Friday, February 18, 2011

Can Christians Really Go On Dates To Find Their Match?

Q: Is it Ok for Christians to Date? 

A: Before we can fully discuss about this topic about dating in our present time, we should dig deep in to the meaning or description of the word 
'Dating' in our generational context. The free dictionary by farlex defines it as, "An appointment, An engagement to go out socially with another person, often out of romantic interest and One's companion on such an outing."

Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia clearly states dating as, 

"...A form of human courtship consisting of social activities done by two persons with the aim of each assessing the other's suitability as a partner in an intimate relationship or as a spouse. While the term has several senses, it usually refers to the act of meeting and engaging in some mutually agreed upon social activity in public, together, as a couple. The protocols and practices of dating, and the terms used to describe it, vary considerably from country to country. The most common sense is two people trying out a relationship and exploring whether they're compatible by going out together in public as a couple, and who may or may not yet be having sexual relations, and this period of courtship is sometimes seen as a precursor to engagement or marriage."

Taking this present generational context and relating it to Biblical context we can clearly see that it was not Adam who sought God for a woman to fill the void that he felt inside him for a companionship, but it was God who said, 
"...It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him.” (Gen 2:18). What can we learn from the above truth? It is God's will for every man not to be alone when he becomes an adult, but to have a comparable helper who can become intimate through a union of marriage. Just below the verse 18 in the next two verses we see something unique happenning after God declared that Adam should not be alone. Gen 2:19-20 says, "19 Out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them to Adam to see what he would call them. And whatever Adam called each living creature, that was its name. 20 So Adam gave names to all cattle, to the birds of the air, and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper comparable to him." These preceding verses contextually describes God's test to Adam about what He will think and say when he will see other beautiful pairs of every beast and every birds of the air before him. Adam must have seen all the pairs and would have thought about his realationship to them and must have said, "this one is different from me and must have given a name lion [i.e. say a lion and a lioness] , this one is different from me and must have given a name monkey [i.e. say a monkey pair], this one is different from me and must have given a name parrot [i.e. say a beautiful parrot pair] and so on.......". What can we learn from it? God will bring before us many type of beautiful men or women before us to see whether we say no to them all and wait for the Lord, or will say this will fit me and will settle for a less than complete relationship with some one who will not exactly fit our very nature and desire.

Because Adam gave names and waited for God to intervene in his life inspite of seeing all the beautiful pairs, God did an emergency operation with a supernatural anasthesia given to Adam in order to take out a rib out of him and make a pair that is comparable to himself 
(Gen 2:21-22). You see, God is the first senior medical surgeon in this entire earth to do a open heart surgery successfully for the first time. God could have easily created a Eve out of dust like Adam was when He created him, but if it was done Adam would not have passionately said to Eve , "This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; She shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.” when he saw her for the first time (Gen 2:23). How did Adam knew that Eve was taken out of himself? Because there was a spiritual transaction of supernatural knowledge shared from God to Adam that he knew what had happened even while he was under God's anesthesia "which caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and he slept;" (Gen 2:21). There is an God given desire [i.e. knowledge] in all of us to be intimate with a woman/man who is comparable to us in manners, nature, character, desire and purpose. But we should learn to wait for God's time until He brings the right person whom He has prepared before the foundation of the world in Christ (1 Peter 1:22-23; Eph 1:4). Until then it is God's will that all believing young men or women be fully devoted to God so as to work for Him and live as a living sacrifice fully pleasing Him in all things (1 Cor 7:32; Rom 12:1-2). Apostle Paul expected the unmarried young believers to stay as virgins both in body and in spirit (1 Cor 7:34). This means the young believers are supposed to keep themselves pure not only physically but also emotionally pure. Once a person goes on dating another person, there will be a emotional attachment stirred up in the flesh that many times leads people to fall in to physical intimacy and infidelity before marriage. Apostle Paul has clearly instructed to avoid it. Then even our thoughts have to be kept pure from unclean thoughts which is also like infidelity in the soul before marriage. Due to easy accesibility of pornography, believing men and women fall prey to this kind of infidelity before marriage. If we are involved in such a thing, we should seek the Lord and receive grace to overcome it in order to keep ourselves as virgins in our soul before marriage. God's sanctification package for a believer goes deep in to all the three realms of the human existence [(i.e.) body, soul and spirit], God is faithful to keep us pure if only we are willing to submit and surrender ourselves in a pure devotion to please Him right through out our small and soon passing days of our young lives (1 Thess 5:23-24; Eccl 12:1).

