How to Date God’s Way
I. Characteristics of Dating God’s Way
Read: 1 Timothy 5:1-2, Romans 15:1-3, Hebrews 10:24-25, 1 Thessalonians 4:1-8, Philippians 2:3-4,James 2:1, 1 Thessalonians 5:22
If you take these passages and apply them to a biblical dating relationship here is what you will come up with:
- Dating is more about developing a friendship with the opposite sex where we relate according to God’s wisdom to help a person grow in their faith and character.
- If the relationship seems to move towards the possibility of marriage, great. If it does not, great. The relationship is not built around looking for marriage but connecting for the edification of one another to the glory of God and the transformation of one another.
As a result, we give ourselves in such a way that no one gives or takes anything that is designed specifically for marriage.
A. We should learn to treat the opposite sex like a brother or sister and not a husband or wife when we are dating.
B. When we are dating we should develop friendships that lead to Godliness.
C. When we are dating we should seek to bless others and serve them according to their need that fits within our role as brother or sister not as a husband or wife.
D. When we are dating we should not obligate ourselves to any one person because we are just friends not married.
E. When we are dating we should date people we are attracted to and those we are not attracted to equally since we are just developing friendships.
F. When we are dating we should do things that only a brother and sister would do and nothing else.
G. When we are dating we should do things with each other that we could continue to do if either of us were married to other people.
H. When we are dating we should avoid all forms of sexual intimacy so that we do not take something that does not belong to us until marriage so that we can keep the marriage bed undefiled.
I. When we are dating we should not seek to satisfy fleshy or worldly desires of one another.
J. When we are dating we should not seek to control or dictate when or who the other person can spend time with because we are friends not married.
K. When we are dating there will be no breaking up because there is nothing to break up; we are friends instead of illegitimate lovers.
L. When we are dating we will not seek to impress or entice each other but to impart truth and encourage each other.
M. When we are dating we will do nothing out of fear of losing the other person because neither of us have anything to lose nor are we seeking to use one another; We are friends, not lovers not husband and wife!
II. Marriage can become an option when: (1 Corinthians 7:27-28)
A. Both have received wise counsel to determine if it is feasible (Proverbs 15:22).
B. Both have decided that they are willing to make a commitment to fulfill the responsibilities of being husband and wife (Ecclesiastes 5:5-6).
C. Both are equally yoked (2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1).
Friendship leads to
Premarital Counseling which leads to
Engagement which leads to
III. The Benefit of Dating God’s Way (Proverbs 14:15-16)
A. You will consider their interest above your own (Philippians 2:3-4).
B. You will seek their highest good not your greatest gain (Romans 15:1-2).
C. You will hang with people that will lead you into wisdom instead of worldliness (Proverbs 13:20) .
D. You help others walk in love and good deeds (Hebrews 10:19-25).
E. You help each other stay pure for marriage (Hebrews 13:4, 1 Thessalonians 4:1-8).
IV. Characteristics of Dating the World’s Way
Read: 1 Thessalonians 4:1-8, 2 Timothy 3:1-4, Galatians 5:19-21, Proverbs 22:3, Philippians 3:17-19, Romans 8:5-7, 1 John 2:14-15, 1 Corinthians 6:12-20)
If you take these passages and apply them to a worldly dating relationship here is what you will come up with:
- Dating would be more about developing a relationship with the opposite sex where we relate according to a girlfriend-boyfriend relationship which is really a husband and wife relationship without a covenant.
- We would do things for each other that husbands and wives do for each other.
- We would create obligations that should only be made in marriage alone.
- We would do things that we would have to stop doing if each were married to others.
- The relationship would be based upon moving towards whatever will gratify the flesh of one another. If the relationship seems to move towards the possibility of marriage, that seems great. If it does not, one in the relationship is broken while the other moves on to another and starts the process all over the again.
- The relationship would be built on two people seeking to satisfy themselves instead of glorifying God.
As a result, we would give of ourselves in a way that is designed specifically for marriage according to God’s wisdom.
A. People who date the world’s way have ownership over each other.
B. People who date the world’s way develop relationships that lead to sin and ungodliness.
C. People who date the world’s way are looking for someone to make them happy not help them be holy.
D. People who date the world’s way do things with each other that they would have to stop doing if either of them were married to other people.
E. People who date the world’s way engage in all kinds of sexual intimacy; they seek to satisfy any and all fleshly desires of each other.
F. People who date the world’s way do things that are designed exclusively for a husband and wife relationship.
G. People who date the world’s way seek to control or dictate with whom and how the other person can spend time with others.
H. People who date the world’s way seek to impress and entice each other in order to get what they want from each other.
I. People who date the world’s way break up because they have been together as if they were husband and wife and thus must have some formal agreement that they are no longer going to have sex with each other and treat each other as a husband or wife.
J. People who date the world’s way do many things out of fear of losing the illegitimate pleasures they are getting from the other person.
K. People who date the world’s way give preferential treatment to those they are attracted to.
L. People who date the world’s way require you to be obligated to them as you would a husband or wife.
V. Marriage should not become an option if: (Philippians 2:3-5)
A. Both want to get married to make each other happy (Jeremiah 17:5-9).
B. Both want to get married to gratify the flesh (1 Thessalonians 4:1-8).
C. Both want to get married because they are tired of being alone
VI. The Danger of Dating the World’s Way (Proverbs 14:14)
A. You would establish an illegitimate covenant with someone (1 Corinthians 6:12-20).
B. You would defraud your brother or sister into illegitimate thoughts, attitudes, words, and actions (1 Thessalonians 4:1-8).
C. You would arouse passions and desires that are to be reserved until marriage (Song of Solomon 3:5).
D. You would put the other person in the position of being spiritually and emotionally harmed because of the illegitimate ties that form (1 Corinthians 6:12-20).
E. You would set yourself up to be impure going into marriage (1 Corinthians 6:12-20).
F. You would set yourself up to be disciplined by God (Hebrews 13:4).
G. You would establish patterns of thinking about the opposite sex that are worldly instead of Godly (Matthew 5:27-28).
Dating God’s Way vs. Dating the World’s Way
Dating God’s Way:
- Involves friendship
- Includes many friends
- Has no sexual intimacy
- Requires no obligation
- Focuses on holiness
- Seeks to bless others
- Seeks to impart truth to others
- Seeks to encourage others
- Supports the other’s decisions
- Fears dishonoring the other
Dating the World’s Way:
- Involves ownership
- Exclusive to each other
- Includes all forms of sexual intimacy
- Requires obligation
- Focuses on happiness
- Seeks to get a blessing from others
- Seeks to impress others
- Seeks to entice others
- Dictates the other’s decisions
- Fears losing the other
For more information on this please get the book Dating With Integrity by John Holzmann
Taken from:Dr. Nicolas Ellen
Expository Counseling Center