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Biblical Dating/Courtship & Marriage

by Kelly Crawford

Thanks to 6 Arrows for this video about Christian dating. I think the author (Joseph Solomon) makes a solid, biblical case, avoiding the confusing terminology, and just speaks plainly, challenging us to understand dating and marriage from a truly Christian point of view, not from our culture’s point of view.

I pray we could see a revolution in the church regarding this crucial subject and not feel pressured to follow a pattern of unhealthy, recreational dating that often leads to such heartache.

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Erica February 25, 2013 - 8:48 am

Thanks for posting this. I have never heard of that guy. I really like how he presented the topic and it will b helpful to use wit my kids as they get older

Keri February 25, 2013 - 8:55 am

Wow! I actually liked this. As a mom to four 20 somethings and one 24 yr.old engaged son..I have lots of thoughts on this subject..I would like to share some of them later today..lol.after I wake up and have some coffee..Looking forward to maybe hearing from some other examples of how their family dealt with this.

Jennifer February 25, 2013 - 9:00 am

Wow, this guy is great. He’s funny yet right on Biblically. What a great combination, especially for the young people. I’m passing this on to all my friends to show their kids. Might be just the thing to make them think before jumping into a casual relationship. Thank you!

Natalie February 25, 2013 - 9:25 am

My boys and I enjoyed this…LOVE his facial expressions! I want to check out more of his stuff. Thanks for sharing!

6 arrows February 25, 2013 - 9:26 am

What I really liked was the contrast he drew between the American style of dating (“We just date to see how things go…”) and the biblical approach toward marriage — “Are we being intentional? Do we show intentionality?” I was pleased that he also gave examples of how to be intentional (preparing to be patient, making intentional actions, etc.).

Intentionality is so important in life. Looking toward the end goal and deciding how we are going to move toward that, rather than drifting along, looking for “happiness” or whatever, and deciding that we can just call something quits when it doesn’t meet our expectations.

I don’t think there’s any more important place to be intentional in life than in our closest relationships: with God, with spouse (or spouse-to-be), and with our children.

Chris February 25, 2013 - 11:06 am

Great Post Sis! Gonna pass it around.

Word Warrior February 25, 2013 - 12:11 pm

Thank you for this rare treat, “little” brother.

Charity February 25, 2013 - 11:45 am

This is great. He has quite the personality!

Word Warrior February 25, 2013 - 12:11 pm

I liked him all the more when I discovered he is reformed 😉

Kelly L February 25, 2013 - 12:15 pm

Awesomely done!

natasha February 25, 2013 - 12:20 pm

That was so refreshing. It would be nice if he made one for parents. I see too many parents just waiting around for their kids to meet someone, instead of intentionally finding a spouse for their children.

Keri February 25, 2013 - 12:25 pm

Personally..I have no problem introducing my unmarried adult kids to people..I don’t think we are supposed to find them a spouse literally.

Word Warrior February 25, 2013 - 12:30 pm

This topic is one we toss around often. It would make a GREAT post, wouldn’t it? We are in the middle; trusting God’s sovereignty and YET…like we’ve joked before, “If I’m hungry, I don’t sit on the couch and hope food will come, I open the fridge and make a sandwich.” 😉 And I know people all over the spectrum. We might have to open this for discussion!

natasha February 25, 2013 - 3:19 pm

I think surrounding yourself with like minded families would be a good start in helping your kids find a spouse. I think that’s what I mean by parents taking that initiative. If we want our daughters to stay home and not go off to college (where they would meet potential spouses) then we need to provide them with other opportunities for meeting people. I also think about- Boys have a lot longer time frame for their fertility, while young women don’t have that option. So many young people ( and this includes people outside of our thinking, young people that go to college and live on their own) are struggling to meet people.

Kelly L February 25, 2013 - 9:51 pm

Would love to hear people’s thoughts and reasoning about that. I have thought about that myself.

Keri February 26, 2013 - 9:56 am

I think it would make an interesting Post! Do it!!.lol.

In our precious church of about 400, there really are not any young men in their late 20’s or 30’s for that matter that are single. I did have someone tell me (before her son got married) that she would have loved for him to come to our church and meet my daughter.I thought this was sweet. You never know when someones thinking of that kind of thing I suppose. It seems to be a problem when We think about it..how will these adult kids ever meet anyone. They don’t go to the typical hangouts that most their age go to. They have tried going to a couple of other churches at their get togethers but couldn’t take the stuff that was going on so they have ruled out those.

Mrs. B February 27, 2013 - 6:06 am

I think it probably helps our children when they hear us pray for them. Our sons are very well aware that not only do we pray for them, but for their future spouses. We pray for their emotional, physical, and mental purity until God reveals His plan for their lives. Hopefully they get the message that its important to actively turn the process of finding a spouse over to God.

natasha February 27, 2013 - 8:08 am

Mrs.B- I was in a intercessory prayer group when I was a young single, and the women in that group were married. They would pray for their children and their children’s friends and their future spouses, but since I didn’t have any children I would pray for my brother and his friends. One of my brothers friends that I always prayed for became my husband years later. The spouse I was praying for this young man was myself 🙂

Mrs. B February 27, 2013 - 2:04 pm

That is pretty neat. What’s the old saying about The Lord working in mysterious ways (mysterious to us, that is).

Jennifer February 27, 2013 - 11:34 pm

Excellent analogy, Kelly!

Kim February 25, 2013 - 12:22 pm

Very Good! Already posted to my Facebook to encourage all the young people that I know.

