Dating at marriage dating
Unfortunately, many of us are being told we must date early and often if we ever want to be ready for marriage.For instance, one popular Christian dating book reads, “Dating is an incubator time of discovering the opposite sex, one’s own sexual feelings, moral limits, one’s need for relationship skills, and one’s tastes for people.” Sounds practical and reasonable on the surface.So, instead of preparing ourselves for marriage, we actually prepared ourselves, practically speaking, to walk from marriage. Have you ever heard a wife mourn that her husband didn’t date more people?
I am to date in order to get married, at least in the West. I’m just not convinced dating is necessarily preparing us — heart, habits, character — for marriage.But we don’t prepare ourselves for true, lifelong romance by experimenting with lesser, short-term romance.We prepare ourselves for deeper, fuller, longer-lasting romance by becoming more like Christ.If we are honest with ourselves, we will admit that the liberties many of us take in dating are more likely to harm our future marriage (and our significant other’s future marriage) than they are to prepare us for marriage.
We cultivate the “mini-marriages” that subtly undermine any real marriage God might eventually give us.
Again, dating is primarily pursuit, not preparation. Like other experiences in life, dating will prepare and mature us in one way or another, but we don’t date in order to prepare ourselves for someone else.