Relationships



As an accepted medium for seeking a mate, the "dating game" can be
less than desirable.  While leaving an impression on many, it has also left fragmented generations.  Many of the problems we face in relationships today are not the results of dating, rather issues of the heart. Dating has merely become the vehicle for desires and deeper seated spiritual problems to manifest themselves in an environment with few warning calls. Dating as a definition can also mean different things to different people, but this is a comparison to the standard as defined by “pop culture”. Here are a few things to consider about relationships in general.
1.  Loving God and loving others are always the greatest commands, which as Jesus stated summarizes the entirety of the Torah and prophets. When the Father’s will is put before all else, many problems correct themselves. Do we want God’s best in all things or are we happy to settle for less because of negligence, laziness, or a desire for self gratification?
2.  Love as defined in our culture is not a biblical definition of love. It has become defined as self first and reduced to a feeling, or an urge. This is a game of pleasure seeking.  It is why “love” is here, and then gone again. It is tied to an attraction, physical and/or emotional and it explains why what appears to be love is so fleeting.  It is because I love "me", and "me" wants this, but then "me" wants that so I must perpetually follow the “me” monster. 
3.  Sin is that which the scriptures articulate as such. Any sexual activity between two individuals outside of marriage is considered fornication. Now in the Christian world, the next question becomes “how far can we go without it being fornication?” (physical contact, i.e. holding hands, kissing, etc.). The scripture does not specify, so automatically refer back to step one. If wanting the Father’s very “highest calling” is your desire, then aim high so there is no question, or as Paul said, “it is better to marry”. If one has the attitude of “what can I get away with and still not sin” then they may as well do as they want, because God’s best is clearly not their desire.  If the aim is to have "fun" with the opposite gender, then the attitude is faulty from the very start, and clearly not founded on the scriptures and their relationship with the Father in heaven.
4.  It is not wrong to be attracted or to have emotional feelings for someone of the opposite sex. God made it this way. The problem, like so many other problems that arise, is when action is taken outside of the boundaries he alone clearly has established. Our “good friend” Sigmund Freud is at least partially responsible for the modern “attraction action” and sensual revolution which plays such a substantial role in today’s society of relational choreography. It was proposed by him that we let our desires, our inner animal dictate and rule our actions, and thus we get “if it feels good do it”.  Ultimately in the “attraction world” it comes down to perspective and worldview. Do we see beauty as God sees it, or as the culture dictates it to us?
5.  God intended the marriage union to be one man and one woman. God gave us this wonderful gift and a heart desiring God's way will not be disappointed.
6.  There is no biblical or scriptural systematized approach to finding a spouse, so it is hard to present a biblical case for seeking, because it would look different in each of the time frames represented in the scriptures. If you are looking in Genesis, you will need your father’s servant to go fetch a cousin and bring her to your mother’s tent. If Hosea is your model, than you need to find a questionable section of town with a red light hanging in the window or a street corner. If you were a Benjaminite, then you waited in the vineyard until the young women came out to dance, and then grabbed the one you wanted!
7.  On a practical level, if seeking God and his “highest calling” is at the forefront of your objectives list, then many of the issues will take care of themselves. You will not want to put yourself or a woman in a place of temptation. So logically, this rules out dating as we know it in this culture. This does not mean a man and a woman can never be alone together such as in public venues, but rather they must exercise prudence and caution. Being vigilant in this area will prove rewarding in the long term not only for what it offers, but for the simple fact of learning to curb temptation and strengthen your weaknesses. 
8.  Having an emotional attachment is not itself right or wrong. Your thought life can be a major contributor to becoming something it should not. More importantly, it is a matter of God’s timing and action. What we put into our minds (movies, books, magazines, etc.) will also be a factor in how your thought life and subsequent relationship actions will be formulated.
9.  Seek to be blameless in all areas before God and man. For example, if you do not feel in your spirit that God would want you to kiss her, then by all means don’t do it! Physical contact can lead to other things, so don’t begin anything that you cannot finish inside God’s established parameters. 
There is no clearly detailed “road map” on the proper way to find a spouse. Many books have been written on the subject of the “biblical method”, but it generally is only the writer's opinion. The best advice is to keep God in every step you take, and make him the director of why you do what you do when you do it (you also might want to keep the girl’s father’s wishes in mind as well!).

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