Biblical dating advice
As my friend Lindsey, married and in her thirties, recently remarked, “I’m sure glad I wasn’t much of a Christian when I started dating my husband!
” Whether over coffee in my kitchen or on the hallowed ground of women’s small groups, I hear these murmurs constantly.
“My daughter was interested in this nice Christian boy, but he strung her along for a year and a half.
The next one did too.” Or, “Jeremy acted like they were friends but she told me later that they were hooking up on the side.” With that kind of dismal dating culture at play, let’s consider the options: First, there’s “Duggar Dating.” Duggar dating is the modern-day form of arranged marriages.
He didn’t get necessarily smarter–he got more experienced. Sometimes we all need a little practice with figuring out what we really want–not in terms of our “ideal spouse” but a real flesh-and-blood human.
“Do you think Christian girls make dating too serious? “I need a buffer of at least five dates before I’m thinking of any future at all! What if you completely jettison the idea of finding your husband or wife via dating, at least for the first five dates?
This involves judging a potential guy or girl for the 38 qualities you are looking for in an ideal mate—before even grabbing coffee together. Sometimes the “hanging out” leads to hooking up, sans dating, which is another uber-confusing side effect of the Faux Christian Dating cycle. What if Christians just began to date like normal people—not dating toward immediate marriage and not eschewing dating for the less-desirable “hanging out” no man’s land?
It’s like arranged marriages where no one is making the arrangements, and it doesn’t seem to work very well. Here’s what I think it would require: Stop evaluating whether the guy who’s taken an interest in you is strong and tenderhearted enough to raise your future kids.
And spending intentional one-on-one time—not too serious, just time—allows both parties to experience what it would be like to continue in the relationship.You can’t maintain 10 flirty friendships and expect to make space in your heart for one awesome husband or wife.But you can start somewhere—slowly, and casually—and trust God to lead you into more.How can you say definitively that other things are wrong? Shouldn't our physical relationship "progress" as other aspects of our relationship deepen? I understand most physical stuff is wrong, but what about just kissing? With respect to pre-marital, romantically oriented kissing, we're clearly talking about an area about which reasonable believers can (and do) disagree.Let's go through what I hope will become the usual drill here.
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It's simply impossible for me to address all of the fantastic individual questions and comments we've received, but know that we will do our very best to incorporate as many as possible into the columns themselves and the blog discussions that follow. Quite a few of you asked questions or made comments about my statement in Biblical Dating, an Introduction that "Biblical dating assumes NO physical intimacy" outside of marriage.