7 Reasons for Dating Other Than Marriage
If you are dating someone seriously, how peaceful do you feel when you think about marrying that person? Committing your heart to someone is a huge decision. Dating is as much about learning what you need and want, and how you Discover 7 great reasons for dating that aren't finding someone for marriage! Christianity Today Copyright Christianity Today International; 1 Jun; COMMENTS. If we love God, we will ask for wisdom before we marry. asked me over and over again: “Were there any red flags when you two were dating? If you're a Christian, what your partner thinks about God should be the most.
Especially for individuals who are younger or have less experience with romantic relationships, it may be all the more important to allow more time to develop a sound foundation of relational experience. Better to discover that before marrying than after.
Those Pesky Emotions Another reason a longer relationship may be wise is that it can provide greater clarity to the couple. Romantic relationships typically progress in three stages: This is a healthy progression. It includes the strong romantic attraction that binds two people together, but it also develops a healthy knowing between the two that becomes a sound foundation for marriage.
A short relationship has the potential to short circuit this process. Strong emotional attraction is typically present throughout a relationship, and those strong feelings can hide personal or relational issues within the individuals or their relationship. I once talked with a friend of mine about how he and his wife felt a strong desire to get married as they pursued their relationship.
In light of their strong feelings, they decided to pull the trigger on marrying.
Afterward, they quickly discovered challenging issues in their marriage. Giving a relationship more time can sometimes help a couple see through the strong feelings and settle critical issues before tying the knot. What Timeframe Is Right? There are arguments on both sides for either a shorter or longer relationship period. So what timeframe is right for a relationship? Some Christian relationship pundits quantify give a particular number to how long a relationship should last.
Is one year the proper amount of time to teach people to stay within when it comes to getting married? I have to say no. So do you think the time should be longer or shorter? That means the proper timeframe for each relationship is different. It may be wise for such a couple to marry within eight months and unwise for them to try to wait a full year. On the other hand, another couple might have significant issues they need to work through during the course of their relationship.
Wisdom will reveal a different proper timeframe for each different relationship. Instead of trying to put a number on how long a relationship should be, we should instead practice using wisdom to discern how to best apply the principles that inform how long a given relationship should be. Personal Character — Do you and your significant other both demonstrate personal and spiritual maturity? Do you both understand what marriage is like and what each of you will have to give and sacrifice in order to maintain a healthy marriage?
Are you both willing to serve each other in love? Make sure that both of you have the personal character needed to have a healthy marriage.
Good Relational Dynamics — Maybe both of you are mature as individuals, but has your relationship grown to maturity as well? Do you know how to resolve conflicts in a constructive manner? Do you have a good understanding of your personalities and how their dynamics will influence your marriage? Do you need more time learning how to interact as a team rather than as individuals? Sexual Desire — How greatly are you itching to get in bed with each other? If the desire is strong then it might be wise to marry sooner in order to reduce the temptation to have premarital sex.
Getting married primarily because you want to have sex can result in all kinds of problems once the honeymoon is over. Fortunately, Jan saw the problem for what it was—sin instigating criticism within Todd. She wisely nipped the problem in the bud, preventing the situation from escalating. Knowing that sin seeks to cause strife does not mean that you can avoid conflict. A second important aspect of resolving conflict is allowing Jesus Christ to live His love through you. Allowing Him to meet your need for security and significance diminishes your motivation to attack or manipulate someone else.
You still continue to voice your opinions and wishes, but Christ within you works to reach a solution that most benefits your relationship. This means you learn to give and take. Should you need to give, Christ will prompt you to be humble. Likewise, if it is your turn to receive, Jesus will lead you to accept in gratitude.
Only through your faith can Christ help you resolve your issues. As a couple, you both have to yield to His desires. So it is important that you deal with conflict several times before considering engagement. Determine whether both of you have shown a desire to compromise in past arguments. If not, does one of you try to bully the other with angry outbursts? If nothing improves, you may need to end your relationship.
Civilized arguments can benefit a relationship by exposing neglect, unrealistic expectations, or different points of view. Sometimes, neither person is wrong.
Each one is simply approaching the same topic from unique perspectives. Therefore, do not try to avoid conflict but seek to resolve it in a loving, mature manner. If you cannot freely voice your opinions, you will live in miserable bondage to another person.
