Christian advice on dating

Finally, we need to hear an outside word that we can't quickly rationalize, twist, distort, or ignore. If your relationship becomes the center of their faith, the main and only encouragement they have in Christ, something has gone wrong. All four stand on their own as solid reasons to be committed to gathering (and being a member of) a local body.

Who is there to support and encourage when you're having a bad day, or when your relationship needs a check because it's gone off the rails into sin? Even the best married couples need other, godly voices speaking wisdom, conviction, comfort, and healing grace into their lives. Whether you're a Baptist, Anglican, or Presbyterian, you want to be regularly reminded that Christ alone is the source of spiritual life—he died, rose again, and our union with him is the only true food for your soul. Yet all four play an important function with respect to your relationship to each other.

In addition to what all of you saw on the blog, I have received dozens of questions and comments in e-mails, which I and the folks at Boundless have culled through to see what the most pressing questions seem to be.

Judging from both frequency and "passion," the most pressing questions arising from the last piece involve physical involvement — which I'm about to cover, initiation of relationships (especially the bit about involving the woman's father), and the practical details of how one of these relationships works.

I've been working in youth ministry in some capacity for roughly eight years, and this is one of the most common questions I've fielded from young Christians: “How can (insert boyfriend/girlfriend) and I have a Christian dating relationship? ” As often I've heard it, I still love the the heart behind the question.

A couple of youngins' get to dating, and they want to “do it right.” They realize that God is concerned with every aspect of our lives, including our romantic involvements, so they've resolved to have a “Christian” dating relationship and sought guidance. Should we buy a devotional and go through it together? ” If the young man's of a theological bent, he shows up with a potential 10-week preaching series already outlined. As I already mentioned, couples often get this idea that to be truly “spiritual” they should start interweaving their spiritual lives into one.

If you start dating prematurely, you could be hurting — rather than honoring — those you date.

When Becky was invited to lunch by a man she met at a bookstore, she was excited.

But John knows better because he's still married, and dating now would go against God's desires.

by Scott Croft Before continuing with this column, please review the preamble included at the beginning of Scott's first article in this series, "Biblical Dating: An Introduction." * * * A promise is a promise.

Last time I appeared on this site, I said that I would lay out my position on biblical dating and then turn it over to all of you to determine the rest of the column's topics by your questions. As many of you will know from the Boundless blog, The Line, the last piece generated many posts and comments, from the challenging to the supportive, the general to the specific.

Many wanted to know, did I really mean no physical intimacy? Isn't it sex outside of marriage that Scripture explicitly prohibits?

How can you say definitively that other things are wrong? Shouldn't our physical relationship "progress" as other aspects of our relationship deepen? I understand most physical stuff is wrong, but what about just kissing? With respect to pre-marital, romantically oriented kissing, we're clearly talking about an area about which reasonable believers can (and do) disagree.