So, there isnʼt dating-as-we-know-it-today advice in the Bible. And that is maybe a good thing. Our culture is a wee bit different than Ancient Near East cultures or the Ancient Roman Empire. There are, however, behaviors towards others that God values throughout the Bible that we can apply to our day and age.
God created us for relationship with Himself, and while He created us to be in relationship with others as well, our relationship with Him is the only source of life. It is our relationship with Him that gives us meaning, purpose, and value.
We can honor and respect a date by getting to know him/her without knowing if we will end up marrying that person. Also, it is ok if you realize you donʼt like this said person after a few dates or even weeks of dating. You should then probably stop dating that person.
Jesus followers are referred to as being part of the same family, with God as the ultimate good father. We are to care about peopleʼs lives even if we arenʼt romantically interested in them, at the very least because they are a sibling in Christ. Also, a part of respecting someone is communicating if you are in fact interested in him/her without making him/her guess. That can be all sorts of confusing, but very avoidable if you can be clear about your intentions.
There is grace upon grace if you have not done this in the past or are currently having sex in a dating relationship. However, God designed sex solely for a marriage relationship- an expression of a covenant relationship. If your current partner isnʼt willing to keep sex within marriage, that is not God honoring, and I would suggest considering if this person is willing to put your best interest above his/her own in helping you follow God with your whole life. Someone who isnʼt willing to help you follow God is probably not someone you want to be dating.
God created marriage as a unique reﬂection of His image, two becoming one. While not everyone may get to experience the uniqueness of a marriage relationship, we all need to experience and live out serving and loving other Christ followers. Tim Keller in his book "The Meaning of Marriage" writes, "Of course [beneﬁting from cross-gender relationships] is less intense than in marriage. And yet the more corporate experience is not a poor second to marriage, since in marriage you are put together with just one member of the opposite sex. Marriage does and should somewhat limit the extent of friendships you have with others of the opposite sex. In Christian community, however, singles can have a greater range of friendships among both sexes." Tim also goes on to point out that the word “gift” that one of the New Testament writers attributes to singleness means “an ability God gives to build others up.” Thereʼs a uniqueness to a marriage relationship, but thereʼs also a uniqueness in singleness.
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