Just in time for Valentines Day I received an e-mail question from Tim, who listens to WBCL in Muncie. Tim writes:
Dear Dr. Bill,
I’m 18-years-old and have been in foster-care for 8 years now. I’m wondering if you can give me some dating advice. How do I know when I’ve found the “right person” to date? I’ve had other relationships that haven’t gone so well, and I knew afterwards there was a problem. But how can you find the right person in the first place?
I appreciate the fact that you are being so thoughtful about relationships. Unfortunately many young people today don’t take dating, relationships or sexuality very seriously—and they end up experiencing a lot of pain as a result.
I’d encourage you to keep in mind that although physical appearance and personality may attract us to someone, what’s most important is their character. A person’s character shows itself over time, as we learn about their morals, values, and how they treat other people.
So before you begin dating a girl romantically, get to know her as a friend first. As you spend time together, perhaps in a youth group setting, observe how she acts, what’s important to her, and how she interacts with others.
In Galatians 5:22, we’re told that a person who manifests the Fruit of the Spirit exhibits qualities like peace, joy, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
Of course, we often blow it and act in ways that are completely contrary to that list. That’s where the Holy Spirit comes in. But if a girl you’re attracted to doesn’t display any of these qualities, she’s definitely not a good prospect.
Thanks for writing, Tim. I’ll be praying that God will help you find a wonderful Christian woman!