Share on Facebook This is a throwback to a previous post. The idea is to look for love in the right places. This does not mean that we should serve because we might find love. God is not ultimately honored with that kind of self-serving service.
Get involved in a community like that, serve each other, and look for God to open doors for dating. The trajectory of all truly Christian romance ought to be marriage, so it should not surprise us that our dreams and expectations, our hearts, race out ahead of everything else.
And just like sex, all these things could be really good and safe and beautiful, but in the context of your covenant. Satan wants to subtly help you build marriage and family idols that are too fragile for your not-yet-married relationship. Guard your heart and imagination from running out ahead of your current commitment. Boundaries make for the best of friends. Some of our best friends in the battle will be the boundaries we set to keep us pure. While spontaneous plunges into intimacy look great in chick flicks and feel great in the moment, they breed shame, regret, and distrust.
Trade some titillation for trust, surprise for clarity and confidence. Make decisions prayerfully and intentionally before diving in. Boundaries are necessary because on the road to marriage and its consummation, the appetite for intimacy only grows as you feed it.
You are biologically built that way. Touching leads to more touching. Being alone together in certain situations will welcome fierce temptation. Even praying together or talking for hours upon hours on the phone can create unhealthy overdoses of intimacy with not-yet spouses. You will be hard-pressed, though, to find a couple regretting the boundaries they made in dating, while you will very easily find those that wish they would have made more.
As followers of Christ, we really ought to be the most careful and vigilant. Boundaries protect, and boundaries provide the trenches of trust-building. As we establish some mutual boundaries, small and large, and commit to keeping them together, we develop depths and patterns of trust that will serve our intimacy, covenant-keeping, and decision-making should God lead us to marry each other. Consistently include your community. While you might be the one with the final say, you might not be the best person to assess at every point.
Just as in every other area of your Christian life, you need the body of Christ as you think about whom to date, how to date, and when to wed. It may lead to hard conversations or deep disagreement, but it will force you to deal with things you did not or could not have seen on your own. Invite other people to look into your relationship. Spend time together with other people, couples and singles, who are willing to point out the good, the bad, and the ugly. Let all your dating be missionary dating.
No, I am not encouraging you to date not-yet believing men or women. When I say missionary dating, I mean dating that displays and promotes faith in Jesus and his good news, a dating that is in step with the gospel before the watching world.