The most commonly recognized definition is “an appointment for a specified time; especially a social engagement between two persons of opposite sex” (.As a result, if two people are “dating,” this could mean they have dated only twice, yet have become interested in pursuing marriage.As my friend Lindsey, married and in her thirties, recently remarked, “I’m sure glad I wasn’t much of a Christian when I started dating my husband!
The trajectory of lives and eternities are in the balance. Laying out guidelines for dating as followers of Jesus will alter lives by keeping people out of toxic and unhealthy relationships (and ultimately marriages). “The one” says you need to find the perfect person. The beauty of marriage is God sustains you despite your flaws. The shells of a shotgun are stuffed with tiny round balls. You are asked to go from a mentality that says “End a relationship as soon as difficulty arises,” to one that says, “Don’t end the relationship regardless of the difficulty that arises.” That’s a tough switch to flip.
Webster’s states that courting is “to engage in social activities leading to engagement and marriage.” Most would reply, “But isn’t that dating? Courting is a separate but important and intricate part of the process pointing toward and leading to marriage.
Therefore, you must also come to understand and apply the to do better.
Dating with a trajectory towards marriage doesn’t mean you only date one person ever. So, if you choose not to get coffee or watch a movie with the opposite sex, then whatever. The ultimate purpose of marriage is sanctification (becoming like God). If you have no idea what values are important to you in a future spouse, exit the road to marriage at the next off ramp.
That would be awesome, but it’s not always realistic. If you are a Christian, God isn’t a piece of your pie. Why date someone who doesn’t even have God as a piece of the pie? 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. Your heart and the holiness of marriage are too important to flippantly give away because you are frustrated, impatient, or settling.