“For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.” (1 Cor 6.20 NAS).
Are all friendships equally safe? Should we hug every stray dog? Should we discern who is likely to import pain and problems in our lives? Do we need godly friendship standards? Likewise with special friendships too.
“Many get into relationships without a plan.” – marriage counselor.
Reasons for Godly Dating Standards:
1. To avoid stirring up desires than cannot be biblically satisfied. – teenage Christian girl, adapted. Fornication like cigarettes, alcohol, drugs and porn, can be very addictive.
2. Guys and gals that truly desire to live wholesome and wait until marriage deserve to know who is likeminded. Birds of a feather, flock together. This brings much encouragement and support. Chat it up. Guys can encourage other guyhs and girls by letting them know what their guidelines are. Be strong in the Lord, brother!
3. God gave intimacy as a special wedding gift, a beautiful part of marriage to help bond two people together for life. It is to be private, exclusive, blessed, sacred! The world has made sex cheap, jaded, dirty, diseased, perverted, public and unholy. They misuse and abuse it. They are like children playing with diamonds in the mud. This profanes God and holy living. Godly guidelines say, “I refuse to join this madness, this wickedness!”
4. To help expose the devil’s lie that Jesus and God’s people are not enough for you. To be fulfilled in life you need worldly friends and worldly play toys.
5. Many did not have parent-child talks growing up – how to properly relate to the opposite sex. Hopefully this offers a second chance for those wanting to live clean, wholesome lifestyles.
6. God’s plan of one man and one woman for life has proven itself over the centuries. To make that work, self-control is needed. How can we override our worldly desires? What better way than to establish personal, behavior standards?
7. It’s valuable to have very high standards for a future spouse. We can deal with others’ issues now or suffer with them after marriage. Suppose there was a cellphone app that beeped each time a dangerous person entered our space. Would it be popular? This is the next best thing! Check out prospective friends. How friends react to our godly guidelines reveals their respect for us. We can deal with others’ issues now or suffer with them after marriage. Get to know a potential marriage partner. Godliness chooses godly friends. Wholesome believers want a spouse that builds them up spiritually. Wholesome guidelines promote that. Those close to us should be those who want to protect us from worldly temptations, sin and heartache.
8. Once we commit to them, dating standards make life less of a hassle. Godly guidelines give a game plan for clean living. Our old nature loves sin, not to mention all the flesh monkeys and creepers that offer wickedness. Even our finest friends still have a sinful heart! Some speed limits and guard rails are needed. Godly guidelines can aid greatly in eliminating dead-end, train wreck relationships. Standards can screen out those who offer temptation, sin and heartache.
9. Not all can make firm, clear, long-term decisions and stick to them. There is real peace and victory if one makes a wholesome decision once for all and commits to it rather than allowing passionate feelings to decide in the heat of the moment. Guidelines promote that. They provide a game plan. Flesh and spirit cannot both choose who we spend time with. Which is in control? Feelings-driven infatuation and saving oneself for marriage are enemies. Faithfulness to our spouse should begin years before marriage.
10. “Some have faces like angels and morals like alley cats.” – A. W. Tozer, edited. America has turned away from God. Godliness that cannot rise above one night stands and fornication is a joke, hypocrisy, no different from the world. Some really want to stand up tall for Jesus and wholesome living. This gives a simple plan.
11. Obedience to God and protection: “Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship as light with darkness? Or what harmony has Christ with Belial, or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever?” (2 Cor 6.14-15 NAS).
12. Guidelines afford time to more objectively examine a relationship. Are my reasons for going into this relationship pure? It is dishonest to declare one’s love for a person if in a fornicating relationship that will send them to hell. According to 1 Corinthians 6.9-11 fornication prevents one from going to heaven if not repented of. Real love does not keep the person in a hell-bound relationship. That is not love but selfishness and lust.
13. Satan’s lie is that fleshly excitement, titillation and romance are more blessed than avoiding temptation, self control, modesty and purity. Wholesome guidelines help to develop clean, strong character. (Matt 6.33).
14. Sin never turns out well. Sin has a pay day – consequences. Free love is not free. Sin can cost us in unexpected ways. Touching body parts 20 inches away can take 20 years to erase the damage done: long-term guilt from an abortion, low self-esteem, addiction, disease, wasting child-bearing years due to cohabiting with one not marriage material, violence, domestic abuse, divorce as lust is not a healthy basis for marriage or any healthy relationship, rebellion against Jesus and heaven just to name some consequences. It always turns out best to do it God’s way. Guidelines help us do that.
15. To expose the lie that fornication is normal and natural. (1 Tim 6.20-21; Tit 1.9b).
“For this cause a man shall leave his father and his mother, anfd shall cleave to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.” (Gen 2.24 NAS).
16. If the Spirit and godly standards won’t take charge, the flesh definitely will.
Dating is not necessary to find the marriage partner that God gives. Genesis 24 confirms this in the warm, wonderful story of Isaac and Rebekah. But if one does date having a godly game plan can protect from temptations, unnecessary heartaches and years of wasted time.