Rethinking Dating
by Pastor Art Kohl
updated January 31, 2005

Table Of Contents

1 - Something Is Wrong
2 - Dating Violates The Biblical Principal Of Betrothing
3 - Dating Violates The God-Given Authority Of A Father
4 - Dating Creates An Atmosphere Of Temptation
5 - Dating Violates The Brother And Sister In Christ Principle
6 - Dating Distracts From The First And Great Commandment
7 - Dating Distracts From The Second Greatest Commandment
8 - Dating Distracts From The Will Of God
9 - Dating Violates Emotional Innocence
10 - Dating Wounds The Spirit Of Those Involved
11 - Dating Develops A Predisposition Toward Divorce
12 - How To Get Married
Conclusion

Copyright © 2002-98
Permission granted to freely copy.
Scripture verses are from the King James Holy Bible.

This article available in printed form click here for details.

1. Something Is Wrong

Over the last forty to fifty years a “Johnny-Come-Lately” form of relationship has evolved in our society called dating. Dating slowly replaced courtship and courtship slowly replaced betrothing.

Betrothing (Old Testament) and Espousal (New Testament) are the only words in the Bible used to define God’s will for man in the area of finding a mate for life.

Betrothing is the submission of the unmarried, regardless of age to their parents in the pursuit of a mate. It is the parents or elder taking the oversight of finding a suitable mate for their son or daughter. The bride ultimately has the final decision whether she will accept the groom or not. Salvation is a picture of the Father choosing a bride for His Son and the bride either accepts or rejects the offer.

Courtship slowly replaced betrothing. Courtship was still a submission to parental or elder authority. It was usually a controlled environment, created by parents to introduce boys to girls and vice versa under a chaperoned climate, such as Church picnics, balls, socials, etc. The chaperones were the parents at first, but this gave way to school administrators, teachers, etc. who replaced the parents in their oversight of interpersonal relationships for their children.

Dating slowly replaced courtship. Dating basically today is the inter- relationship of boys and girls (going on dates, going out) with very little or no parental input or oversight. It rarely has any type of input or oversight from another adult either. Dating in some cases is practiced as early as ten or eleven years old. It is a practice so persuasive that most teens are pressured to be involved by the age of fifteen. Society has moved so far from betrothing that most youth would not even think of discussing with their parents who they date.

It doesn’t take an Ivy League grad to figure out something is radically wrong with how marriages are contracted today. We are inundated with statistics like the 50+ percent divorce rate, the 750,000 teen pregnancies terminated by abortion each year, etc.

In 1900 only 1% of the marriages ended in divorce. Divorce was a disgrace. It was extremely rare for a girl to marry who was not a virgin. People married for life. What is the foundational difference between then and now? THE WAY MARRIAGE WAS CONTRACTED!

Dating is dangerous. It is the emotional violation of our youth, hurling them into temptations and decisions for which they are not yet equipped to handle. Parents are to be BOTH the providers for and protectors of the children. We have failed in protecting them.

This booklet is a Bible study looking back to better days when marriages were contracted God’s way. By the end of the booklet you will agree with me that THE BIBLE IS NOT SILENT concerning this issue! Nor is it unreasonable to use as a standard today.

What is wrong with dating? Do we want to contract a marriage by utilizing dating with its 50% failure rate? God has something better, but first we need to convince ourselves that dating is wrong. This booklet is a step towards that.

2. Dating Violates The Biblical Principal Of Betrothing

Hosea 2:19-20, “And I will betroth thee unto me for ever; yea, I will betroth thee unto me in righteousness, and in judgment, and in lovingkindness, and in mercies. I will even betroth thee unto me in faithfulness: and thou shalt know the LORD.”

Deuteronomy 20:7, “And what man is there that hath betrothed a wife, and hath not taken her? let him go and return unto his house, lest he die in the battle, and another man take her.”

These are just a few of the verses in the Bible that talk about betrothing.

If you will read the Bible with discernment you will come to the conclusion that it is the responsibility of parents to choose a marriage partner for their children. This does not mean that children are not involved. It just means that age, maturity, experience and objectivity oversee the whole process.

