This weekend we are finishing our series “First Date Kit” with an appropriate ending. We have spent the last two weeks talking about dating and sex. We’ve talked about the need to find the right person to date and the fact that a significant other was not designed to satisfy us the way only Jesus can. This weekend we are ending the series focused on the idea of a “happily ever after” life. As kids, we learn that “happily ever after” is how all love stories are supposed to end. We’re supposed to find the person, go through some hard times, and in the end ride off into the sunset. Our challenge to high schoolers is to find their “happily ever after” in something other than a relationship. We are showing them that God offers us true happiness, peace and contentment outside of any dating relationship. We want them to understand that when they find their fullness in God, they date with an entirely different perspective that can protect them from unhealthy dependency down the road.

The truth is, no human can fulfill our need for acceptance, love and validity. The only one who can is The One who created us. He knows us inside and out. He’s been by our side in our triumphs and trials alike. He knows every single person at their absolute worst. Yet He still went out of His way to come to us, die for us, and change our eternity. In fact, there is a passage of Scripture that points to what our idea of “happily ever after” can look like:

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”
Romans 15:13 (NIV)

The Apostle Paul writes this to a group of people, who like us, needed to root their hope, joy and expectations in something greater than themselves or a relationship. God chose to fully and finally satisfy all of our needs through Jesus’ sacrifice. It’s only once we experience this great love story, through faith, that we are best able to experience a deeply healthy dating relationship. Youth must be able to find their “happily ever after” in Jesus instead of trying to find it in a dating relationship. If they focus on the former, the latter will be even better for them and their significant other.

As we conclude the series next Wednesday in Tribes, here’s a preview of the guiding questions they will discuss:

  1. What is your favorite children’s book or Disney movie?
  2. What reason do you have for wanting to date someone?
  3. Do you believe “happily ever after” is possible without a dating relationship? Why or why not?
  4. What can we do to find “happily ever after” outside of dating?
  5. What was the most helpful thing you heard throughout this series?

Parents, thank you so much for allowing us to invest in your kids throughout this series. We are so thankful that we can create a safe place for teenagers to talk about the topics of sex and dating. I hope the conversations this series has opened for you and your son or daughter have been helpful and healthy. Thank you for raising the next generation in a way that leads them to find thriving life in Jesus. Please know that we are always here to partner with you as you raise your teen. I hope that you continue dialogue with your son or daughter’s Tribe leader, as they are a resource to you and are striving to support a deathly relationship between you and your child.

Thank you for making “First Date Kit” a series we’ll always remember. We hope the Biblical principles of these past few weeks will help shape a healthy perspective of dating and sexuality for your son or daughter.

Please let us know if we can support you in any way.

– Shane

© 2016 MISSION Community Church | Gilbert, AZ
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