A defining reality for me is what Scripture teaches in Hebrews 12, that God is our father, and that a sign that he loves us is that he disciplines us, he takes us through hardship to build character in us that could not be shaped apart from difficulty.
I'm not saying dating is sinful, and I'm not saying a guy and a girl should never spend time alone together. I'm saying let's wait until we can be purposeful, so there's a reason behind our relationship, and we're not just stirring up passion for the sake of a good time.
One of my defining beliefs is that Jesus Christ has taken all of my guilt before God, and that he has been raised from the dead. That gives incredible hope and meaning to every day of my life - that nothing done in this world is wasted when it's done for him and his glory, and that there will be a day of justice and reward for the entire world.
You get up and you preach a sermon and people walk away thinking what a great guy - and that's a failure as a pastor. Our job is to proclaim Christ.
Dating now is a lot like going shopping when you don't have any money. Even if you find the right thing, you can't do anything about it.