Until we had gone over these principles together (my wife and I, our daughter and the boy) and made sure there was complete agreement, we didn’t allow a dating relationship to begin.We found that this was a great help not only to our daughters but also to the young men who wanted to date them.“It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality” (1 Thessalonians 4:3). You can enjoy fun, positive friendships with people of the opposite sex and be involved in all sorts of activities without coupling up with one person. God says, “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers . When we put ourselves in an ungodly atmosphere with ungodly people we are influenced toward ungodliness.
Having consistently practiced this when they were dating, it was impossible for us and for our daughters to imagine them dating a young man without first openly addressing with him all the principles that follow.(Each time we did this, of course, it further reinforced these principles for our daughters and for us.) “It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control his own body in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the heathen, who do not know God.” (1 Thessalonians 4:3-5). Sex was created by the holy God of heaven, where purity reigns.God made sex physically desirable by creating us with sex drives, without which sex wouldn’t exist and neither would people. This issue shapes our young people, friends, and family more than we could ever imagine. “Let’s just sit back and see what happens” might work in certain scenarios, but Christian dating isn’t one of them. I hope and pray these words spark conversations in your ministries, relationships, and homes. If you need to take a minute to let that sink in, I will be here when you get back… Here’s the deal: marriage isn’t a divine lottery where every person has one winning ticket. Hopefully one will end up as my spouse.” Not a good idea. So, the default for years is to leave as soon as a flaw arises. This requires discipline, restraint, and abstinence from activities that don’t promote holiness. A pure mind might be the greatest gift you can give your future spouse. ____________________ I hope this discussion continues. I pray parents, church leaders, friends, and family begin to spark conversations about God’s design for dating. Most importantly, guidelines and principles for dating will transform lives and shape eternities. The brokenness you see in yourself and the brokenness you experience from your spouse point both of you to the only perfect one, God. When you pull the trigger, these balls spread over a large range, increasing the chance you hit the target. It is time for Christians to start talking about dating. Establishing principles for Christian dating will set men and women on a course towards Christ-centered marriages. Here are 10 important principles for Christian dating. That would make God a gambler, and the Bible clearly says gambling is from the devil (only joking). Marriage isn’t as much about finding someone totally compatible as it is about committing to someone despites difficulties and differences. I fear this mentality in the dating culture is actually promoting divorce. Suddenly, when marriage begins, you are asked to flip a switch. It allows you to jump into marriage with a clear conscience. The trajectory of lives and eternities are in the balance. Laying out guidelines for dating as followers of Jesus will alter lives by keeping people out of toxic and unhealthy relationships (and ultimately marriages). “The one” says you need to find the perfect person. The beauty of marriage is God sustains you despite your flaws. The shells of a shotgun are stuffed with tiny round balls. You are asked to go from a mentality that says “End a relationship as soon as difficulty arises,” to one that says, “Don’t end the relationship regardless of the difficulty that arises.” That’s a tough switch to flip. To help find the right questions, we called on three not-yet-married friends who gave some time to thinking about the challenges faced by singles: Lore Ferguson, Paul Maxwell, and the recently engaged Marshall Segal.We ended up with these questions: The Bible commands Christians to marry “in the Lord,” that is, to marry other Christians (1 Corinthians ; 2 Corinthians ).You must stay safely back from the line where either one is propelled toward sexual intimacy. Focus on talk, not touch; conversation, not contact. Gaps always get filled, often with temptations to sexual impurity. Setups include such things as being alone on a couch or in a car late at night or in a bedroom.Treat your date as a subject to listen to and understand and appreciate, not an object to experiment with, conquer or satisfy your desires. Avoid fast moving relationships and instant intimacy. A car moving too fast is likely to swerve out of control when it hits a slick spot. Know what you’re doing and either stick with the plan or go somewhere safe, where you’re in the sight of others (particularly others who respect the need for purity). Determine to stay away from the setup, rather than putting yourself in the setup and having to call on your convictions when your resistance is at its lowest, and you’re most likely to give in. Be accountable to someone about your physical relationship.