Biblical advice on dating relationships

Hollywood's perfect woman runs with the boys, knows what she wants and is aggressive en route to getting it — especially romantically. "What if I'm really interested in a man and he just isn't getting it and I need to move him along? When men drop the ball on leadership (as we often do), it presents a temptation for the woman involved to pick up the reins and lead for him. Picking up the reins sets a terrible pattern that only confuses the roles in the relationship and encourages both of you to take the role of the other to the detriment of the relationship and ultimately the marriage. If it doesn't work out with a particular guy because he didn't step up, the Lord will cause something else to work out.Hilariously, Hollywood even writes these characters into period pieces, as if the normal woman at all levels of society in the 18th and 19th centuries was a post-feminist, post-sexual-revolution, "there-ain't-no-difference-between-me-and-you" libertine. Needless to say, that is not the biblical picture of the responder. Does this mean that a woman should never ask a man out on a first date? Does this mean that a woman shouldn't give the guy the assurance he needs by "leaking" news of her interest to him by way of his friends? He knows what is best for each of us, and all of us must learn to trust Him — especially about things that are really important to us.True, these passages refer to marriage, but it is wise and right to set patterns that will serve you well in marriage, especially if one accepts the premise that the purpose of dating is to find a marriage partner.What does this actually look like in a budding relationship between two people?

As you move into the stage of life in which you begin to seriously consider marriage generally or a particular relationship, your first step should be to soberly reflect, before God, on your own spiritual walk and maturity in Christ.If you're still in school or not out on your own, disregard this for the moment. Your intentions and your feelings, to the extent that you can discern them and it is appropriate for you to share them, should be clear.But if you're out of college and do not feel specifically called to singleness for biblical reasons, why are you not looking to be married? Albert Mohler has talked about a growing culture in society and in our churches of perpetual boyhood; some psychologists call it the "Peter Pan syndrome." As I said, in the Bible, marriage and family are considered a natural stage of progression toward manhood. Part of your role even at this early stage is to protect the woman of your interest from unnecessary risk and vulnerability by providing a safe context in which she can respond.The command in Genesis to be fruitful and multiply is a general command. As it is the man's God-given role to initiate, so it is the woman's God-given role to respond.When Paul extols singleness in 1 Corinthians 7 (which is an often-misused passage in this area of life), it is singleness for the purpose of enhanced If you are floating around staying single because you enjoy social flexibility or having time to yourself or hanging out with the guys or because you have worldly ideas about the perfect woman or how to approach marriage, consider: Are you approaching manhood and marriage biblically? Her response may be positive or negative, it may occur through her father, her family or words directly to her potential suitor.

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