Courtship and dating are some of the least discussed topics in the church. Yet dating has caused the most havoc, destroyed countless lives, resulted in unwanted pregnancies and abortions and even split churches apart.
Since most of the church doesn't teach on this subject, a vacuum exists resulting in our teenagers adopting the worldview of popular culture. This has led many church youth groups to become havens for dating and premarital sex.
I am attempting to give some biblical clarity on this all-important subject for the sake of our local churches and for the sanctity and safety of the next generation who will soon have their own families. The following are guidelines that best fit young people but many of the principles still apply to older and more mature single adults looking for a mate.
I have taught each of my five children the difference between dating and courtship. Dating is an unbiblical method crafted by the world with no boundaries or ethics with the following assumed rules and values:
- Two people can mutually claim to be "boyfriend and girlfriend" if they are physically attracted to one another and (this is the litmus test) have a crush and claim each other for themselves in a special relationship.
- There are no boundaries or ethics in this type of relationship. Thus, what initially starts off as French kissing quickly accelerates to petting, fondling and then full-blown sexual intimacy.
- Although they are committed to one another as "boyfriend and girlfriend," they most often end their relationship after several months when one "feels a crush" for someone else. Thus, the relationship ends with at least one of the individuals feeling devastated and wounded especially because of soul ties that were created from sexual intimacy.
Although the above three points are generalizations, they are true depictions of most cases regarding dating. Its devastating results on the human soul cannot be fully measured! Even worse, the double-mindedness that results from numerous sexual encounters with various people carries into future relationships and even marriage. This is because of unhealthy soul ties that have been developed, increasing the chances one's marriage will end in adultery and divorce, which drags down children and creates generational curses due to family fragmentation.
It is amazing that most churches and youth groups do not speak about this in their discipleship processes! Every pastor should have church guidelines that include boundaries for how their youth groups should be conducted. Every youth pastor should be trained on the difference between the worldly concept of dating and the biblical concept of courtship.
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