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Teenagers, I want to encourage you to group date or double date. Dating is a Westernized cultural activity (it's not mentioned once in the Bible), and is meant to be a time for fellowship, character development, and social development.

If you're in a "friend" relationship with another person of the opposite sex, there are things in your life that can be developed through dating. But if the purpose is truly for character development, fellowship, and friendship, then there's no problem with other people being present.

When I first went to Oral Roberts University, group dating was totally foreign to me. I had never heard of it. Instead of just two people going somewhere, a whole group of young people went. It wasn't always just couples, either.

Sometimes there were five or six guys and seven or eight girls. In other words, we all went together and began to experience relationships without this phony dating mentality. The relationships were genuine. It was an opportunity to be a friend.

Many young people don't know another boy or girl as friends. They only know boys and girls as dating objects. You need to have a relationship where you can just be friends with people of the opposite sex.

Avoid being alone with just one person of the opposite sex. The greatest temptations come when two people are alone in a parked car when there's a full moon and the breeze is blowing through the trees. When a young woman says, "Oh, God, please help me," it's probably a little late for her to ask for His help.

Avoid those times alone on the beach or in a park. You may be thinking, "Are you kidding?" No, I'm very serious. You're totally deceived if you think the devil won't tempt you when you're alone with a young lady or a young man and it's a beautiful night.

I mean, the devil has been at this thing for a while, and he knows how to set up a scene to move on your emotions and your desires to get you overwhelmed to do things that aren't right. The best thing to do is stay out of these situations.

Double dating, groups, and fellowships are beautiful, and we need to have as many of them as possible to give young people the fellowship they need with other people their age. But the thing about single dating is that it opens the door to the devil.

I don't care how strong a Christian is as a junior high or high school student—they need the strength and protection of the Lord by having other people with them.

We've been so programmed by the world that we've felt like we had to single date just because it's what everyone else is doing. We don't have to do it because everyone else is doing it. God says we're a peculiar people. People in the world don't understand why we act the way we do, but that's all right. It's just that we know how to protect ourselves.

Source: Building Stronger Marriages by Billy Joe Daugherty
Excerpt permission granted by Harrison House Publishers

Author Biography

Billy Joe Daugherty
Web site: Victory Christian Center
Billy Joe Daugherty was founder and pastor of Victory Christian Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He was also the founder of Victory Christian School, Victory Bible Institute and Victory World Missions Training Center.

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