Summer February 25, 2013 - 3:08 pm

Love this, Kelly! He’s right on and I love feeling confirmed in what Hubby and I are thinking about things from people I trust and admire. And, on top of the truth, he was very funny! Thanks! Oh, and DO a discussion on it, please! I would find it so helpful with my kiddos getting older, now.

JenniferC February 25, 2013 - 5:15 pm

This was great! Something my husband and I have already started discussing. Definitely not the way of our generation. I want something better for my children.

Carolina February 25, 2013 - 8:18 pm

fun and very informative!

Becky February 26, 2013 - 9:21 am

This video was great. I forwarded it to my brother and brother-in-law, both great guys in their mid/late twenties and single. It is so hard to find suitable women to consider for marriage. My brother emailed me back and basically said between what is addressed in this video, jersey shore, Facebook addictions and all the other garbage women his age are in to he simply does not date. My 93 year old grandma has taken it upon herself to find a wife for my brother. I think her method is networking with other elderly people at church with grandchildren. So far it has not been successful 🙂

Keri February 26, 2013 - 10:10 am

Becky..It seems like they are not out there doesn’t it. Sometimes I have thought..the guys just aren’t out there anymore or they don’t want to be in church. I hope you read my post..lol. I have a 28 yr.old daughter..

Becky February 26, 2013 - 10:50 am

Hmm, you don’t live near Michigan by any chance? (only half joking)

Keri February 26, 2013 - 11:07 am

Drats! No..We live in Florida! ..She has fb..can’t believe I said that and I’m not joking!!

Keri February 26, 2013 - 9:23 am

When my children were younger..lol..(I feel so ancient saying that-I’m 52) I used to think that they were going to grow up, hit the early 20’s and find the “right one” and get married. I now have four adult kids in their 20’s- 28, 26, 24 and 20. My 24 yr.old son is engaged.

When my oldest daughter(28)was in her late teens and early 20’s we had some family friends from church with a son and they were friends and we began to see a closer friendship developing with them.They had alot in common. Music, family, etc. etc. I began to pray really hard and you know what. The Lord Did answer that prayer..but not the way I thought he would. The relationship did not work out. Without going into alot of details for the sake of my daughters privacy-It was still an answer from the Lord. She still got hurt and I’m here to tell you that there was Never anything inappropriate about any of it.

When you care about people..it is still bound to happen.She has dealt with it.I want to be very Real Here and practical when I share this because I think that many times we look at the “Mistakes” we have made as adults before we got married and there is alot of fear. We don’t want our children to make the same mistakes. So, we hear all these ideas and stories of “courtship” and yes..Some of them are absolutely Beautiful and work out for God’s Glory but I think we need to remember that we are talking about Adult’s here. Our ADULT kids!!

I also think that we need to remember that just because an adult kiddo(my term) has not married yet does not mean that they will not or that God cannot be glorified. One of the toughest things my daughter has to hear is when people come up to her and say things like..”What-you’re not married with kids yet”..or some other dumb comment.

I have seen the Lord use my grown kids in ways that would not be possible under other circumstances.Really..when we study the scriptures..Our main purpose in life is to Glorify God! That can be done married or unmarried! Of course..she would like to meet the man that God has for her. She has watched friends get married and get divorced. Some..younger than her.She is living the life the Lord has given her now.It is valuable! She works full time at a Christian School in the preschool dept. and is finishing a degree online.My 26 yr.old son is very content and yes..He would like to get married also but is waiting on the right one. A friend of mine and I actually jokingly set him and her niece up on kind of a meeting thing when our church had a skating get together with other churches. They skated and talked alot and he thought she was really nice but he never ever asked her out because he told me he didn’t want to lead her on. She was not upset or devestated. He has friends at church that are young ladies..He is waiting on the Lord also.

Now to the 24 yr.old and his story! He met his fiance at our church! She is from Germany and I can remember her sharing a testimony in our church one Sund.night and I was So impressed that I actually went up to someone later and said “Do you by any chance know how old she is”..lol..(hey..I had 2 available sons)! He must have noticed too!

The company he worked for at the time just happened to do their lawn care.(what are the chances of that)She would give them ice-cream sandwiches. They started saying Hello to each other at church and Then we had the big skating thing and they talked and skated.Her Dad hurt his back and my son volunteered to help with lawn stuff-how convenient-and they invited him to stay for dinner.(she told me later he was so nervous-he could hardly talk). The funny thing..there was another guy from our church who was going over there too and she honestly thought this guy was just a family friend.One night after church they were all at Macdonalds and he saw her face light up when my son walked up and he backed away from it all because he knew then that she liked my son.

Within 3 weeks of going over to her home to continue helping her father with yard stuff- He asked her father if he could see her.They had never heard of courtship! The Only thing we asked of him was that he not be in the home alone with her if her parents were out.

Within 3 weeks of them seeing each other and talking on the phone alot..He came home one day and said “This is it..I’m done.She is the one for me”. They had discussed between themselves that they just didn’t want to date casually and that this relationship would be for the purpose of seeing if they were compatible or however you would term it for marraige.

Now..Here is the funny thing.WE DID NOT tell them to do this.They are adults and strong christians.Both of them! They made these decisions on their own. The majority of the kids my kids hung around with during their high school years were home-schooled also and not into the dating scene. It wasn’t until After high school that some of these kids began to get into the dating scene and my kids saw first hand the heartache of that and didn’t want it!