To betroth means “to promise to give in marriage.” It is the involvement of parents in the decision of choosing a lifetime mate for their children. It is not an arranged marriage, but an agreement to marriage by the parents of the daughter and the parents of the son in the case.

It is common sense. Adults are more apt to make a decision based on experience, discernment and maturity rather than a youth. Too many youth today enter this life changing decision of marriage based on feelings, emotions, hormones and an overactive libido rather than objectivity.

Betrothing is a promise to give in marriage, not a promise to allow dating. Dating is foreign to the scriptures. The interest of a young man in the opposite sex should only be in the one he is going to marry, as he communicates with his father and mother, and yields to their God given authority over him. The same is true for the young or unmarried daughter. There is nothing in the Bible about a young or unmarried person “playing the field.” This type of practice usually produces a “hormone high” that can only be righteously fulfilled in marriage. The loss of one’s emotional innocence is often followed by the loss of physical innocence. This often occurs today. We are taught the opposite in I Thessalonians 4:3-7, “For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication: That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel (body) in sanctification and honour; Not in the lust of concupiscence (evil desire), even as the Gentiles which know not God: That no man go beyond and defraud his brother in any matter: because that the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also have forewarned you and testified. For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness.”

The Apostle Paul taught in a spiritual type - I Corinthians 11:2, “For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.” The key words are “one husband.” Nothing about boyfriends! Why? “That I may present you a CHASTE VIRGIN to Christ.” Christ is to be our first love. Not second, third or fiftieth. Likewise a husband or wife is to be a first love.

Betrothing becomes clearer in the next chapter.

3. Dating Violates The God-Given Authority Of A Father

God has given the father authority over his sons and daughters. If he wants to give them in marriage he may. If not, he does not have to.

I Corinthians 7:37-38, “Nevertheless he that standeth stedfast in his heart, having no necessity, but hath power over his own will, and hath so decreed in his heart that he will keep his virgin, doeth well. So then he that giveth her in marriage doeth well; but he that giveth her not in marriage doeth better.”

Did you know that the first part of the wedding ceremony is the giving away of the bride? And who gives her away after walking her down the aisle? HER FATHER! Where did we get this custom? FROM GOD’S WORD!

The father has been given authority by God to give away his son or daughter, not as a boyfriend or girlfriend but as a husband or wife.

Dating is a travesty. It is completely contrary to God’s Word. It is so extreme today that sometimes the father is the LAST ONE to hear, “Daddy, I am getting married.” He had little or nothing to do with the choosing of a mate. He should have EVERYTHING to do with it. Contemporary girls and boys expect their Dads to blindly acquiesce with their decisions for a mate.

Even after premarital sexual sin has occurred, the Father still has the ultimate authority over the daughter. Consider Exodus 22:16-17, “And if a man entice a maid that is not betrothed, and lie with her, he shall surely endow her to be his wife. If her father utterly refuse to give her unto him, he shall pay money according to the dowry of virgins.”

Consider in each of the following examples whether good or bad, how in each case the parents gave away their sons and daughters:

Genesis 34:16, “Then will we give our daughters unto you, and we will take your daughters to us, and we will dwell with you, and we will become one people.”

Genesis 34:21, “These men are peaceable with us; therefore let them dwell in the land, and trade therein; for the land, behold, it is large enough for them; let us take their daughters to us for wives, and let us give them our daughters.”

Judges 21:7, “How shall we do for wives for them that remain, seeing we have sworn by the LORD that we will not give them of our daughters to wives?”

Judges 21:18, “Howbeit we may not give them wives of our daughters: for the children of Israel have sworn, saying, Cursed be he that giveth a wife to Benjamin.”

Ezra 9:12, “Now therefore give not your daughters unto their sons, neither take their daughters unto your sons, nor seek their peace or their wealth for ever: that ye may be strong, and eat the good of the land, and leave it for an inheritance to your children for ever.”

Nehemiah 10:30, “And that we would not give our daughters unto the people of the land, nor take their daughters for our sons:”

Nehemiah 13:25, “And I contended with them, and cursed them, and smote certain of them, and plucked off their hair, and made them swear by God, saying, Ye shall not give your daughters unto their sons, nor take their daughters unto your sons, or for yourselves.”

