Biblical Alternative to Dating
TITLE : A Biblical Alternative to Dating
TOPIC/LESSON : Choosing God’s Best
TEXT : Selected Scripture
THRUST : The purpose of this lesson is for the student to learn a more biblical approach in finding a life-long relationship.
· Based on research 2 out of 3 marriages in the U.S. will lead to divorce (quoted by Dr. James Dobson of Focus on the Family). The solution to the dating dilemma and failed relationship is so simple that people overlook it time after time.
· How would you approach the said situation (refer to the illustration)?
1. The Agenda in Courtship
· Although the Bible never mention the words “dating” or “courtship”, it does give principles the and guidelines for one-to-one male/female relationships
· After God created goodness all around, He turned to man. What did he find lacking?
· Genesis 2:18
· At the moment God created woman as a helper suitable for man, romance, marriage, and commitment became the very fabric of society.
· What is God’s divine plan for man and woman?
· Genesis 2:24
· God’s intention is for man and woman committed to each other for a lifetime in a monogamous relationship called marriage. Together they were to form an inseparable union with “one flesh” being a sign and expression of that union.
· God’s solution for man’s loneliness is marriage, not dating. Just as marriage became the first one-to-one, male/female relationship, the home became the foundational structure for the rest of society, and a committed relationship became the foundation of the home. In fact, God instituted the home before He created the Church.
· Difference between dating and courtship lies in the intent of relationship:
o When a couple begins a courting relationship, they both know the purpose of the relationship is to consider marriage. Conversely, casual dating is a romantic linking of a couple simply to enjoy each other’s company for the present. In dating, both parties understand that while marriage may be possible in the future, neither person is considering it at the moment. As a result, immediate pleasure is the whole purpose for dating, even for Christians who draw the line at sexual immorality.
o Courting has a long term end in view. There are no casual “tryouts” in courtship, and it is reserved for couples spiritually and emotionally ready for marriage.
· The principles of dating are man-centered and culturally determined. When we date, we often have a window-shopping attitude that has “self” as the base: How will we look “wearing” our prospective partner… having him… holding him…owing him? We try on another person for size and see whether their style suits us.
· The principles of courtship are God-centered. It is the biblical process of finding and choosing a male while honoring God and respecting each other. In contrast, someone in a courtship relationship says, “I believe God has led me to ourselves from broken hearts, painful baggage, and walking out.
2. The Assumption in Courtship
· Marriage relationship is not a contract between two people but a covenant between a couple and God.
· Instead of dating or “shopping around,” we nee to preserve ourselves physically, emotionally, and spiritually for the person God is preparing for you.
· While we wait for God to reveal the right person for us, we concentrate on being the right person instead of finding the right person.
· Once we have developed an intimate friendship, we enter courtship with the understanding that marriage is the expected result.
· Because the intention of courtship is marriage, we may need to delay courtship until we are in a position to marry. Instead we are to devote our season of singleness preparing ourselves and laying the right foundation.
· We need to seek accountability by involving parents or godly couples who will provide protection, correction and direction.
· Courtship is design to foster friendship rather than physical addiction. Thus, acquainted through family and group activities. The goal is spiritual oneness during the early part of relationship, which progresses to emotional oneness during engagement, then physical oneness after marriage.
· Courtship places the waiting period at the beginning, during a time of developing friendship, not at the end of in an extended period of engagement where there would be greater exposure to temptation.
3. The Advantage of Courtship
· The aim of courtship is to be committed to each other in a monogamous relationship blessed by God. Such a relationship saves oneself from:
o Sexually transmitted diseases
o Destructive pain of having an illegitimate child or trying to find an abortionist doctor.
o Spending savings hiring a divorce lawyers
o Lifelong pain.
· The simple solutions are sometimes the hardest to see. After nearly a century of substituting dating for God’s principles of courtship, we may think we’re stuck with the disastrous results, that there’s no other way to find that special someone.
· The best answer has been the most elusive. Ditch dating and return to romance God’s way.
“For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united
to his wife, and they will become one flesh.” (Genesis 2:24)
Reference: Choosing God’s Best by Dr. Don Raunikar