Thursday, September 13, 2007

A New Perspective on Dating

My daughter works in the Vista area of Columbia, a restaurant/club area much like Five Points, drawing the same kind of USC crowd, and late last night I was waiting for my daughter to get off work when I noticed the traffic of people leaving one restaurant/bar. People were just walking up and down the sidewalk and I had time to spare.

I prayed, “Lord, since you told us to ‘go’ and you’ve given me people to talk to, please let your Spirit have His way to the praise of your glory.”

I approached a group of girls, introduced myself and told them I was waiting for my daughter to get off work—would they mind answering a few questions? They were agreeable. So I asked what, in their mind, was the ideal date. Eyes went starry and sighs exchanged as each girl talked about getting swept off their feet and romance.

I asked what they looked for in a guy. The consensus was that a guy should be funny, nice, not a jerk. One girl sat quite stone-faced and said to the surprise of everyone that she did not believe in lasting relationships, they did not exist. She did not date, but believed in keeping close friends, and nothing really beyond that. I encouraged her that relationships were valuable and volunteered that I married my best friend and we just celebrated 20 years this last month—everyone “awwwed” and congratulated us—even this one girl.

I asked, “What do you think about guys who lie?” Oh, the disdain! The girls were very vocal not only about what they thought of guys who lie, but shared brief stories and the pain and the hurt. Then came the cheating—they were very plain about how many boyfriends they’ve been through and cheating was a definite no-no.

Would they date a thief? No, of course not. One girl told us her boyfriend stole her earrings, but that did not seem to be a big issue with them.

I asked, “what about the language. What do you think about cursing, swearing, and blasphemy. Does it matter to you if a guy does this?” Interestingly, the girls somewhat admitted to doing it themselves, though the stone-faced girl and her friend held the opinion that, given this day and age, it was to be expected and there was nothing anyone can do about it—just put up with it and go on.

I then turned the question. “Would you consider yourself to be a good person?”

They all agreed.

I asked if they’d kept the Ten Commandments.

Silence. You could see the conviction setting in right on their faces. One girls said she sure she’d kept most of them, but I prodded, “how do you know?” She looked at me matter-of-factly and said, “I’m not sure.”

“Let’s find out,” I said, then asked if they’d ever lied.

Everyone agreed to lying.

I asked if they’d ever stolen. Most admitted they had.

I asked if they’d every committed adultery . . . and the hedging began.

I reminded them of Jesus words, that if you look with lust, you’ve committed adultery . . .

You know, it’s interesting that many times, this is where the interruptions really begin. Cell phones began to go off and cars with very VERY loud engines pulled up to the stop-light and revved.

I pointed out that, though they said they were “good persons,” God’s perfect law shows we are far from perfect and that, on judgment day, we would be guilty. One girl right away dropped her jaw and said, “I’m going to hell!”

I asked if that bothered her—it clearly did.

I told her (and all of them) of the justice of God and the love He showed us in Christ Jesus by his death on the cross and it is through the blood we can be forgiven of sin. I began to press the need to repent, but the cell phones started ringing again and a car pulled up to the side of us with very boisterous partiers. Clearly Satan did not want them to hear this.

When I was sure the conversation was lost, I gave them each a gospel tract and told them to seriously think about our conversation and read this tract.

They thanked me for talking with them, and we parted ways . . .

My prayer is that when they think of dating, the Holy Spirit will convict them.

Psalm 19:7, Galatians 3:24

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