Jeremiah 29:6, “Take ye wives, and beget sons and daughters; and take wives for your sons, and give your daughters to husbands, that they may bear sons and daughters; that ye may be increased there, and not diminished.”

Let us leave these general verses and look at some specific examples:

Abraham commanded his oldest, most trustworthy servant to go and find a wife for his son Isaac. He did not send Isaac even though Isaac is forty years old.

Genesis 24:1-4, “And Abraham was old, and well stricken in age: and the LORD had blessed Abraham in all things. And Abraham said unto his eldest servant of his house, that ruled over all that he had, Put, I pray thee, thy hand under my thigh: And I will make thee swear by the LORD, the God of heaven, and the God of the earth, that thou shalt not take a wife unto my son of the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I dwell: But thou shalt go unto my country, and to my kindred, and take a wife unto my son Isaac.”

On the other hand, Esau went out and found his own wife without his father’s help. The result was grief to his parents.

Genesis 26:34-35, “And Esau was forty years old when he took to wife Judith the daughter of Beeri the Hittite, and Bashemath the daughter of Elon the Hittite: Which were a grief of mind unto Isaac and to Rebekah.”

Esau is called a fornicator and profane person in Hebrews 12:16. Perhaps he became a fornicator because he did not have his father oversee his interpersonal relationships. His brother Jacob did it right.

Isaac told his son Jacob exactly from whose house he should seek a wife.

Genesis 28:1-2, “And Isaac called Jacob, and blessed him, and charged him, and said unto him, Thou shalt not take a wife of the daughters of Canaan. Arise, go to Padanaram, to the house of Bethuel thy mother’s father; and take thee a wife from thence of the daughters of Laban thy mother’s brother.”

Judah took a wife for his son Er. Genesis 38:6, “And Judah took a wife for Er his firstborn, whose name was Tamar.”

In the law, parents received this instruction - Deuteronomy 7:3, “Neither shalt thou make marriages with them; thy daughter thou shalt not give unto his son, nor his daughter shalt thou take unto thy son.”

Dating violates a father’s God-given authority over his son and daughter.

4. Dating Creates An Atmosphere Of Temptation

Now here is a story that is almost unbelievable. Let us examine it. Genesis 34:1-3, “And Dinah the daughter of Leah, which she bare unto Jacob, went out to see the daughters of the land. And when Shechem the son of Hamor the Hivite, prince of the country, saw her, he took her, and lay with her, and defiled her. And his soul clave unto Dinah the daughter of Jacob, and he loved the damsel, and spake kindly unto the damsel.”

Dinah came from a good home. She had a good father and eleven older brothers. No one would mess with a girl who had a father and eleven older brothers, right? WRONG!

Dinah went out to see what all the other girls of the land were doing. She went out into the world. While in the wrong place, a very powerful man, the prince of the country saw her. Men of this world are always looking at women. If she is in the wrong place the wrong man will see her.

I personally believe Dinah was impressed by this young powerful man. He was a prince, but to her he was probably a “prince-charming.”

Shechem saw her, took her, lay with her and defiled her. It does not say he forced her. This was not a rape, but an innocent girl who put herself in a compromising position and was used. It is possible she became emotionally involved with this prince, a man she should never have met. She was defiled. What a sad testimony. A girl who has premarital sex is defiled. The Bible says the same of a boy. (See Revelation 14:4.)

He also became emotionally attached to her (verse 3). He “fell in love” with her. He charmed her, speaking kindly to her. She did not reject this Hivite. She should not have even met him. Immediately thereafter, Shechem’s father is trying to arrange a marriage between his son and Jacob’s daughter. (Genesis 34:8)

Now this story is not about a date but it is about an unsupervised young man and young woman following their own inclinations. An atmosphere of temptation is created. The results: fornication, emotional attachment and wedding plans OUTSIDE of the will of God.

Needless to say, this volatile situation produced a “hormone high.” Temptation and desire careened out of control and sin was the result. The solution is to make sure such situations are never allowed for our sons and daughters. Dating creates an atmosphere of temptation. It produces a hormone high that can only be righteously fulfilled in marriage.

One of the main functions of parents is to provide protection and security for their children, not temptation.

Whereas marriage helps avoid fornication, dating promotes fornication.

I Corinthians 7:1, “Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman. Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.”

The Heavenly Father taught us to pray, “Lead us not into temptation.” The wise earthly father will govern his family that way. One way to avoid temptation is to forbid dating.

Today there are approximately 750,000 abortions each year performed on teen age girls. About 750,000 other teen girls do not abort. That is about 1.5 million teen girls becoming pregnant every year. This all takes place while dating! Less than one percent of these are the result of rape or incest.

That is a lot of fornicating going on! None of this sin would happen under betrothing or courtship circumstances.

5. Dating Violates The Brother And Sister In Christ Principle

Rebuke not an elder, but entreat him as a father; and the younger men as brethren; The elder women as mothers; the younger as sisters, with all purity. (I Timothy 5:1-2)

We are to treat young women as sisters in the Lord, not as girlfriends. This is to be with ALL PURITY. We are to treat the young men as brothers in Christ, not as boyfriends. We are all in the same spiritual family, the family of God. We truly are brothers and sisters in the Lord. Dating violates this holy principle. Rather than treating the opposite sex as brothers and sisters, dating treats each other as potential lovers.

It may sound facetious, but if dating is permissible, would you date your sister? Would you date your brother? Of course not. Our relationship with the church is similar to that of a family. Every brother or sister in the Lord is first and foremost a child of God. You had better be careful how you treat God’s children. You dare not offend one of them! Dating often offends the opposite sex.

I Thessalonians 4:6-9, “That no man go beyond and defraud his brother in any matter: because that the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also have forewarned you and testified. For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness. He therefore that despiseth, despiseth not man, but God, who hath also given unto us his holy Spirit. But as touching brotherly love ye need not that I write unto you: for ye yourselves are taught of God to love one another.”

6. Dating Distracts From The First And Great Commandment

Matthew 22:37-38, “Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment.”

Mark 12:30, “And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.”

Did you know the Bible teaches that a married person cannot have an uncomplicated devotion to God? Read it for yourself I Corinthians 7:33, “But he that is married careth for the things that are of the world, how he may please his wife.”

The unmarried and single person, whether a youth or adult has an advantage. I Corinthians 7:32 says, “... He that is unmarried careth for the things that belong to the Lord, how he may please the Lord:”

Dating destroys that advantage. Dating takes charge over our emotions, feelings, affections, energy, time and love and directs them towards a boyfriend or girlfriend, not towards God.

The greatest commandment we can ever obey is to love God with ALL of our heart, ALL of our soul, ALL of our mind and ALL of our strength. Some people like Jesus (The Son of God), John the Baptist and Paul actually lived single all of their lives to obey this command.

There is nothing wrong with marriage (Hebrews 13:4) but those who choose marriage automatically have responsibility to their mate. When married to the right person this will cause each to encourage the other to love God more and serve Him. But often marriage causes troubles in the flesh. I Corinthians 7:28-29 says, “But and if thou marry, thou hast not sinned; and if a virgin marry, she hath not sinned. Nevertheless such shall have trouble in the flesh: but I spare you. But this I say, brethren, the time is short: it remaineth, that both they that have wives be as though they had none;”

Dating is a profound distraction. This Pastor has yet to see a case in which dating enhanced a person’s ability to love God more. Therefore I admonish the unmarried, “Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them.” (Ecclesiastes 12:1).

Dating tempts youth to forget about God. They become completely engrossed in their affections for their boyfriend or girlfriend. These are misplaced and worldly affections. We are taught clearly, Colossians 3:2, “Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.”

Dating often crowds God right out of the heart of a youth or unmarried person at the time when they need God the most, “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts...” (I Peter 3:15). “That Christ may dwell in your hearts...” (Ephesians 3:17). Keep God in your heart!

Will young people be judged for what they do in their youth? ABSOLUTELY! Ecclesiastes 11:9 answers, “Rejoice, O young man, in thy youth; and let thy heart cheer thee in the days of thy youth, and walk in the ways of thine heart, and in the sight of thine eyes: but know thou, that for all these things God will bring thee into judgment.”

