Not only is there nothing in the Bible specifically about dating, but the concept of dating didn’t even exist in biblical times.
Even today in many areas of the Middle East, dating is a relatively new concept and couples can’t even be seen together in public unless they are officially “engaged” to be married.
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.
Here are some starting places for living in an other-worldly (Eph.
The modern-day concept of “dating” looked far different 2,000 years ago.
The process of meeting a spouse had very little to do with compatibility and personality traits, and everything to do with family lineage and economic status.
But be encouraged, though He may not always provide us with the direct plan, He always gives us everything we need to get where He wants us to go.
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.
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.
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