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5 common questions about dating

By: courtney couch

Navigating the dating world as a Christian is a difficult task. There are so many different examples of how to date floating around us, and so many opinions on how to date biblically, that you have to wonder, “Is there actually any way to date biblically?”

I’ve had various conversations with my single friends over the years, and below are just a few questions I’ve encountered multiple times.

1. Is it OK for a girl to ask a guy out?

We’ve all encountered this quandary. You’re sitting in your cubicle or college classroom, and you see the man of your dreams chewing on a pencil.

This is perfect. The pencil is a sign of intelligent life.

You have your wedding hashtag and children’s names picked out before you even know his first name. Weeks pass and he flirts, but he doesn’t ask you out. Is it OK to make the first move?

Jesus gave value to women in a culture where they were considered as property. He elevated women and empowered women to spread the Gospel, while also pursuing them. Ephesians 5:25 says, “For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior.” Jesus didn’t approach His time on earth with apathy. He actively pursued His bride — the church — by sacrificing Himself in her place.

Ephesians 5:22 says, “Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord.” When we submitted to the Lord, it was through the acceptance of the gift of salvation. If women are to submit to their husbands in this same way, then women should at least be open to the idea of allowing men to pursue them.

With this in mind, if a man is not proactive enough to pursue a woman intentionally, and he has had ample opportunity to do so, why linger? If he isn’t proactive enough for pursuit, he may not be at the place where he would be a good partner for life.

2. Is it OK to date someone if I have no desire to get married?

If you have no desire to get married, why would you date someone who is dating for that reason? I’m not saying you have to know with certainty that your date is your future spouse. That’s ridiculous. But if you are not ready for marriage, now or ever, dating someone who is ready only puts you in their way.

Dating has one very important characteristic: intention. When two football teams step onto the field, neither of them has the intention of losing. Dating is fun. But when you’re dating someone for fun, and they’re dating you with the intention of marriage, then you’re on two different playing fields — and that will do more harm than good.

3. How far is too far?

Having the ‘boundaries talk’ on a first date might be a bit unnecessary, but it needs to happen sooner rather than later.

The Bible gives us some boundaries when it comes to dating — treat each other with the same purity and respect as a sister or brother, and save sex for marriage (1 Timothy 5:1-3 and 1 Thessalonians 4:1-8). But when is it OK to hold hands or kiss? What’s too much before the wedding night?

If you’re asking where the boundary line is, take a moment to evaluate your motives. If you’re trying to find out how far you can go without sinning, your focus is in the wrong place. The person you’re dating — and the person you eventually marry — should be the No. 1 person encouraging you in your walk with Jesus. A godly man or woman will encourage you to go farther spiritually, not physically.

4. When is flirting OK?

Flirting indicates the desire to have a deeper relationship with another person. Flirting, in and of itself, can be harmless. But if you don’t have an interest in dating the person you are flirting with, knock it off. You’re leading him or her on.

Our No. 1 calling as Christians is to represent Jesus in a hurting world (2 Corinthians 5:20). Jesus does not make empty promises or emotionally manipulate. So if you’re not interested in the person you’re flirting with, stop flirting.

5. Should I go out with someone if I'm not attracted to them?

Looks fade, but character lasts (Proverbs 31:30). Before saying yes or no, think about the reasons for going on a date: to get to know someone better or to see if there’s chemistry. If there’s no way you can ever see the relationship moving forward, don’t lead them on. But you also don’t have to say no just because you’re not immediately hot and bothered.  

If your potential date knows Jesus and several trusted friends can vouch for their character, why not give them a chance to get to know you? Examine your motives for refusing to get to know the person. Would you be leading the person on or are you being selfish? Do you have a bad feeling about allowing this person into your life or are you scared it won’t work out?

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