DATING AND WAITING
Remaining pure until it's time
Dating can be classified as two members of the opposite sex going out together regularly on a romantic date. There are four general stages of the dating process.
1. Friendship - most modern relationships skip this stage
2. Courtship - when a man seeks to win the affections of the woman with intent to marry her
3. Engagement - when a woman accepts the man's proposal and they make plans to marry
4. Marriage - when a man and woman are in full marital covenant with each other
It is normal for the man to pursue the woman's affection. A woman, however, is not forbidden for a woman approaching a man. That is not the point being made in Prov 18:22. It is perfectly fine for a woman to introduce herself, or even share her feelings with someone. That's quite different from chasing a man, which usually becomes annoying and self-deprecating.
There are 3 types of love: Phileo, Eros and Agape. A healthy marriage involves all three. In a Christian marriage both partners should be friends, lovers, and worshippers. Their spiritual love (Agape) ensures that their friendly love (phileo) and romantic love (eros) are both pure and unfailing. If a man or woman doesn't show love for God (word, prayer, worship), go the other way! Do NOT become unequally yoked (stuck with a loser)!
God says in Genesis 2:18 it is not good for man to be alone. It is a natural human desire to want companionship. There are ways to enjoy a person's company before allowing yourself to become attached emotionally. Here's where boundaries come in. Don't be like Adam & Eve, focusing on the one forbidden fruit and forgetting about all the other things you can enjoy. [discuss ideas] Going out in groups is probably the best idea at this stage. It's a LOT less risky!
Proverbs 12:26 The investment you make on the frontend will payoff great dividends! Get to know the person. If they've recently ended a relationship, stay here until the residue is gone.
One on one dating should NOT be considered until both are seriously contemplating the idea of possible marriage. You will end up marrying someone you date. You don't have to worry about marrying the wrong person if you don't date the wrong person.
This is where you look for FIRE or smoke. Don't be a flaky Olive Oil. Feelings can cloud judgment.
• If he says he's not looking to get married, believe him! Abandon ship!
• If she's entertaining other people, she's not in love with you. Wait! Matthew 6:21 Love is loyal.
• If he'll compromise his relationship with God for you, he'll compromise his relationship with you for someone else.
• Make sure any "old baggage" from past relationships has been properly dealt with.
• Be accountable. Introduce him/her to your parents/pastors. Abusive men are not attracted to women
who have a covering. A man or woman who has issues with authority is a no go!
It shows how much you value yourself and the person you're interested in. The higher the value, the more it costs. Jesus showed how valuable you are by paying with His life. According to Ephesians 5:25 that's the same love a husband should have for his wife. If he/she values you enough, they'll wait.
What do I do while I wait?
Get to know God. Get to know you. 1 Corinthians 7:32-34 lets us know the focus of a single person should be pleasing the Lord. This doesn't mean being religious. It means until you're married, your work for God comes first! You don't skip church to go on a date. It also means letting God make changes in you; your attitude, your temper, your vocabulary, etc. Letting Him do what He wants when you're single will save you much troule when you're married.
What if I didn't wait?
Premarital sex will cause many unnecessary problems. (Pregnancy, disease, soul ties, jealousy, etc.) You can choose your sin but not your consequences. However, It's never too late to wait.
Press reset. This is much easier to do alone. It's usually hard for a couple without putting a big freeze on the relationship because both have to be equally committed to doing it the right way. But you have to 1) Repent and stop sinning 2) Set clear boundaries for yourself and your relationship. 3) Don't condemn yourself. Confess that you are made pure again by the word of God. John 15:3
1 Corinthians 7:9 If the two of you are past the point of self-control the bible says you should marry. You will have serious problems to work through, but it's better to marry than to burn. You should both get pastoral counseling.
The best mate will be worth the wait.