7. Dating Distracts From The Second Greatest Commandment

Matthew 22:39, “And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” Dating disconnects. It is usually the forming of a clique by two people (boyfriend and girlfriend) to the exclusion of others. I have seen dating disconnect youth from their parents, friends, neighbors, relatives, teachers, pastors and common sense. They become overwhelmed with a spirit of self-centeredness that ends up being destructive.

Those who date become disoriented and disassociated. Their poor parents are bewildered. Friends are puzzled. God’s work is neglected.

God’s work is to love your neighbor as yourself; doing good to others and doing right yourself. James 1:27, “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.”

Some separation is bad. Jude 1:19, “These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit.”

Sensual (fleshly, carnal) people separate themselves from others. Perhaps they are distracted by self or think they are better than others. This is NOT the leading of the Holy Spirit. Cliques are wrong.

The Holy Spirit leads us into obedience in all things. Certainly that would include the second greatest commandment he ever gave.

Dating is knowing people after the flesh not after the Holy Ghost. II Corinthians 5:16a, “Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh....” We are taught “to love one another” twelve times in the New Testament, not to form a clique and avoid people. Christ came to love everyone and live for others. Be like Christ.

8. Dating Distracts From The Will Of God

Romans 12:1-2, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”

Our bodies are to be presented to God, not boyfriends and girlfriends. God expects the presentation of our bodies to be holy, acceptable living sacrifices. It is all part of God’s plan for us to find His perfect will for our lives.

Only that part of your life that is lived in the will of God will be rewarded. Jesus saved your soul, but not your life. That is your responsibility. Jesus said in Matthew 16:25, “For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.”

All of our life from the moment the Lord saved us until the moment of our death, or the rapture, will be tried in the fire of God’s judgment. Whatever we did in the will of God will endure the fire and we will be rewarded for it. Whatever we did for ourself, or in the flesh, will be burned up in the fire and we will lose our reward. That part of our life will be forgotten and lost forever. 2 Corinthians 5:10, “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.”

Dating distracts from eternal values. It focuses on temporal values. WHAT A WASTE! II Corinthians 4:18, “While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.”

Do not miss the sweet will of God for the temporary fleshpots of this world. One of those fleshpots is called dating.

9. Dating Violates Emotional Innocence

“What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” (I Corinthians 6:19-20).

We are to glorify God in our body, because it was purchased by the blood of His Son Jesus Christ. We are also to glorify God in our spirit (human emotions). The human spirit includes the mind, will and emotions (feelings) of a person. We are to be emotionally innocent as well as physically.

Your spirit was also purchased by the blood of Jesus Christ. Your emotions belong to God. They are to come under the control of God also. II Timothy 4:22a, “The Lord Jesus Christ be with thy spirit.” Philemon 1:25, “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen.” Not only does the Lord Jesus want to be with your spirit, but He wants to give you His grace.

We are to “take heed to your spirit...” (Malachi 2:15). The spirit of a person can become filthy. II Corinthians 7:1 reveals this: “Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.”

Unmarried women are especially exhorted to be holy in their spirit. I Corinthians 7:34 instructs, “There is difference also between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman careth for the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit: but she that is married careth for the things of the world, how she may please her husband.” Unmarried women should be holy in spirit (emotion). Why? Often women are more emotional beings than men. Many a Christian woman has complicated her life by following her feelings rather than Scriptural commandments.

Dating involves the giving away of the spirit, which belongs to God, to a boyfriend or girlfriend. Is it wrong to give away your body to someone of the opposite sex before marriage? Why is it not equally wrong to give your spirit (mind, feelings, emotions) to someone of the opposite sex? Emotional innocence is always lost before physical innocence (with the exceptions of rape and molestation).

We must rule our spirit or remain vulnerable to our lower nature. Proverbs 25:28 warns, “He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls.”

After David’s adultery with Bathsheba he prayed, “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.” (Psalms 51:10). He knew he not only needed a clean heart but also a right spirit. Many need to pray to be delivered from the unchristian spirit of dating.

