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Christian Dating - what is it supposed to look like?

Discussion in 'Christian Advice' started by Life2Christ, Aug 30, 2011.

  1. Life2Christ

    Life2Christ Guest

    Please note: I could have asked this on the singles board but I find this board to be more biblically based.

    I grew up in a very secular household and was always led to believe that you should date around, and dating included many of the things that married people do. When I became a Christian, I discovered the opposite. I don't know what Christian dating is supposed to look like. Any advice or weblinks appreciated. Thanks.
  2. BFine

    BFine Seed Planter

    Calvary Chapel

    *If you are looking for biblical dating tips well they will be few...in the bible the marriages were pretty much arranged and the couple got engaged and were considered as good as married but they couldn't sleep together or have sex. The female often went to live in the home of her future mother in-law and learned how to do take care of the household and do the duties of a daughter in-law alongside of her MIL.

    The bridegroom was busy preparing/building a home for his new bride and learning to do the general duties of husbands etc. Both the woman and the man would be trained so to speak so they could maintain their household, he/she would be mentored in biblical things and during their formative years they would of been taught the culture and faith of their people.

    Biblical rules for dating or courtship would include: Abstaining from fornication and not doing anything inappropriate with the opposite sex.

    You would conduct yourselves respectively/treat one another kindly and be mindful of the other person's heart and reputation.

    The purpose of courtship(according to many Christians) would be to determine if the person you are serious about would make a suitable spouse. Dating is viewed as a noncommittal relationship with someone you are interested in and the two of you date and have fun together but there's no sexual activity.

    I've heard a lot of Christian who say dating is carelessly using someone and not being considerate of the other person's well being etc.
    Some don't even believe Christians should date.

    There are those who distinguish between courtship and dating.
    To me, there's not much difference.
    A person can be seriously dating someone for the purpose of seeking a suitable spouse.

    It really comes down to what you feel the Lord is leading you to do.
    Diligently pray about this matter and see what the Lord reveals to you.
  3. Life2Christ

    Life2Christ Guest

    Yes I have heard this too. I would like to read more about this.
  4. jehoiakim

    jehoiakim Servant

    there is a term thrown around in some circles as a more modern version of courting... it is interesting for I think younger couples... but can also has been taken into ridiculous extremes in some cases.

    you might consider starting out with group dates, although you both might have more self control and maybe that is not necessary... but focus on building a friendship first instead of jumping into a relationship is a good thing to keep in mind... possibly accountability partners for the guy and the girl, or a mentoring couple to help as things arise because inevitably they will. When things start to speed up it will be important to set up some hedges and ground rules to make sure you don't go too far too fast because once you add certain elements to the relationship, to remove them or to pretend they didn't happen hurts the relationship. Maybe read a book together to work through some bigger questions about what you want in your relationship and what your concerns are. A book I highly suggest is called "love and respect" my wife loved all those marital counseling books and I was well not as thrilled, but 'love and respect' was great and as a guy I feel it was the only book of those I read that really conveyed the man's point of view as effectively as the woman's
  5. MasterpieceMesias

    MasterpieceMesias King of Stoic Cynicism

    Christian Seeker
    Dating is a pain in the butt. I haven't been on one and I know this loool. You should always try to be around people when you're together, because when you're alone things tend to happen. . .
  6. BFine

    BFine Seed Planter

    Calvary Chapel

    *Joshua Harris wrote the book-- I Kissed Dating Goodbye it was touted
    for quite a long time in the church/churches I've attended when it came out.
    Many still reference it.
    I also liked When God Writes Your Love Story, it's by Eric and Leslie Ludy.
    I own the book When God Writes Your Love Story and I found it helpful and applied
    many of the ideas in my own life. Sorry I haven't read the book by Joshua Harris but
    I know people who have and they thought it was helpful but it may not appeal to everyone.
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2011
  7. timf

    timf Regular Member

    You are going to find a diversity of answers because you will find among those who claim Christ a variety in degree of worldliness.

    Up until recently people got married to start a family. There was no dating per se, but a courting process that involved family members as to the selection of someone suitable with whom to build a family.

    Over the last hundred years people started having fewer children. There were a variety or reasons given such as not being able to afford them, but most reasons boil down to not wanting the inconvenience or expense. This is a reflection of the degree of selfishness found in modern society.

