If this is done well, Christian women will be honored, even as they are pursued. Used by permission of Crossway Books, a ministry of Good News Publishers, Wheaton, Illinois 60187, If you’ve enjoyed this article, will you consider giving a tax-deductible gift to Boundless right now?We’re a donor-funded ministry, and we rely on friends like you to help keep us going!In the self-centered world of secular dating, we want as much information as possible to ensure that the right decision is being made.And if we can enjoy a little physical or emotional comfort along the way, great. The process just described is hurtful to the woman that the man purports to care about, not to mention to himself.There should be no physical intimacy outside the context of marriage, and the couple should seek accountability for the spiritual health and progress of the relationship, as well as for their physical and emotional intimacy.Within this model, both parties should seek to find out, before God, whether they should be married, and whether they can service and honor God better together than apart.I will provide a working definition of each, describe how the two methods are broadly different, and then recommend why one method is fundamentally more biblical than the other. Courtship ordinarily begins when a single man approaches a single woman by going through the woman's father and then conducts his relationship with the woman under the authority of her father, family or church, whichever is most appropriate. A man will court a particular woman because he believes it is possible that he could marry her, and the courtship is the process of discerning whether that belief is correct.To the extent that the Bible addresses premarital relationships at all, it uses the language of men marrying and women being given in marriage (see Matthew ; Luke -35).
In all these ways, a biblical relationship looks different from a worldly relationship. From Sex and the Supremacy of Christ, John Piper and Justin Taylor editors, copyright 2005, pages 145-149.
Yet where is the biblical support for such an approach to marriage? How many examples of "recreational dating" do we see among God's people in the Bible? The category of premarital intimacy does not exist, other than in the context of grievous sexual sin. The practical advice I give the singles at our church is, if you cannot happily see yourself as a married man (or woman) in less than one year, then you are not ready to date. The Difference in Mind-set The second major difference between biblical courtship and modern dating is the couples have when interacting with one another. After all, what is the main question everyone asks about dating, falling in love, and getting married? And this is where the rubber really meets the road. In biblical courtship, commitment precedes intimacy. According to the current school of thought, the best way to figure out whether you want to marry a particular person is to act as if you are married and see if you like it. What you do and say together is private and is no one else's business, and since the relationship is private, you need not submit to anyone else's authority or be accountable.
And if this pseudo-marriage works for both of you, then get married.
He should also seek to ensure that a significant amount of time is spent with other couples or friends rather than alone.
The topics, manner, and frequency of conversations should be characterized by the desire to become acquainted with each other more deeply, but not in a way that defrauds each other.