About 4 years ago, I posted two articles on my thoughts of dating relationships (part 1 and part 2). They were written 2 years before I actually started dating, and were a reflection of my thoughts and attitudes towards dating at the time. Now that I’m standing at about 2 years into a dating relationship, I wanted to look back and see if my thoughts back then were any different to today. I had forgotten that I had written up more generic thoughts and ideas about the topics, rather than specific ideas I was thinking through at the time. Nevertheless, there are 5 things I’ve learned whilst dating which I feel augment my understanding of dating and marriage from back then. Disclaimer: I am not married, so listen to my experience as you may; as always, discern all things through God’s Word.
Before we get into the practical side of dating relationships, we should continue looking into the Bible at what the final outcome of dating relationships (ie marriage) should look like from the heart. Let’s move onto the topic of submission, as it’s the one that’s still widely misunderstood by non-Christians. If you haven’t been paying to all the marriage debates that have been going on in the last year or so, let me bring you up to scratch with why secular society looks badly at the word “submission”. Society seems to synonymously replace “submission” with “domination”, so that a wife submitting to her husband means “letting the husband do whatever he wants, without any regard to what she wants or doesn’t want”. And alarm bells start going off because this seems to suggest that the husband has the option of abusing his wife (in a world where domestic violence happens somewhat frequently), and so for Christians, we seem to be allowing husbands to abuse their wives, because they are “commanded” to submit to their husbands. And of course there is this notion that the wife is now inferior to her husband, and Christian marriage doesn’t seem to have gender equality.
In this day and age where many people get into (and fall out of) dating relationships, it probably gives good reason to address this topic. And perhaps at least, we finally get the chance to put onto the discussion table what the Christian perspective of dating is. Bear in mind, though I myself am not currently in a dating relationship at the time of writing, I am quite convicted about the truths in the Bible and the way they should shape how dating is done today. So although it may make me seem like a hypocrite and one who cannot talk about what I haven’t experienced, the ideas I want to present here and those that I will live by – they are, in some sense, my personal plans on how I think God wants dating to be done in my life. I would not only like to address this to non-Christians (to educate them on what some Christians think about dating) but also to some Christians (particularly to those who are also doing it with a lack of understanding of the Bible). As with all posts, I hope this creates food for thought in conversation (where we can further develop and refine these ideas), rather than try to set in stone some legalistic system of how dating “must” be done.