Ok I have heard that a Christian must only date a fellow Christian. But what about a Catholic? They say that Catholicism is the same as Christianity but thing is I don't know so much about Catholicism. Catholics, Orthodox and Protestants believe in Christ. Muslims, Athiests, Buddhists, Jews, and others do not.
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If a young man spent time at a girls home, family and friends assumed that he intended to propose to her. But shifting attitudes in culture and the arrival of the automobile brought radical changes.
The new rules allowed people to indulge in all the thrills of romantic love without having any intention of marriage. Author Beth Bailey documents these changes in a book whose title, From Front Porch to Backseat, says everything about the difference in societys attitude when dating became the norm.
Love and romance became things people could enjoy solely for their recreational value. Though much has changed since the s, the tendency of dating relationships to move toward intimacy without commitment remains very much the same. For Christians this negative swerve is at the root of dating problems. Intimacy without commitment awakens desiresemotional and physicalthat neither person can justly meet.
In 1 Thessalonians KJV the Bible calls this defrauding, ripping someone off by raising expectations but not delivering on the promise. Pastor Stephen Olford describes defrauding as arousing a hunger we cannot righteously satisfy promising something we cannot or will not provide. Intimacy without commitment, like icing without cake, can be sweet, but it ends up making us sick.
Jack met Libby on a church-sponsored college retreat. Libby was a friendly girl with a reputation for taking her relationship with God seriously.
Jack and Libby wound up chatting during a game of volleyball and seemed to really hit it off. Jack wasnt interested in an intense relationship, but he wanted to get to know Libby better.
Two days after the retreat he called her up and asked if shed like to go out to a movie the next weekend. She said yes. Did Jack right move? Well, he did in terms of scoring a date, but if he really wanted to build a friendship, he more than likely struck out.
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One-on-one dating has the tendency to move a guy and girl beyond friendship and toward romance too quickly. Have you ever known someone who worried about dating a long-time friend?
If you have, youve probably heard that person say something like this: He asked me out, but Im just afraid that if we start actually dating it will change our friendship.
What is this person really saying? People who make statements like that, whether or not they realize it, recognize that dating encourages romantic expectations, in a true friendship you dont feel pressured by knowing you like the other person or that he or she likes you back. You feel free to be yourself and do things together without spending three hours in front of the mirror, making sure you look perfect.
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Lewis describes friendship as two people walking side by side toward a common goal. Their mutual interest brings them together. Jack skipped this commonality stage by asking Libby out on a typical, no-brainer, dinner-and-movie date where their coupleness was the focus.
In dating, romantic attraction is often the relationships cornerstone. The premise of dating is Im attracted to you; therefore, lets get to know each other. The premise of friendship, on the other hand, is Were interested in the same things; lets enjoy these common interests together. If, after developing a friendship, romantic attraction forms, thats an added bonus.
Intimacy without commitment is defrauding.
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Intimacy without friendship is superficial. A relationship based only on physical attraction and romantic feelings will last only as long as the feelings last. Dave and Heidi didnt mean to make out with each other on their first date. Dave doesnt have only one thing on his mind, and Heidi isnt that kind of girl.
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It just happened. They had gone to a concert together and afterward watched a video at Heidis house. During the movie, Heidi made a joke about Daves attempt at dancing during the concert. He started tickling her. Their playful wrestling suddenly stopped when they found themselves staring into each others eyes as Dave was leaning over her on the living room floor.
They kissed. It was like something out of a movie. It felt so right. It may have felt right, but the early introduction of physical affection to their relationship added confusion. Dave and Heidi hadnt really gotten to know each other, but suddenly they felt close.
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As the relationship progressed, they found it difficult to remain objective. Whenever theyd try to evaluate the merits of their relationship, theyd immediately picture the intimacy and passion of their physical relationship. Its so obvious we love each other, Heidi thought. But did they?
Just because lips have met doesnt mean hearts have joined. And just because two bodies are drawn to each other doesnt mean two people are right for each other. A physical relationship doesnt equal love.
When we consider that our culture as a whole regards the words love and sex as interchangeable, we shouldnt be surprised that many dating relationships mistake physical attraction and sexual intimacy for true love. Sadly, many Christian dating relationships reflect this false mind-set.
When we examine the progression of most relationships, we can dearly see how dating encourages this substitution. First, as we pointed out, dating does not always lead to lifelong commitment. For this reason, many dating relationships begin with physical attraction; the underlying attitude is that a persons primary value comes from the way he or she looks and performs as a date.
Even before a kiss has been given, the physical, sensual ct of the relationship has taken priority. Next, the relationship often steamrolls toward intimacy. Because dating doesnt require commitment, the two people involved allow the needs arid passions of the moment to take center stage. The couple doesnt look at each other as possible life partners or weigh the responsibilities of marriage.
Instead, they focus on the demands of the present. And with that mind-set, the couples physical relationship can easily become the focus. And if a guy and girl skip the friendship stage of their relationship, lust often becomes the common interest that brings the couple together. As a result, they gauge the seriousness of their relationship by the level of their physical involvement. Two people who date each other want to feel that theyre special to each other, and they can concretely express this through physical intimacy.
