[Papercut Press] 2001-08-14 - Dating

Summer Questions: 9

1 Corinthians 6:9,10 Or do you not know that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, shall inherit the kingdom of God.

The Question: "How should Christian date ,are they allowed to share kisses and i would appreciate it if you could show me some scribtures on issues of dating as i am 21 right now and am busy making life long dicisions"

This question is a challenge because dating is a modern custom. The Bible does not address it, but since we know that the Bible addresses every topic, it must also address dating. However, there is no one verse or passage I can give you that sums it all up. We must take the whole of Scripture and draw inferences about what is proper in dating.

I have met Christians who don't believe in kissing before engagement and I have met others who take things a lot further. In the end I am going to say that dating, and the hows and whys involved in it, comes down to personal convictions and conscience. I know this will not satisfy everyone, but there are some relationship principles that we can apply to dating that will give us some guidance.

First we can say that Christians and non-Christians should not date each other. Dating is generally for the purpose of finding a partner. Christians and non-Christians view the world, this life, eternity, faith, in fact everything, differently. So there is no reason for a Christian to start a dating relationship with someone who they can't eventually marry. I realize there are other reasons for dating, but this is, at least a general principal we should observe.

I especially encourage you to avoid missionary dating. This is dating with the mindset that eventually the person I am dating will believe the gospel and then all will be well. It usually works the other way around. The person trying to share their faith by dating often ends up backsliding and falling into habits that are destructive and contrary to their faith and belief system.

You asked about kissing. Here is what I would say. Lets establish first that, as the above verse says, fornication is out. I go a little further than that however as a clarification of what this means. I would say that anything that can be considered foreplay is also out. Foreplay is designed to lead to something that you can't do when you are dating, so I would suggest that it is a good idea to avoid it. A great passage in this area is 1 Thessalonians 4:1-5.

I think each couple should talk and determine what is inappropriate and what is allowed. This line should never be crossed by either person. If it is crossed something important is being communicated. The person who crosses is untrustworthy. They do not have control over their desires. Most importantly what is communicated by the person crossing the line is that he/she does not love the other person because they do not want what is best for them. They also communicate that they are willing to jeopardize the relationship simply to satisfy their own selfish lusts. Before I was married I told every woman I dated that if I ever did something inappropriate they should immediately break up with me and I expected them to do so.

Lastly, we still date when we are married. We should never stop dating. Husbands date your wives. Wives date your husbands. Give cards and small gifts for no reason except to show your love for your spouse. Bring home flowers when they are unexpected. Go for a walk just to be together. We don't stop dating when we say, "I do." This is often hard to remember during the daily grind life brings us, but it is one of the key elements to keeping a marriage healthy.

Relationship questions are things we will struggle with for the rest of our lives. Of the 125 questions that came in when I asked for questions a few weeks ago, I would guess that at least 45 of them were questions regarding relationships. It is not easy to maintain healthy relationships. We need to ask the Lord for help to do so. We also can't forget to prioritize our relationships. Our first priority relationship is with Jesus Christ and secondly with our spouses. Often if our first priority relationship is strong our other relationships will be also.

Soli Deo Gloria,

[email tim] godrulestb@aol.com