My first Dr. Myles Munroe cost over a hundred bucks and as a high school pupil, I felt the sting of paying this much for a book. Somehow I knew Waiting and Dating would be worth every penny because it wasn’t just a quick read and a few years down the line, I would still find myself flipping through the pages, highlighting new discoveries. It has taught me a great deal about godly dating and friendship, which he shares is the basis for any relationship.
Preparing to date
He starts off by introducing the concept of dating, which he notes is “not a Scriptural concept but nonetheless has become thoroughly embedded as a social norm”. In Waiting and Dating, Dr. Munroe looks at the purpose of dating and seeks to answer some of these: “What, exactly, is dating? What is its purpose? When is a person ‘ready’ to date? What guidelines are appropriate for a dating relationship?” With three basic principles he unfolds what qualifies dating “readiness”.
You are not ready to date until you are fully aware of both the benefits and the dangers of dating.
Human beings relate to each other on three levels: spirit, mind and body. Healthy relationships should always begin at the spiritual and intellectual levels – the levels of purpose, motivation, interests, dreams, and personality. The physical dimension is the least important of the three, yet that is where we start.
Before you start to date someone you are interested in, ask yourself, “Am I aware of the benefits as well as the dangers of dating this person?”
- You need a good understanding of God’s standards for relationships.
Waiting until you are in a dating situation to decide what is right or wrong or what you will or will not do is too late. Unless you settle those matters in your heart and mind beforehand, you will have little protection against and could easily go too far. There are only two choices: either you will follow God’s standards by deliberate choice, or you will follow the world’s standards by default.
- Once you have determined from Scripture what God’s standards are, resovle in your spirit that you will not lower or compromise those standards for any reason, even if it means losing dates.
- You are ready to date when you don’t need to.
If you feel that you “need” a date in order to be complete or fulfilled personally, you are not ready for dating. Need involves demand and implies that there is something lacking in life. The opposite of need is choice, which allows for a decision.
Here are some of my favourite highlights:
Friendship does not come to full bloom overnight; it takes time to grow and mature.
A relationship motivated by need destroys friendship because it is essentially self-centred.
True friendship is based on love, which comes from God. People who are without God do not truly understand love and therefore cannot truly understand friendship.
The nature and purpose of friendship is to build character.
Learn to focus on the other person rather than on ourselves.
Focusing on the other person is one of the steadfast principles of friendship.
One characteristic of intimacy is the capacity to both give and receive correction with grace and appreciation.
Praying for our friends is really the most important and significant thing we can do for them.
Being a continuing source of encouragement for our friends will help them succeed.
It’s sad that we’ve lost Dr. Munroe but I am encouraged by his work that lives on, not only on my bookshelf, but also in my heart. And I trust you have been to.
Grace and peace