This has all been a new experience for all of us.Including the siblings and at times it has been downright comical.The first time he decided to sit with her in church..our youngest daughter realized what he was doing.She was eyeing him from the choir(20yr.old daughter and sons fiance are in choir)so she comes down from choir, grabs her purse and I honestly thought she was going to jump across the pew..but quickly sprints up and plops herself down next to her brother-in between them.Everyone behind them saw this also and half the church was laughing hysterically! I had to tell her later that I did not tell my daughter to do this. Siblings will be protective!!

We are so Blessed and thankful for the way things are with her family.Although they are from Germany..We have found that we are all very much alike.Her mom and I are now very close friends! They have been officially engaged since August. I was surprised that they decided on a long engagement but they have and they are getting themselves prepared for marraige!

I know that there will be those who say that the engagement is to long and how will they ever wait! Okay..I’m just going to say it here..My husband and I have been so amazed at the decisions they have made and the things they have decided.All I can say is..God’s Ways work!! When you raise you’re kids for the Lord..and I’m hear to tell you that I was afraid at times when they were younger that I was totally messing up their lives-homeschooling and sheltering-and because I worried about the things people said would happen! Believe me when I say I’ve messed up plenty and have had to go to kids for forgiveness..but when you’re kids see you forgive..They forgive also!

We have not given them a “List” of rules to follow.They are adults.There are just a few things we have asked him to be courteous of. Such as: They really try not to be in her house alone together.Sometimes he will go pick her up and her family will be out and he will step inside while she gathers her purse etc. They do go out alone together.They are not out late at night.That is something they set for themselve.

We have courtesies in our home that have just always been there. We let each other know where we will be.I wouldn’t walk out of my house and not tell someone where I was going or what time I would be home.My adult kids all do the same. He calls us when he is leaving her house to let us know he’s on his way home.It is always at a reasonable hour.He is working hard and saving money.She is preparing herself to be a wife and is treasuring every moment with her younger sisters(she is the oldest of 3 girls)and keeps busy with her family and ministry that she has.

My heart has been so touched by the decisions they have made together.They have discussed things already that my husband and I never even thought about discussing before we were married.

I have had people tell me that their kids will not hold hands until they are engaged or that they will not let their kids hug until they marry or that their kids will always be chaperoned.I understand what can happen people..lol. If I have one more person ask me if I know what can happen from people holding hands or hugging..I am Going to Scream!!..lol.

We are not talking about kids here anymore. These are adults and they at this point in their lives are not to be disciplined anymore. We are to be encouragers at this point and friends. I know whats happening with them because my son is a talker..lol.and he talks alot.I have had conversations that I never thought I would have with a son..lol..and we know where he’s coming from. It is a good thing!!

I didn’t honestly mean to hijack you’re blog Kelly. I wanted to be very real and practical on how this has worked in our family.

I think the most important thing to remember is to Pray hard for you’re kids. Raise them for the Lord! You will make mistakes. His grace and mercy is Real. Do not fear!! My husband and I were talking about all of this one day recently and how it is SO very different for how they deal with things then the way we did. God’s ways do work!!

6 arrows February 26, 2013 - 9:54 am

Great story, Keri! Thanks so much for sharing it 🙂

natasha February 26, 2013 - 12:24 pm

Thanks for sharing! I like how you made the point that these are adults, they are preparing for marriage so they should be mature enough to make good decisions by that time.

Lindsey February 26, 2013 - 12:24 pm

Thanks for sharing this video. My hubby sent it to his 18 year old brother. They had just had a conversation about this-and this was a great way to reinforce what they had discussed. It is so foreign to think this way about dating for my young brother in law- Even though he has been raised in church. I pray that this helps teach him to look in Gods word for answers on this and any other issue!

Becky February 26, 2013 - 1:15 pm

On a totally separate note, my husband runs a pick-up basketball ministry at our church for young men from the community, a lot of whom are completely unchurched young black men with no biblical knowledge or role modeling in their life. My husband is a white man, pushing 40 years old, so sometimes he struggles to connect with them in a way that they don’t just completely discount what he has to say because he doesn’t understand. This Joseph Soloman video (and others that I saw on his website) might be really helpful in presenting biblical ideas in a way the young black community can relate to. Thanks Kelly!

Eva February 26, 2013 - 3:05 pm

i wasn’t able to watch the video because it won’t work, but I enjoyed reading the comments and I’d like to share what I think about dating. I’m 17, so dating is sort of a big thing for me right now. The rules in my family for dating are that I can’t steady date (aka have a boyfriend) until I am ready to look for a person to marry. I am usually expected to go on double dates or group dates, except when I am just hanging out with the boy’s family or something. I have been taught to protect my virtue and the virtue of the boy I am with. The last date I went on was with a boy from my church. I have had a crush on him since the first time I saw him, when I was 9 years old 🙂 We went on a double date to see the movie Les Miserables. Great book, great story, but not a great movie! We started to get really uncomfortable, and despite him having spent 30+ dollars to take me to the movie, we left early. We didn’t feel right staying there. The people we had doubled up with stayed there, so the boy I was with and I got a milkshake, then went back to his house and hung out with his family. his parents and mine told us how proud they were of us for walking out. But it wasn’t an option for us to stay. We both knew it was wrong, so we left. The point I’m trying to make is this. I’m glad I have rules I have to follow. They make me feel safe and give me something to fall back on. But I’m also glad my parents place their trust and confidence in me and the boy I was with. They know they have raised me right, and now that I am about to leave home (I will be going to BYU or BYUI this fall) they let me make my own decisions. They recognize that I am almost an adult, and that I need to have choice. I think so many parents are way overprotective of their kids. I think a reason for this is that parents underestimate their children. They don’t think their children will be strong enough to make the right decisions. And sometimes they don’t. But they will never learn to be strong if they are never faced with adversity and temptations. Just trust your kids.
An example of someone being overprotective of their children is my aunt. Her oldest daughter, my cousin, is 15. Yet my aunt still accompanies her almost everywhere, even to our weekly church youth group. My cousin still turns her head when she sees my dad give my mom a peck on the cheek, because she still thinks any public display of love, even when married, is bad. She thinks sex is a bad word. She thinks all types of dance and music with words is bad. She is in no way prepared to go out into the world even though she will have to in only a few years, and all because of her mother. So from the viewpoint of a teenager, try and trust your kids with at least some important choices. They will never learn and grow without it. Especially the choice of marriage. I know none of you are suggesting that parents plan exactly who their kids marry and force them to do it. I think it’s okay to suggest that your son ask a girl out, but no more than that.

