Biblical dating books
There are two popular, misleading ways of relating the Bible to dating. In other words, the institution of dating does not receive its legitimacy from covenantal realities and does not “sanctify” as marriage does (1 Cor. Dating is merely the way our culture manages the transition from singleness to marriage without the ancient (secular) courtship structures.
The first is to think that because the Bible does not speak about dating, we have liberty to dive headlong into romantic waters, guided only by desire to get married. This view allows us to imbibe secular dating-game platitudes like the currently popular sage wisdom called flirtexting. Compare how the Bible relates to dating with how it relates to national politics. The difference, however, is that marriage pictures for us the consummative union of Christ and his church on the last day (Eph. It is a this-world cultural mode of manifesting a legitimate transition that God endorses and delights in.
The second is to think that because the Bible does not speak about dating, it forbids dating entirely, and constrains us to pattern our practices after the cultural options available to the biblical authors. This view allows us to imbibe (not necessarily Christian) ancient, secular, dating-game platitudes like asking the dad for a date and bundling (wait, do people still bundle? The Bible teaches that earthly kingdoms are of this age, yet they are institutionally legitimate. Likewise, dating may be called an institution of this age, yet it is legitimate. It is neither a worldly structure outside the reach of Scripture (the libertarian approach), nor a heavenly structure that carries with it a mandated form (the purist approach). Dating is a this-age institution (it will perish with “this present evil age” [Gal. ), because marriage is a this-age institution (Matt. In dating, theology informs our conduct, intentions, boundaries, relationships, and the manner in which we go about expressing them.
Dating does not carry special divine sanction like marriage.
So let us describe the nature and content of dating this way: Thus, dating is not more or less biblical than the courtship rituals of the Ancient Near Eastern culture in which the Old Testament was written, or the courtship customs of the Jewish/Greco-Roman culture in which the New Testament was written.
If you are dating someone, no matter the level of formality or intimacy, there are helpful biblical truths that God has provided for your encouragement, discipline, and faithfulness. ) manner in a this-worldly and non-holy cultural institution: Creation: (1) Your conception of humanity should govern your conception of your gender (Gen. (2) Because you are finite (Psalm 39:4; Psalm ), you are not called to God-like certainty about the future of your relationship. It is the emotional experience of being vulnerable with another person.
He has not left you to crude speculation (libertarian) or crass rigidity (purist). God is not sitting on the sidelines of your romantic life waiting for you to become winsome (Prov. He anticipates, delights in, and works through awkward faithfulness (1 Cor. (4) Pre-marital romantic feelings are part of the inherent goodness of creation (Gen. Fall: (5) You are a sinner, and will desire to use, lie, manipulate, and push emotional, physical, and relational boundaries for unholy reasons (Jer. Don't structure your relationship as if you will always be at the top of your game (Matt.
Redemption: (8) Your primary goal should be to assist the other person in growing in sanctity and love for Christ and others (Phil. (9) Because of our union with Christ, the brother/sister relationship is the foundational relationship between two dating Christians (Mark ; 1 Cor. But more than anything else, I pray that sanity and peace would come to my peers in the world of Christian dating.
This also means that preferences, standards, desires, fears, and annoyances do not control the agenda of the relationship (Gal. (7) Always be ready to break up if the relationship becomes unhealthy or continually sinful (Psalm ). The Bible plays a vital role in understanding dating, both in the nature and function of dating as a culture and institution, and the manner in which we date.
(10) The great command to love your neighbor as yourself is not superseded or subverted by romantic love, but provides the necessary context for romance to be love (Rom. Consummation: (11) Seek to help the person you're dating to cherish the coming consummation of Christ more than the possible consummation of marriage (James 5:8; 2 Pet. (12) Those who presume upon the foretaste of covenantal realities for the sake of this world are storing up greater judgment for themselves (Heb. Likewise, dating someone when you know it will not lead to marriage is to consciously consume foretastes of marriage covenantal realities (romance, special emotional intimacy, vulnerability, a level of security) for selfish, and therefore sinful ends.
I could go on, and if you’re a part of almost any kind of Christian community, you probably can too.
Even though we’re following Jesus, and reading the same Bible, and aiming for the covenant of marriage, our dating advice can be surprisingly wide and diverse.One Lord, one faith, one baptism — and a billion different dating tips.The first rule in dating is the first rule in all of life: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength” (Mark ).You will not truly love anyone else if you do not love God first and most.