Is The Lord Of Light An Old Or New God The Dating Game – WWJD?

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The Dating Game – WWJD?

The Bible tells us that God has given us “all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him” ​​who saved us (2 Peter 1:3). Indeed, the Scriptures say that all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are to be found in Jesus Christ our Lord (Col. 2:3). In short, every area of ​​life must be governed by the word of God and the example of Jesus; including interaction between unmarried men and women.

Now, many will respond to this statement with a shrug; “Certainly,” they say, “every Christian should love his neighbor as himself, thinking of others more than himself and seeking the best interests of his brother or sister. What’s new? ” Well, the biblical principle of selfless love is definitely a good place to start when looking at how single men and women should treat each other. But the Bible also makes it clear that we learn how to give up self-sacrificing love (or any other trait of godly character) by imitating God’s example and example of godly leadership. In other words, if we want to know how a single person should treat a member of the opposite sex, we must first know God’s example and let them imitate it (Eph. 5:1, 1 Cor 11:1) .

I recently read an article published in a major Christian magazine that discussed the issue of dating. The article said that dating relationships between Christian singles should be healthy (whatever that means), loving, giving, and Christ-like. However, the article never managed to define any of the recommendations. He said that when a dating couple breaks up, it can cause a lot of tension if they both go to the same church. This is because of the emotional connections that have been made in their healthy, loving, giving and Christ-like relationship – which more than 50% of the time (according to the “latest” statistics), has included health, love, giving and Christ- like physical intimacy. Houston, we have a problem.

I don’t mean to be sarcastic (well, actually I am, but I hope it’s divine sarcasm), but I think it’s time we woke up and smelled the coffee. We like to pretend that if we clothe ourselves in worldly ways with Christian (healthy, loving, giving, and Christlike) clothing, we have discovered a divine alternative to the worldly status quo. This is simply not true. As with many things in life, the Church must start over, discover Christ’s example, and move forward from there. (1)

Now, you may be thinking that the Bible does not offer any examples of godly relationships. If that’s what you think you’re basically right. Dating, in the modern American sense, is never modeled in the Bible. However, what we can call friendship certainly is. And the example we want to briefly summarize is the friendship of Christ and His true love, the Church.

Throughout the Old Testament we see the Lord God mocking and drawing a bride for himself out of humanity. The outstanding feature of His friendship is His single-minded devotion to whom He loves. Even when She turns her back on Him and plays the whore with other lovers, the Lord God refuses to give up. Yes She has been punished, yes She has been pruned and cut down to a faithful remnant; but in the end God remains faithful to the one who had followed him from the beginning.

In the New Testament, God’s purpose becomes clearer and we grow to understand that the follower has always been God the Son. Likewise, we see that the Beloved has always it was a remnant, a “kernel brought forth from the husk” (Rom. 9:6). (2) Finally, friendship ends with the Son sacrificing His life for the sake of His beloved. Only until He does this is the Beloved completely captivated by His love and become His Bride.

So how do we imitate Christ’s example in this? Are single Christians required to avoid any kind of “premarital” relationship with the opposite sex? However, none of us is omniscient; how are Christian men and women supposed to know who is right without some sort of premarital relationship? It is clear that we cannot reflect Christ’s example perfectly; we are limited by our humanity. However, we certainly can (and must) come close to the mark – and that will separate us from the ways of the world by a wide margin.

A major aspect of Christ’s example is His purpose; He wasn’t just following Beloved for something to do on a Saturday night. His goal was marriage from start to finish. He was not interested in maintaining His celibacy so that He could play the field. I understand that there are Christian brothers and sisters who are called to remain single for the sake of the kingdom. However, someone who is called to be celibate really has no business developing intimate relationships with the opposite sex in the first place. If you do, you’re just asking for trouble. (3) Single brothers and sisters, you can’t have your cake and eat it too.