natasha February 26, 2013 - 5:05 pm

” I think it’s okay to suggest that your son ask a girl out, but no more than that”

there are older adults that are asking for more help in this area. They area asking for matchmakers, not prearranged marriages. I grew up with a lot of Jewish boys, and they were NOT very handsome lol but they all managed to marry beautiful jewish girls……they have match makers. It works.

6 arrows February 26, 2013 - 10:07 pm

There are a lot of questions that enter my mind when thinking about dating/courting/whatever you want to call it in the age of Facebook. Things like, when having a “boyfriend” or “girlfriend” with whom you go places and do things, but also having fb friends of the opposite sex with whom you may have private chats online. I wonder if that gets in the way of thinking seriously about the relationship with the person you are “dating”, if it’s harder to be intentional about your face-to-face relationship leading to marriage. Does fb and its ease of having private conversations encourage the mindset that “Oh, well, if it [the relationship with your “steady”] doesn’t work out, you’ve kept your options opened and have got other people from your online circle you can “try out” instead? KWIM?

And what happens when your online circle start getting married and the “pool” dwindles, so to speak? Do hearts get broken that way, too, if you were chatting frequently, and the people who you were fond of having private conversations with find other people with whom to enter into a serious relationship?

This is all so new to me, and not being on fb myself, I wonder if I’m making more of it than there is. Carrying on online relationships wasn’t on my radar the times I spoke with my older children over the years (they are now adults) about opposite-sex relationships.

Does anyone have any thoughts on these types of relationships in the age of social media?

Keri February 26, 2013 - 10:26 pm

Yes..some pretty serious thoughts.After I made my fb comment on here earlier-that my daughter had fb..I started thinking that meeting some guy, even if he is a Christian..on fb could be a very dangerous thing.I also really think you have to be so careful with all this very easy social media..twitter..fb..online chatrooms that I would have no idea how to get on.Thankfully!

So far, to many people I know have had online affairs..scary isn’t it!
My grown kids have at times been literally distraught over some of the things they have read on there.I would just say if you don’t have fb..don’t get it..lol.Just my thoughts..

My daughter has considered going on one of those christian single sites but has not gone there yet..Still not sure!

natasha February 26, 2013 - 11:27 pm

Keri- 2 very good christian friends of mine met through online dating, happily married now with children 🙂 I think you can do online dating while involving your parents. It might take a few tries to find a good site. Actually my one friend met her husband through online dating, and she already knew his mother! She went to our church, but her son went to a different church in another city!

A catholic blogger friend of mine actually does a “match making” thing online, privately. This might be a good idea if you know a christian family online who could get you in touch with another christian single looking for marriage. It seems to me it would more effective than the online dating sites.

6 arrows February 27, 2013 - 2:29 am


Thanks for your thoughts. There certainly can be dangers online, and social media is something with which I’m not very familiar.

Your comment about your daughter considering going to a Christian singles site reminded me of a Christian lady I know who met her future husband online. She was 43 at the time and had never been married, but met online a fine Christian widower with two nearly-grown daughters. Theirs is a beautiful story.

She has some wise caveats about online dating, particularly that it can be difficult to get to know each other’s “communities”, meaning not simply the geographical area, but the community of people with whom the other person hangs.

One thing that helped this lady and her man get to know each other and their communities was that when her husband-to-be traveled to where she lived, he would stay with her church elders, and when she traveled to his locale, she would stay with his parents. Wherever they were together, they would take part in lots of meals and activities in other peoples’ homes. Most (perhaps all?) of their “alone” time communication was via email and long-distance phone calls.

One danger she has acknowledged with online dating is that if there isn’t built-in community, for example with people in college far from home and without some sort of healthy Christian community built up in their locales, it can be hard to get wise Christian counsel and the loving involvement that wise elders can provide. Frequently, other people outside of a relationship can see pitfalls and red flags in a person or a couple that one or both members of the couple fail to see. That important safety element can be missing in long-distance relationships.

Like most things, there can be dangers or blessings with online dating. In the case of the couple I mentioned, there were clear blessings, as they both established well-defined boundaries, and had a strong Christian support system to walk alongside them as the couple walked in integrity in their relationship.

Blessings to your daughter, Keri. I hope she’ll be blessed with a good Christian mate some day, in whatever way God plans to bring him to her.

Keri February 27, 2013 - 1:07 pm

Thanks 6 arrows for sharing that story. We actually know a couple of people who met their husbands online and have wonderful marraiges.Very similar stories as your friends.

