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7 Tips for Dating with Integrity

Here are a few tips on how to date with integrity. I'll be sharing these with a group of high school students on Saturday. These are definitely not all the things I did in high school, nor do they flow with the currents of culture, but they are the type of things I will be looking for in my kid's dating relationships.

1. Get Right with God
  • All of your relationships need to be based on your relationship with Jesus Christ. He must be your first and greatest love above all others. If you are not pursing Jesus and the live he invites you to, then you shouldn't be pursing anyone else either.
2. Focus on Friendship First
  • Lasting relationships begin as great friendships. Friendship provides the context for getting to know another person at their core, without all the pretense and pretending that can occur in a dating relationship. Dating relationships should flow naturally out of friendships as you find a man/woman who had a heart and mind like yours.
3. Go in a Group
  • Group activities provide all kinds of opportunity to get to know another person and build a friendship. Groups can also help you to build friendships with people who have similar passions and interests as you. There is nothing you should be doing alone with a person that you couldn't do in a group.
4. Only be Alone in a Crowd
  • You don't have to put yourself in a compromising situation to get to know someone more personally. Go for walks, meet at a mall or coffee shop, go with a group and sit next to one another. There is no integrity-driven reason to be isolated with someone from the opposite sex.
5. Ask for Accountability
  • Invite a friend or two into your relationships to help you identify your motives and weaknesses. Good friends help you remove the blinders that your feelings can create so that you can evaluate your relationships more clearly.
6. Be Mindful of Your Motives
  • Before you date you should be able to articulate the reason why you want to date someone exclusively. Why would this be more advantageous than friendship and group activities? When we are honest, many times motives of sexual desire or emotional loneliness drive us to pursue dating, when we really should be pursing Jesus.
7. Be Cautious with Your Commitments
  • Exclusively dating another person binds you to that person and creates commitments between the two of you that can leave lasting bruises should the relationship end. You should be careful what your words and actions are articulate (intentionally and non-intentionally) to the other person. If you are not looking or ready for marriage why would you bind your emotions with another's.
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