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dating & relationships

Daily Bible Verse and Devotion – Eph 2:10

God has good things for you

For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. – Eph 2:10

Today’s Bible verse shows us that God didn’t just make you a part of his family. He has also planned GOOD things for us to do.

God doesn’t have bad things in store for your future, only good. You have been created with special gifts and abilities to help others.

Today’s Truth: God has good things in store for you.

In light of that truth, don’t let fear stop you from stepping out and doing the things God has called you to do. Ask God to show you those things. If you stay open, God wants to use you to bless and encourage others.

So today, don’t let anything stop you from doing what God is calling you to do. Be bold and do what He shows you to do.

[Tweet “You’re created for greatness! Step out and do the things God has called you to do. – @studentdevos”]

If you’d like some help in discovering your purpose, check out our awesome e-devotion, The Purpose Planner. It will help you think and pray about the future God has for you.

Daily Bible Verse and Devotion – Philippians 4:11

Teen Devotion on Giving thanks

It’s easy to envy others. Perhaps you have a friend who is happily dating someone and you’re single.  It’s easy to envy them and want to be in a relationship too.

It’s hard to be happy when it feels like others have happiness and you don’t. However, the secret to living a happy life is simple, you’ve got to choose to give thanks and be content even when you don’t feel it.

I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. – Phil 4:11 (NIV)

Paul didn’t always feel it. There were times when he was going through some really tough stuff. Yet, even in the middle of all the hardships, he found ways to be content.

That’s what you’ve got to do too. You’ve got to choose to be content. Even if you’re single. Even if you haven’t met that right person yet. Choose to give thanks to God.

Relationship Tip #3 – Give Thanks

Giving thanks can even be like a faith step. You might not have met the right person to date yet, but that’s ok. You can choose to thank God and be happy in the season you’re in.

[Tweet “You can choose to be thankful regardless of the season of life you’re in – @studentdevos”]


e-book on dating for teens imageIf you’d like to pursue godly relationships and healthier dating habits, check out our e-book, Date Smarter. It has 5 devotions, prayers and lots of great advice to help you date smarter.

Daily Bible Verse and Devotion – Hebrews 13:17

Teen Devotion on asking others who to date

I have a friend that once was warned by his pastor not to date a girl. At the time, my friend thought that it was weird. Why was his pastor telling him this?

However, he did listen, and after time, realized his pastor was right. The girl soon stopped coming to church and started making bad decisions. He realized that if he had started dating her, he might have had a lot of heartache.

Relationship Tip #2 – Ask

There’s power in learning to ask those around you when it comes to dating. If you’re questioning whether to date someone, consider asking your pastor, youth leader, or parents what they think of that person.

Trusted adults in your life often have a lot of wisdom. If you’ll let them, they can speak the truth in your life and you can avoid heartache as a result.

Obey your spiritual leaders, and do what they say. Their work is to watch over your souls, and they are accountable to God. Give them reason to do this with joy and not with sorrow. That would certainly not be for your benefit. – Hebrews 13:17

Often your leaders will have advice that will help you. So be open to listening to what they say. They have life experience and wisdom that can help you along the way.


e-book on dating for teens imageIf you’d like to pursue godly relationships and healthier dating habits, check out our e-book, Date Smarter. It has 5 devotions, prayers and lots of great advice to help you date smarter.

Daily Bible Verse and Devotion – 1 Corinthians 13:4

Teen Devotion and Bible Verse on Waiting to Date

You’ve got a crush. And all you can think about is that person and how happy you’d be if you were in a relationship with them. You lie awake at night, thinking about how cute they are, and all the great things about them.

So how do you know if they are a person you should date? 

Here’s our advice to you: wait. Before you jump into a relationship, wait a bit. Take an honest look at your crush. You might see all the great things about them, but what about those areas where they aren’t so awesome?

Are those things deal breakers for you?

It would be better to discover those things now, rather than to have your heart broken in the future. There’s nothing to gain by being hasty. Instead, challenge yourself to take a little time to reflect on whether your crush truly is someone you’d like to date.

Relationship Tip #1 – Wait.

