The first instance in the Bible where God is not pleased comes when God sees Adam living in the Garden of Eden alone (Gen. Singleness can be a gift from God, but don’t use it as an excuse to be lazy. And to my church’s credit, they drilled this one point home constantly. Dating and marriage are not for those who rely on another person for joy, peace, and purpose. Enter Eve, pro-creation, and marriage (not necessarily in that order). And the most intimate community on earth is the relationship you will have with your spouse. Disclaimer: If you are single (or if you’re married), steward your time well. “Sex before marriage is bad.” This was the extent of my understanding of Christian dating as a teenager and young adult. But understand purity begins with the mind and heart.
I can't promise that, but I can tell you what is reasonable to expect from your first person-to-person encounter with someone you've met online: A first date evokes a junior high school dance: nervous people trying to look cool. It's nonsense that you need several dates to determine the viability of a new relationship.
But watch out for those jitters — they can make you feel so anxious that you project your own hopes on to this new person, rather than noticing his or her true nature. Ask questions about the issues that matter most to you. On a date not too long ago, I worried I'd been hit by lightning. That view discounts the possibility of magic — an undeniable resonance that a man and woman feel for each other, often right from the start.
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If you are confident God called you to marry, he will deliver. There must be a secret bylaw passed down from the early church fathers, but once you reach the age of 25 you will be asked the question almost weekly…”When are you getting married?
I am fearful the Christian community has irresponsibly coerced men and women into marriage through cultural pressure.
Casual or purposeless dating has no benefit for Christians. We are designed to know why we do stuff and where we are going. Now, please, please, please don’t be a freakish weirdo. It involves sharing personal struggles and vulnerability. If you believe God is preparing you for foreign missions, is it important the person you marry shares this passion? If you love the Cowboys and your future spouse loves the Packers, is it important to work through this before marriage?
Dating with a trajectory towards marriage doesn’t mean you only date one person ever. So, if you choose not to get coffee or watch a movie with the opposite sex, then whatever. The ultimate purpose of marriage is sanctification (becoming like God). If you have no idea what values are important to you in a future spouse, exit the road to marriage at the next off ramp.
But once you get into the relationship, you realize things aren’t as they seemed. Having coffee or going to eat dinner with the opposite sex is not dating. There will be days when life is crashing down, your faith is wavering, and the only thing left is your spouse. In this scenario, your spouse is there to pray for you, put his or her arm around you, and walk with you.