Christian perspectives on dating and marriage
1 Corinthians shows that the unmarried woman is anxious about pleasing the Lord and not a man.Thus any type of behaviour that leads us to be anxious about pleasing a man before we are married (which boyfriend/girlfriend relationships arguably do) should be avoided.In my dealings with the topic biblical courtship, I have found that, to my disappointment and often discouragement, there seems to be a lot of opinion but regrettably, a real lack of clarity.Reading many articles, talking with other believers, and being a believer who is currently in a courtship myself, I have found myself wrestling vigorously with the different ideologies which are flying about in answer to the following question: How do we, as followers of Jesus Christ, engage in courtship in a biblical way, a way in which honours and glorifies God, leaving both parties obedient to the Word?All this will have often happened before the man has initiated a clear conversation about his intention to marry the girl and before his or her parents or church community have been consulted.Thus you have a situation where one or both individuals are deeply emotionally attached to someone whom they may not marry.In order to provide some understanding and clarity, I would like to know how you have come to the conclusion that this is what biblical courtship should look like?
On the basis of the above definition, what would you say the difference is between biblical courtship and what you are seeing in the church today?Their aim is to reach a wise decision, with the help of their families and Christian community, on whether they should marry or not while behaving in a way that honours God.The hope is that whether things work out or not, each person is left undamaged.I was fortunate enough to have an interesting conversation with a woman by the name of Rowina Seidler, who has written many articles reflecting on this very issue.She has recently been married and I found myself extremely blessed by the insight she gave into her experiences and her standpoint on how believers should participate in courtship in a biblical manner, beautifully validated by particular Scriptures.
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We've come together on this piece to hopefully bless, edify and implore other believers to assess their current courtships, implement principles prior to entering into one, and lastly, to move from desiring to fit into the ideals of men and look to what is taught in the Word of God.