Keri February 27, 2013 - 1:15 pm

I think I should also mention that I do have fb. It can be addicting.I do try to use it to keep in touch with relatives who live far away. I have actually had relatives trying to argue with me on it and I won’t even go there!! I also do not accept men on there unless they are a relative. Nobody I went to high school with who is a guy.Not because I don’t think I can control myself but out of respect for my husband of 30 yrs. I would rather be chatting with him about anything then some other guy.Period. I don’t think I would like it if he were chatting with other ladies from high school. What would really be the purpose? He doesn’t like fb at all and has asked me to limit my time on it.

6 arrows February 27, 2013 - 8:36 pm

Those sound like good guidelines for using facebook, Keri. I’ve thought about being on it to keep up better with relatives, too, but I would probably waste too much time on there, and my husband doesn’t like much of anything internet-related, especially something like fb, so I just stay off of there.

natasha February 26, 2013 - 11:21 pm

“Things like, when having a “boyfriend” or “girlfriend” with whom you go places and do things, but also having fb friends of the opposite sex with whom you may have private chats online. I wonder if that gets in the way of thinking seriously about the relationship with the person you are “dating”

I never thought about that. I did not have FB when I was dating my husband, but I have always had many male friends, way more than female. I have 8 dear close guy friends I have known since elementary school, I love those boys. They were respectful, funny,smart,caring, ambitious etc, basically every characteristic you would want in a husband. My relationship with them never got in the way with my dating in a negative way.

I don’t see why you should avoid something just because your heart may get broken. I’ve had some heart breaks while dating, but they healed and I learned from them. Every man I’ve dated has been a good experience even if a few ended painfully. In fact I am friends with most of them on FB. I am so glad to see they found spouses and are happily married with children. I think I choose my boyfriends wisely, some just didn’t work out and it helped me sort out what was important when I did get married. My parents did not involve themselves in my relationships and put restrictions on dating or curfews (something my husband and I will do differently) but they did raise me so I wouldn’t fall apart from a broken heart. I’ve had female friendships end painfully, but it would never stop me from starting a friendship.

FB can be a stumbling block for some people who don’t understand or respect boundaries, people who are emotionally needy and immature tend to fall into affairs imho.

6 arrows February 27, 2013 - 2:48 am


Thanks for your input. I agree that looking at the positive characteristics our male acquaintances possess can help us determine what qualities would make a good mate. However, regarding your sentence “I think I choose my boyfriends wisely, some just didn’t work out and it helped me sort out what was important when I did get married.”, I don’t believe one has to be involved in a relationship (and subsequently break up, as is frequently the case) in order to sort out what’s important. See my comment to Keri above (Feb. 27 at 2:29 am). The lady I mentioned in that comment hardly dated at all before she met her husband. She had things well sorted out about what was important in male-female relationships before entering into them. We don’t need to personally experience a broken heart to know how to avoid having it happen.

This sentence: “I’ve had female friendships end painfully, but it would never stop me from starting a friendship.”

I agree that, as a general rule, we shouldn’t avoid things because they may end painfully. If there is inherent value in a thing, as there certainly can be in female friendships, then avoiding it (assuming we’re talking about a wholesome friendship) because some day it may change or end is living by fear, not faith.

However, female-female friendships compared to male-female dating without purposeful “intentionality” toward marriage are two entirely different things. There is no inherent value in recreational dating. We can learn to identify what makes a good mate without the “hook up, break up, try again with someone else” cycle that is the prevailing American system for finding (and too often, leaving) our mates.

We practice it, and we carry it, sometimes — probably oftentimes — unwittingly into our marriages, that sense of “This isn’t working out; I deserve better than this relationship.”

The marital relationship is intended to be a picture of Christ’s relationship to His people. We are the Bride of Christ, His beloved. He does not say to us, “I used to love you, but it’s just not there anymore. It’s over.”

If we call our marriage quits — and make no mistake about it, getting accustomed to breaking up before marriage makes it more difficult to stay in a marriage when troubles come, and in this world they will come — then we are destroying not only an earthly relationship, but even more importantly, the beautiful analogy of Christ’s unfailing love for us, His wayward sheep.

That is far too precious a picture to desecrate.

natasha February 27, 2013 - 7:52 am

6arrows- I did not do recreational dating. Just because my parents didn’t set me up with a courtship doesn’t mean I engaged in casual dating, going from one person to the next and using them. I see the harm in casual dating however just because you date more than one person doesn’t mean you are casually ending relationships. Just because I can end a relationship before marriage without a broken heart doesn’t mean I am not intentional about marriage. Every relationship I became involved in was because we both saw a potential for marriage. “This isn’t working out; I deserve better than this relationship.” I never thought I deserved better.

I had in my mind what characteristics I wanted in a husband but no man is going to have ALL of those character traits that make a good husband when you first meet them. By dating, I got to know which character traits I found were the most important and what ones I could wait on. The relationships were not casually ended over silly or selfish differences, but I was mature enough not to get all hung up on one guy because I didn’t give them all of my heart and emotions. I could date someone which means become their friend, meet their family,friends, and community without it breaking my heart. Maybe I am more cold hearted than most. I just saw a purpose in dating, I wanted to find a spouse.

When you “court” someone you get to know their families and their communities etc, well that’s exactly what I did in my dating relationships. While doing that, I would see that person for who they truly were, and in the end I decided who that person said they were, and the actions they took were two different things. They weren’t malicious or deceitful and they were good men. That’s something you can’t find out until you are dating/courting them or engage in a friendship with someone. You call it courting, I call it dating. I don’t see a difference except my parents were not active Christians, therefore I was on my own in that area.