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They begin to distinguish their special relationship through hand holding, kissing, and everything else that follows. For this reason, most people believe that going out with someone means physical involvement. Focusing on the physical is plainly sinful. God demands sexual purity. And He does this for our own good. Physical involvement can distort two peoples perspective of each other and lead to unwise choices.
God also knows well carry the memories of our past physical involvements into marriage.
He doesnt want us to live with guilt and regret. Physical involvement can make two people feel close. But if many people in dating relationships really examined the focus of their relationships, theyd probably discover that all they have in common is lust.
While Garreth and Jenny were dating, they didnt need anyone else. Since it meant spending time with Jenny, Garreth had no problem giving up Wednesday night Bible study with the guys. Jenny didnt think twice about how little she talked to her younger sister and mother now that she was dating Garreth. Nor did she realize that when she did talk to them, she always started her sentences with Garreth this Without intending to, both had foolishly and selfishly cut themselves off from other relationships.
By its very definition, dating is about two people focusing on each other.
Unfortunately, in most cases the rest of the world fades into the background. If youve ever felt like a third wheel hanging out with two friends who are dating each other, you know how true this is. Granted, of all datings problems, this one is probably the easiest to fix. Yet Christians still need to take it seriously. First, because when we allow one relationship to crowd out others, we lose perspective. In Proverbs we read, Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.
If we make our decisions about life based solely on the influence of one relationship, well probably make poor judgments. Of course we make this same mistake in any number of non-romantic relationships.
But we face this problem more often in dating relationships because these relationships involve our hearts and emotions.
And because dating focuses on the plans of a couple, major issues related to marriage, family, and faith are likely at stake. And if two people havent defined their level of commitment, theyre particularly at risk.
You put yourself in a precarious position if you isolate yourself from the people who love and support you because you dive wholeheartedly into a romantic relationship not grounded in commitment. In Passion and Purity, Elisabeth Elliot states, Unless a man is prepared to ask a woman to be his wife, what right has he to claim her exclusive attention?
Unless she has been asked to marry him, why would a sensible woman promise any man her exclusive attention? How many people end dating relationships only to find their ties to other friends severed?
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When Garreth and Jenny mutually decided to stop dating, they were surprised to find their other friendships in disrepair.
Its not that their other friends didnt like them; they hardly knew them anymore. Neither had invested any time or effort in maintaining these friendships while they concentrated on their dating relationship.
Perhaps youve done a similar thing. Or maybe you know the pain and frustration of being put on the back burner for the sake of a friends boyfriend or girlfriend. The exclusive attention so often expected in dating relationships has a tendency to steal peoples passion for serving in the church and to isolate them from the friends who love them most, family members who know them best, and, sadly, even God, whose will is far more important than any romantic interest.
Dating, in many cases, distracts young adults from their primary responsibility of preparing for the future. We cannot live in the future, but neglecting our current obligations will disqualify us for tomorrows responsibilities.
Being distracted by love is not such a bad thingunless God wants you to be doing something else.
One of the saddest tendencies of dating is to distract young adults from developing their God? Instead of equipping themselves with the character, education, and experience necessary to succeed in life, many allow themselves to be consumed by the present needs that dating emphasizes. Christopher and Stephanie started dating when they were both fifteen years old. In many ways, they had the model dating relationship. They never got involved physically, and when they broke up two years later, their breakup was amicable.
So what harm was done? Well, none in the sense that they didnt get into trouble. But we can begin to see some problems when we look at what Christopher and Stephanie could have been doing instead. Maintaining a relationship takes a lot of time and energy. Christopher and Stephanie spent countless hours talking, writing, thinking, and often worrying about their relationship.
The energy they exerted stole from other pursuits. For Christopher, the relationship drained his enthusiasm for his hobby of computer programming and his involvement with the churchs worship band. Though Stephanie doesnt hold it against Christopher, she rejected several opportunities to go on short? Their relationship swallowed up time both of them could have spent developing skills and exploring new opportunities.
Dating may help you practice being a good boyfriend or girlfriend, but what are these skills really worth? Even if youre going out with the person you will one day marry, a preoccupation with being the perfect boyfriend or girlfriend now can actually hinder you from being the future husband or wife that person will one day need. On my brothers third birthday, he received a beautiful blue bicycle. The miniature bike was brand? I thought he couldnt ask for a better first bike, and I couldnt wait to see his reaction.
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But to my chagrin my brother didnt seem impressed with the present. When my dad pulled the bike out of its large cardboard box, my brother looked at it a moment, smiled, then began playing with the box.
It took my family and me a few days to convince him that the real gift was the bike.
I cant help but think that God views our infatuation with short-term dating relationships much as I did my brothers love for a worthless box. A string of uncommitted dating relationships is not the gift! God gives us singleness a season of our lives unmatched in its boundless opportunities for growth, learning, and service and we view it as a chance to get bogged down in finding and keeping boyfriends and girlfriends.
But we dont find the real beauty of singleness in pursuing romance with as many different people as we want. We find the real beauty in using our freedom to serve God with abandon. I am a: Male Female. Looking for: Male Female. Birthday: month January February March April May June July August September October November December day 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 year Email remains confidential.
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