I didn't know what to call this post. But I am going to leap in...a little.
As a Christian parent I feel it is my job to follow Deuteronomy 6:5-9 in the training of my kids ...so we had a talk today. You see, we have a couple of kids close to their teen years, and they need to know how to stay pure and on the path to Godliness in those years, as their hormones change them into men and women. We all know how strong the sexual needs can be and that is why God gave us marriage. There within that committed relationship we can enjoy sexual intimacy and the blessing of children. But in American society, those things are largely taking place outside the marriage bond as people "play" marriage without actually marrying--in other words, fornication. Especially in teens and young adults.
I have been reading to some of the kids from a book called I Kissed Dating Goodbye by Joshua Harris. It calls people to seek God's way first and honor your Lord in your relationships. Dating is one of those things like clothing and drinking. It is not sinful in and of itself. It is how you approach it and what behaviors you exhibit that make it sinful in certain situations. If your motivation when you get dressed is "how hot and sexy can i look " then your motivation is wrong and your dress is probably going to be sinful. Your motivation should be "am I pleasing God today".
And with dating, if your motivation is "he/she is so hot...i want some of that" and selfishly pursuing relationships for what we can get from them, then that is sinful. Dating relationships are to end with marriage (more properly called courtship). Why toy with people's emotions and play with sexual sin when you are not in a place where marriage can be a reality?
I would urge people to read the book I mentioned and get a Godly perspective on our search for a marriage partner. Mr. Harris is not to be taken as the authority, though. God is the authority.
Consider what scripture says:
1 Timothy 4:12--Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit,, in faith, in purity.
1 John 2:15-16--Do not love the world or the things of the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world-the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, the pride of life-is not of the Father, but of the world.
Ephesians 5:3-5--But fornication and all uncleanness and covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints. Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but the giving of thanks. For this you know, that no fornicator, unclean person, nor covetous man has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.
1 Thessalonians 4:3-8--For this is the will of God: that you should abstain from sexual immorality. That each of you should know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, not in passion of lust, like the Gentiles who do not know God, that no one should take advantage of and defraud his brother in this matter, because the Lord is the avenger of all such...
1 Corinthians 6:18-20 and 7:2--Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your won? For you were bought at a price. Therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's.....Nevertheless, because of sexual immorality, let each man have his own wife and each woman her own husband.
Romans 6:12-13--therefore, do not let sin reign in your mortal body that you should obey its lusts. And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourself to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.
Romans 12:1-2--I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to god, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
So, the above is from God, and speaks very loudy and clearly about our sexual behavior. That is what I am trying to teach my children.
If you want to get to know people, be their friends and know them well in many situations, always with supervision. Treat the opposite sex as you would your own brother and sister, since you have no marriage commitment or authority over them. Do not defraud them or use them for your own personal pleasure of the moment, in lust. Be careful of your behavior, as you are called to seek first the kingdom of God, you are an example to the believers, your body is God's and not yours so glorify Him in it. Do not put yourself in situations of sexual temptation. The sexual relationship is reserved by God for marriage, so if you aren't ready to walk that path with one whom you can share your life, carefully consider your actions and motivations toward the opposite sex.
As a side note, Joshua Harris' younger twin brothers Alex and Brett have a wonderful website called TheRebelution and two books, the first being Do Hard Things. They challenge the youth of today to live according to the above verses and set the high standard of godliness for themselves, so they will be above reproach. I persoanlly think these brothers are on the righteous path and I hope that my children will follow too.