10 Principles For Christian Dating That Will Transform Lives – Frank Powell
Courtship and dating are some of the least discussed topics in the but many of the principles still apply to older and more mature single. "Courtship" is a rather outdated word used to describe the activities that occur when a couple is past the dating stage and in a more serious stage of their. An overview of dating and courtship. Dating the most important thing is to ensure that you follow His principles that He laid down when He designed marriage.
Men struggle with the lust of looking upon women, and women struggle with the lust of desiring to be looked at. If a young woman or man has not attained an unusual ability to mortify these particular lusts, I think it is a very strong sign that the Lord has not given them the gift of celibacy.
Make No Provision for the Flesh Romans Notice the verb as well. We are to flee from these lusts. We are not to toy with them, let alone indulge them. We find a parallel admonition in 1 Cor. We are to flee from youthful lusts and sexual immorality as if they were a battalion of armed men or a bear robbed of her cubs!
We are never to see how close we can come without stepping over the line. Parents must instill this in their children early on and repeatedly admonish them, for this is as exceedingly deceitful a sin as any. This is why it is so important that young people be careful to make no provision for the flesh.
They ought not to be placing themselves in positions in which it would be easy for them to give in to carnal lusts. Spending time alone with a member of the opposite sex in private ought to be avoided like the plague.
A young woman should not be comfortable in such a situation, for she is indeed in great danger, whether she realizes it or not. Every man has lust within him. A Christian man is indeed striving to mortify that lust, but a woman has no way of looking into his heart to observe how successful he is. I am well aware that there are examples of Christian men and women who spent time alone in private and did not give in to such lusts. But there are myriads of examples of those who attempted to do so and failed miserably with dire results.
We should never presume upon the grace of God when He has so clearly admonished us to make no provision for the flesh. I once had a former youth pastor tell me about how devastated he was to find out that the majority of girls in his youth group were taking birth control pills. This was in a conservative PCA church! What were their parents thinking? While the fear of getting a girl pregnant is far from the main reason a man should flee fornication, it is indeed an obstacle that should not be removed.
I do not mean to say that an unmarried couple should never have private conversation. There are plenty of ways to be in private in one sense while still being in public in another sense.
Dinner in a restaurant, being in a room alone while the door is open and others are in the house etc. But a single man living alone ought not to have a girl over for dinner without others present. Guard Your Heart Prov. It is recreational dating. What I mean by recreational dating is a man and woman entering into a romantic relationship simply to enjoy the romance, with no commitment to each other except that they will continue as long as the relationship gives them pleasure.
The Bible is perfectly clear that physical intimacy is to be confined to marriage, and that fornication, which I do not believe is confined to intercourse, is sin. But what is marriage? Is it merely a commitment to an exclusive physical relationship? Marriage is a commitment of the heart as well as the body.
A man or woman can commit adultery in many ways without ever committing the physical act. It is my sincerest conviction that just as singles must be diligent to reserve their bodies for marriage they must also seek to reserve their hearts. I recognize that this idea will meet strong opposition from many quarters. I also realize that it will be far more difficult to work this out practically than it is to avoid fornication.
A young man or woman should never date someone that they would never marry. The idea that it would be fun to date someone even though they have some character flaws or something else that makes them unsuitable as a possible spouse is unwise to say the least.
A romance that cannot rightly end in marriage will end in heartache. A young man ought to be careful not to lead a girl on. He may at first desire to get to know a young woman better because he recognizes her Christian character and finds her attractive. He may spend time with her in small groups etc. A mutual attraction and I mean that in a wholesome way may begin to become obvious.
He should be careful to keep from giving her the impression that she means more to him than she actually does, and if it becomes clear to him that he does not see her as a potential spouse he should make it known in a gracious manner. A young woman needs to guard her heart. As my wife said to me recently, a girl can fall in love with a guy on the first date. She needs to be diligent not to allow herself to do so. She needs to keep a close watch over her affections and be careful not to hand her heart to someone just because he has taken notice of her, even if he is a fine Christian man.
I know this is easier said than done, but if she is successful, she will indeed save herself from much potential heartache. I do believe there may be a good degree of affection of the heart between a couple by the time they are prepared to pursue marriage, and that it will grow stronger and stronger as their wedding day approaches.
But they must both be diligent to practice restraint before there is any sort of commitment involved. The Role of Fathers 1 Cor. He is not a pope over his family, for a pope is an unbiblical usurper of authority.
He has a delegated authority, under God, to fulfill a multitude of duties for the good of those in his family. He must provide for them 1 Tim. He must instruct them in godliness Prov. He must lead by example as he directs his family to live as faithful servants of the Lord Jesus Christ.
The father has a peculiar role in regard to his daughters. His authority over them extends even to the overruling of vows unto the Lord Num. He has the authority to refuse to give her in marriage if he deems it wise 1 Cor. He needs to teach her the dangers of adulterous men just as he is to teach his sons about the dangers of adulterous women Prov. He needs to teach her what manner of woman she should strive to become Prov.
He needs to teach her to be modest and diligent 1 Tim. He needs to teach her to be sweetly submissive under godly authority Titus 2: How sad it is to observe how much of this responsibility is neglected in our day.
This is why, if a young man asks my daughter to go out on a date with him, she will direct him to speak with me. Since I take my responsibilities seriously, I need to know what kind of man he is and what his intentions are.
However, if he makes every appearance of being a sound Christian who would like to get to know my daughter better, I will give him permission within certain parameters and guidelines.
He needs to be willing to remain in the presence of others. I will suggest that if they go out for dinner or a movie etc. But as long as he conducts himself in an upright manner, he has nothing to fear. If he starts to have feelings for my daughter, I will expect him to speak to me about it, but I will do my best to keep this from being anything to be apprehensive about.
