Biblical Dating – An Oxymoron? Part Three

In part two of this series I mentioned that there were three areas in which modern dating differs from Biblical dating, or courtship. There are differences in motive, mind-set, and methods. The first one is a difference in motive. What are some reasons why a person would want a boyfriend or a girlfriend? I have compiled a list of ten reasons that I could come up with:

1. A cure for loneliness / afraid of being alone
2. To make my significant other into “the perfect one”
3. To find out what I like
4. To have fun
5. To have sex
6. Social pressure
7. To gain acceptance
8. To have a sense of pride
9. To be loved
10. “Testing the waters”

Now look at that list. What seems to be the motive behind each one of those reasons? I would say that the motive is selfishness – as in what would work for me. So what is the motive behind Biblical dating, or courtship? The one motive is to find a spouse. A man should consider a particular woman because he believes it is possible that he could marry her, and so the courtship process is the discerning of whether or not he is right.

However, modern dating does not need to have marriage as a goal at all. Dating can be recreational, and “dating for fun” is acceptable. Modern dating arbitrarily throws around terms like “practice” and “trial and error.” However, none of these ideas will get any Biblical support.

The second area of difference is in mind-set. Modern dating is basically a selfish endeavor, and treats the whole process as ultimately about me. The end all question seems to be, “how do I know if I’ve found the one?” However, there are also some additional unspoken questions: will this person make me happy? Will this relationship meet my needs? How does she look? What is the chemistry like? Have I done as well as I can do? All of these are selfish ambitions. That is simply not the way a Christian should think (although we all do it, myself included, but don’t let it rule your choices).

The Bible gives us this piece of advice:

“Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not {merely} look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus…”
– Philippians 2:3-5 (NASB)

Selfishness is not what drives a Biblical marriage, so selfishness should not drive Biblical courtship either. Bottom line: Biblical courtship means that I won’t look for a list of characteristics that comprise my fantasy woman, but that I look for a Godly woman as scripture defines her, a woman that I can love and be attracted to, but a woman that I can serve and love as a Godly husband. Biblical courtship asks, “How can I be the one for her?” Modern dating asks, “How can I find the one for me?”

The third difference between modern dating and Biblical courtship is in methods. I will share this difference with you in part four. Also, I think part four is the best one so far; it really gets into the “meat” of the differences – I should know, I already wrote it.

(Hey I had to give you a teaser so that you’ll come back, right?)

– Adam Smith

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2 thoughts on “Biblical Dating – An Oxymoron? Part Three

  1. Paul Schmucker says:

    Excellent Biblical information. This will be very helpful in my study of dating.

    Missionary ,

  2. Culbert says:

    Thanks for one more out of the ordinary article. Where else could anybody get this kind of information in such a faultless way. I truthfully enjoyed reading it.

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