“Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the
flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ;
Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart; With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men: Knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free.” (Ephesians 6:5–8, KJV 1900)
I once knew a young adult student who was very successful in his freshman year in a college several states away from his hometown. He was a good roommate, excellent student, and great competitor in several sports teams on campus. His high school sweetheart was a senior in high school his freshman year at college and her choice of a college the following year was affecting his thoughts for what would have been his sophomore year. With her decision to go to a local, secular college for a medical degree, this young man decided he would follow her lead and transfer to the same school.
After one week in the local college, he changed his mind; there were several females assaulted and violent crimes on that campus. He wanted out of that environment. There was time for this man to re-enroll in his original college where he finished the next 3 years and graduated. She ended up following him to the same campus and successfully completed a medical degree and they are married and have a beautiful family today.
In the above verses, Paul cautions the Christians in Ephesus to not be serving their bosses and living their lives by merely trying to make others happy. “Menpleasers” carries this idea: “studying to please men, courting the favor of men”. We are told NOT to be menpleasers. When making decisions, we must consider God and His will for our lives. In other words, we do not do what we do, live how we live or decide what we decide – just to make others happy. Our goal is not to make ourselves happy! Our goal is to please the Lord first and foremost. It is possible for you to find the will of God and do it – with all your heart!
When young adults and teenagers are discerning the will of God, the strongest motivation perhaps is to allow the pressure or expectations from peers, girlfriends/boyfriends affect their decision-making process. While the input of others and those who know us best can be healthy, it can also distract a young person from truly finding and fulfilling the will of God.
Until a young adult says “I do” in a marriage ceremony, the primary consultation for advice should be the parents, teachers, guidance counselors, and local church pastors. When a teenager or young adult allows one person to direct their path, the outcome may not be finding the path God has for you.
For example, what if the college man in the story moved to the other college, continued with classes, and then he and she broke off the relationship? He may have missed out on the education and other friendships that God intended for him. The young lady would have spent years in a pointless relationship. The direction of her life would have been impacted and the direction if his life would have been affected.
Sometimes, God’s will allows us to cross paths with others: I call this the “intersectional will of God.” Along the path of life, we impact others and others impact us. It is best that those impacts do not include a crash or a wrecking of our lives or of others. I encourage
young adults to make personal decisions, consulting the Lord. Find God’s will for your life-alone. Once the “I Do” commitments are made, then the significant other is of utmost importance – but not until then. When engaged, the dynamic shifts some to each other and big plans are made, but the true commitment for life takes place at the wedding ceremony when making a covenant to each other with God.
A secular mindset is to “date anyone and everyone, anytime you want.” But God made us for long term relationships. Consult Moses and Jesus for information on that. When a teenager or young adult is following the general and specific will of God for his/her life, the Lord will eventually bring just the right person along to be their partner in life and join them in marriage. Keep waiting on God. As one preacher said: “Don’t look for the right one, be the right one, and God will give you the right one.”
Three other verses really give clear guidance:
- After preparing for a career and becoming responsible for your own lively is a
good time to consider dating and marriage. “Prepare thy work without and make it fit for thyself in the field; And afterwards build thine house.” (Proverbs 24:27, KJV 1900) In a practical way, it is healthy to be very good friends until you sense the Lord causing the friendship to develop into romance.
- Singleness is a gift and should be embraced until God directs a spouse to you.
We can serve the Lord without distraction, and this is the goal of every young Christian, following Jesus. “There is difference also between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman careth for the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit: but she that is married careth for the things of the world, how she may please her husband. And this I speak for your own profit; not that I may cast a snare upon you, but for that which is comely, and that ye may attend upon the Lord without distraction.” (1 Corinthians 7:34–35, KJV 1900)
- Avoid sexualizing your relationship. Sex without the safety net of marriage causes internal emotional and physical/chemical bonding and attachment issues. Sexual release changes the brain function and causes different thinking about each other! Once bonded in sexual activity, it becomes more difficult to think objectively about the relationship. These are issues that should be avoided if you wait to enjoy sex in the bounds of marriage. “Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman. Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.” (1 Corinthians 7:1–2, KJV 1900) Once you are married – have a healthy sexual relationship – you know belong to each other in the sight of God. God created sex – have fun – within God’s perfect plan.
It is possible for you to find the will of God and do it – with all your heart!
Mentor and Bible teacher, Dr. Jim Schettler, used to say the following helpful thoughts. I hope they will encourage you today:
- “Don’t look for the right one, be the right one and God will bring the right
- “It is better to wait and know it than to date and blow it.”
- “Every date is a possible mate.”
- “What they are now, they always will be.”
- “How you get them is how you keep them.”
- “A dating relationship should be a delight, not a duty.”
Be encouraged to study healthy dating and marriage – before dating someone! Outside of trusting Jesus for salvation, dating could lead to the biggest relational decision of your life on earth. It will impact you and potentially future generations of people. Here are some helpful books I recommend for your study:
- 1 Corinthians chapter 7
- Boundaries in Dating – https://www.christianbook.com/boundaries-in-dating-henry-cloud/9780310200345/pd/00342?event=PRCBD1
- Passion and Purity – https://www.christianbook.com/passion-and-purity-second-edition/elizabeth-elliot/9780800723132/pd/723130?event=PRCBD1
- Preparing for Marriage – https://www.christianbook.com/preparing-marriage-discover-plan-lifetime-love/dennis-rainey/9780764215506/pd/215506?event=CPOF
- 101 Questions to Ask Before You Get
Engaged – https://www.christianbook.com/questions-ask-before-you-get-engaged/h-wright/9780736913942/pd/913947?event=CFCER1
- Ready to Wed – https://www.christianbook.com/ready-ways-start-marriage-youll-love/greg-smalley/9781624054068/pd/054068?event=CFCER1
- Love, Sex, and Dating – https://www.christianbook.com/new-rules-for-love-sex-dating/andy-stanley/9780310342199/pd/342199?event=PRCBD1
 Thayer, J. H. (1889). A Greek-English lexicon of the New Testament: being Grimm’s Wilke’s Clavis Novi Testamenti (p. 46). New York: Harper & Brothers.