IS IT OKAY FOR A CHRISTIAN TO DATE AN UNBELIEVER??? (COURTING AND DATING)

IS IT OKAY FOR A CHRISTIAN TO ‘DATE’ AN UNBELIEVER???

PART ONE

Hey lovelies,

sugar coat

I decided to write this post to share my thoughts about dating an unbeliever, along with something’s I have heard and seen around. Because I have noticed a lot of actions aren’t in accordance with the word when it comes to this issue. I have spoken to people both men and women, various opinions were drawn in relation to the above Q, some interesting, some shocking and others surprising.

Before I begin, I would like to stress the importance of what I am going to share with you all, all the information is backed up with biblical scripture. As a Christian it is important we not only acknowledge that we are one, but live as a reflection of Christ, read the word to discipline ourselves and rely on it, along with doing the work of God and more.

DATING
To begin with, I want to talk about the term DATING in a worldly sense. This can be seen as two people deciding they would like to hang out together get to know each other and see if anything more can happen after the dating stage, getting into a relationship calling each other boyfriend and girlfriend (which the bible does not honour, a man made title given to one another making it exclusive for the pair to touch each other, as opposed to courting in Christ abstaining from sin). Now I say ‘to see if anything can happen’ because at times dating in the world doesn’t always have a sense of security and assurance that it will lead further. Especially if one has options, or if one likes the other more than the other likes them, or soul ties due to sexual relations amongst them. With dating however there are people who choose to be free with it and date multiple people to keep their ‘options’ open. Dating in the world in some case scenarios is done in the unclean way where some sleep with each other and keep that as the main bonding factor. Whereas on the flip side, there have been cases where the two have pursued it further into an official relationship. All in all it depends on the person, but usually sexual relations are never far from thought.

bfgf

Don’t get me wrong though I have heard of couples who started out dating never touched each other and took it to the next stage, but weren’t Christians, it was just a way of life they were comfortable living. So it goes to show that even those in the world don’t touch and can keep themselves to themselves.

I personally don’t support the worldly dating method, because it has that element of having options dating more than one and going further sexually. Not all even last because they either wanted more options or got bored with the person they were dating. Then there are some who can’t commit and find this way pleasing to their nature because it’s fun to them and once feelings get involved they leave and onto the next. Let’s look at some of the scriptures which can be seen as talking about being against worldly dating:

bride

2 Timothy 2:22 So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.

1 Corinthians 15:33 Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.”

1 Thessalonians 4:3-5 For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honour, not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God.

1 Corinthians 6:18 Flee from sexual immorality, every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body.

1 Corinthians 6:13 Food is meant for the stomach and the stomach for food”—and God will destroy both one and the other. The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body.

Proverbs 15:22 Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed.

Proverbs 31:3 Do not give your strength to women, your ways to those who destroy kings.

1 John 2:16 For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions—is not from the Father but is from the world.

Proverbs 28:18 Whoever walks in integrity will be delivered, but he who is crooked in his ways will suddenly fall.

Psalm 119:9 How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word.

These are just some of the scriptures one can mention in regards to the unclean side of dating the worldly way. I want to put this point across that EVERYTHING, no matter how big or small is written in the Bible. So to always get assurance, read it to know how to approach a person, situation or decision.

This is some insight into worldly dating, but as a Christian the downfall to it in the world is not action we should entertain and follow too.

 devil

 COURTSHIP

This brings me to talk about COURTING/COURTSHIP, in a biblical sense some will say but isn’t courting and dating the same thing? So let us look into what the courting stage of a couple is about. Courting is known as a relationship between a man and a woman who seek God in the relationship to see if truly they are meant for one another. To not only go through the courting stage but to marriage to and in everything they do they involve God with a foundation built firmly in Christ. They involve their pastors, their family and any referred counsellors to partake in this special stage in their lives. Proverbs 3:5-7 ‘Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and shun evil.’