My sons must be diligent to mind the authority of the father over any girl they might become interested in. They will speak to him before any form of dating occurs if that is what her father expects. I am aware, however, that many fathers would be quite troubled by a young man who has never dated their daughter asking to speak to him first.
They may jump to the conclusion that he is indeed asking for her hand. Such things need to be worked out with wisdom and care. In a culture as diverse as ours we cannot demand a cookie cutter solution.
BIBLICAL PRINCIPLES FOR COURTSHIP - Pilgrim Covenant - Reformed Church in Singapore
It amazes me how much diversity there is among their individual personalities. Parents need to recognize the individual strengths and weaknesses, propensities and inclinations of each of them if we are to guide them well. I have one daughter who will be very difficult to woo. I am really looking forward to meeting the man who can gain her heart, for it is a strong city, fortified by walls.
I have another daughter who I will need to watch much more closely. Not because of any moral deficiency or lack of virtue, but because she takes after her father and I believe will easily fall in love. Two of my sons have few female friends and one of them has many more female friends than male friends. So, when would be a right age to begin courtship? I believe that given the marriage-goal of courtship there are two factors which should determine when is a right time to begin: In other words, I do not believe that teenagers should enter courtship or dating relationships.
I do not have dogmatic reasons to buttress my suggestion, but that there is really no biblical grounds for two young persons to be romantically linked unless marriage is in view.
Moreover, various statistical studies have indicated that the earlier a young person starts dating, the more likely he or she will commit fornication seeClair and Jones, Dating, Experience in the local context, moreover, shows that most relationships that begin prior to the completion of National Service for men, 18 to 20 years old end up in painful break-ups.
How to Begin Courtship? Since the husband is to be the leader in the family Eph 5: A man who fails to take initiative in courtship may also fail to take leadership in marriage. A woman who initiates courtship may eventually subvert the headship of her husband. Of course, these are maybes, but a failure to recognise the biblical roles of husband and wife and to resolve to observe these roles early is likely to create problems later in the relationship.
Thus, when a man is ready for courtship, he should speak to the woman of his choice after praying and seeking guidance on whether she be the one he should ask. He should naturally have observed her for quite a while in social settings, such as in the church or at work. He should also know her Christian character somewhat, before asking her out.
On the part of the woman, when a man proposes courtship, she should not immediately accept the proposal. Remember, that courtship is a committed relationship that should ordinarily lead to marriage. It behoves the woman, therefore, to spend sometime to think, pray and seek godly counsel about the proposal before agreeing to go out with a particular man. She should, of course, consider his commitment to Christ as indicated above. Involvement of Parents and Church At this point, it would be most helpful for the parents to be involved.
A son who honours his parents will naturally want to let them know and approve of his courtship with his girlfriend. A filial daughter would do the same.
If at all possible, parental involvement should be more than just approval of the relationship, they should also take an advisory and perhaps accountability role. This is especially so if they are committed believers themselves. But what if they are unbelievers?
10 Principles For Christian Dating That Will Transform Lives
Then any believing older brothers or sisters may also fulfil the role. In the Songs of Solomon, we have a very beautiful picture of the way in which the brothers of the Shunnamite woman protected her until she was married off: We have a little sister, and she hath no breasts: If she be a wall, we will build upon her a palace of silver: What does it mean for her to be a wall?
Perhaps, it means that she is one with a firm and steadfast character. That being the case, the brothers resolve to adorn her. But what does it mean for her to be a door? Perhaps, it means that she is one who is weak or morally lax, in which case they would protect her purity from men who would defile her.
But what if both parents and siblings are unbelievers?
In this case, I believe, the couple should seek the guidance and counsel of the pastor or elders of the church they worship in. This does not negate parental approval for the relationship, but it does provide for accountability for a Christ-centred relation that can only be provided by believers.
Whether, it be parents, siblings or church, it would be most helpful for the maintenance of purity and direction in the courtship for the couple to be accountable to someone who is interested in seeing that the relation is Christ-honouring. This person or persons should be kept aware of how the relationship is developing and should meet with the couple on a regular basis for counselling if necessary.
Activities in Courtship Since courtship is with a view to marriage, it is useful if the activities in courtship be more or less designed to get to know one another. Going to a movie or taking a nap together, for example, would hardly help the couple to get to know one another, not to mention being occasions for temptation. On the other hand, doing some meaningful activities together such as walking, Bible study, baby-sitting together, hospital visitation, tracting, baking, etc.
Naturally, for the sake of maintaining purity in courtship, the couple must recognise that physical intimacy should only be reserved for marriage. Are you in courtship? Keep your courtship pure. Avoid all situations which may give rise to temptation. If you set yourselves in a room alone, for any length of time unless it is for a brief moment or you are expecting someone soon, then you are courting trouble.
If you are ever in a situation of temptation, flee. Some physical contact such as hand-holding in courtship is generally pleasant and usually harmless. However, couples must be careful not to allow physical contact to degenerate into sensual lust.
Indeed, if the couple, especially the man finds himself sexually aroused just by hand-holding, he should also avoid doing so. The principle to remember is that purity involves not only the physical act, but the heart as well.
Notice how our Lord hints at the involvement of the eyes and hands when there is a failure to maintain purity: But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart. And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee… Mt 5: Of course, the Lord is not telling us to literally pluck out our eyes or cut off our hands.
But that drastic actions are sometimes necessary to maintain purity. In a courtship, this may involve the suspension of touching and hand-holding. Also, a couple should not delay marriage if they find it increasingly difficult to maintain purity 1 Cor 7: