As a result of my previous post, “What To Do About Dating”, I recieved some very insightful feedback. In light of the comments made on that post, I realize I was unclear in some areas and would like to dedicate this post to the clarification of those areas. My point in the post, “What To Do About Dating”, was to reveal that dating is not a Christian thing, it is inherently secular and worldly. For the next few hundred words I will address some comments:
- Dating itself is not inherently wrong.
Technically, that statement is inherently wrong. But, that depends on your definition of “dating”. The New Oxford American Dictionary–which is the standardized dictionary for this blog because it owns a larger vocabulary of words and a more full range of meanings– describes the word “dating” in this way:
Dating: going out with someone in whom one is romantically or sexually interested.
That sounds very worldly and, well-, selfish. It also has no vision or purpose beside a single encounter with someone you have feelings for. There is no aim of getting to know a person with the intent of marriage, which is the goal of so-called “Christian Dating”. That, by the way, I think is a complete oxymoron.
- Getting to know your future spouse is actually a good thing. It creates a sense of non-dependency and learning to know what will in fact work for you.
I’m all for getting to know people, but it should be done by some other means rather than dating. God’s command that we should treat our fellow Christians as brothers and sisters flies in the face of the dating concept. Also, the dependence of both individuals should not be upon each other, but rather it should be on God. People will fail, it is their nature to do so; if we lean on a weak staff, we should not be surprised when it cracks beneath us. The time of preparation before a marriage-intended relationship is for an individual to learn to full depend on God.
- Dating works for some people.
True. Then again, the question was never: does dating work? The question was: is dating right? As a Christian I say no. Here are my reasons, (not my family or church’s reasons), for thinking so:
1. Unless you marry the person after your first date and have never dated anyone else, you are defying God’s law about being a one man woman or a one woman man. We are not to have relationships with anyone except our spouses, (that means after marriage, not before). If it’s not right to have relationships with more than one person after marriage, why is it right before marriage?
2. If a man is in a relationship with a Christian woman, or vise-versa, without marriage in mind… I’ll go a step further, if a man is in a relationship with a woman and they do not feel a call from God Himself that they will be married one day, they are defrauding one another.
Defraud, that’s a funny word, it means to cheat or to steal. In the way it is used in 1 Corinthians 7:5, it means to rob something from the relationship of a husband and wife. To defraud someone is to steal something from them that was meant for marriage alone. Any form of touching, any special attention, any sharing of secrets, making the other person feel special or singled out is a means of defrauding them.
This may sound barbarically cruel and impossible to follow, but God said:
Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.
Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.
-1 Peter 1:16
Those are commands, and far more difficult to keep than to just stay pure in our relationships. We should hold to the highest standard we can reach to keep ourselves pure.
Dating is all about getting things done Man’s way, without the help of God. I mean, just keep trying until you find the right one, right? It doesn’t matter who gets emotionally hurt along the way. That’s all dating ever is and ever will be.
Now, being together and corresponding through monitored and chaperoned conversation and time together… That’s an entirely different thing. The, lGod-philosophy”, for getting to know someone before a pre-decided marriage is to always be above reproach, or slander. Once again, if you’re not sure you are getting married, it is wrong to spend time with a person giving them the indication that you are.
I’m surprised at how little faith we have, more, I’m astonished. What are we saying when we think dating is the only option? That the God who created man and woman, their emotions, their hearts cannot be trusted to care for them and provide the perfect person for them?
I never said buy an island and isolate yourself from the world until the Lord returns or brings the right person to you. I did say that you should seek the will of God and focus on Him until He bring the right person to you. He can choose them a lot better than you can.
I think all of these comment and ideas stem from a wrong veiw of marriage. Marriage is the union of two people for the glory of God. Notice how love does not enter into the equation yet. Of all reason to get married, love is the most foolhardy and worst: for love is of the heart.
The heart is deceitful above ALL things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?
No, love is no reason to marry, love is a gift God gives to those who follow His will for their lives.
Why love is not a reason to marry is because a human is not a body with a soul, a human is a soul with a body.
For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.
-1 John 2:16
Anything besides God living in someone that draws you to them, is of the flesh. Their appearance, their voice, their personality, is all of the flesh, but the spiritual draw is lasting, and Godly. Live not for the world, live not in the way that the world lives. We are to be in the world, not of it. And how we get to know one another sets us apart.
Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.
Call me old fashioned, call me crazy, call me a fanatic, that’s fine by me. God called us to stand out, show the world something crazy that works. And yes, it does work. If we look like fools, let it be know that:
We are fools for Christ’s sake,
-1 Corinthians 4:10
As always, thanks for reading, I hope this brought a little clarity. As a side note, a large portion of my source material for these two posts comes from a series called “7 Bible Truths Violated By Christian Dating”, by Dr. S. M. Davis. Other source materials include: “The Bible” and a well informed childhood that only another homeschooler can relate to. Until next time…
–the anonymous novelist