Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Honoring God in Dating Part I

Dating didn't exactly exist in Biblical times, but that doesn't mean that Scripture does not point to a direction for us to honor God in dating.  I have ten biblical teachings that should apply to dating that I will be posting over the next 2-3 weeks.

I would like to start by asking you to consider not dating.  I want to start by asking you to stop.  I want you to consider that single life may be God's calling for your life.

8 To the unmarried and the widows I say that it is well for them to remain unmarried as I am. 9 But if they are not practicing self-control, they should marry. For it is better to marry than to be aflame with passion. (1 Corinthians 7:8-9)

Is is well with you to remain unmarried.  The unmarried life is a blessed life from God.  This is not to say that marriage is not a blessed life from God, but Paul points to singleness as being particularly rewarding.

We don't teach this well in the church today.  We tend to teach our children and teens that one day they will meet "the one" and that God has prepared a person specifically for them to marry.

Yet Paul asks us to consider singleness.  God tells us that we would be blessed to consider singleness.  The point is that we can serve God more fully and more ably if we are single.

32 I want you to be free from anxieties. The unmarried man is anxious about the affairs of the Lord, how to please the Lord; 33 but the married man is anxious about the affairs of the world, how to please his wife, 34 and his interests are divided. And the unmarried woman and the virgin are anxious about the affairs of the Lord, so that they may be holy in body and spirit; but the married woman is anxious about the affairs of the world, how to please her husband. 35 I say this for your own benefit, not to put any restraint upon you, but to promote good order and unhindered devotion to the Lord.  (1 Corinthians 7:32-35)

Free from anxieties.

Anxious about the affairs of the Lord.

What does it mean to consider being single?  What would it look like to spend time trying to make that decision?  Let me offer a few thoughts:

1. Be intentionally single for a few months.  Let this be a time of prayer, Christians service, and careful soul searching.

2. Judge honestly your ability to withstand sexual lusts.  Paul makes clear that if you can't handle being single, then don't be single.  Celibacy is a difficult calling, so don't commit to it if you can't do it.

3. Seek completely God's calling on your life.  Is the mission or purpose that God is calling you going to be conducive to marriage or singleness?  Will you be free to do what you are called to do if you are married?

I am a happily married man.  My wife has blessed my spiritual life beyond what my words can express.  However, I would like to stand with Paul in encouraging any of you that are single:  consider making that permanent.

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