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Dating? Courtship? Marriage?

One of the most asked questions by single Christians is about dating and marriage. Where is it in Scripture? What is proper? How do I go about this? Where do I draw the line? Is it holding hands, kissing, making out?

If it is a man and they have read the Word they usually quote 1st Corinthians 7:27 emphasizing the "seek not a wife" part with a pained look on there face.

First of all let's start where every Christian is supposed to start in everything they do. What do the scriptures say and what is the will of God for me and if it is the will of God it will line up with the scriptures? In every area of life large and small these two questions should be asked and the answers sought. This subject is one of the most far reaching choices a person can make. It can be glorious or disastrous. Most of the time because these two questions are either never asked or the answer not followed it is disastrous.

The world and our society endorses dating. Shop around, play the field. Premarital sex is expected. You are not a real man unless you attract women and have one hanging on your arm. You're not a real woman unless you can attract a man.

Children having sex with children and having more children is a common statement.

If anyone can find anywhere in the Word of God that dating as we understand it today is scriptural I would like to see it. It is not. That does not mean you can't meet and get to know members of the opposite sex. But for you men the Word is clear that you treat women with respect and as sisters.

[Treat] older women like mothers [and] younger women like sisters, in all purity.
1st Timothy 5:2

Read the "in all purity" part again. You don't decide you like her and drive off to Lookout Point even if she wants to. Trust me. You don't want the girl that is willing to break her vow before God and you are doing the same. In fact, if you really love and respect her, you would never put her in a place where there could be even a hint of sexual immorality. The devil is a lair and the accuser of the Saints. He does not care that nothing has happened between you and her. He will slander her and you if you give him the chance. A Godly husband protects his wife; a Godly man protects his sister. He does not take his sister out and then make out with her.

Same goes for you women. Do you want a man who is willing to break his vow before Almighty God because he is more interested in a cop and feel? What makes you think all his great, loving statements and vows to you are true?

If you have to use your body and how far will you go to keep him around, you don't want him around. Give both him and your insecurity the boot.

If you are not to the point in your Christian walk with the Lord Jesus Christ that you have purposed to sacrifice your will and have chosen to follow His then you are not yet mature enough and the results of your self-willed actions will be disastrous for both of you. To put it bluntly, if you have not already decided to follow God's Word (Christ) you are in for one hell of a life, because you will reap what you sow. Both now and forever.

IF you are a Christian, that means you have voluntarily chosen to be measured by a different ruler. It's called the Word of God, not what the world thinks is right. Our society for the most part condones premarital sex. God does not; He condemns it.

1 Corinthians 6:9 Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites,
10 Nor cheats (swindlers and thieves), nor greedy graspers, nor drunkards, nor foulmouthed revilers and slanderers, nor extortioners and robbers will inherit or have any share in the kingdom of God.

1 Corinthians 6:15 Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a harlot? Certainly not!

1 Corinthians 10:8 We should not commit sexual immorality, as some of them did- and in one day twenty-three thousand of them died.

Galatians 5:19 The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery;

Ephesians 5:3 But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God's holy people.

Colossians 3:5 Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry.

1 Thessalonians 4:3 It is God's will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality;

Jude 1:7 In a similar way, Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns gave themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion. They serve as an example of those who suffer the punishment of eternal fire.

Being led by your feelings is just plain foolish. Feelings come and go, feelings change. Don Francisco sang a song that said "love is not a feeling, it's an act of the will" and that is true. Jesus did not go to the cross because He felt like it. He went because it was the Father's will; He went because He loved us. This does not mean you won't have feelings for each other but true love is not feelings alone. It is a commitment. We as Christians are commanded to be led by the Holy Spirit, not by how we feel.

Romans 8:14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.

Romans 8:1 THEREFORE, [there is] now no condemnation (no adjudging guilty of wrong) for those who are in Christ Jesus, who live [and] walk not after the dictates of the flesh, but after the dictates of the Spirit.

Romans 8:4 So that the righteous and just requirement of the Law might be fully met in us who live and move not in the ways of the flesh but in the ways of the Spirit [our lives governed not by the standards and according to the dictates of the flesh, but controlled by the Holy Spirit].