The Bible describes love as being patient. There’s nothing wrong with being patient and waiting before you get involved in a relationship.

Hastiness leads to heartbreak. A smart dater chooses to wait and honestly evaluates before getting into a relationship.

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Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. – 1 Cor 13:4 (NIV)

So today, if you’ve got a crush, take some time to evaluate before you enter a relationship with them. Do they have some areas in their life that will be deal-breakers for you in the future? If so, avoid the heartache of a broken relationship and decide now not to date them.


e-book on dating for teens imageIf you’d like to pursue godly relationships and healthier dating habits, check out our e-book, Date Smarter. It has 5 devotions, prayers and lots of great advice to help you date smarter.

Daily Bible Verse and Devotion – Isaiah 40:8

The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures forever.” – Isaiah 40:8 (NIV)

Do you wish you had a date? Are you in a relationship, but wish you knew how to get out of it? Relationships are hard and whether you’re in one or not sometimes it’s just simply hard to be content. Some days are good and some days are bad. With all the ups and downs of relationships, it’s often a lot of work to be content.

The good news is that no matter how crazy your relationships get, there’s one thing that is constant. It’s God’s word. God’s word is never changing. And when things get crazy, it’s God’s word that we should turn to. God’s word should be the standard and the guide for all our relationships.

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So regardless of your relationship status, choose today to look at God’s word. Let the unchanging truths in it be the standard for how you live your life. Don’t be swayed by relationships and feelings but rather cling to the truth found in God’s word.

Read: Date Smarter – 5 Devotions About Relationships

Daily Bible Verse and Devotion – 1 Corinthians 13:4

Teen on Skateboard - Devotion about loving others

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs – 1 Cor 13:4-5 (NIV)

Have you ever wondered how to know if the person you want to date is dateable?

One easy way to judge this is by looking at that person’s love life. That’s doesn’t mean looking at social media to find out the people they’ve already dated. Instead, it requires looking at how they love others. How do they treat their mom and dad? How do they treat their teachers, friends, and the workers at the restaurant? If they treat them with love, like today’s Bible verse describes, then you know you’ve got someone who is worth dating.

So in your dating relationships, choose to protect your heart. Wait for a person who will treat you with Godly love and respect. This type of a person is someone you will want to date.

Read: 7 Strategies to Help You Stay Sexually Pure

Choose to say no to relationships that push you away from God and wait for ones that are exhibiting Godly love. In the end, you’ll be thankful that you said no to them and chose to protect your heart.

[Tweet “Protect Your Heart. Say no to relationships that push you away from God. – @studentdevos”]

3 Tests To See If You’re In Love

Teen and Youth Devotion on Finding Out If you're in love

How do you know if you’re really in love? Is there some magic formula, math equation, or science experiment that can tell you? How do you know when you’ve found the “real deal” and when to just keep looking?

There’s got to be a better way to approach relationships and dating. We’ve come up with three tests to find out if the relationship you’re in or pursuing has the potential to be the real thing.

  1. Test #1 – The Push Test
    The best way to find out if your relationship is true love is by putting it through the push test. The push test takes an honest look at your current relationship and asks, “What is this relationship pushing me toward?” Is your relationship pushing you toward God? Are you challenged to be a better Christian by the person you’re dating? Or does your relationship make you do, say and go places that you’re not comfortable with? Is your relationship pushing you toward your goals? A true relationship headed toward love and marriage will push you closer to God and challenge you to accomplish your goals.

    Stop forming inappropriate relationships with unbelievers. Can right and wrong be partners? Can light have anything in common with darkness? – 2 Cor 6:14

  2. Test #2 – The Church Test
    The church test is a great way to find out if your relationship really is love. The church tests asks if how you act and the things you do around your crush or boyfriend/girlfriend were viewed by your pastor, or even Jesus himself would you be embarrassed? Is your relationship causing you to do things physically, verbally, or any other way that isn’t right? If it is, you need to cut the relationship off. As a Christian, you’ve got the spirit of God living on the inside of you. You should be acting in ways that reflect that new nature.

    Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself – 1 Cor 6:19

     

  3. Test #3 – The Family Test
    This test asks how your family feels about the person you’re dating. Do they feel that you’re a better person because you’re with them? Or do they see some red flags in your relationship? Do they become worried about your behavior when you’re with that person? If your family has concerns about your relationship, you need to take those to heart. If a relationship doesn’t pass the family test, you should seriously consider calling it off.

    If you honor your father and mother, “things will go well for you, and you will have a long life on the earth.” – Ephesians 6:3 (NLT)

These three tests should help you determine if your relationship has the potential to be true love. Always be sure to spend time praying and asking God about your relationship. Also, don’t be afraid to call off a relationship if it’s not headed in a good direction. Your heart is too valuable to not be protected. Determine today to make good choices when it comes to dating.

If you’re a youth leader, and you enjoyed this devotion, be sure to check out the youth leader lesson on the same topic. We’ve also got a ton of great resources in our youth leader resources section, so check them out!

3 Things True Love Is

3 Things True Love Is Teen Devotion Youth Lesson on True Love Dating Sex
We live in a world that gives us all kinds of messages about what true love is.  The TV shows, movies and books we read all portray love in so many different ways. Sometimes with all the different portrayals of love, its hard to really determine what true love is. So the help clear it up, we’re going to talk about three things true love is.

  1. True love looks out for the best interests of the other person – This means thinking about what is best for the other person. Many times, dating relationships are centered around selfish motives. For example, someone might date the starting quarterback in high school because it helps their popularity, or it makes them look good.  This isn’t true love because true love looks out for what is best for the other person. True love puts its own best interests on the back shelf and is looking out for the needs and interests of the other person.

    “Love cares more for others than for self.” – 1 Cor 13:4 (Message)

  2. True love is based on friendship NOT the physical – a relationship based on the physical stuff won’t last. Any relationship should focus on getting to know the other person long before the physical comes into play. That’s why God asks us to wait to have sex before marriage. Its one of the best ways to make sure your relationship will last, because it is based on something deeper than just the physical. Physical attraction isn’t a good judge of love. Attraction can fade, but a relationship built on a solid foundation of friendship will be much more likely to succeed.
  3. True love has its foundation in Jesus – The most important thing in a relationship is the other person’s feelings toward Jesus. If the person you’re dating doesn’t love Jesus like you do, run away from the relationship. It is never a good decision to become involved with someone that doesn’t love God like you do.  This will set you up for lots of heartache in the future.

    “Don’t become partners with those who reject God. How can you make a partnership out of right and wrong? That’s not partnership; that’s war. Is light best friends with dark?” – 2 Cor 6:14 (Message)

The Bible gives us the best picture of what true love is. If you want to really understand what true love is, you will find it by reading your Bible. A good place to start is by reading 1 Corinthians 13, which talks a lot about what love looks like.

Pray: God I thank you for setting up a picture of what true love is in your word. I purpose in my heart to always put you first in my life. Help me be an example of true love to others and to let your love shine through me. Amen.

Recommended Reading:

 

Check out Sex Has a Price Tag: Discussions About Sexuality, Spirituality and Self Respect This is an engaging read with lots of real life examples and fun stats!

 

Related Youth Resources

Why Should You Guard Your Heart

Devotion on Why You Should Guard Your HeartWe put a lot of emphasis on guarding our bodies. We buy shin guards in soccer, mouth guards for football. We wear helmets when riding our bikes. We do everything we can to keep our bodies safe and healthy. We spend tons of money every year for things that keep us safe. However, many times we give very little thought to guarding our heart.

Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. – Proverbs 4:23

This verse tells us to guard our heart above all else. That means we should make it more important. It should be more important than guarding our body. Guarding your heart means protecting it and not giving it away too easily.

A few years ago I was on a missions trip and I carried a large amount of money and my passport everywhere I went in a secret pouch under my clothes. I always knew where that money was because it was important to me and I was guarding it. When you guard something you take care of it. You know its important and you don’t want anything to happen to it.

