Rev. Dick is pastor of Grace Protestant Reformed Church in Standale, Michigan.
If it were possible, I would want one more date. Just one more. And that would be the end of it. It would be a one-night fling. And after THIS date, there would be no regrets.
I’ll tell you whom I would like to date. Her name: S.K. Dating-sma. Call her “Dating” for short.
Yes, I would really like to date this my sweet Dating. I’ll even tell you my motive. I’d like to do away with her….
Now, I know, this all sounds terrible. It is. I, a happily married man. I, by the grace of God a holy, God-loving, people-loving man. Wanting to date? And to kill this Date? But maybe not so terrible. In fact, maybe that’s one thing we should learn in Grace Life—there are some strange things we do as Christians. And some bloody things as well. All for the sake of Christ’s blood, and for a life along the (very) (narrow) Way….
So this, very peculiar, my dream. This, very immodest, my modest proposal. And dripping with blood. But since you are with me this far, I know you will enjoy the details.
I’d call her up, this Dating of my dream, and if she would only consent (not for a minute suspecting my motives, and what charm I would flash!), then I would cruise up to her front door in my Lamborghini. It would be some Friday night. Eightish. We would drive off into the night.
To a cliff. Yup. And having stopped the car, I would then roll my date (she being rollable, of course) out to the edge of that cliff, raise my old high school left wing foot, and kick poor Dating off.
I can just see it now. The cliff where I would take Dating would be a high one. Conveniently located at the bottom would be a sea—a deep one. And Dating would be wearing my new gift—cement shoes. Tight ones. Having been kicked, old Dating would tumble over the edge, and then over and over, sailing as ungraciously as she ever was, now through the air. Bounce off one rock. Bounce off another. Then…plop! There Dating would go beneath the waves, never to resurface again.
Yes! I would have kicked Dating goodbye!
You ask: what has gotten into this man, to become this Dating hater?
Well, let me tell you like it is. I hate sin. I hate anything that tends to compromise holiness. I hate anything that tends to fake love, to promote lust, and to trivialize marriage. I hate anything that hurts and scars by the score. That is why I would kick Dating goodbye. For Dating tends to all of the above.
Dating—you know her! She is no one person, of course (yours truly would never venture to be silly and satirical about the execution of a person!). But she is this: a veritable institution!
Dating. By Dating I do not mean the casual friendships between male and female, boys and girls, and young adults and older adults. Nor do I refer necessarily to all closer friendships between those of the opposite sex as they pursue together the holy state of marriage. But it is this. Dating which is a “pairing off” of a boy and girl not at all ready for, or interested in marriage. Dating of those who confess Fun, but who have not yet confessed Faith. Dating which is unsupervised trysts in the night. Dating which is good times had without a prayer made. Dating which is a trial and error “playing of the field.” Dating without commitment, without purpose, without honor worthy of God’s children….
For all such I have a nice pair of shoes. A deep blue sea. Yon cliff. And a strong foot.
For her attendants too. For those friends of Dating which encourage unbecoming and compromising relationships. Valentine’s Day (really?) cards passed from boy to girl (and from girl to boy); Twerp days at high schools where girls ask out guys; pairing off and the encouragement of pairing off at Young People’s Conventions….
Yes, for Dating and all her friends I have strong passions, a sea, and some equipment, a cliff, and a foot. That is why I really would like to ask Dating out. Just once. But maybe that will not be possible. Maybe instead I could kill her in a letter. But the something inside would have to be, I know, more deadly than any anthrax. It would have to destroy not only her body, but her spirit. How about fighting with deadly words? What about the Word of God published…in the Standard Bearer?
As you can see, I am out for blood. There is a great and pressing need that we stop, we Christians stop, we Reformed and always ought to be reforming Christians stop, we called out of the darkness into the marvelous light of God Christians stop, we lovers of Love Christians stop, we lovers of godly young people Christians stop, we lovers of lasting, vibrant marriage Christians stop…
We must stop flirting with Dating. We must stop kissing Dating. We must unlearn the heathen way we have about us of cajoling Dating, flattering Dating, trying to dress Dating up or down. Dating is ugly. Dating is wild. Dating is mean. Dating is an evolutionist. Dating is a dog. Dating is knocking our fair towers down.
So come with me, won’t you, to the cliff! You take Dating. I’ll take Dating. And we’ll kick together. I know, other ministers, and parents, I am absolutely sure, have and have had good words of caution about Dating for the Young People, and for their own sons and daughters. They have even written before in the Standard Bearer. They even sound these warnings as they bid farewell to their little ones and their dates driving off for the evening in a cloud of dust and Estee Lauder. But I say it is time for killing words, and killing this thing, this institution, this life-style and mindset, and all its friends which we have, over the generations, adopted without question, invited into our homes, and welcomed at our schools and church functions.
So I want to write about this Dating. I have spoken about this to the young people at our Grand Valley University discussions. I have preached about this at Grace. And the discussions since then with many people young and old have been rather invigorating and exciting and encouraging. I am educating my own children to think as I think with regard to Dating. And I would also like to address now you young people and young adults—Dating and Dateless or Dated. And parents—especially those of young children and teens who are not ready for marriage, or who are just beginning to date. And whoever else might be able to learn and influence others for the good concerning the truth about Dating.
Understanding, of course, your sinful prejudice and mine, I want to conclude by trying to anticipate some objections you might have to my attempt to kill off Dating and reform, along theological lines, the way single members of the opposite sex, and all of those watching, are to behave themselves toward each other.
First, you say, we think our present dating is going well. Why fix what is not broken? Answer: Prove the first assertion, and I will pack my bags, and maybe try to write articles for the Press.
Second: we who are presently married dated the way you would kill, and Look—we are happily married. Answer: You may be happily married not because of your dating, but in spite of it. Isn’t God longsuf-fering?
Third: what you are presenting, Rev. Dick, is this “courtship” Thing—the thing we hear the Baptists, the Puritans, and the communists or whatever are promoting. Answer: I do not care who is promoting the Dating I would have take the place of our present Dating! If the “new” Dating is good and biblical we ought to be righteous to do it, and humble enough to do it—even though we didn’t see it first!
Fourth: Rev.—you are a parent of young children. Your view of Dating is sheer idealism, bordering on legalism, and definitely fanaticism. We’ll listen to you, only when you grow up, and when your kids do, and when you see that the way it has always been is just fine. Answer: If there is any idealism and whateverism which is unbiblical, rebuke me. The Word of God must answer. And we must seek to be in entire conformity to it. My thesis is that in this area of dating we are not.
Fifth: Dick, You insensitive lout! Here I am reading this, and thinking I might be helped out in my Christian walk, and I am in love and have been dating for six years (I’m now 18) and what you are saying is not fair. It’s cruel! Answer: Poor soul! Get a life, will you? Apologize to the one whose life you’ve stunted for the last six years. Stop Dating. Cold. Get the theology of covenant Dating I propose. Then do it.
Folks. Let us reason together.
In our efforts to be pure and unspotted we have justly junked drama. And we refuse to dance with the dancers. Now another “D” must die….
So, if you want to stick around: we’ll see you at the cliff!