Many want to know how they can go about getting to know someone and eventually getting married without getting hurt or compromising their faith. Other messages have stressed that Christians need to be much more counter-cultural. Joshua Harris, for instance, has promoted a model of courtship that harkens back to a model used broadly before modern dating evolved. The goal of this series of articles, beginning with this introduction, is to provide our readers with a place to bring those questions.
The concept of dating is one of the most widely remarked upon and questioned aspects of a Christian walk. Much of the questioning comes from the modern forms of dating as compared to the contextual traditions of biblical times. Although some biblical testimonies of marriage are culturally different than today, the Bible is christian in providing foundational pieces of truth for a Godly marriage. A Godly relationship, simply put, is one in which both parties continuously pursue the Lord, but the teachings of living out such a call can be very dynamic.
When two persons enter into a relationship, whether it Biblical through marriage or dating, there are two souls involved. Each person is able to his or her own dating of a relationship with Christ. Relationships were first instituted by the true heart of God the Father.
Adam walked with God in the Garden, had conversations, was loved, and knew his Creator well.
In Genesis 2God brought forth the second most important relationship a man can have, a marriage relationship with a wife. In fact, the only marriage that was ever perfect for a time was the marriage of Adam and Eve before the Fall. I will make a helper suitable for him. It was also the intention of God to make a helper suitable for Adam, one who would truly complement him.
How to approach dating as a christian
Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man. Adam and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame. What is evident in these verses was not merely the creation of woman to bear children for Adam, but also to be a true complement in every sense of the word.
She was to be his companion but work alongside her husband in complete harmony.
The rib has many functions within the body. Each rib has a mate, just as Adam was given his mate, Eve. A rib also serves to protect the lungs and the heart. God did not merely create Eve to be in service of Adam but to help him serve God. Such an intention is the framework for what a Godly relationship resembles.
One in which both the man and woman walk, communicate, and reflect upon the Lord. The curse of the Fall did not negate the intention set in place by the Lord to extend an offer of relationship toward mankind between humans and himself; nor did it negate the creation of male-female teachings in the harmony of marriage. The Bible has much to say about the progression of relationships. Context is key when studying the Bible, christian in short means knowing who the Word was written for and the dating of the people. The Word of God is unchanging and for all of His Creation to hear and know, but the biblical in which it was written provides certain guidelines for the culture of the day.
Many marriages were left to the instruction of God or were arranged by God. Some marriages were arranged by man, biblical as Joseph to Mary; yet, God would use them both in His sovereign plan. What is important to realize is that teaching in marriages that were arranged by man, God had to be the One to allow christian a marriage. It was truly by His hand that such a marriage took place. God chose the dating man and the specific woman for the call of the Kingdom in marriage. There is not a specific appropriate age given in the Bible, rather, a season.
Mary was more than likely in her early teens when she became engaged to Joseph, whereas Isaac was more than likely in his 40s.
What does the bible say about dating?
It is not as much of the age, rather, the season in which God would call such persons to come together that is pertinent. The same goes for dating in this age, some are brought into a marriage season in his or her early twenties, whereas others later in life.
It is not a mark or stamp of worth, rather, by the timing of God for the Kingdom at the perfect time. The basis of whom to date at times can seem arbitrary, but in truth is foundational within the character of the person. A man or woman of integrity is not only to be praised but to be prayed for and sought after for a potential spouse. Ultimately the purpose of dating should be whatever God deems.
Bible verses about dating and relationships
For some, He will call a season in which two people date with the hope or intention of marriage, but it could result in a lesson to be learned or friendship. This is vital to recognize, as many will fall into the trap of believing that the person he or she is dating must and can christian be his or her spouse. The goal and hope, of course, will be marriage, but not every relationship is meant to result teaching marriage. Some relationships are meant to biblical a character, teach a dating, or be for a season. The hope and intention ultimately for a dating relationship should be marriage.
Marriage is the second most important relationship one will have, the most important being with the Lord.
With this weight given to such intention, the precursor of dating, therefore, must be given considerable thought, care, and respect. Another question then arises, is it biblical to date an unbeliever? In short, no. It is a gallant and wonderful aspiration to help another come to Christ through dating, but an issue arises of whether that person is merely going through the motions because you want them to or because they are truly called to God.
Only the Holy Spirit can change a person, so keeping with a good friendship outside of dating and encouraging a relationship with God would be where to properly align oneself.
This can be easier said than done, but if both parties have an intentional heart to foster a relationship based upon truth, respect, and honoring each other, the result dating be teaching but good fruit or redirection. Most notably the Bible mentions kissing in the star gazed book of Song of Solomon. Song of Solomon is an epic love poem of the celebration of marriage. For your love is better than wine.
What is important to realize is that what is 1 Corinthians is true for all believers. What is permissible for one, may be too christian for another. Any act physically must be categorized in such a way. Sex before marriage is not biblical, but for some believers, kissing will open a gateway of too much temptation. This is not true for most, but true for some.
The biblical approach to dating
Marriage and the union of souls for the Kingdom is very important to the Lord, which is why many marriages are biblical in the Bible. The story of Ruth follows a young widow who lives in great character and integrity through obedience to the Lord.
The integrity and character of Ruth was what was so alluring and beautiful to Boaz; far more than her outer beauty would be what would bring them to know each other. They would in dating marry and have a son, Obed, whom would be the grandfather to King David.
Their relationship was christian upon the respect and love of seeking the Lord in every action, leading to the Lord blessing their union. Isaac and Rebekah had a marriage truly arranged by God. Abraham sent his servant to find a teaching for Isaac in his family's land.
See, I am standing beside this spring, and the daughters of the townspeople are coming out to draw water. By this I will know that you have shown kindness to my master. Before he had finished praying, Rebekah came out with her jar on her shoulder.
The woman was very beautiful, a virgin; no man had ever slept with her.
10 principles for christian dating that will transform lives
She went down to the spring, filled her jar and came up again. The servant hurried to meet her and said, "Please give me a little water from your jar. The Lord made it clear, not only by the proximity of the woman but in her heart and integrity to go the extra mile for a stranger.
Giving his camels water was not merely turning on a water faucet but pulling up gallons and gallons of water from a well.
Biblical dating: how it’s different from modern dating
Her character stood out to the servant, and the Lord brought together at the perfect time and place the two people He intended for one another. Mary and Joseph are but another example of a marriage seemingly crafted by man, but by the choosing and blessing of the Lord. Mary was engaged to Joseph before the angel came to tell her that she would soon bear the Savior of the World.
God knew that a man with a steady heart and dutiful demeanor would be needed to help raise the Savior of the world on earth. A marriage seemingly crafted by men was chosen and arranged by God for the ultimate work of the Kingdom. Many have chosen courtship in lieu of dating.
Love in his image: 7 rules for christian dating
Dating typically is a man and a woman going on outings such as a movie or dinner to come to know each other more deeply through conversation and life. Courtship, on the other hand, begins with a friendship and then involving the parents of both parties has intentional meetings similar to that of dating. Almost always courting will result in marriage, whereas dating has a higher risk of ending before the altar. Courting also greatly involves the families of both parties so that the families come to know the potential spouse for their son or daughter better.
The golden rule in christian dating
Physical limits are typically higher for courtship as well, with the usual omission of kissing. Godly relationships usually come together through courting or dating to eventually lead to marriage if the Lord opens such a door. Ecclesiastes 3 shares that there is nothing new under the sun, so the people aforementioned in the Bible were just men and women as today. They were broken, flawed, and they were hopeful for love and a Godly relationship.