Inordinate affection is a work of the flesh that needs to be put to death. Colossians 3:5 tells us, “Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry:”

An example of inordinate love is found in Ezekiel 23:1-16 in the parable of Aholah and Aholibah. These two “boy crazy” girls not only doted upon all the young men but even pictures they saw of them. If you read the rest of the chapter you can not help but notice how severely God judges them. (Notice “inordinate love” mentioned in Ezekiel 23:11.)

They lost their emotional innocence, then their physical innocence, and were subsequently judged by God.

Do not date. Save your emotions for your husband or wife later in life. Human emotions are not toys with which we play.

“But they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.” (Galatians 5:24).

10. Dating Wounds The Spirit Of Those Involved

What boy or girl who dates has not been hurt by “breaking up.” This emotional devastation can be avoided by avoiding dating altogether. Most youth are not emotionally mature enough to cope with these relationships. In particular they are very sensitive to the hurt their spirit feels when “breaking up.” Consider some proverbs:

Proverbs 15:13, “A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance: but by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken.”

Proverbs 17:22, “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.”

Proverbs 18:14, “The spirit of a man will sustain his infirmity; but a wounded spirit who can bear?”

Dating youth often experience depression when an unwise relationship terminates. Some youth even become despondent. On some occasions we hear of suicide.

Dating and breaking up wounds the spirit and a wounded spirit who can bear? Is it the will of God that dating youth bring hurt to each other? Is the will of God that a youth raise expectations of another and then shatter them by breaking up?

When one dates and breaks up it is usually construed by the other as a form of rejection. This rejection is often very traumatic. Is it Christian to hurt people and reject them? No. Did you know the commandment to love one another is found twelve times in the New Testament?

We are wrong to emotionally hurt people in our relationships. Avoid dating, avoid hurting people. If we love them as brothers and sisters in the Lord we will help people and not hurt them. Emotions like envy, jealousy, lust, hurt, rejection and strife can almost be completely eliminated from schools, youth groups, families and churches if a “No Dating” policy were implemented. Dating destroys the peace among young people. Boys who are supposed to love each other in the Lord become enemies because of some girl. “Jealousy is the rage of man...” (Proverbs 6:34a). This is not God’s will.

Many guys play with a girl’s emotions to make another girl jealous. It is almost hideous to see the emotional trauma that youth inflict on each other. This deeply hurts and totally blocks God out of these formative years.

Not only does dating wound the spirit of those involved, it wounds the spirit of the parents causing them great consternation. Consider the example of Esau’s “dating” without the guidance of his father Isaac and the grief it caused his parents — Genesis 26:34-35, “And Esau was forty years old when he took to wife Judith the daughter of Beeri the Hittite, and Bashemath the daughter of Elon the Hittite: Which were a grief of mind unto Isaac and to Rebekah.”

Esau married the wrong girls (he was an ungodly polygamist). Rebekah wanted to make sure her son Jacob got the right wife, Genesis 27:46, “And Rebekah said to Isaac, I am weary of my life because of the daughters of Heth: if Jacob take a wife of the daughters of Heth, such as these which are of the daughters of the land, what good shall my life do me?”

Children can wound the spirit of their parents even if those children are forty years old. Do not date. No matter what your age, let you father or an elder or pastor help you find a mate. Dating hurts too many people and that is not what Christianity is about.

11. Dating Develops A Predisposition Toward Divorce

Those who date are often in and out of many relationships. Because of the lack of commitment involved in dating it is easy to “dump” someone and date someone else. When the relationship is challenging the youth is tempted to end it. When the “feeling” subsides it is time to look elsewhere. When arguments start, “I quit.” This is the mind-set of the dating culture. When someone cuter or better looking comes along, reject my present companion and pursue the new one. Is this shallow?

Dating has built an unstable foundation in America that produces a 53%-65% divorce rate. People leave marriages today for the same reasons they “broke-up” with boyfriends and girlfriends earlier in life! “I just was not happy anymore.” “I do not love him anymore.” “I do not have any feelings for her anymore.” Feelings have become more important than commandments.

Why do we embrace this destructive mode of contracting marriage called dating? It is such a failure! The numbers do not lie. It is popular, but it is wrong.

Whatever happened to “one man for one wife for one lifetime?” Whatever happened to “one and only love?” Whatever happened to “You may kiss the Bride” as being permission to kiss a woman for the first time.

