Biblical Dating – An Oxymoron? Part Four

In case you missed them, here is part 1, part 2, and part 3.

Picking right up where I left off from in part three, the third difference between modern dating and Biblical dating is in methods. Here is the big difference: in modern dating, intimacy precedes commitment, and in Biblical dating commitment precedes intimacy.

Here is a sample of what a modern dating process looks like (From Scott Croft’s article, if I remembered the link I would share it):

1. Spend large amounts of time alone together.
2. Become each other’s primary emotional confidantes.
3. Share your deepest secrets and desires.
4. Get to know that person better than anyone else in your life.
5. Grow your physical intimacy and intensity on the same track as your emotional intimacy.
6. What you do and say together is private and is no one else’s business and since the relationship is private you need not submit to anyone else’s authority or be accountable.

Essentially, this is acting like you are married and seeing if you like it. It is a pseudo-marriage if you will. This is the worldly process and such a process may happen with several different people until you find “the one.”

However, this is not Biblical in any respect. The Bible will speak for itself:

“Do not sharply rebuke an older man, but {rather} appeal to {him} as a father, {to} the younger men as brothers, the older women as mothers, {and} the younger women as sisters, in all purity.”
– 1 Timothy 5:1-2 (NASB)

The last line is what I am focusing on here; “…the younger women as sisters, in all purity.” Here is a Biblical process in sharp contrast to the six step modern process described above:

1. The man should show leadership.
2. The man should also show a willingness to bear rejection by defining the nature and pace of the relationship.
3. He should do this before spending significant time alone with her in order to avoid hurting or confusing her.
4. The topics, manner, and frequency of conversation should be characterized by the desire to become acquainted with each other more deeply, but not in a way that defrauds each other.
5. There should be NO physical intimacy outside the context of marriage, and the couple should seek accountability for the spiritual health and progress of the relationship, as well as for their physical and emotional intimacy.

With this process, both people should seek to find out, before God, whether they should be married, and whether they can serve and honor God better together than apart. Think about this: prior to the decision to marry, the man should always engage with her emotionally in a way he would be happy for other men to engage with her.

Bottom line: a Biblical relationship looks different from a worldly relationship. If a relationship is done according to God’s standard, Christian women will be honored, even while being pursued, and God will be glorified.

There is more to come in part five, including some stuff from Joshua Harris. Stay tuned!

– Adam Smith

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One thought on “Biblical Dating – An Oxymoron? Part Four

  1. dreamingink says:

    You have some great insights on this here blog of yours! I found it particularly interesting looking over these posts on dating. I once might have been able to give such a cut-and-dry examination of the issue….and then I discovered college life and all the insane, dramatic complexities of relationships. They are anything but simple. I do believe biblical principles are still relevant. I guess I just see the whole issue through a different angle than the traditional dating vs. courtship debate, which I kind of believe misses the point entirely.

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