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What are Godís guidelines when it comes to dating?(Part 1)


Part 1óWhat are Godís guidelines when it comes to dating?óBible Girl, 16, MD

Shayna Answers:

Dear Bible Girl,

The Bible doesn’t actually address dating, because people didn’t date in Bible times. Dating is a cultural practice that’s common for us now, but when the Bible was written, people simply got married. In some cultures, this is still practiced and is called “arranged marriage.”

It’s important to note that even though the Bible doesn’t talk about dating, it does talk a lot about dating behaviors, such as holding hands, hugging, and so on. Ephesians 5:3 tells us that among us there shouldn’t be even a “hint of sexual immorality.”

What exactly is sexual immorality? Well, 1 Corin-thians 6:12-20 says a lot about the subject. First it notes that everything that is “permissible” is not necessarily “beneficial.” So even though you may be avoiding intercourse, the Bible points out that other behaviors that place you or your boyfriend squarely in temptation’s way can be just as bad.

Also, this passage says that when we unite ourselves with another person sexually, we become “one flesh,” as in the marriage covenant spoken of in Genesis 2:24. We can gather, then, that any sexual act committed outside of marriage is immoral.

Finally, verses 18 to 20 compel us to honor God with our bodies, because they are temples of the Holy Spirit. So any physical act that causes us to lose focus on God is a sign of sexual immorality and something that should be avoided in our dating relationships.

Emotional behaviors are also different when we’re dating someone. For example, you probably feel like you can talk to your boyfriend 20 times longer than your parents. When it comes to what we’re saying in these conversations, Philippians 4:8 offers some great guidelines: “whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable.”

Philippians 2:4 and Hebrews 10:24 also ask us to consider each others’ interests and feelings as being as important as our own. So what we say and do should be uplifting to the person we’re dating.

Don’t forget what

2 Corinthians 6:14 explicitly tells us: “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers.” So when it comes to looking for the right person to date, it’s in your best interest to be with someone who understands your physical boundaries and will uplift you emotionally and spiritually—preferably someone of the same faith.

Next week we’ll talk about the most important thing when it comes to dating—the role of spirituality in dating relationships.

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