Dating Principles


When I began dating Kris, my wife, our relationships with family, friends, and disciplers grew stronger. If you are in a healthy relationship, both of you will be growing in character and in the Lord, and your relationships with other people will be enhanced and strengthened. How Far is too Far? When I speak on dating, one of the most frequently asked questions is, "How far is too far? The answer is found in Paul's exhortation to young Timothy in 1 Timothy 5: Paul's words remain clear.

As Christians, we are now part of one family belonging to the kingdom of God. He says to the men to treat younger women as sisters with absolute purity. There should not be even a hint of sexual immorality in the dating relationship. Women are to likewise treat men as their own brothers. Righteousness should be the hallmark of Christian dating relationships.

My basic guideline is this. The more physically involved the dating relationship, the worse off it is. That flies in the face of the world, which teaches the opposite. Over the years, as a pastor of students, I have seen many relationships destroyed because the couples were too physically involved. In marriage, sex is the most intimate expression of committed love which binds two people together.

Outside of marriage, it has the opposite effect. It becomes a hindrance to the development of mature love. Sex hinders the development of solid communication. The ability to communicate at a deep level is vital in a relationship. Couples must be able to solve difficult problems, discuss deep issues, resolve conflict, and pray together.

To think a kiss or a hug can solve a conflict rather than communicating and praying together is like putting a band-aid on a broken bone. Solid relationships are built on mutual trust and respect. When sex enters the picture, trust and respect can be lost. Pull over at the closest gas station and decide what you want in a future spouse. Your list is designed to give you a framework for dating, not be a checklist for it.

Yes…this is a primary value. If you love the Cowboys and your future spouse loves the Packers, is it important to work through this before marriage? No…this is a secondary value. Primary values are probably deal breakers. Secondary values are probably not. Ever handled a shotgun? If not, let me fill you in.

When you pull the trigger, these balls spread over a large range, increasing the chance you hit the target. Five of those should be keepers. Hopefully one will end up as my spouse. Get to know yourself. Suddenly, when marriage begins, you are asked to flip a switch. Date with a trajectory towards marriage. Let me prove it. God knows it is not good for man to be by himself. Don't pray about whether it's right or not; don't waste your pastor's time asking him.

God has spoken on this issue in His Word; it's not a grey area. You must date and marry a believer if you want God to bless your relationship. Sexual purity We live in a sexually saturated society. It seems like everyone these days is either having sex or at least talking about every detail of their sex lives. Despite the increased openness to discussing sex, people are still not satisfied with the end result.

Years ago, Jesus met a woman who had persistently tried to find meaning from her relationships with men. Jesus told her He could give her living water that would quench her thirst forever. Her experience with Christ forever changed her outlook on life. After her conversation with Jesus, she went back into town and told everyone about the Lord's power.

Her story led to a major spiritual awakening in her community. If we try to fight the fire of lust with prohibitions and threats alone - even the terrible warnings of Jesus - we will fail. We must fight it with a massive promise of superior happiness.

5 Principles for Dating Success

Frank Powell

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