I suppose we have to look at this issue as either-or. If God has not called you to remain single, then you need to get on the staff and find a spouse. I don’t mean that you should run out and pick someone at random (“Hi, my name is Harvey – will you marry me?”), and I don’t mean that if you’ve been single for a long time, then you’re somehow you lack God’s will in your life. Here I mean an attitude. If you want to follow God’s example in this, then you need to focus on the whole idea of ​​”recreational dating” and focus on finding the one you want to marry. Of course this will require some kind of dating, but there really is no room for extended relationships without marriage or playing the field just for the thrill of the chase. Additionally, it may take some time to find the one you want to marry. Time is in God’s hands, not yours. Your responsibility is to have the mind of Christ and imitate Him as closely as possible. God will take care of the rest.

Another striking aspect of Christ’s example is His refusal to become physically intimate with the Beloved before the wedding. Of course we are dealing with symbolism here; Christ and His Church do not have a physical relationship according to the word. (4) However, when we remember that the marriage relationship of a man and his wife is symbolic of the relationship of Christ and His Church, we can engage in a reverse application and arrive at the same conclusion. In other words, the covenant sexual relationship of a man and a woman illustrates the intimacy of Christ and His Church; we are one with Him, He is the head of the Body and we are united with Him.

Now, then, when did we – or we – enter into this relationship with Christ? Collectively speaking, the intimate relationship between the Bride and the Bridegroom did not begin until He died and rose again and had gone to receive a kingdom. Once that “event” happened, the Church came of age, the wedding was celebrated, and the relationship was consummated. There was no “determination” before God had done His work.

From the point of view of the individual, we do not enter into relationship until we have been taken from the kingdom of darkness and reborn into the kingdom of light. Christ does not “mess” with us before we confess Him as Lord and believe that God raised Him from the dead (Rom. 10:9). There is no holding hands, cuddling or waking up before the wedding. we are a new creature in Christ, we are at war with God, hating everything about Him and desperately trying to suppress all knowledge of Him (Rom. 1:18-back, 8:7, Col. 1:21 etc .).

In short, here we have another either-or situation. Either a man and a woman are united in marriage, or, their relationship must be strictly “hands off”. There is no good reason to have physical intercourse – of any kind – before the wedding night. Without the protection of the marriage covenant, a physical relationship causes emotional and spiritual harm (mostly to the young woman) and is inherently selfish, self-centered and selfish (mostly on the young man’s part). (5)

Lest this essay be too long, I will conclude with this last remark: Christ did not follow His beloved until He was able to care for Him as He should. It is clear that God the Son was ready for marriage from all eternity. However, this does not make His example any less important. Christ was ready for marriage when He followed His Beloved. He wasn’t unemployed, emotionally immature, or a schoolboy struggling to pass advanced math. He was “grown up” and prepared to take on the responsibility of a bride. Go and do the same.

In his letter to the Corinthian Church, Paul commands the Corinthian believers to “imitate me as I also imitate Christ” (1 Corinthians 11:1). It is time for Christian singles to follow the example of Christ so that others may follow their godly example. It is also high time for the Church to provide the teaching – and emotional support – that our single brothers and sisters need to be successful in battle. I pray that this short essay is a step in that direction.

___________________

1. I am fully aware that several books have been written on the subject of dating, dating and marriage from a biblical perspective. See for example; Joshua Harris, I kissed dating goodbye, (Sisters OR.: Multnomah Books), 1997; Robert Andrews, The Family: God’s Weapon for Victory(Rice Wa.: Sentinel Press), 1995, Douglas Wilson, Her hand in marriage(Moscow: Cannon Press), 1996 etc. My purpose here is to provide a brief discussion of the issue for those who may not have considered the subject before.

2. Benjamin B. Warfield, The Works of Benjamin B. Warfield(1929; Grand Rapids: Baker Book House), 1991, 2:52.

3. The Bible does not say that if one is called to celibacy, one loses all sexual desire. It is clear that God can eliminate a person’s sexual desire if He so chooses, but the Bible nowhere indicates that such a thing is the norm.

4. There are certainly physical aspects to our relationship with Christ. We partake in a communion meal that uses physical bread and wine. We may enjoy physical blessings of health or material gain and so on. The point being made here is that the Bride (a corporate entity), does not sensually experience God’s caress; it is a spiritual reality.

5. Both parties are actually emotionally and spiritually damaged in a physical premarital relationship. However, the nature of the damage is gender specific.

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