My daughter recently broke up with her boyfriend that she dated in college.During her teenage and college years, she had many male friends she got to know through various ministries at church, but she never dated any of them.So, when the boy she served together at the same church asked her out on a date in her junior year, she was quite nervous. My wife and I had previously instructed her that dating at an age you cannot marry would only leave pain and hurt for each other and that it is a better idea to meet in groups and only start dating when she is closer to her senior year in college with marriage in mind. Therefore, we were very interested in how they were doing and supported her.
When we learned that they entered into a relationship after making the promise to each other that they would not let this interfere with their study, volunteer work at church, or their relationship with other friends so others can’t say they have changed ever since they started dating, we praised their decision. Maybe it was due to those promises, but we had to ask my daughter whether they were really in a relationship because she did not do much more than eat out with him before leaving for home during all those vacations and holidays.
They quarreled a couple of times, but we thought everything was going fine between them. Then,right before she was about to go on a mission trip to Cambodia, we heard from her that they were seriously thinking about ending the relationship. My wife liked the boy so she advised them to give each other some time and try to be more understanding towards each other since their problems might be from their lack of experience and busy study schedule. Then, we were told that they had made the decision to pray about their relationship while they were away from each other for about a month during the mission trip. They asked us to pray for them as well.
On the last day in Cambodia when my daughter was able to get connection, they video chatted for a long time and made the final decision to break up. Then, they wrapped up their relationship with prayer and blessing each other in turn. I was told that they also made a promise not to avoid each other or delete their old pictures but would simply go back to being friends. The whole situation was a bit humorous to me and somewhat painful having to watch my daughter crying over the broken relationship for few days. But most of all, I was amazed and thankful to my daughter who was able to put everything in order without too much hurt.
Most of the time, breaking up with your first love is very painful. I was wondering how my daughter could wrap up everything without much pain, but I realized that it is because there was no physical relationship.I was told that while they were dating, they promised to not go beyond holding hands and kissing lightly on the cheeks. I believe that is the reason why their hearts still hurt but they could end the relationship without deep scars. As you can see, the deeper the physical relationship between a dating couple, the deeper wounds it will leave, and it will affect their next relationship as well.
There are many young people in our church. I hope they will engage in a healthy relationship, and that even when people break up they don’t leave church over that but will remain and prepare for another meeting with other people. I hope we will be able to instill that kind of healthy dating culture at our church.
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