If dating is the right way to know and find the right partners in our lives, God would have broken the rib in to two and would have formed two women in the beginning of times. After this he would have brought them both before Adam and would have told, "Adam, date one person at a time and check for atleast a month and choose which person would fit rightly for you. Then Adam would have to tell God, Thank you God, because both are from my bone and flesh it is very hard to decide which one will fit, but excuse me I will call one as Eve and the other as Eva for atleast the next one more month before I will get the right answer to tell you." Nonsense! God has a perfect will for every one of us. If we can wait for God like Adam and move in faith like Abraham, we will find the right person ourselves or through some other household contact that God has given to us like Eliezer who was full of the faith of Abraham through his relationship with him 
(Gen 24). Even in this case Issac was not seeking for his own bride, but Abraham felt the need of Issac. Then he called his servant Eliezer and sent him out to his own native land to bring a Bride for Issac. During these times Issac was intimate with the Lord by meditating his word and having fellowship with Him before he ever saw his exact match in Rebekah (Gen 24:25). Issac was devoted to God but as he lifted his eyes he saw camels coming towards him and in it his fiancee was residing, even in our lives as we are devoted to the Lord we will see the right person coming towards us at the right time which God has appointed for each on of us before the foundation of the world. Until then we should be fully devoted to the Lord, waiting for Him to move on our behalf and bring the right person in to our lives who has been taken out of us or out of whom we are formed who will fit us exactly for the rest of our lives. In this way I do not see dating as something biblical to recommend.

In our eastern culture you can still see some of the faint footprints of these Biblical tradition still being followed, but the western Greeko-Roman model of dating is influencing and spreading all over the east in our generation. These eastern model is called as 'Arranged Marriage' and western model as 'Love marriage'. In arranged marriage like the Biblical pattern, the father of the household will be responsible for seeking the bride or bridegroom for his son or daugther, in love marriage the son or daughter goes out to find a bride or bridegroom which will fit for himself. Whether it is arranged marriage 
[i.e. I mean marriages arranged by God :)] or love marriage [i.e. the son or daughter finding the right person through the guidance of the Holy Spirit like Eliezer :)], dating by any means cannot fit in to God's perfect Biblical pattern, as it involves knowing the supposed bride or bridegroom by sight rather than faith. I have myself seen how many men and women of God married without even seeing or knowing their bride/bridegroom not even casually before marriage. Today I see almost all of them living along with their children for the glory of God. The more we depend on God to make a match, the more we will be trusting Him that He will give us the best life partner for us. Faith does play an important role in avoiding dating, and looking to God for the best spouse that He has in His mind which He has prepared before the foundations of the world (Matt 9:22, 29; Luke 18:42; 17:19). If the father in the eastern culture takes responsibility to find a suitable girl or a boy for His child, how much more our Heavenly Father will eagerly take responsbility for your life if you will completely trust him like a little child (Matt 7:11; 18:3-4). So asking to God the Father needs waiting for God till you see the promises of the Father get fulfilled in your life (Heb 10:35-36). I bet you, it will be worth the wait. Our Heavenly Father has only good things stored up for His childrens who are trusting Him and He knows individually all of them (Luke 11:13; Nahum 1:7). The world will never understand this kind of faith, but you as the children of our Heavenly Father will succeed in this faith lifestyle. So cling on to Him, He will never let you be ashamed for what you have done the rest of your life (Rom 10:11)


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