Many times in dating relationships we don’t guard our hearts. We give away too much of our heart to someone we don’t know that well, and don’t have any safeguards in place to keep our hearts from being hurt. Your heart is an important part of you, and its too valuable to get destroyed by relationships that aren’t right. So here are a few safeguards to put into place in your relationships.

  1. Guard your words. – Pay attention to what you say. Don’t promise too much or say things that you aren’t going to carry through on. You can hurt your heart and the heart of others by the words you speak. Choose to speak words of life to others.
    “Those who love to talk will experience the consequences, for the tongue can kill or nourish life. ” (NLT) – Proverbs 18:21
  2. Guard your imagination. Its easy to get carried away in a dating relationship. You might go on three dates and think you’ve found the ‘one’. In your imagination, you’ve named your first three kids and have decided what your house will look like. However, this isn’t healthy. Its not good to spend lots of time imaging a relationship and where its going. You can set yourself up for heartbreak if you don’t guard what you allow yourself to dwell on.
  3. Guard who you date. Don’t just date anyone. Make sure their values line up with yours. Make sure they feel like you do about important issues. Don’t just date someone because they like you. Make sure you have common ground.
  4. Guard your purity. Don’t give this away. Wait until you’re married. Giving up your purity is a great way for you to experience heartbreak.

Make sure you put some safe guards on your heart. Don’t give your heart away too easily to someone. Be sure that you’ve taken the time to get to know them and that you’ve prayed about the relationship. The more effort you put into guarding your heart and making wise decisions in your dating choices, the less heartbreak failed relationships will bring.

If you need some encouragement from God when it comes to your relationships, we’ve put together an awesome set devotions to strengthen your walk with God. You can download them below.

 

4 Culprits That Are Killing Your Relationships

Have you ever thought about the fact that there are things in your life that could be killing your relationships? You might sit back and look at your life and think, why don’t I have more friends? Why aren’t my relationships better? What you might not realize is that you may be subject to one of these four culprits that kill relationships.

  1. Selfishness. This is a dangerous relationship killer. You know you’re trapped in selfishness when you are always worried about yourself. When you have a conversation, are you so concerned with being heard that you forget to listen?
    Are you so focused on self-promotion that you have little time to look out for others? Are you always putting your needs first at the expense of others? This is a dangerous relationship trap to fall into. The Bible tells us how we should be treating others in 1 Corinthians 13.
    “Love cares more for others than for self.” – 1 Corinthians 13:4 (Message)
  2. Laziness. Its easy to get lazy in relationships. You might feel like watching TV instead of texting a friend that is in need. You might rather sit in bed and read a book than going to your best friend’s football game. However, laziness can be a relationship killer. If you keep putting comfort ahead of your friends, eventually they will start to resent that. Being a good friend involves doing what’s right for your friend, even if it puts some of your comfort on hold. Choose to not be lazy and put relationships first in your life.
  3. Shyness. Shyness is a huge relationship killer. If you’re a person that tends to be naturally shy, you’ve got to challenge yourself to push past any shyness you might feel to get noticed and make friends. You have to step out of your comfort zone and begin to talk to people. You’ve got to not allow your shyness to hold you back, but rather choose to step out of what’s comfortable and easy and learn to talk to others.
    It might not be easy at first, but the more you try talking to people the easier it will get.
  4. Emotional Baggage. This can be a big relationship killer. Its easy to let the hurts of your past influence your future relationships. If you’ve been hurt by someone it can be really hard to start trusting people again. You tend to be weary of getting to close to others if you’ve been hurt. However, holding people at a distance and not trusting them is a way to kill relationships. Even though you may have been hurt, you can go to God for healing. He’s able to heal your heart and help show you ways to begin trusting others again.
    He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. – Psalm 147:3 (HSCB)

Relationships take work. They involve setting aside at times what seems easy and putting another’s needs or interests ahead of your own. However, its worth it to do what the Bible outlines in regards to relationships. Its what should set us as Christians apart from other people. We as Christians should be the ones that are treating others with the love and respect that God has shown us. This week remember that how you treat others speaks just as loud as the things you say. Choose to shut off the things in your life that are relationship killers and let the love of God flow through you!

By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” – John 13:35 (NIV)

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