Sadly, my immature and unhealthy desires predictably did much more harm than good. Maybe dating has been hard for you too, for these reasons or others. It’s enough to leave you like an eight-year-old, asking, “Mom, where do weddings come from?
” The vision of marriage we see in God’s word — the beautiful, radical display of God’s infinite, persevering love for sinners — makes it worth it to date, and date well.
When God engineered the sexual bond between a man and a woman, he made something much more satisfying than the act itself. And the more is found in a mutual faith in and following of Jesus.
Those who recklessly give themselves to a love life of dating without really dating, of romantic rendezvouses without Christ and commitment, are settling. With this “more,” we can say to the watching world, Don’t settle for artificial and thin loyalty, affection, security, and sexual experimentation when God intends and promises so much more through a Christian union.
They’re settling for less than God intended and less than he made possible by sending his Son to rescue and repurpose our lives, including our love lives, for something more. And a Christian union can only be found through Christian dating.
If Christian dating — the intentional, selfless, and prayerful process of pursuing marriage — sounds like slavery, we don’t get it.
If low-commitment sexual promiscuity sounds like freedom, we don’t get it.
Jesus may ask more of us, but he does so to secure and increase our greatest and longest-lasting (sexual) happiness.
Girls, stop expecting guys to make any formal attempt at winning your affections.
Exclusivity and intentionality are ancient rituals, things of the past, and misplaced hopes. It’s not that this new line of thinking is necessarily untrue today, or that it’s not the current and corrupt trend of our culture. One of our most precious pursuits, that of a lifelong partner for all of life, is tragically being relegated to tweets, texts, and snaps, to ambiguous flirtation and fooling around. Therefore, only he can prescribe the purpose, parameters, and means of our marriages.
If fullness of life could be found in sexual stimulation, or if it was just a matter of making babies, the “forget formality and just have sex” approach might temporarily satisfy cravings and cause enough conception.
It’s not nearly a comprehensive or exhaustive list.
They’re simply lessons I’ve learned and hope can be a blessing for you, your boyfriend or girlfriend, and your future spouse.
For those whose roads are marked more by mistakes than selflessness, patience, and sound judgment, take hope in the God who truly and mysteriously blesses your broken road and redeems you from it, and who can begin in you a new, pure, wise, godly pursuit of marriage today.