Biblical Dating – An Oxymoron? Part One

Yes, biblical and dating are two words that do not belong together – if you look at dating the way the world looks at it today.

First, I’ll start off by offering a definition of dating, as given by Scott Croft, “Dating begins when either the man or the woman initiates a more-than-friends relationship with the other, and then they conduct that relationship outside of any oversight or authority. Dating may or may not have marriage as its goal.” Adding my own comment here: if dating does not have marriage as its goal, then it is based on lust.

Whether you agree or not with that definition is irrelevant. The question is, can we make a dating approach that is biblical? The answer is no we cannot. Now, you may be asking, “What are you saying?! Are you saying that we should all remain single for the rest of our lives?” No, that is not what I am saying at all. I am saying that we need another word besides “dating” to describe a biblical relationship. That word would be “courting”, or “courtship”.

So, here is Scott Croft’s definition of courtship. “Courtship ordinarily begins when a single man approaches a single woman by going through the woman’s father, and then conducts his relationship with the woman under the authority of her father, family, or church, whichever is most appropriate. Courtship always has marriage as its direct goal.” It does stand slightly different for adults. The definition that Croft offers is mainly geared towards high school age, but with that being said, an adult relationship should still be conducted under some sort of authority (more on that later).

I think, given that definition of courtship, that it is more theologically correct than the definition of dating. Marriage is one of the most important decisions you will ever make because when two people marry, they cleave to one another and become one flesh, which should be permanent, inseparable. So it should only be logical at this point that getting to marriage is just as important as marriage itself, so we should (as children of God) desire to do what honors and glorifies Him.

The bottom line is this: God’s intention for a relationship to begin is totally opposite of what the secular world believes is OK.

I think a good theme for this article, or blog, or whatever you want to call it is 1 John 3:2-3:

“Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is. And everyone who has this hope {fixed} on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.” (NASB)

More to come in part two.

– Adam Smith

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