Summary: In our day, dating arrangements are made entirely by young people apart from their parent’s involvement. The date is planned by young people with an expectation of physical intimacy. Furthermore, there is no commitment beyond the next date.
Relationships 101 – Dating, Is it Biblical? December 1, 2013
Chuck Brooks, Pastor-Teacher, GraceWay Church
Today we are going to be talking about dating. The Scripture teaches the purposes of God for companionship and procreation are accomplished in marriage. But it also teaches that there are advantages to remaining single.
Advantages of Being Single
Some see singleness as the opportunity to experience all the romance they want without any long-term commitment. But as Christians we must look at the advantages of being single from a Christ-honoring perspective.
In Paul’s letter to the Corinthian church, chapter seven, Paul writes to answer some questions that were sent to him from the believers in this city.
Rome was steeped in immorality. “Worship” that occurred in the Temple of the Goddess Diana was sexual relations with temple prostitutes. Homosexuality and male prostitution were common. Plato had high praise for homosexual love in is writing The Symposium (181B). Nero, emperor at the time Paul wrote this letter, was about to marry a boy named Sporus. 14 of the first 15 Roman emperors were homosexual or bisexual.
The sin of the city of Rome began to seep into the church at Corinth. The letter of 1st Corinthians is Paul’s attempt to answer questions sent to him concerning the sin and misconduct occurring in the church.
Because of the extent of sexual sin the Corinthian church, in chapter seven Paul answers a question sent to him, “It is good for a man not to touch a woman?”
Paul’s answer is, “Yes” and “No.” He answers “Yes” because it’s clear from Scripture that celibacy was ok (vv. 1, 7, 8, 9, 27, 38). But he answered “No” because it is just as clear that marriage was honorable (vv. 2, 27, 28).
To Paul, marriage served as a distraction for anyone who wanted (like him) to serve the Lord wholeheartedly and without this distraction.
1 Cor 7:32-35, “But I want you to be without care. He who is unmarried cares for the things of the Lord; how he may please the Lord. But he who is married cares about the things of the world; how he may please his wife.
There is a difference between a wife and an unmarried woman. The unmarried woman cares about the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit. But she who is married cares about the things of the world; how she may please her husband. And this I say for your own profit, not that I may put a leash on you, but for what is proper, and that you may serve the Lord without distraction.”
Paul was saying that if you remain single you could serve the Lord with few distractions—you could go preach and teach and witness and live off the Gospel. But if you had a wife you would have a “honey do” list—if you had a husband and children you would have a house to maintain, mouths to feed, clothes to wash. So Paul says, “Stay single!!! Serve the Lord without distraction!!!” (1 Cor. 7:27)
But Paul also knew that there would be some who wanted to serve the Lord without distraction but had not the ability to subdue the desires of the body for physical intimacy. These desires coupled with the world’s immorality would surely set these people up for a fall into sexual sin. So Paul writes:
“But I say to the unmarried and to the widows: It is good for them if they remain even as I am; but if they cannot exercise self-control, let them marry. For it is better to marry than to burn with passion.” (1 Cor 7:8-9)
With that being said, if you are among those who have a desire to serve the Lord wholeheartedly but also have a desire to marry? What do you do? You get married.
How do you go about finding a wife or a husband? Many have found that this is not an easy thing to do. Some of you may remember a song with the following words :
When I became of age my mother called me to her side.
She said ‘son you’re growing up now, pretty soon you’ll take a bride’...
And then she said... ‘Just because you’ve become a young man now
There’s still some things that you don’t understand now
Before you ask some girl for her hand now;
Keep your freedom for as long as you can now’
My mama told me...’you better shop around’
‘There’s some things that I want you to know now;
A just as sure as the winds gonna blow now
The women come and the women gonna go now;
Before you tell ‘em that you love ‘em so now
My mama told me...’you better shop around’
‘A-gotta get yourself a bargain song; Don’t be sold on the very first one