Both parties should have the freedom to express their ideas and desires. A relationship devoid of conflict may signal that one of you is either too passive or too afraid to be genuine. These attitudes are not conducive to an intimate marriage, and you should not continue dating if you cannot be authentic with each other. Healthy relationships foster an environment in which you have the freedom to disagree. Thus, before you get engaged, make sure you both feel free to be yourselves and know how to lovingly resolve conflict.
Relational baggage can develop when someone pursues fulfillment through a person, possession, or substance rather than the love of Christ. Baggage can surface in a variety of forms, such as addictions, eating disorders, abortion, debt, or divorce. Unfortunately, almost everyone carries some type of baggage, so do not assume that your boyfriend or girlfriend is immune. Before you give someone your heart, determine if he or she is wrestling with any baggage issues. Also, understand that the consequences of certain baggage may never disappear completely.
An addiction can keep someone in poor health. A divorced single may regularly have child custody problems. If you are not prepared to deal realistically with them, the repercussions could easily dominate your relationship. Please do not downplay relational baggage—it has the power to destroy your relationship.
Sometimes, these complex, negative issues require years to resolve. Do not expect that marriage will make them disappear. Therefore, if your date carries emotional baggage, please vigilantly deal with it before you get engaged. Marrying someone who is free of baggage is worth the extra months or years of waiting. After I dated Ashley for nine months, many of my close friends and relatives began to urge me to pop the question.
They were sincere because Ashley and I had spent a lot of time around our friends and family.
'Date to marry' or 'Marry to date?' | Christian Connection Blog
Their opinion meant something because they had been a part of our relationship. Since I knew they wanted the best for us, their excitement reinforced my desire to marry Ashley. In the same way, I encourage you to seek the support of your friends and family. Since these people generally know you well, they can offer helpful insight on whether you and your date are a good match. In addition, they are not as emotionally blinded as you are and may identify problem areas that you have overlooked.
Should someone raise a concern about your relationship, focus on the facts and do not hide the truth. Be willing to admit that you might have neglected a problem.
Parents and friends are not always right, but you should consider their legitimate opinions. They may have years of marriage experience to back up their concerns, and ignoring them would be foolish. Listen with an open mind to what they say about your relationship. Remember, however, that the final decision rests solely in your hands. Instead, let loved ones be resources to aid in your decision-making process.
When you make one of the biggest decisions of your life, having the support of your family and friends is a wonderful blessing. It not only gives you a sense of peace but also assurance that they will be there for you if times get hard.
‘Date to marry’ or ‘Marry to date?’
No married couple is an island. You will need the encouragement of others—especially if you have children. You endanger your dating relationship if you hide it from people. Instead, ask yourself if those near to you are excited about your relationship moving forward, and examine why or why not.
To this day, our friends and family are still excited about and supportive of our marriage. They go out of their way to encourage us and invite us to be a part of their lives. If we need help in any way, they will be there for us. Pre-engagement counseling is so helpful when you are interested in marrying someone. It is impossible to uncover by yourself every potential problem area of your relationship. Even wise friends and family can overlook negative warning signs.
Therefore, seek a trained Christian counselor to discuss the details of your relationship before you get engaged. I promise it is well worth it even if you have to go out of your way to find it.
- How Long Should A Relationship Be Before Getting Married?
Ashley and I participated in eight weekly sessions of pre-engagement counseling together. The format was casual, which allowed us to openly share our fears and hopes.
The counselor was perceptive and showed us areas that could cause problems for us in the future. For instance, we discovered that we deal with our free time quite differently. Ashley prefers to make a list of tasks and work on projects, while I prefer to lounge around, read, and talk. Neither of us was right or wrong; we were just different. Fortunately, the counselor revealed this issue to help us become more sensitive to each other.
Rather than fight about our free time, we learned to value what the other person prefers. This is just one example of how pre-engagement counseling improved the harmony of our relationship. The decision to marry someone is so significant; please do not bypass the wisdom of outside counsel before engagement.
If you can meet with someone trained to deal with relational problems, you can save yourself a lot of heartache. Furthermore, a good counselor can help save you from marrying the wrong person. Jane had dated Ted for ten months when he brought up their first discussion about marriage.