    In a way you can think that God created marriage and children as a way to force us to leave behind our natural selfishness of adolescence. We have now created a modern artificial society where God seems at best irrelevant. In this society, there is no reason to give up selfishness. In this society, children are an optional extra and faithfulness in marriage something that isn't completely expected.

    If you look at the Amish or the Mennonites you will find families that have eight or more children. This is more like families used to be. If this is what you want, you need to "fish" in these type of waters.

    If you want the average 1.6 children and live in the typical suburb, then you can pick almost any church and find almost anyone to "date".

    You can use the number of children you want to be a measure of what type of family you want and this will tell you what type of dating you should pursue. If you want as many children as the Lord will give you, you need to not think about "dating" and focus on courtship and building a family that will live by faith in a very serious way.

    Most people date in order to meet someone of the opposite sex with a view to marriage. In reality most people are looking for someone with whom they can have a "relationship". This process is made very difficult because Satan has done such an effective job in selling his idea of "falling in love"

    What most people think of love is a collection of emotional sensations that include, desire, expectation, anticipation, hopefulness, and even lust. Real love is defined in 1 Corinthians 13. It is essentially selflessness. People allow themselves to be swept away by their initial emotional sensations and then after time has passes, find that their emotions are now stimulated by someone new.

    If you want to turn dating into courting, on the first date, ask the following questions;

    1. How many children would you like to have?
    2. Do you think you would be able to live in poverty?
    3. Do you think a wife should get a job to help support a family?
    4. Do you think a husband should know enough to teach his family to live a Christian life?
    5. How would you handle a spouse that suddenly became an invalid?

    Another way to turn dating into courting is to measure the selfishness of the other person. The most basic way is to see how much time they spend talking about themselves and how much time they spend asking you questions.

    If the other person looks at his watch and says, "Oh my look at the time, it is 7:30 already. I have to get up early tomorrow", you may find that you have dodged a very big "bullet".

    If you are looking to meet someone who is Christian, you may want to join a Sunday school class or Bible study and listen to the discussion and questions that are asked. "Out of the fullness of the heart, the mouth speaks". You can learn a lot about someone from seeing what is in the heart.

    If someone wants to live together before getting married, they probably do not have a high opinion of either marriage or family, but do have a high opinion of satisfying their own desires.
  8. Life2Christ

    Life2Christ Guest

    Bfine: Thank you for those book recommendations and as always your great answers.

    TimF: I really dug your response to my question and there is a lot of widom in what your wrote, but I had to address this one comment above. Isn't falling in love the "starter fluid" to get a marriage going? The reason I'm asking is because I have heard people say they married someone they weren't in love with because they were the perfect Christian mate but inside they felt they weren't the right person. Is this a lie? Is it all about the mechanics of the household and not acknowledging the spirit of our heart?
  9. Autumnleaf

    Autumnleaf Legend

    Being friends in a nonsexual way. Then if you like each other still you get married and be friends and partners in a sexual way. It should look like mutual respect among self respecting people.
  10. timf

    timf Regular Member

    More than anything else, proximity leads to romance. This is because thoughts, speculations, and possibilities most often form around whoever is on your mind and the person you spend the most time with tends to be the object of such thoughts.

    You will probably not be drawn to someone whom you find repulsive. However, there are worthy attributes such as humor, compassion, and self-restraint that are not immediately observable and combine as you get to know a person to "flesh out" and define who they are.

    Very often a person "falls in love" with someone only to find in six months time the passion has faded and they start asking, "Who is this person?" If there is going to be hot passion and cold analysis, it is perhaps better to have the cold analysis first.

    Dating should be a process of learning more about a person. This process will lead to either feeling an increase or decrease in attraction.

    Christians also need to be aware of the spiritual component. There was a woman named Elizabeth Elliot who had a ministry to women. She said half her mail was from women who desperately wished to get married and the other half was from women who desperately wished they were not married. It has been said that living by yourself is much better than living with a mistake.

    Most Christians are distant from their Lord and thus insensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit. However, as a Christian grows in humility and truth and draws nearer to Jesus, God's leading becomes more clear. The Bible says that unless the Lord builds the house, the laborers labor in vain. I think that this can also apply to a marriage.

    If you make yourself worthy of a Godly man by becoming a Godly woman, you can prepare the material that God can use to build a solid, lasting, and joyful union.