Romans 8:5 For those who are according to the flesh and are controlled by its unholy desires set their minds on and pursue those things which gratify the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit and are controlled by the desires of the Spirit set their minds on and seek those things which gratify the [Holy] Spirit.

Romans 8:6 Now the mind of the flesh [which is sense and reason without the Holy Spirit] is death [death that comprises all the miseries arising from sin, both here and hereafter]. But the mind of the [Holy] Spirit is life and [soul] peace [both now and forever].

Romans 8:9 But you are not living the life of the flesh, you are living the life of the Spirit, if the [Holy] Spirit of God [really] dwells within you [directs and controls you]. But if anyone does not possess the [Holy] Spirit of Christ, he is none of His [he does not belong to Christ, is not truly a child of God].

It all begins here. If you are truly His son or His daughter you lay down your life and your desires and accept His will and His desires. This is for every area of your life. God has a plan for you that He started before the world began and it will go on for eternity.

Ephesians 4:4-5
4 Even as [in His love] He chose us [actually picked us out for Himself as His own] in Christ before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy (consecrated and set apart for Him) and blameless in His sight, even above reproach, before Him in love.

5 For He foreordained us (destined us, planned in love for us) to be adopted (revealed) as His own children through Jesus Christ, in accordance with the purpose of His will [because it pleased Him and was His kind intent]-

God created you and He knows your wants, desires and needs. He knows what is best for you no matter what you think is best for you. Trust Him.

My definition of what dating is today is "experimenting," and experiments of this nature can easily get out of control. You go looking for what your limited human understanding and flesh wants and thinks will make you happy.

God knows every fiber of your being and character. He knows what you will be like one, five, ten, twenty years from now. You do not, and He knows His plan and what will make you truly happy.

There are plenty of things a brother and sister can do together to get to know each other without giving the devil a chance to accuse you. Remember, Satan is evil, not stupid.

Ephesians 5:3 But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God's holy people.

Try doing things together that advance the Gospel of Christ since that is the will of God for every Christian. Point being for as long as you are left on earth your purpose is to reconcile the world to Christ and you do that His way by following His will. Relationships, jobs, schooling, He knows the full plan, not you.

His will is that His sons and daughters meet and form Godly relationships and Godly marriages. Marriage in some mysterious way represents the Lord Jesus Christ and His bride the Church.

Ephesians 5:32 This mystery is very great, but I speak concerning [the relation of] Christ and the church.

Is it any wonder that God hates divorce?

God is not done molding any Christian alive on earth today. We have no idea to what form He is molding us to. If a man and a woman are called to husband and wife they will be molded together. The question is are you called to be married? God does not play the dating game. Most people find a spouse by playing a selfish form of spin the bottle and the result is broken relationships with all the hurt and pain, and that goes for the married and unmarried.

The gift of sex is for married couples, that they may express in the physical the love God gave them, for each other to be shared between them and God alone.

Hebrews 13:4 Let marriage be held in honor (esteemed worthy, precious, of great price, and especially dear) in all things. And thus let the marriage bed be undefiled (kept undishonored); for God will judge and punish the unchaste [all guilty of sexual vice] and adulterous.

Ecclesiastes 4:12 And though a man might prevail against him who is alone, two will withstand him. A threefold cord is not quickly broken.

Meeting the right person and getting married is a gift from God every bit as much as being single such as Paul's gift.

1 Corinthians 7:7 I wish that all men were like I myself am [in this matter of self-control]. But each has his own special gift from God, one of this kind and one of another.

When it is time to receive that gift (and God knows when it is time) let Him bring that person across your path that He has for you. You trust Almighty God with your eternal salvation but you can't trust Him to bring you a mate?