This scripture is a perfect example of a courting couple who instead of relying on their own desires and understanding of how to do things they consult God and noble people to help guide them, strengthen their walk in Christ and the courting to, to ensure it is done following the biblical way.

 realness

Courtship is a couple saying they want to be together but will abstain from temptation and waits until they are married; they celebrate purity and not uncleanness. Rather than have options they acknowledge the fact it is just going to be them two and no one else. It is a special decision they make, to wait on God to give them direction for it to be successful.

Now that courting has been defined, let us now look at the differences between DATING AND COURTING. With dating it may not necessarily have the assurance and security of leading to marriage but simply just that dating, at times dating doesn’t have a purpose and two just go into it for their own personal desire, the fun activities and romance etc but that is it. Because for some there will always be options and no stable commitment made. Whereas with courting both have a common goal as potential marriage partners to want to marry as the end result. One can also say that with dating most do it but not with the common ground of marrying each other, hence some having options to date more than one.
When both go into courting they have mutually agreed to make that special commitment to God that this is what they are both sure of and will follow God’s way. Dating on the other hand will bring up questions like ‘are they fun and down for a good time?’ ‘Out of the options I have who will be right for me?’ BUT courting will ask ‘How can we help each other grow in Christ?’ ‘How can we both honour God in our courtship stage?’ ‘How to continue to pray for direction?’

 pray

It has been known to some that two people dating have little or even no communication with the other person’s family. But with them it is really the two of them away from influential counsel, family and more importantly God. It is on their own accord and own desires. With this said the couple can easily fall into temptation, because there is no godly guidelines on how to keep themselves and not follow their own selfish desires. It is like there aren’t always boundaries when it comes to dating for some if not most. Therefore purity, love and honour are all out of the window if this is the case.

But with courting they both choose to receive the grace of God, the support of others and pray together to support maintain and encourage not only their commitment to God and themselves but for purity too.
But as it is clear the biggest difference between dating and courting will come in the form of TEMPTATION. With dating there is most likely going to be weakness and the urge to sin because of the lack of guidelines on how to be with each other, it is more PERSONAL PLEASURE as opposed to GODLY PLEASURE (PRAYER, COUNSELING ETC). Instead of involving God, both take it upon themselves to meet their needs by giving into their lustful ways. But with courting both know to wait and pray for strength to not fall. Not to say some courting couples may not fall but if they have succumb to temptation, will most likely repent, pray and ask for forgiveness to not do it again. Whereas two people dating will see it as acceptable and keep on doing it.

 checklist

Having said all this, I’m sure we can all agree that marriage is one of the most important decisions you’ll make and commit to. God created marriage for both man and woman and so to know about it more and if the person you want to pursue is the one for you. The word of God and prayer along with reliable counsel can help you in taking that big step. Not what the world acts on and believes to be acceptable (sexual immorality, countless partners/ options etc). Where dating is based on what the two know and want to know about each other, courting is what God knows about the couple and how best to bring His plans to pass in their lives. Once you focus on God from the beginning it will all flow smoothly because not only have you put Him first and have the firm foundation built, but also you are showing your seriousness in doing it the right way.“Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you” (Matthew 6:33)”

Here are some scriptures about the courting stage:
Proverbs 18:22 He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favour from the Lord.

1 Timothy 4:12 Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.

1 Corinthians 7:1-40 Now concerning the matters about which you wrote: “It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman.” But because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband. The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to her husband. For the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. Likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. Do not deprive one another, except perhaps by agreement for a limited time, that you may devote yourselves to prayer; but then come together again, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.
Matthew 19:5 And said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’?

2 Timothy 2:22 So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.

 not easy

1 Thessalonians 4:1-8 Finally, then, brothers, we ask and urge you in the Lord Jesus, that as you received from us how you ought to walk and to please God, just as you are doing, that you do so more and more. For you know what instructions we gave you through the Lord Jesus. For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God.

Having spoken about dating, courting and the differences between the two, I am now going to speak about the argument against a Christian dating an unbeliever. Followed by an argument for it (to not seem biased to just one side but to weigh up the arguments and come to an overall conclusion).

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