Christian Dating Principles Part 1

If all sexual activity outside of marriage is a sin, is it also a sin to kiss outside christian dating principles part 1 marriage? Before continuing with this article, please review the preamble included at the beginning of Scott's first article in this series, " Biblical Dating: How It's Different From Modern Dating.

Quite a few Boundless readers asked questions or made comments about my statement in "Biblical Dating: How It's Different From Modern Dating" that "biblical dating assumes no physical intimacy" outside of marriage. Many wanted to know, did I really mean no physical intimacy? What about showing affection? Isn't it sex outside of marriage that Scripture explicitly prohibits?

How can you say definitively that other things are wrong? What if we're in a committed relationship? Shouldn't our physical relationship "progress" as other aspects of our relationship deepen? In this day and age, how far is really too far? I understand most physical stuff is wrong, but what about just kissing? With respect to pre-marital, romantically oriented kissing, we're clearly talking about an area about which reasonable believers can and do disagree.

Let me lay out what I view to be applicable biblical principles and passages on this topic. As the questions christian dating principles part 1 indicate, however, many single Christians have questions about whether premarital physical activity at some level beyond kissing is OK. Christian dating principles part 1 need to address the whole spectrum "just kissing" included. Let me offer a caveat or two at the outset.

First, the fact that "romantically oriented" is in italics above is important. I am obviously not saying that hugs and kisses of affection or greeting to relatives and the like are out of bounds. Another important point has to do with culture. In some cultures, kisses of greeting — between members of the same sex or of the christian dating principles part 1 sex — as well as hand-holding and other forms of physical expression during normal, non-romantic social intercourse, are more common.

You might even be able to talk me into the notion that brief"non-leaning-in" hugs of greeting, sympathy, etc. We all know what we're talking about here, and these are not the things I mean to address in this column. The game changes when two people are romantically involved or "semi-involved" a fascinating phrase I recently heard. Before you start throwing things at your computer, let's go to Scripture.

It is certainly true that no passage of Scripture says — in so many words, at least — "thou shalt not kiss before marriage. The argument becomes clearer when we look at some of what the Bible christian dating principles part 1 to say about 1 sex, 2 our relationships with other believers and 3 sexual immorality itself. As a good initial principle here, we should affirm that sex itself and sexual activity in general is not inherently negative or sinful.

On the contrary, in the proper context, it is a kind and good gift of God. Michael Lawrence and other able Boundless authors have written before about the wonderful gift of sex, so I won't belabor the point except to repeat that the Scripture passages on sex, taken together, make very clear that God instituted sex within marriage for purposes of procreation, pleasure, intimacy, holiness and — ultimately — for His glory. God instituted sex within marriage as part of His design of the family Genesis 1: In 1 Corinthians 7: If you have any doubts about God's intention to give us sex as a wonderful, christian dating principles part 1 gift, Song of Songs should put them to rest.

In Song of Songs, God has given us a holy and beautiful picture of a marital sexual christian dating principles part 1, and everyone seems to be having an excellent time. Even there, however, God is clear that sex is uniquely for marriage: The orthodox interpretation of the book suggests both that an actual sexual relationship is part of what the narrative relays and a context at the time of the sexual part of the relationship of marriage. So marriage is a unique relationship, and the good gift of sex is not only allowed but commanded within that relationship.

Still, the overwhelming majority of believers will only share that relationship with one person in their entire lives. How are we to relate to everyone else especially believersand how does that question inform the topic of premarital sexual activity? The simple answer is that every believer to whom I am not married is my brother or sister in Christ, and I am to act accordingly. There are too many passages to mention in this space that communicate God's command to live for God's glory and to "love" one another — defined as putting the spiritual good of others above our own desires.

We are to do this in light of what God has done for us in Christ and in light of Christ's impending return. Just a few examples: Romans 12especially vv. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. Love does no harm to its neighbor. More specifically, 1 Timothy 5: This is a didactic teaching passage generally instructing us about how to relate to other "family members" among God's christian dating principles part 1.

We should note this analogy with care. With the exception of husbands and wives, there is no sexual dimension to "familial" relationships. Also, look at that phrase about how younger women should be treated — with absolute purity. As a lawyer, I almost never see absolute statements. It's the strongest possible language Paul can employ. Look closely at verse 6. Some translations render the word "wrong" as "defraud.

Now, one obvious counterargument to the point I intend to make is that the Scriptures I've cited above just beg the question of what behaviors violate those passages. The argument might run thus: Of course I want to care for their spiritual good. I just think I can show genuine affection short of intercourse with someone I clearly care about and still obey those passages.

Let's explore that idea. Let's say for the sake of argument that it is theoretically possible to engage in extramarital romantically oriented physical activity and obey the above biblical standards while doing it. Have you ever met that mark? Think about the times you have engaged in any type of romantically oriented physical activity with christian dating principles part 1 not your spouse.

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Dutch , Hungarian , Indonesian , Spanish , Swedish G od wants the best for us in every area of our lives. Subscribe Sign up if you would like to have the articles automatically emailed to you. We often hear complaints from readers about the confusion, hurt and sexual sin they've encountered despite their best intentions. February 16th, 1. What are the Biblical guidelines for dating relationships? Only date people who walk with Jesus. I am so happy you will be my bride. Wanting a companion who serves you and pays attention to you is not a bad thing, and in fact should be something one does in a relationship, but this desire can become sinful when it becomes an idol or is only one-sided.