I did know however the difference between dating and marriage. I knew that marriage was a sacrament. I knew there was no going back once you said those vows. My parents had many problems in their marriage but they never called it quits. My parents are not compatible, their personalities do not compliment each other so they have to work harder at marriage than others. They never talked about divorce because they knew marriage was for providing a healthy stable environment for their children.

I don’t believe casual dating is causing divorce. I think people’s definition of marriage is causing divorce which is why they casually date without the intention of marriage. Marriage is for raising children for the Lord, and helping your spouse get to heaven. I think birth control has helped us use our spouses to meet our needs, and when they no longer do we discard them. Marriage becomes about compatibility and happiness and that never lasts or is guaranteed so we get divorced. I am blessed, my husband and I are compatible, we get along easily, we don’t have to work too hard at liking each other. But I have had to work at changing my natural personality at times so I could be a good helper for him and I can do this because I see the big picture, the purpose of marriage.

“She had things well sorted out about what was important in male-female relationships before entering into them. ” I don’t believe you need to have everything well sorted out before you date/court with someone. Maybe that’s why people are waiting so long to get married and missing out on their fertility. They’re waiting for Mr/Mrs Perfect. They may not “date” someone casually, but how many dismiss a person because they think they deserve better? Sometimes peoples “lists” for a spouse is too much. People are young and are still growing spiritually. Even if you get married and all those important things you valued disappear or change you still have to stay married and if you base your relationship just on those things you will always see divorce as an option.

I had all these things sorted out before I was married like ” what was important in male-female relationships” but God knew more than I did what was the most important. I find qualities in my husband that I either never knew he had, or I didn’t see it as important back then, but I see now how it helps strengthen our marriage. I’m sure you are the same way, it’s funny how God knows what we wil need long before we do.

But my husband also has some things that I don’t particularly like or sought after, he has changed and he has grown and so have I. But I didn’t base my marriage on what was important in a male/female relationship or his Godly character and what makes a good mate. Those things can change but my purpose to serve my husband and raise children for the Lord will never change. That’s why I think our definition of marriage leads to recreational dating and then divorce.

natasha February 27, 2013 - 8:04 am

I wonder how many married people say “I used to love you, but it’s just not there anymore. It’s over.” because they believe they were fooled when their spouse falls short of their expectations. For example, We can decide when we are single we want a man that protects his sexual purity. That would be important and a good thing to look for in a spouse. But what happens when you get married and your husband falls prey to pornography? And it happens to the best of men. Do they feel deceived and see that as a reason for divorce? We can say we want a husband that is a hard worker and can provide for his family. That would be a good thing to look for in a spouse. What happens when you get married and your spouse loses their job, and becomes depressed and then maybe he gets lazy and loses all hope? We feel deceived. We did everything right, we intentionally courted, we looked for all the right Godly characteristics and traits, we found a man who was committed to living a Holy life.

When we see marriage for the sole purpose of raising children for the Lord and helping our spouses it doesn’t matter if our spouse fails or falls short later in life. We pick them up and carry on because we didn’t marry someone so we could spend the rest of our lives with a saint. I know you believe this, but I am saying it because when we talk about courtship we seem leave this part out and think that casual dating is the culprit of failed marriages.

Jennifer February 27, 2013 - 11:36 pm

Excellent points, Natasha.

Eva February 27, 2013 - 12:38 pm

I have facebook, and I don’t see any problem with having “private” chats with boys that I am friends with. of course, I don’t have a boyfriend, but there is a difference between just talking and flirting. I agree that sometimes it is harder to tell the intention of a text or a facebook message than if you were actually speaking face to face, but I think it just goes along with trusting people. I don’t chat with people on facebook unless I talk to them in real life. I think a good guideline is to not do or say anything online that you wouldn’t do or say in real life. Because I do talk to individual boys specifically in real life, I think it is fine to on facebook. The last message that anyone sent me on facebook was this morning. A boy who used to be a baptist but just joined my church sent me this. “You are an amazing example to me! You are so strong in your faith!” That is a perfectly innocent and inspiring comment because he is one of my best friends. I needed a pick me up today, and he totally helped, through a message on facebook!

natasha February 27, 2013 - 8:41 am

See my comment to Keri above (Feb. 27 at 2:29 am). The lady I mentioned in that comment hardly dated at all before she met her husband. She had things well sorted out about what was important in male-female relationships before entering into them. We don’t need to personally experience a broken heart to know how to avoid having it happen.” “She was 43 at the time and had never been married, but met online a fine Christian widower with two nearly-grown daughters. Theirs is a beautiful story.””

43 years old? I’m sure it is a beautiful story, and I don’t mean to be disrespectful or to assume in this particular relationship, but this is what I am talking about. We seem to spend so much time waiting for a spouse that fits our “well sorted out” requirements.

I already sent a comment, but it seems to not have posted and since my kids are sleeping and the baby is nursing I’ll go on 🙂 For clarification, I am not trying to debate or argue, but just conversing.

“This isn’t working out; I deserve better than this relationship.”