Dating has failed. Let us give it up.

God’s command to the husband is this: Ephesians 5:25, “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;”

Jesus Christ, faithfully gave the example in John 15:9, “As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: CONTINUE ye in my love.” Do not quit but continue to keep loving. Dating is not a continuation of Christian love, but a shallow, self-serving emotion. It is not Christlike, therefore it should not be practiced.

Marriage is a lifetime covenant made with God, as well as the spouse.

Teen dating has produced a mentality towards adult cohabitating. Relationship without commitment. How shallow. When these do get married their divorce rate is even higher. Cohabitating is fornicating.

12. How To Get Married

Dating has been a horrible failure, but it is still God’s will for most to get married. When I was growing up dating was a bad experience for me. I did not know the things I have written in this booklet. My deepest regrets are from this season in my life. God gave me a wonderful wife and I am now approaching twenty-four years of marriage. God did this in spite of me, not because of me. I call it mercy.

If you are reading this booklet please do not depend on mercy. Do it right. Do it God’s way, not the way I did it. The emotional hurt I caused those whom I dated sometimes haunts me. It definitely was not Christlike. If I could do it over, I would be biblical. In my case, I believe the Lord would give me the same wife.

I have seen many believers date and marry a person with whom they are incompatible. They have separated, divorced or live unhappily. They have never reached their potential for God nor have they been able to serve Him in liberty. We must do better with the next generation. The following advice will guide you on how to get married the right way.

1. Prayer and Fasting.

When a person prays and fasts about something it is important to them. It is a God honored and time tested way of being led by the Lord in the right way. God can lead us in a plain path (Psalm 27:11). Begin to pray now that God will lead you to the right mate.

2. Give your Heart to Your Father.

Your father has the God-given authority over you. (I Corinthians 7:37-38). Give your heart to him, not to a boyfriend or girlfriend. Proverbs 23:26 puts it, “My son, give me thine heart, and let thine eyes observe my ways.”

A youth’s heart should be towards his father. Malachi 4:6, “And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.” It is a cursed earth when children do not give their hearts to their fathers. Perhaps dating is a cursed practice! It seems to be.

I know of one Pastor who gave his daughters a ring to wear on their wedding finger on their twelfth birthday in exchange for their heart. They gave their father their heart and the promise that they would let him help pick a mate for them when the time came. This sounds like a great idea.

What if your father is not alive? What if he is not interested in helping you? What if he doesn’t live with you? What if he is not spiritual? What if he does not care? Then you need to find someone who can help. Abraham chose his oldest, most trustworthy servant to go and find a wife for his son Isaac. Isaac married Rebekah whom the servant found for him. They had a wonderful marriage.

An elder in your life or Pastor can help you find the right mate if your father is not available. Whoever you choose, do not follow your feelings nor trust in your heart. Proverbs 28:26 teaches, “He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool: but whoso walketh wisely, he shall be delivered.”

Seek counsel before any relationship and never consider a relationship unless it is to marry that person.

The Apostle Paul, who considered himself the father of the Church at Corinth (I Corinthians 4:15) said to them, II Corinthians 11:2, “For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.”

3. Wait Until You Are In Your Twenties.

A person should not become involved in looking for a mate until they are ready to get married. I believe a teenager is too young for marriage, so do not think about it. Put it out of your mind.

Focus on learning the Word of God, serving Christ, getting an education and getting a job (especially the men) before thinking about marriage. The Bible notes that Adam knew God’s Word (Genesis 2:16-17), had a job (Genesis 2:8,15) and was obviously educated (Genesis 2:19-20) BEFORE EVE WAS EVER CREATED (Genesis 2:21-22)! That is a great pattern to follow. You obviously have to be in your twenties today to match this example. Young men should focus on God’s Word, education and employment before they focus on a woman.

Solomon said, “To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven ... a time to love ....” (Ecclesiates 3:1, 8a).

The Lord tells us the time of love is marriage. (Marriage is a covenant that is entered into and you become the possession of the other person.) Ezekiel 16:8 says, “Now when I passed by thee, and looked upon thee, behold, thy time was the time of love; and I spread my skirt over thee, and covered thy nakedness: yea, I sware unto thee, and entered into a covenant with thee, saith the Lord GOD, and thou becamest mine.”