Jane liked Ted but felt unsettled about their future. This comment grabbed her attention. Jane began to reflect over her relationship and noticed that Ted rarely seemed enthusiastic about her interests. Whenever she asked him to stop by her art class or volunteer together at church, he would made excuses. A relationship with Ted meant that her individuality and interests took a back seat to his.
The more Jane pondered, the less she felt comfortable about moving forward. When you consider marriage with someone, ask yourself, Does this person bring out the best in me? This question may sound trivial, but its answer will reveal much about the future quality of your relationship. For that reason, you want to find someone who is passionate about investing in your life and vice versa. In healthy relationships, people help each other to flourish.
Rather, relational cheerleading is creating an encouraging environment in which another person can safely try new experiences and grow as an individual. This type of supportive atmosphere fosters intimacy. And let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds Hebrews Before I married Ashley, I never realized how wonderful it was to be with someone who brings out the best in me. Her belief in me goes beyond mere words. Let me give you a firsthand illustration.
Writing this book had been a dream of mine for years. Nevertheless, I almost gave up five times while trying to finish the manuscript. The project kept getting bigger than I expected, so I frequently felt overwhelmed. She not only encouraged me when I was frustrated but also got involved by critiquing what I wrote each week. She sacrificed her time, interests, and desires to invest in the realization of my dream.
She helped bring out the best in me. In the same way, I encourage you to honestly assess what kind of influence your boyfriend or girlfriend has upon your life. Does he or she truly care about your growth and maturity? Does he or she encourage you to meet new people, try new hobbies, and maintain your faith in God? Does he or she have a history of sacrificing time, money, or attention to support you physically and spiritually?
Or does he or she simply use you for his or her happiness? Many singles have been demoralized by dating an immature person. Instead, Christ wants singles to spur each other on to grow in love and maturity. You can start this process by asking your boyfriend or girlfriend about his or her dreams and goals.
What has he or she always wanted to do? In what area could he or she use your support? Determine how you might reasonably help your date achieve his or her desire.
Dating Is Not About Marriage
Then date each other long enough so that an extended pattern of supportive behavior can emerge. Remember that dating is a prelude to marriage, and marriage is a commitment to an imperfect person for his or her highest good. Marrying someone who is committed to helping you flourish is a delight.
On the other hand, living alone is better than marrying someone who does not deeply care about you. When you are dating, you always have the option to leave if someone acts unreasonably. In marriage, though, you make a lifelong commitment.
Therefore, selecting wisely is imperative, especially when it comes to the issue of leadership. The leader generally determines the maturity level of a relationship, and the best way to discern how someone handles leadership is to observe him or her in dating.
The individual who leads during dating usually will lead in marriage. Unfortunately, many singles wrestle with relational leadership for two reasons: Our culture suggests that anyone who wants to lead must exhibit superior performance to earn the title.
If a leader makes too many bad decisions, he or she can be fired and replaced. This definition, however, is not how God determines the leader of a marriage relationship. But I want you to understand that Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of a woman, and God is the head of Christ.
However, in the Lord, neither is woman independent of man, nor is man independent of woman. For as the woman originates from the man, so also the man has his birth through the woman; and all things originate from God 1 Corinthians For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body.
But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her Ephesians 5: These verses clearly explain how God established the leadership structure for husbands and wives in marriage.
His hierarchy reaches beyond the roles of men and women. Consider the following points: God is the Head of Christ. Jesus is the Head of every man and woman.
A husband is the head of his wife. A woman is subject to her husband. A husband is to love his wife sacrificially, just as Christ loves the church.
Men and women are not independent of each other. Jesus and husbands are assigned the positions of leadership. He assigned Christ and men as the leaders, and they choose whether to assume that responsibility properly. God made leadership a simple arrangement. Men and women complicate the issue when they refuse to submit to Jesus Christ. By contrast, when men understand the sacrifice Jesus made for them, they are more inclined to respect and follow Him. In turn, Christ can then live His sacrificial love through a husband to his wife.
As the wife realizes that both Jesus and her earthly husband desire to give themselves up for her, she more naturally accepts their leadership. God says that we are called to subject ourselves to our respective heads regardless of their performance. Observe his or her willingness to lead or submit. Ladies, does your boyfriend follow Jesus and love you sacrificially?
Guys, does your girlfriend follow Jesus and respect your decisions?