God says He will give you the desire of your heart. He can say that because He is the one who gave you the desire in the first place. When it is time for you men you will have to have some maturity in the Spirit of Christ for it takes that to give up yourself for her and at the same time take headship as Christ did for the Church and you will give an account for her. What you said , how you treated her, everything. Remember she is God's daughter and you had better believe He is watching over her. For you women it's the same for it takes a maturity in the Spirit of Christ to submit to your husband as the Church does to Christ. Jesus is perfect, your future husband will not be but you are still called to stand by him and help him, to build him up not lord over him.

Here is a one liner. Don't jump ahead of God.

2 John 1:9 Anyone who runs on ahead [of God] and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ [who is not content with what He taught] does not have God; but he who continues to live in the doctrine (teaching) of Christ [does have God], he has both the Father and the Son.

First I would pray that the Lord would reveal to you what it is to be a Godly husband and for you women what it is to be a Godly wife. Let Him put you through the refining fire so that you are ready to take that position.

To be called to be married is to be called to an office, a ministry to each other. Learn the responsibilities of the office. You will have to give an account.

The Word states that when you get married you "shall have trouble in the flesh" -1st Corinthians 7:28. It is wise, and I state this again, IT IS WISE to take care of as much of this trouble as you can before you are married. Then I would pray that the Lord would bring that special one to you. Don't go seeking, looking to see if this or that man or woman has enough check marks on your perfect husband or wife list. Pray and trust, let God answer your prayer. All good gifts come from above and God loves you. Let Him bring you that gift. The fruit of meeting this person should increase your service for God, not distract you from it, for two are better than one when it is God's will.

When you two meet, trust God to let you both know it. And you can pray singly and together as to whether you are meant to be more than just brother and sister. If the answer is no don't go the self pity route. Instead, thank God. He just saved you a lot of pain and you are still brother and sister.

Remember, God is Love. Don't try to manufacture it on your own. That is counterfeit, emotional, conditional love and that is why most (over 50%) of Christian marriages end in divorce within 5 years. Take the time to let God fill you both with His love for each other. God will do this whether you are together or apart. Remember, if it's His will and you're praying according to it, He will bring it to pass. You have to be obedient to the steps He gives you to follow. When you come to the point where you both know it is God's will to marry then you are ready to make that commitment, that life long covenant together.

A lot of people will say "that is crazy" and that "our society does not work this way," or "you are saying God is a matchmaker." To that I say yea and amen. Societies change but the Lord thy God does not. He is the same yesterday, today and forever. He made the first match and marriage in the beginning and He still does for those who know Him and seek His will.

1st John 5:14-15
14And this is the confidence (the assurance, the privilege of boldness) which we have in Him: [we are sure] that if we ask anything (make any request) according to His will (in agreement with His own plan), He listens to and hears us.

15And if (since) we [positively] know that He listens to us in whatever we ask, we also know [with settled and absolute knowledge] that we have [granted us as our present possessions] the requests made of Him.

I think I have already given enough scripture to show that a Godly marriage is between a man and a woman, not two people of the same sex. Our society is trying to change that, too. God's Word does not change. He said what He meant and He means what He said.

Believers are free to marry believers, but not the unsaved.

2 Corinthians 6:14 Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers [do not make mismated alliances with them or come under a different yoke with them, inconsistent with your faith]. For what partnership have right living and right standing with God with iniquity and lawlessness? Or how can light have fellowship with darkness?

1 Corinthians 7:39 (Amplified Bible) A wife is bound to her husband by law as long as he lives. If the husband dies, she is free to be married to whom she will, only [provided that he too is] in the Lord.

There are many more scriptures all leading to this: an unsaved person does not know Christ, does not have the Holy Spirit, is not led by the Holy Spirit, is not a son or daughter of God and is still led (like we all were before we accepted Christ) by the flesh and their own sinful desires.

Ephesians 2: 1-3
1 AND YOU [He made alive], when you were dead (slain) by [your] trespasses
and sins

2 In which at one time you walked [habitually]. You were following the course and fashion of this world [were under the sway of the tendency of this present age], following the prince of the power of the air. [You were obedient to and under the control of] the [demon] spirit that still constantly works in the sons of disobedience [the careless, the rebellious, and the unbelieving, who go against the purposes of God].