Marriage is the time of love, not the teen years. Put love for the opposite sex out of your mind until you are older and ready for marriage. That is the time of love. Concentrate your youth on other things, especially Spiritual things and the will of God.

4. Go to Sleep.

When Adam started looking for an help meet for him, (Genesis 2:20), God put him to sleep. God then made the woman and brought her to the man. God did not give him a choice from among many (Genesis 2:22). The first marriage was an act of God. God wants to be the Divine Matchmaker. Let God do it! It takes faith for sure, but we live by faith (trust in God, trust in our father or elder), not by sight (dating!).

God wants to match you with someone. Jesus put it, Matthew 19:6, “Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.”

Go to sleep in this area of life. Focus on other things. Let God do it. He will not over look you. He has something beautiful planned for you life.

5. Let Your Desire be to Your Husband.

Genesis 3:16, “Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.”

Let your desire be to your husband not a boyfriend. Consider yourself married already. It is a fact that just has not yet happened. Do not give a piece of your heart to ten different boys and then have a fragment left for your husband. He deserves better then that. Let him be the desire of your heart, the “hidden man of the heart” (I Peter 3:4).

First love is a powerful emotion that is never forgotten. Would it not be bliss if a young man could keep his first love and meet a young lady who had kept her first love and they got married and wholeheartedly gave themselves to each other? Do not desire a boyfriend, desire a husband.

6. Determine to Save Yourself for Your Mate.

God wants girls to be virgins (I Corinthians 7:34). God wants boys to be virgins (Revelation 14:4). If you are going to do God’s will and be a virgin, then go all the way! Keep your hands virgin, keep your lips virgin, keep your emotions virgin. If you have lost your virginity already, then repent, confess it to God and forsake fornication once and for all. Rest your faith in God’s promise to forgive you and purpose to be pure from this day forward (I John 1:9). If you have lost your emotional innocence, then repent and confess it. Give your spirit to God who rightfully owns it. From this day forward save your emotions for your spouse.

7. Commune with the Parents on Both Sides Before Communing with the Young Lady.

Proverbs 18:22, “Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the LORD.”

For example, a young man should go to his father (elder) and say, “Dad, I am interested in ‘Mary Jones’ as a possible wife, what do you think?” Having already given his heart to his father, the son will accept his father’s counsel whether he says “yes” or “no.” (Samson really failed — see Judges 14:1-3.)

If his father agrees that she would make him a good wife, his father then approaches her father to discuss the possibility. If the father of the young lady agrees that it would be good for her daughter to marry the young man, then the daughter may be asked what she thinks. The young lady has the last word on whether she accepts or rejects the young man as her husband. (Picture of Salvation! We accept Christ and become the Bride of Christ. If we reject Him we are not His Bride. It is our choice.)

The marriage is not demanded but all participants must agree: the young lady, the parents, and of course the young man. This agreement is called betrothing. The young man and young lady are then given permission to communicate (not date) about marriage and the many aspects of marriage that must be discussed thoroughly. When discussion and agreement is made, with counsel, a time is then set and the marriage takes place.

Again, if a father is not available, a mature Christian elder or pastor can be used.

Conclusion

We know for a fact the failure rate of dating is 53%-65% depending on where you live. It is called divorce.

It is 80% in Las Vegas where emotional, hormonal decisions are constantly made. They fail and end in divorce.

At the turn of the century, when betrothing or something close to it was still being used, the failure rate was 1%. 99% succeeded to some extent.

Young person, unmarried person, struggle with this in your heart until you get it settled. You will have so much more peace with your future in God’s hands and out of yours.

There is no mention of dating or anything close to it in the scriptures. It is strictly a worldly practice.

Romans 12:2, “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”

Copyright © 2002-98
Permission granted to freely copy.
Scripture verses are from the King James Holy Bible.

This article available in printed form click here for details.

Click here to read our message: You Can Know For Sure That You Are Going To Heaven!

Copyright © 1997-2013 All Rights Reserved
Faith Bible Baptist Church - 8688 S Main St - Eden NY 14057 - 716-992-2091