Dating, Sex and the Christian Single (Part 1 of 2): General Comments (updated)

Romantic Sunset by Petr Kratochvil

“Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness? Or what harmony has Christ with Belial, or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever? Or what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; just as God said,

“I WILL DWELL IN THEM AND WALK AMONG THEM; AND I WILL BE THEIR GOD, AND THEY SHALL BE MY PEOPLE. 

“Therefore, COME OUT FROM THEIR MIDST AND BE SEPARATE,” says the Lord.

“AND DO NOT TOUCH WHAT IS UNCLEAN;
And I will welcome you. And I will be a father to you,
And you shall be sons and daughters to Me,”
Says the Lord Almighty.”

           – 2 Corinthians 6:14 – 18 (New American Standard Bible)

INTRODUCTORY COMMENTS

While the idea seems strange to most of us, arranged marriage were the cultural norm of both the Old Testament and New Testament times. And arranged marriages were usually successful. However, in Western societies like ours, we have the freedom to choose whom to date and to marry and we fail miserably! Most people are unprepared and are ill equipped to make these life-changing decisions on their own!

Dating is a normal part of modern life. It plays an important role in the decision making process a person goes through in choosing a lifetime partner. It is not a casual procedure; it should always be approached seriously. Many of the broken marriages and divided families we see today are the result of a careless attitude toward dating.

SOME PURPOSES OF DATING

  • Dating helps you to get to know people of the opposite sex
  • Dating brings tolerance and understanding of the opposite sex (it helps you to discover and control your emotions)
  • Dating satisfies the normal instinct of personality and the enjoyment of fellowship (it should improve the social, emotional, and spiritual growth of both people involved)
  • And as noted above, dating is a preparation for marriage

THE DANGERS OF FLIRTING

Smooth and seductive speech is to be avoided.

Proverbs 2:16, 17

2 Peter 2:18

Romans 16:17, 18

Ephesians 4:29, 30; 5:4

Flirtations or seductive body language is not pleasing to God and could bring His discipline.

Proverbs 10:10

Isaiah 3:16, 17

Dressing in a sensual and flirtatious manner is to be avoided because it could lead to great sin.

1 Timothy 2:9, 10

Ezekiel 16:15 – 17

Flirting may cause others to stumble into sin.

Matthew 18:7

Romans 14:13, 21

2 Corinthians 6:3

Luke 17:1

Flirtatious behavior could open our lives to Satan’s schemes and enhance his desire to make us fall.

Proverbs 9:13 – 18

1 Peter 5:8

2 Corinthians 11:3

Ephesians 6:11 – 13 

THREE APPROPRIATE GUIDELINES

1. Whenever possible, date other Christians.

“But he/she is a nice person. . . But I can influence him/her to become a Christian. . . But he/she is more religious/moral than most of the Christians I know. . .”

Here are a few of reasons for not dating non-Christians. . .

  • The chances that you will disobey or rebel against God go way up.
  • You and the other person don’t share the same values, beliefs and general expectations (in terms of relationships and life in general)
  • If you get married – be aware that a religious difference is a top ten reason why divorce occurs.
  • If you have children – where will they go and what type of religious training/values will they receive?
  • There is a greater chance the other person will influence you more than you influencing him or her.

2. Make up your mind beforehand to avoid any excessive physical involvement.

It should be obvious that sexual contact like prolonged kissing, fondling/groping, mutual masturbation and oral sex shouldn’t even be considered or attempted. Because it is not so obvious to many, I mention it here. If you need to ask, “How far can I go and still be called a Christian?” – there is a very good chance you should not be doing the activity you are asking about.

To the Christian teens (and adults) that may be reading this, let’s be frank. Be aware of the highly sensitive, erogenous zones on your body: the breasts, the thighs, the nipples, the ears, and the genitals (among other areas). Long before your mind starts to tell your hands to start exploring – remember and apply Romans 12:1, 2.

Train your mind, intellect, emotions and will in God’s will and God’s Word. Allow God to transform, change and renew your thinking, your emotions and your attitudes. Remember: new thought processes and new attitudes will lead to new responses, new behaviors, new character and a renewed life.

Love never tries to take advantage of nor tries to overpower another. True Christians will be responsible and respectful. There are reasons why God tells us to exercise and develop self-control. One or both persons crossing boundaries (or trying to cross boundaries) is enough reason to end the date and/or end the relationship. This would be an instance where “flee fornication (sexual immorality)” needs to be applied.

Don’t wait until you are in the back seat of a parked car or alone with a date on the sofa to then ask yourself, “Do I want to stay sexually pure?” or “Can we control ourselves?” or “Can we control the present circumstances or handle the consequences of what may happen?” You can’t wait that long!

Prepare yourself spiritually and plan your date beforehand. Know who else may be present, where you’ll be going and what you’ll be doing. Don’t playfully flirt and send signals that you are “available”. Avoid any extended time alone with your date (especially in potentially compromising situations).

Have a backup plan ready if you need to leave when unexpected (or unacceptable) circumstances occur. Pray to God before, during and after your date. Be bold enough to pray with your date! If you are a Christian, he or she needs to know that you are serious about being a true and obedient Christian, what to expect when he or she is with you, who you represent and what you stand for!

3. Every Christian needs to understand (and accept) that his or her personal allegiance and relationship with Christ MUST come FIRSTin all aspects of life (dating, marriage and sexuality are no exceptions).

We can’t blindly do what we want all the time just because we have the right, freedom and ability to do so. Remember Galatians 6:7, 8. We can’t get over on God! If we do things to please our flesh (or sinful desires) we will reap destruction. If we live our lives to please the Spirit, blessings in this life and in eternal life are the rewards. Every action has consequences!

A fact that many teens (and a good number of adults) don’t acknowledge or understand is that the fleshly desires one indulges in during the adolescent years will be the same desires that will cause problems in adulthood. In most cases, the person is still trying to satisfy them and as a result are miserable and unfulfilled. The emotional, psychological, spiritual and physical damage (impact) can be devastating.

Break off any relationship that violates God-given principles/standards and that hinder your relationship with God. Meditate on Hebrews 12:1, 2 and Matthew 10:37 – 39. Then act appropriately.

Part 2 of this series is comprised of 20 personal application and group study questions I’ve often used in my teens, singles and young adults classes. Click here to read Part 2.

Related Posts (links will open in new windows / tabs):

Can I Ever Marry?

Sex Without Getting Married?

Maintaining Sexual Self-Control

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2 comments on “Dating, Sex and the Christian Single (Part 1 of 2): General Comments (updated)

  1. Pingback: What Is Fornication? | Refresh My Heart In Christ

  2. Pingback: Espoused, Engaged or Married? | Refresh My Heart In Christ

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