3 Among these we as well as you once lived and conducted ourselves in the passions of our flesh [our behavior governed by our corrupt and sensual nature], obeying the impulses of the flesh and the thoughts of the mind [our cravings dictated by our senses and our dark imaginings]. We were then by nature children of [God's] wrath and heirs of [His] indignation, like the rest of mankind.

You will not get them saved. You can share the Gospel with them but the choice is theirs and God is the one who saves, not you. If they reject Christ why would you want to be with them? How can Light have fellowship with darkness? This truth is light does not rub off on darkness, darkness does rub off on light.

James 4:4
You adulterous people, don't you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God

1 John 2:15
[ Do Not Love the World ] Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.

1 John 2:17
The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.

1 John 5:19
We know that we are children of God, and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one.

1 Corinthians 2:14
The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned.

Romans 8:6-9
6 The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace; 7 the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God's law, nor can it do so. 8 Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God.

9 You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ.

Fellowship in the Greek out of the Strong's Exhaustive Concordance used in 1st Corinthians 7:39:

3352 metoch metoche met-okh-ay'
from 3348; TDNT-2:830,286; n f
AV-fellowship 1; 1
1) a sharing, communion, fellowship

What sharing, what communion, and what fellowship do you have with the unsaved? Ministry yes, but start a relationship? By the Word of God, no. As I said, the devil is evil not stupid. His plan, his attack, is to try to get you into unscriptural relationships.

Dating - As it is thought of in the world today is not in the Word of God. That does not mean you can't meet with and get to know those of the opposite sex. You can meet in places that no one can accuse you of wrong. You keep yourself pure and you protect the other person as well. You can advance the Kingdom of God together and that is a true way to really see what is in the other's heart.

Courtship -You both have come to a place where you both agree that God has called you to be more than brother and sister. In other words, God has called you to be married. It is a time to work out all doubt. There is no middle ground. You both know in your hearts that it is God's will. You are not getting married because you "feel" that you love each other. That is there, but you know it's much deeper than that. Are you willing to go through the dry, hard times when your feelings are not at all loving toward this person because you know God has called you to?

2 Corinthians 11:2
For I am zealous for you with a godly eagerness and a divine jealousy, for I have betrothed you to one Husband, to present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.

Marriage - A life long covenant second only to the covenant you made with the Lord Jesus Christ. If brought about by His Spirit, marriage will bring Him glory.

The two questions I asked at the beginning of the article must be brought up again.

What do the scriptures say? To find out you must study to show yourself approved.

2 Timothy 2:15
Study and be eager and do your utmost to present yourself to God approved (tested by trial), a workman who has no cause to be ashamed, correctly analyzing and accurately dividing [rightly handling and skillfully teaching] the Word of Truth.

What is God's will for me? How do you find out? By offering yourself up to Him and by prayer and seeking it. By doing what He has already showed you.

John 7:17
If any man desires to do His will (God's pleasure), he will know (have the needed illumination to recognize, and can tell for himself) whether the teaching is from God or whether I am speaking from Myself and of My own accord and on My own authority

Romans 12:1-3 (Amplified Bible)
1 I APPEAL to you therefore, brethren, and beg of you in view of [all] the mercies of God, to make a decisive dedication of your bodies [presenting all your members and faculties] as a living sacrifice, holy (devoted, consecrated) and well pleasing to God, which is your reasonable (rational, intelligent) service and spiritual worship.

2 Do not be conformed to this world (this age), [fashioned after and adapted to its external, superficial customs], but be transformed (changed) by the [entire] renewal of your mind [by its new ideals and its new attitude], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God, even the thing which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His sight for you].

3 For by the grace (unmerited favor of God) given to me I warn everyone among you not to estimate and think of himself more highly than he ought [not to have an exaggerated opinion of his own importance], but to rate his ability with sober judgment, each according to the degree of faith apportioned by God to him.

God's will always lines up, and is in agreement with, His Word.

Please feel free to contact us with any questions about this article.

Scripture quotations taken from the Amplified Bible.

 
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"...it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment..." Hebrews 9:27

 
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