What happens when we find a spouse that fits our requirements for a good mate, and then that person falls short down the line? You find a mate that respects his purity. That’s a good thing to look for. you both are virgins when you marry, a good thing, but you find sex to be….well unpleasant and not as great as you thought it would be, your spouse loses their sex drive. It happens. Do you feel deceived and cheated? After all you did everything right. You knew what would make a good mate, you found one and you were counting on him/her to stay that way. You protected your purity, you courted, avoided casual dating and broken hearts, you married a God fearing man/woman. We were just talking about Mark driscoll a few posts back and his new “marriage book” He saved himself for marriage, protected his purity etc, and he became resentful of his wife over sexual issues.

If you don’t know the sole purpose of marriage is to raise a family for the Lord and help your spouse get to heaven you’re going to get divorced because you think you deserve better. You married a man that met the right requirements and now he failed to uphold his part. Maybe you won’t get divorced because of the backlash of your christian community and family, but you can harbor resentment and bitterness. Intentional dating is important, I practiced it, but it’s not how we are going to avoid divorce.

natasha February 27, 2013 - 8:44 am

Sorry for the long and many posts. Can you tell I am desperate for adult conversation lol? My husband has been working many hours, and my mother is very busy taking care of her sick friend. Thank you ladies for the discussions, I truly enjoy conversing with all of you.

6 arrows February 27, 2013 - 8:30 pm

Natasha, I can relate to the “husband has been working many hours” part of your post. My husband starts work at 4:00 p.m. five days a week and isn’t usually done until 6:00 a.m. or later four of those days, but is usually home by midnight Friday nights — woo hoo! These were supposed to be temporary hours lasting only one or two weeks in January. NOT!

Two people have quit, another one got fired, one is about to leave for military training, and the crew was one short to begin with. They’ve only hired one person so far to replace all of these, so there will be at least another month of these crazy hours. When it rains, it pours. 😉

I enjoy conversing with you too, Natasha. Hang in there!

deanna February 27, 2013 - 11:10 am


Went over to his sight and listened in at more of what he has to say and was impressed.
Believe he can speak a language that many of today’s youth would tune into to listen.

Glad I was exposed to him.
God bless,

6 arrows February 27, 2013 - 8:21 pm

Natasha…hmmm…lots of comments here today from you in response to my early morning posts…where shall I begin? 😉 I can’t respond to them all, but most of what I’ll say is in regards to your Feb. 27, 7:52 a.m. post, and to a lesser extent your post at 8:41 a.m.

You call it courting, I call it dating.

Actually, I never called it courting. Perhaps what I described is what you would call courting, and that is fine. To me, the general terminology courting, dating, or what have you means different things to different people, that I don’t find the terminology all that useful. Note my post on 2-26-13 at 10:07 p.m. where I said “dating/courting/whatever you want to call it…” To each his own however folks want to label it, as far as I’m concerned. 🙂

Marriage is for raising children for the Lord, and helping your spouse get to heaven.

Not sure what you mean by “helping your spouse get to heaven”, but Jesus gets us to heaven. He doesn’t need our help. I’m sure you know that, but for any readers here that don’t understand that our salvation is through Christ alone, without any works or deeds (or “help”) on the part of humans, that part of your statement could use clarifying, IMO.

Marriage becomes about compatibility and happiness and that never lasts or is guaranteed so we get divorced.

That is true too often, unfortunately, but with dating we have an easy out if happiness, or compatibility issues, or anything stands in the way of our goals for the relationship. When we (that’s a general “we”, not speaking of you specifically, Natasha) get lots of practice ending male-female relationships for whatever reason, we carry that habit into marriage, where we can’t simply divorce for any reason. We may say (and truly believe) that marriage is lifelong, for better or worse, but the habits we develop in our youth can be very difficult to break, and can lead to us violating our own beliefs when the going gets tough. Don’t believe me? Maybe you haven’t lived long enough to see how firmly entrenched some habits can become.

Habits are powerful. The more we do something (good or bad), the harder it can be to not do it. If we practice something for a long time (in this case, dating a man or men, and breaking up again and again), knowing that most likely in the future we will find ourselves in a similar situation (marriage to a man), but without the liberty to end our problems the way we could before marriage (by breaking up), we add additional stress to our relationship. Not only do we have to deal with whatever problems may crop up in our marriage, but at the same time we also have to fight against the habit of retreating when challenges arise. That’s double stress, fighting the immediate problem AND fighting an entrenched habit, and a lot of marriages can and have snapped under that pressure.

You also mentioned in a couple of your posts the 43-year-old lady I spoke of in my comment to Keri today at 2:29 a.m. You said you “don’t mean to be disrespectful or to assume in this particular relationship…” Well, that’s nice, but you used it to launch into a whole bunch of stuff about people “waiting so long to get married and missing out on their fertility…waiting for Mr/Mrs Perfect…’lists’ for a spouse…that fits our ‘well sorted out’ requirements.”

Well, that’s actually quite far off from who that woman is! Yes, I know you weren’t saying she is this way, but the truth is, even though there are some like that, there are also other Christian singles who are patiently allowing God to direct them to their mate, if it is His will. And they aren’t simply “waiting”. Many of those Christian singles are using these years to grow stronger in their relationship with the Lord, and are contributing members of society, reaching out to many people in ways they might not have been able to minister if they were married and had families.

The woman I mentioned, though she will never carry a baby in her womb (and if she had gotten married any younger, there still is no guarantee that she could have had children), took in foster children during some of her single years. That is an important ministry. She didn’t produce any biological children, but she provided a loving environment for some of society’s troubled children.

Instead of fretting about Christian singles missing out on their fertility or possibly having too high standards to find someone (there are those with realistic standards and who are led by the Spirit for whom the Lord doesn’t send a mate for a long time or at all), please take time, Natasha, to observe what many single Christians may be doing with their lives to be the hands and feet of Christ.

