Why Date? The REAL Purpose of Dating

Filed under Relationships Your Heart on Oct 22 12 by

I feel as if I’ve read practically every Christian book available on the topic of dating. I’ve learned about kissing dating goodbye, saying hello to courtship, God writing my love story, and even how to get a guy worth keeping (which I’m still a little embarrassed to admit). I’ve gone through seasons of my life where I believed that dating was foundationally evil and should be avoided at all costs and seasons of my life where I believed that dating was absolutely essential to life itself and did not understand how I could possibly live a healthy life without it! What I’ve learned throughout the years and what I’ve now been able to ponder more as a married woman is that it is both/and as opposed to either/or.

Ladies, I tell you all of that to tell you this: no matter what side of the fence you fall on in regards to dating, it has a purpose and that is MARRIAGE.

Nowhere in the Bible do we find a convenient, “how to date God’s way,” topic. However, what we do find are pages and pages of wisdom concerning what it means to have a marriage that glorifies our Creator. This should stir something in us. It should create in us a desire to learn more about the big picture of God’s purposes and how our sometimes seemingly small choices regarding relationships and dating are keeping that bigger picture on our radar or leading us to ignore it all-together.

After teaching us what God’s idea for marriage is and how husbands and wives are to relate to one-another, Paul shares this truth with us: “This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church (Ephesians 5:32).” What is the ultimate purpose of marriage? The purpose of marriage is to be a living, breathing picture on earth of the relationship between Christ and His church. As I mentioned in my first blog, this changes everything! Just a glimpse into this passage in Ephesians 5 should prompt us to rethink how we view relationships and how we view men in our life that we may consider entering into a dating relationship with.

It should also cause us to guard our hearts. Proverbs 4:23 tells us to guard our heart because it is the “wellspring of life.” Are we guarding our hearts in our dating relationships? Are we allowing our dating relationships and our emotions to honor Christ and to honor our future spouse, whoever that may be? Or are we becoming emotionally intimate with any man who shows interest in us, giving away pieces of ourselves that should be reserved for our spouse so that they can build the deep and enduring relationship with us that Christ intended?

It should also cause us to guard our bodies. Earlier in Ephesians 5, Paul calls us to be imitators of Christ and the first means he mentions by which we are to accomplish this is that, “sexual immorality…must not be named among you (Ephesians 5:1-3).” Are we honoring Christ and our future spouses through fleeing sexual immorality? Are we remembering that sexual immorality begins with our thoughts? Are we pushing every boundary possible just to see how close we can get to the edge without falling off? Are we spending time alone together inappropriately? Are we living together or sleeping in the same room or bed? It’s tough, but it’s a lot easier than carrying all of that baggage into your marriage one day and that becoming a hindrance to fulfilling the purpose of being an example of Christ and the church to a lost and dying world.

I plan to expound more on these topics over my next few posts. These are tough topics for us ladies, and I pray that God will speak truth to you through these words and that you will gain a deeper to desire to honor and glorify Him more and more through your relationships. They are a tool for His glory. Let’s not let Satan steal them for His.

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Shannon Tyson
Shannon is a relationships blogger for The You Are Project, discussing topics surrounding the issues of dating and marriage. Through spending many years working in ministry geared toward young girls and women and through the path the Lord has led her down personally, she has developed a passion to encourage women to date and pursue marriage the way that God intended. Follow her thoughts here monthly!