So ages ago I said I had to preach on Dating. Well the good news is that it is finally happening this week. I haven't really got anything on paper yet, but I do have some reflections about the process of writing this sermon.

1. The bible is effectively silent on dating. Some would say what about the "unequally yoked" passaged in 2 Corinthians, and I would say that is only very secondarily related to dating and even then only speaks to marrying a non-Christian and that being a bad idea. Thus leaving, who can I date? what's the point of dating? Should I Kiss Dating Goodbye? How much can I touch/kiss my date? How long should you go out before you get married? Should I want to get married and therefore try to get a date or should I just 'wait for God to provide? How do you avoid getting overly intimately connected too fast, or too slowly...? Is there are difference between dating someone and someone being your exclusive boyfriend/girlfriend? Can you just go on random dates with a whole bunch of random people, of the opposite sex, at once?

I'm sure there are many more questions.

So anyhow, this makes the whole thing very complicated. Essentially it's an area that God has left to Christian wisdom. Which is nice, but complex!

2. Because of this, there are hundreds of books on Christian Dating. Ranging from Joshua Harris' classic I Kissed Dating Goodbye, to Dr Henry Cloud's How to Get a Date worth keeping: Be Dating in 6 months or your money back. Don't date, or go for it and do it lots! I've read a few other books as well on this topic. I'll probably try and do some book reviews over the coming weeks.

3. There isn't much Australian writing on the matter. Even though our culture is fairly similar to the US, thanks to the wonder that is globalisation, the casual date seems to be a less common thing to do in Australia. People to my mind, especially Christians seem to be very quick to define themselves into an exclusive boyfriend/girlfriend relationship. Is this good or bad? What should those relationships look like?

4. Dating is a very personal topic to me. Those who know me well, know I've had mostly a series of disastrous attempts at the whole boyfriend and girlfriend thing that have not really ended well. I certainly don't come to this topic as someone who has dated well in the past. I've found that I've needed to repent of attitudes and behaviours I've had/done in the past as I've been writing this sermon. On the same token, as I think about dating in my current situation, the pressure to come up with an approach that is workable for me is also important.

5. Parents of youth will be at this service probably with their own idea about dating, and they will want to know what the Youth Minister is going to be telling their kids about dating... no pressure!

6. I want to call people to repentance and faith in Jesus somehow.

I've got a fun few days ahead of me. I'll post the link to my sermon next week so you can listen to it to see what I came up with, and how i dealt with some of these issues!