Do you believe in godly dating standards, a game plan? The Bible does too.
Genesis 24 is the warm, wonderful story of how Isaac and Rebekah were brought together. Rebekah was a beautiful virgin with a heart to serve others. What wonderful traits for a wife to have. They not only did not date before marriage but had never seen each other or communicated. They trusted God to make the decision. God still wants to be the matchmaker today IF one will “get off the hunt,” and wait on Him.
Dating is not necessary to find God’s mate. But if one does date having a wholesome game plan can protect from unnecessary heartaches, pain and wasted time in dead-end relationships. Godly dating rules help so much. Clean, virtuous guidelines can be a blessing. Who doesn’t need boundaries and a game plan? If this seems mechanical, so are seat belts, football helmets, stop signs and dashboard warning lights.
With all the trash offered in singles relationships how refreshing it can be for a wholesome guy to be able to tell a girl. “Hopefully there are some wholesome minded girls still around that appreciate guys with similar values. I know guys hit on gals. And we know some girls think purity is out of date. But by God’s grace I want to be the type of guy that respects and protects a girl’s modesty and wholesomeness. I believe in having core values one is proud of. Why believe something you are ashamed of? You deserve to know where I am coming from. If this is not your thing, fine. At least we communicated openly.”
GODLY DATING RULES:
1. Jesus Christ is my Savior and Lord. Therefore I choose to live clean to show my obedience and love for Jesus. Godliness either comes first or not at all!
2. “I choose not to stir up desires that cannot be biblically fulfilled.” – teenage Christian girl (adapted).
Comments: I choose to expose the Hollywood lie that fornication is normal, natural. This is a wicked, sneaky attack on God’s holiness and man’s purity. I choose not to get addicted to this twisted, lie of the devil. Hungering for weekly stimulation, fleshly pleasure is slavery not freedom. (1 Cor 6.9-20; Heb 13.4).
3. I confess my inability to live godly in my own strength. I must totally abide in Jesus on a daily, hourly basis. He is my strength and victory. (Psa 73.26; Phil 4.13, 19; 1 Jn 4.4)
4. I limit myself to friendships that can remain in the spirit not the flesh. I choose not to be mismated with unbelievers or lukewarm believers that are not really committed to Jesus or living clean. (2 Cor 6.14-17)
Comment: The Bible warns us; Spirit and flesh are enemies. (1 Cor 6.9-20; Gal 5.17). I choose to avoid the needless pain, hassles, temptations and heartaches that will surely come. A wise Christian wants helpful boundaries. They protect him/her from dead-end relationships.
5. I want my parents to approve of those I spend time with (or marry). (Gen 24).
Comments: I think of my parents as my EWS – Early Warning System. This is especially true if I am a teen or still living with my parents. They have given me some good advice in the past . . . when I have been willing to listen. Obeying them evidences my obedience to one of the Ten Commandments: “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be prolonged in the land which the Lord your God gives you.” (Exod 20.12 NAS).
6. My core values are not negotiable. I will promptly be upfront about them with my friends. If they cannot accept my basic values they cannot accept me.
Comment: “Sandy, before I consider spending time with you there is something important that we need to discuss. From now this point forward I am committed to saving my body for marriage. Jesus is my Lord and Savior. This means squeaky clean relationships. I do not fornicate. Casual sex, hooking up, living together is not what real Christians are to be doing. Intimacy is reserved for my future husband/wife, if God should give me one. I want my honeymoon to be really special – not just reruns, guilt and bad memories. Wicked America is addicted to drugs, heavy drinking and slutty behavior. Few seem interested in purity. Bold, clean, role models are scarce. With God’s help I want to be different – part of the answer. So if that is not what you have in mind . . . have a good life. I wish you well.” (1 Cor 6.18; Heb 13.4).
6. I choose to avoid relationships with no future. Would I consider marrying this person?
Prayer: “Jesus, I confess that I don’t know how to do this on my own. You have more wisdom. I ask You to break off any relationships that are not of You – any that are not healthy and building us up spiritually.” (1 Cor 15.33; Psa 1.1-2).
7. I choose to spend time with friends who are not only saved by excited about growing in Jesus. “Tommy, what kinds of activities should serious, wholesome people avoid? I may ask friends if they have been saved? It’s exciting to hear how others came to Jesus! Who has a convincing salvation story? Should this be awkward for Christians to discuss? It is not awkward to discuss our loved ones. Is Jesus also one of my loved ones?
