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The Mustard Seed
November 2014

CAMPUS MINISTRY


Gallaudet
Lutheran
Student
Fellowship


A Case For Sexual Purity
Part 3  --  Dating vs Courting

series index

When Christians discuss purposes and principles of dating, one theme keeps surfacing. They say that the purpose of dating is to prepare us for marriage.  We learn how to relate.  We learn about ourselves and other people.  We can see if a certain person is "the right one." 
   
Several years ago twenty-one year old Josh Harris wrote a provocative book titled, I Kissed Dating Goodbye, in which he argued that our culture's popular dating practices prepare young people for divorce, not marriage.  Whether couples date casually, go steady, or live together, relationships have a romantic connection that is designed to be broken.  Every commitment has an escape clause.  Dating and living together are more effective in teaching us how to break up than how to commit. 
   
Marriage is suppose to be a commitment for life, but so many couples say their marriage vows without truly meaning it.  If their vows were honest, they would say, "I promise to stay married to you only as long as I feel love for you.  But if you hurt my feelings... bye bye!"
   
Our modern tradition of dating is a spin-off from courtship traditions of past generations.  Courtship has a very clear focus and purpose: wooing and winning a future life-partner in marriage.  Modern practices of dating focus more on the present -- feel good and have fun now.  What's wrong with that?  Plenty:
  • Our focus on physical and emotional pleasure in dating clouds our greater need for developing wisdom and character which are important for family life.  And it overshadows the spiritual bond of faith which a couple must share in order to have a strong successful marriage and godly family.

  • Long term dating relationships pull couples into desires and experiences that should be reserved exclusively for marriage.

  • Family life often requires that we satisfy our desires later rather than sooner for the sake of greater long-term family goals.  We learn those important lessons of self-restraint and self-discipline in that time between puberty and marriage.

  • When we marry, we bring into our marriage all of our past actions, attitudes, and experiences.  Young married men have privately complained to me that their intimacy with their wife is marred by mental flash-backs of relationships they had with other women they had dated before they were married.  Young married women lament that their husbands, who were wonderfully flirtatious before they were married, are still flirtatious... with other women.  A man who does not respect the sexual boundaries of marriage while he is dating will not respect those boundaries after he is married.

You get the picture.
   
If you are single, see every person you date as a potential marriage partner.  That's not an extreme idea.  Romance has a way of sucking us in deeper than we plan to go.  So if you see any red flags while you are still able to think clearly, it is much easier to say "No thank you" now than it will be later when you are both "twitterpated." (That's a word from Disney's Bambi.) 
   
What are those "red flags" that can alert you to a potentially disastrous relationship?  We will look at some of them in future installments.

~~Pastor Ron



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You are invited to Christ Lutheran Church of the Deaf in Silver Spring
Sunday Worship:  9:45AM
We provide free shuttle service from Gallaudet.
From time to time we post announcements to the Lutheran Student Fellowship by email.  If you would like to be included, please send your email address to Ron.Friedrich@gallaudet.edu
My campus office hours are
Thursday afternoons
in Ely 118.
Drop in and introduce yourself!!
Pastor Ron Friedrich
Ron.Friedrich@gallaudet.edu
 

[Gallaudet Office of Campus Ministry]

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