIGHLY and for both men and women to listen to both.

    Sounds like you're on the right track. I certain you'll be a terrific influence. The dating scene is horrible right now. Sex is a social tool. I only know a handful of young people in their 20s who aren't...and fewer who haven't. We've got a big problem as a society.

    This is a super thread!
     
  11. Marcia

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    Thanks, PreachinJesus. Your explanation makes a lot of sense to me, and I tend to agree with your view on this. Intimacy is a lot more than the physical, and emotional or spiritual intimacy (which is different with a dating couple than just friends, imo), can cross boundaries that should remain there until marriage, or at least engagement.

    Thanks again! :wavey:
     
  12. annsni

    annsni
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    We watched a sermon this morning before I even had my cup of tea! It was on the regulative principle and we watched part of another one too. But what was great was watching Mark apologize for not teaching more on God's grace rather and that affecting the church's worship. VERY good stuff. I just wish my old computer here could play videos better. I need to watch them on my husband's or daughter's MacBook (I'm on a 2001 Mac and the video and audio skips a lot.)



    Sounds like you're on the right track. I certain you'll be a terrific influence. The dating scene is horrible right now. Sex is a social tool. I only know a handful of young people in their 20s who aren't...and fewer who haven't. We've got a big problem as a society.

    This is a super thread![/QUOTE]

    It is - thanks for the encouragement. DH has been working with the college ministry for years now and I used to but now I'm just so busy with the kids, homeschooling, working, etc. that I can't be as involved. What I find even sadder than the sex thing is that a lot of it goes back to these young girls who have dads who are just not involved in their lives or meeting these girls' emotional needs. They're looking for love elsewhere because Dad never gave it to them. :( That's what we're seeing with this girl.
     

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