The Bible is very clear about some issues. For example, it very clearly states that premarital sex is prohibited (1 Corinthians 6:13; 18). But, what about dating? A few years ago, I got into a pretty heated debate about what the Bible says about dating. My opponent’s position was that Christians should never date casually and that all other socializing with the opposite sex should be done in a group setting. My position, at the time, was, “Show me where it says that in the Bible!”
The only courtships that have given me some insight into what a Christian relationship should look like before marriage are Jacob and Rachel, Ruth and Boaz, David and Bathsheba, and Mary and Joseph. I learned from Jacob and Rachel that a man should be willing to labor and wait for me for however long it takes. I learned from Ruth and Boaz that a man should be kind and willing to provide for a woman and that a single woman should not be waiting for a man to take care of her, but willing to work. From David and Bathsheba, I learned the dangers of tempting a man and falling into a lustful relationship. And, from Mary and Joseph, I learned that if you trust in God first, you can face any relationship crisis together.
Nevertheless, I still do not see any verses that cover the “Rules of Dating for Christian Singles.” It would be very helpful if it were like the Ten Commandments; a step-by-step list of do’s and don’ts. So, what do we do if there is truly a gray area that is not specifically addressed in the Bible, like going out with a friend of the opposite sex that you have no intention of marrying, or what career to pursue or any other daily life challenge that does not have a black-and-white answer? And, I really mean no specific answer; this is not about poking loopholes in the Word or taking things out of context to fit our own agendas. This is about wanting to live a Godly life and not being disobedient.
What I have learned in the time since this argument is that God’s Word is called the Living Word for a reason. If we have a question about how the Bible addresses an issue, the best person to ask is not a pastor or a doctor of divinity, it is God. That is one of the most awesome characteristics of God, we can ask Him questions and He will answer. It is not generally like an answer in the movies, where a thundering voice breaks through the sky. For me, it is usually a still, small voice from within urging me to pursue a particular course or I read the Bible and I see the answer I need in a verse that I have read several times. The words of the verse do not change, but what it means to me at that moment in time does.
So, what about dating? Well, based on my own tendency to turn what should just be a friendship into a fantasy relationship, I choose not to casually date (see Dating). Nonetheless, each of us has to ask God for ourselves what His best plan is for us. If everything was clearly listed out in the Bible, we might put more faith in the book than in the Author. Again, I am not saying that the Bible is up for interpretation, some things are very much in black-and-white, but when it comes to our daily living in modern times, we need to seek God’s guidance, which will NEVER contradict His Word. Then, it is just a matter of whether we follow where He leads us or not. Ms. EV