Comment: “Everyone therefore who shall confess Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever shall deny Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven” (Matt. 10.32-33 NAS).
8. Relationship Parachute: if at any time I feel that a relationship is pulling me down spiritually I will quickly shut it down. I may have to admit that I do not have the self-control to handle it. I will not become a slave of my desires. (Gen 39.7-13).
Comment: a Christian should not cling to a fleshly relationship. Satan loves to come at us when we are struggling, hurting. It is dangerous to allow our negative feelings to trick us in betraying God’s Word, His promises. Who knows more about fulfilling relationships than God does? The Bible warns that believers are not to be mismated with unbelievers -( 2 Cor 6.14-17). It was not my idea. It’s from the Creator of marriages, God. He knows more about it than I do.
“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).
9. Jesus is so important to me. I choose to spend time with those that I can comfortably discuss Jesus and spiritual things. A true Christian soul mate will also want thoughtful, spiritual conversations. (Prov chpt 7; 9.13-18).
Comments: “Tandy, who am I, deep down? Who are you? Let’s discuss what we each have to offer the other, our strengths and weaknesses. Are we just a sack of fleshly desires? Where are you in your Christian walk? Who is Jesus to you? How often do you have a private time of Bible reading and prayer? Is your interest innocent fun or temptation and sin? Why would I be better off spending time with you? As spiritual leader of the home what should the husband be doing?”
10. I choose to socialize mainly with a group of high-minded, Christian friends. (1 Jn 2.9-11; Jn 13.34-35; Heb 10.25)
11. I choose to avoid the “passion pits” -those well-known activities and places where intimacies and immorality often happens – parking, drinking, necking, back roads, lonely roads, empty apartments and the like. Marriage is the time and place for this. (Heb 13.4).
Comments: “As a ring of gold in a swine’s snout, So is a beautiful woman who lacks discretion.” (Prov 11.22 NAS).
12. I want to avoid stepping on any land mines. I choose to avoid Satan’s NET (Nasty Evil Traps): drinking, drugs (removes self-control), worldly friends, worldly parties-situations, what my peers think, immodest clothing, stimulating music, suggestive programming, porn and fornication. (1 Cor 6.9-20; 1 Ptr 4.3-4!).
13. If a teen living at home I prefer friends that are comfortable spending time around my family. This is safer, more relaxed and should be enjoyable. If he/she will not, a warning buzzer should be blaring.
Comment: Assuming a teen has a happy home it could be of much concern if a friend was unwilling to spend time in a warm, family environment. Family is where we are trained to have our own family one day. If a friend does not appreciate it now they well may not spend much time at home after marriage. They may not be marriage material. (Eph 5.22-33). Become a good judge of character. Observe. Be perceptive.
14. I believe that the most stress free, godly, peacful way to stay pure until marriage is to obey the Bible. ” it is best for a man not to touch a woman.” (1 Cor 7.1 NAS). Besides a quick, holy hug I will keep my hands off the other person. I will save the good stuff for my marriage. I will only spend time with friends who have a similar vision and agree not to touch body parts below the neck.
Comment: This sounds weird in our worldly, clingy, any thing goes, culture. The biblical approach is so much less of a hassle. Is it easier for you to resist eating the first potato chip or to stop after eating one tasty chip? The enemy does not want Bible truth taught. I have friends who married two years ago. both virgins. They held hands for the first time at the wedding altar. They are so in love and having fun as Tim told me recently. Think outside the box, the world’s box. Be inner directed not jerked around by social pressures of others.
15. I will expose Satan’s Hollywood lie that fleshly excitement, titillation and romance are more blessed than avoiding temptation, self control, modesty and purity. I will put Jesus first! I believe that wholesome guidelines help to protect against sin, allowing a person’s behavior, habits and eventually character to grow strong. I choose to trust God in this way. (1 Cor 7.1-5; Col 3.1-9; Matt 6.33).
Bible Truth: “And excellent wife, who can find? For her worth is far above jewels. The heart of her husband trusts in her.” (Prov 31.10-11a NAS).
(see companion post, “14 Reasons For Godly Dating Standards”)