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"Biblical Dating" - Is There Such A Thing?

I hear it all the time; "there are no scriptures on dating in the bible"! Ironically perhaps, I usually hear it in a defensive or hostile tone (of which there are plenty of scriptures in the bible about).

After sharing some articles and seeing such an outbreak of response, I wanted to write some of my own on these topics that are so relevant to Christians (particularly in the west), the topics of romance, dating, and marriage.

This is a topic that is near and dear to my heart as I dated both before and after I became a Christian (at 22) and even while I was in the church, I dated exclusively and steady 5 different times over the course of almost 10 years before I was engaged and married. I have personally done things well, and I have done things not so well. I by no means hold all the answers (no one except for God holds that title), and I do not presume to understand how all of these things work, for they "are too amazing for me" (Prov 30:18-19). Since even a cursory reading of the bible helps us to know that "dating" in our current cultural understanding and practice is not a biblical concept. In fact, it "doesn't even appear in any society, western or otherwise, in any systematic way until the 20th century" (biblical dating). But this obviously doesn't mean that the bible has no wisdom to shed on our minds and hearts in reference to how we approach this difficult topic. Also, it is helpful to know that I am presenting and coming from a traditional evangelical view of the sufficiency and inerrancy of the scriptures (for a further look at how the bible applies principally toward practical decisions in our lives, I highly recommend Friesen's excellent work on the subject "Decision Making & The Will of God"). This is paramount as without this starting point, anybody's guess is as good as anybody else's. So that's it to start with, we must scour the bible to find principles that can have application to our practical decisions in a culture and context that was non-existent in the bible. And we must have grace and patience with one another (Col 4:6) as we speak the truth in love (Eph 4:15) and journey through this together. And I would like to stress that we do in fact journey through this together, for His glory.

  • For a good read by my friend Dave Eastman on the topic of Christians dating non-Christians, see here.

  • What are some scirptural principles in the bible that you think would apply to dating and why? (please comment in the section below)


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