Wednesday, 14 August 2013

life lessons: dating

Today I want to do something a bit different for my life lessons series. Instead of talking about a specific time in my life, I'd love to talk about the lessons I learned from dating in my early to late teen years.

Lesson # 1: Age Matters

I learned this a little too late. But age matters. It's not uncommon to hear an eight-year-old talking about their "boyfriend" or "girlfriend". Some adults even ask young school-aged children if they have a "boyfriend". Please don't ask my daughter this before she's 25 (just kidding, just never ask).

I had my first relationship when I was fourteen. Saying that makes me feel a bit sick in my stomach, but it's true. Looking back, I wish I had waited until university to have a serious relationship. I just wasn't ready and it set me down a very dangerous path.

my cousin and I (16)

Lesson #2: Your Parents' Opinion is Important

When I was a young teen I didn't listen to my mom's concerns or objections. I did what I wanted, because my heart was the boss. Looking back, I knew that my Mom was right. I just didn't want to hear it.

Lesson # 3: You are worthy

Most of the time when I look at past relationships I wonder, what was I thinking? I wasn't thinking. And I wasn't feeling worthy. I didn't believe a good guy would ever want to date me, I didn't feel loved by any men in my life, and so I desperately sought love wherever I could find it. I wish I could tell myself, you are worthy. I think those three words would have brought me to tears, and possible changed my life.

me at 17.
at a time when I felt the least worthy. the job didn't help.

Lesson # 4: Build a solid foundation

Nothing lasts without a solid foundation. That is pure logic. I was 19 when I learned that, just in time too. A young man walked into my life and we started out our relationship by doing bible studies over MSN. The first move we watched was Fireproof, a Christian film on solid marriages. Recently I was reading through a devotional book we bought for Christian dating couples. I loved seeing the little notes we made in the margins, young love blooming with a godly foundation.

building a solid foundation with my future husband
(we're 20 here)

Lesson # 5: Cover yourself in grace

I still am learning this. As a Christian, wife, mother, daughter, friend. I need to be covered in grace, because I can't do anything without the grace of God. It's all around me. My life is a testimony of God's grace, giving me chance after chance. Even when I met my husband at 19, and we stood on solid ground, the earth still quaked beneath us. It still does.

my daily grace

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