Rethinking Dating

Hello, wonderful people! I have gotten a lot of requests over the past few months to write about dating for Christians. It is kind of a tricky subject of what is considered right or wrong, can I do this or that, should I move in with my significant other, can I have sex before marriage, is it okay to kiss, etc. I am here to give you some help if I can.

Honestly, there are many articles and things that people have written about Christian dating. I want to look at it a little different though. It’s not what you can and can’t do. It is more about how you want to please the Lord. If that is your ultimate goal in life, then your focus should be on pleasing him in all areas of your life, including dating.

Are there Biblical boundaries?

The Bible never specifically mentions anything about dating. Though it does mention the fact that it is a disobedience to God to have sex before marriage.

1 Corinthians 7:1-40 is a passage dedicated to the principle of no sex before your wedding night.

(Italics are mine.)

Hebrews 13:4 ESV “Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, (Don’t have sex before marriage.) for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous.”

The Bible also mentions a lot about remaining pure in heart. Does renaming pure in heart mean that you can’t kiss, hug, or hold hands? No, not necessarily. Some of those things are up to you and your significant other. If you both choose not to do any of those things, it is your personal choice. I highly recommmend praying about it and talking to someone you trust to see if they can give you any guidance.

Dating v.s Courtship

Really the main dictionary definition between the dating and courtship is the what if. With dating, it is more of a “well this may happen”, and a courtship is more of a conscience descion between two individuals and God for a journey to marriage. Also traditional courtships tend to have a lot more boundaries with what the couple is or isn’t allowed to do.

The definition of dating is a social appointment or engagement arranged beforehand with another person, especially when a romantic relationship exists or may develop. A courtship is a relationship between a man and a woman in which they seek to determine if it is God’s will for them to marry each other.

What should I do?

I believe that there should be a fine balance of both principles. Personally for me, the point of dating is to see of this person will make a good life long partner in my walk with Christ. Dating, well it in it’s dictionary definition, is not something I really want to do. It is a little to much of a free reign. On the other hand, a courtship seems to restricting (in it’s traditional sense).

Girl Defined brought up the idea of a “dateship“. In essence, it’s a fine balance of both. It’s boundaries are more restricted then normal dating, but it lightens up traditional courting. There is still the same goal in mind – marriage.

If you are thinking about what you may want to do in the future or currently there are some things you want to change in your life, I would pray about it. God gives us all different convictions of what we are supposed to do. If God says “do not kiss until your wedding day” then you can be sure he has a special plan for that. Pray about what you are supposed to do and ask someone to help keep you and your significant other accountable.

What have I chosen to do?

I say all of this, but I think you should know some of what I personally am doing. For one, I am still pretty young and do not have much interest in dating. I have never dated anyone. Though I have a friend, and we both were intersted in each other. The most imprortant thing to the both of us is having God at the center. Right now, I have put my feelings on a hold.

I made the descion close to seven years ago to dedicate my life to Christ, and just last August I rededicated it to Christ. Even at a young age, I have decided to fully dedicate my life to Christ. If I am going to consider someone to have in my life to consider as a person I am going to marry, it will be on God’s time. Right now is not the time for that. I listened when God said to take a step back. I still pray about it a lot.

When it comes to kissing, hand holding, hugs, and sex, I have set boundaries for myself in case I decide to date in the future. The biggest one I have is no sex before marriage, and I will not be living with my boyfriend before I get married. I am okay with hand holding and hugs, but with my first kiss I am still praying about it. For awhile now, it has been on the back of my mind not to kiss until my wedding. That comes with a fear. What if I never find anyone? I do know that whatever I decide will be in God’s plan. If I could save my entire being for God, remaining pure fore what he has for me to do in life, I would.

Staying single isn’t bad either.

God though has called me on a path to do something different in life, and it involves me devoting my entire being to him. I am ready for that. For me, that may also mean remaining single for the rest of my days on earth. I have a peace about it. The Bible does mention staying single.

1 Corinthians 7:32-35 “I want you to be free from anxieties. The unmarried man is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to please the Lord. But the married man is anxious about worldly things, how to please his wife, and his interests are divided. And the unmarried or betrothed woman is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to be holy in body and spirit. But the married woman is anxious about worldly things, how to please her husband. I say this for your own benefit, not to lay any restraint upon you, but to promote good order and to secure your undivided devotion to the Lord.”

There are verses in the Bible about the importance of being married, but also about the call to remain single (Paul was single.). It all depends on the call God has given you. Everyone is called to something different in life. Listen to what God is saying. Who knows, I may be in the single crowd, or I may not. There isn’t a right way. Call upon the Lord.

If you have made it this far, I am sure you have some thoughts of your own. Leave them in the comments below. I will try my bet to respond.

Rethink dating with me,

Grace Elliot

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