Keri February 28, 2013 - 8:51 am

Ha! Thanks 6 arrows!! I have often thought when I have heard people make comments like these..about single women having to high of standards..or that they are in their child bearing years and better hurry that good grief..What are they supposed to do? Just pick any man so they can hurry and have children.

I would say that those singles who have not married yet but it is a desire of their heart…are waiting on the one the Lord has for them!

natasha February 28, 2013 - 12:51 pm

6arrows- I am Catholic- I observe plenty of single people serving the Lord 😉 I see plenty of young adults, and older adults who WANT to get married but are given terrible advice, and yes a lot of times their standards are too high or their over involved controlling parents are too picky. Here is a great article by a rabbi talking about this “To find the perfect soul mate, Boteach states, you should focus not on what you have, but on what you lack. We make one of “the biggest mistakes of all” when we go about finding a marriage partner by sitting down and making a list of everything we have to offer a relationship. Historically, this laundry list of qualities is the very thing the aristocracy took into consideration when making a match, whether it was the union of royals to ally two nations or the nuptials between the daughter and son of two landowning families, for example.”


We’re supposed to grow WITH our spouse, we don’t have to have it all figured out before marriage. That’s also what I mean when I said help get your spouse to heaven. We help guide our children to salvation right? We help them stay on the right path. Well my husband and I also encourage each other in our faith.

I also find the whole ” court so you don’t get your heart broken” complete nonsense. Train your children to keep a level head when they date, so they know they are dating to find a spouse. They should be mature enough to do that, or they don’t have any business getting married. They should know that they should love the person they are dating enough to be honest and seek God’s will. I have a good christian brotherly love for those 4 guys I dated. I want what’s best for them, I want what God wants for their lives. I want them to be blessed, I rejoiced with them when they did get married. My husband and I attended their weddings!

I do not agree with you about the habit thing. I’m sorry but unless you are dating a different guy/girl every week or every month you are not going to develop a bad habit of bailing when things get tough. What exactly would be a good reason to end a courtship? Would you encourage someone to get married just because you don’t want them getting into the habit of breaking up? Of course not. I really don’t see the difference, and seeing how we agree that the terms courtship vs dating are not important. I dated without my parents involvement. I dated 4 guys before I married my husband. I would hardly call that a habit.

I think we can all agree that divorce is a terrible thing to put a child through, and it has lasting consequences. When you get a divorce ( and you have children) it’s because you are selfish and lazy. Period. It’s a heart issue. You’re full of yourself and your own desires. It has nothing to do with a habit. Habits can be broken if you set your mind to it and get off yourself. * I hope most know I am not talking about divorce when there is abuse.

Actually most people I know that are not interested in finding a Godly husband/wife date many many people, but it takes them forever to get married,or they just stay single or co-habitate because they have a fear of commitment…which is why they habitually break things off whenever things get difficult. I can see how you would reach the conclusion that those habits lead to divorce. However, I do not see how this can relate to a single seeking to marry a Godly mate. Christians have the same rate of divorce as non christians.

If you are mature enough to get married, then you should be able to see whether someone is a good choice without having to date 20 different guys. As for those girls/guys who are able to date so many different good christian guys that you develop this “habit” of breaking things off, you must be really blessed to live near that many godly men and women, you have terrible judgement of character and/or you don’t know yourself well enough to find someone you would be compatible with and most of all you are not praying for God’s direction. If you are dating that many different people where you develop a habit of breaking things off when they get too tough then you need to work on finding out whether someone is marriage material before you do it. Get what I mean? Geez I was in the military, I was surrounded by men, and I could only find 4 good men to date.

6 arrows February 28, 2013 - 3:24 pm


Thanks for clarifying your “help get our spouse to heaven” comment. Encouraging our spouses in their faith — yes, absolutely!

Also this: “We’re supposed to grow WITH our spouse, we don’t have to have it all figured out before marriage.” I agree with that, too! I’ve been married 26 years, and we certainly didn’t have it all figured out before dating, or marrying, or even today 😉 Change (and growth along with it, hopefully) can be expected and embraced.

I think we agree on more things than we disagree, Natasha; we’re just looking at different parts of the same picture. Yes, there are people whose “standards are too high or their over involved controlling parents are too picky”, as you pointed out, but there are also others who are not involved in committed relationships yet for entirely different, noble reasons. God created each of us a unique individual, and so there is a wide variety of people within the Christian community. Vigilance and wisdom are needed by all of us, and how our decisions play out may look quite different from one person to the next. We all need to be looking to the Lord and not the culture for our cues on social interactions, including opposite-sex relations. I think we both agree on that.

We’ll probably have to agree to disagree, however, on the habits thing. Perhaps you will see it differently when you are older.

Thanks for the conversation, Natasha. I need to step away now for a while, but I’ve appreciated the discussion.

Jennifer February 28, 2013 - 7:52 pm

“When you get a divorce ( and you have children) it’s because you are selfish and lazy”

Maybe so many times, but I don’t think that’s a good thing to universally apply. I think the rest of your post is excellent and think you’re probably old enough to know how you feel for certain about the habit issue.

natasha March 1, 2013 - 9:20 am

6arrows- I think we agree on most things too, and honestly i did not post with the intention to debate but to write about some things that I have observed.

Jennifer February 27, 2013 - 11:37 pm

Nothing wrong with dating to see how things go, if you’re seeing if they’ll go to marriage!

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