Bible studies for couples who are dating
I want to suggest that we can make this whole dating thing a lot simpler and less confusing by simply holding fast to the clear, relatively few principles spelled out in Scripture. Christians Pursue Jesus Above All This is the overriding principle which must govern every relationship.Loving Jesus first and foremost means seeking him above all else and obeying his commands above all else. Once this is set firmly in place for both individuals in the relationship, many of the other details will fall into place.Life has so many hues, and each person is so different.Wisdom is an essential component when thinking through this issue.That doctrine is called the sufficiency of Scripture.Almost all professing evangelical Christians are familiar with and vigorously defend the doctrine of the inerrancy of Scripture (which states that the Bible is the authoritative Word of God, it's true, and it contains no falsity or error).A guy must ask a girl’s dad first, then the guy must ask the girl, then the girl must say yes, then the couple can start seeing each other IN GROUPS (! If things go well for the first eight months or so, the couple may or may not be allowed to spend semi-unsupervised time together and possibly even (GASP! Once the young man has firmly established himself financially and is sufficiently godly, he can ask the girl to marry him. Both families, as well as lots of church members, must be involved in the entire process, from start to finish. There are so many variables in each relationship: the age of the couple, the spiritual maturity of the couple, whether or not both sets of parents are believers, how long the guy and girl have been a Christian, the ethnicity of the couple, and on and on.
How can Christians think differently about this pervasive issue in media and culture? The answer to that last question is "not well." Surveys consistently indicate that professing Christians behave almost exactly like non-Christians in terms of sexual involvement outside of marriage (in both percentage of people involved and how deeply involved they are — how far they're going), living together before marriage, and infidelity and divorce after marriage.
Is it sinful for a couple to drive to a deserted area at night just to “hang out”? Is it wise for a young man to talk to a young woman’s parents about dating/courting their daughter? It depends on whether the parents are Christians, how old the woman is, and a host of other conditions.
Does a young man need to have financial stability before he can get married? Here’s why: part of this is principle and part of this is practice. The practices, however, may differ from relationship to relationship. Making out in the bedroom is off limits, as is all sexual activity.
Indeed, the central issue we need to confront — and the reason I write and speak on this topic — is that when it comes to dating and relationships, perhaps more than in any other area of the everyday Christian life, the church is largely indistinguishable from the world.
That truth has brought immeasurable emotional pain and other consequences to many Christians.Let’s simplify dating by being committed to these principles, rather than a set of extra-biblical practices.