So you’ve found someone and now your dating….. Gentleman:
Ladies are different. Not sure if anyone has told you this, but there you go. The Apostle Peter says, “…showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life,” (1 Peter 3:7b) We are not unequal, just different, by creation and intention. Ladies are to be honored and respected. Be honest with your intentions, don’t lead her on by asking her to coffee, sitting with her at church, texting etc. If you’re not going to put your man pants on and be honest and up front with her - letting her know your full intentions - then don’t bother. Someone is going to get hurt. And, for the record, no girl wants to marry a guy who doesn’t wear his man pants.
Respect her in how you approach her. Respect her while in the relationship. You have no guarantee she will be your wife until the wedding ring is on her finger. Since there’s a chance she’d be someone else’s wife, keep your hands off.
Some ask, “How far is too far to go physically in a Christian relationship?” I have two things to say to you: 1.The fact you’re asking this question reveals your true intentions and motives. You want to get away with whatever you can. Instead, I would consider asking, “How can I honor this woman in a way that honors God?” 2. Here’s the deal, since she might not be your wife, your REAL wife may be out there dating another dude right now. So let’s say you can touch this woman in any way that you’re okay with that other dude touching your future wife.
Don’t look at the woman like you would a vending machine: staring and grasping your dollar bill wondering how you can get the best treat out of the machine, the most fun for your dollar. Christians often buy into the cheap lie society is selling: “Stay pure” and wait until your married is old fashioned. It’s okay because you’re in a relationship and you love each other. You’re passionate for one another and it’s just natural to get physical. It’s okay for him to have his hands up her shirt or down her pants or for her to have her hands down his.
Do not lie to yourself. Stop dismissing and diminishing sin. You’re taking what’s not yours and getting pleasure out of this person as if she were a machine or your property. Also, take it from someone who is living with the fallout. This doesn’t just go away once you finally get married. The things you do with others before marriage inevitably creeps into your marriage relationship and marriage bed. The pain and heartache is real. Avoid it, it’s not worth the momentary pleasures.
Know yourself. Know your personality and weaknesses. Know your sin-tendency. Know your heart. Weigh all these against the truth of the gospel. “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?” (Jeremiah 17:9) It’s easy to take whatever is in our heart or mind and allow it to become our reality and our truth.
Don’t assume that just because a guy is chatting you up or looks twice at you that he wants to date you. Unless he gives you the message (with words, not actions) that he is in fact pursuing you, don’t think he is. If you have to, just ask him face to face. This may force him to put his man pants on and be up front with you. Emotional dating games are stupid. Don’t play them.
Here’s the deal, the guys are to be honored just as they are to honor the ladies. Don’t sell yourself short. You deserve a man who is going to honor you, respect you, cherish you and keep his hands off you. You deserve a man who will value you. Your body is the temple where the Holy Spirit resides, consider this and think of your body as a gift from God where he chooses to dwell. It’s not just an object to be used up like a car on a lease while you’re here on earth. I know how tempting it is to pursue getting attention from men. We all like attention. What you’re really longing for is the connection for which you were created. It’s worth it to wait until that someone is committed to love you like Christ loves the church.
A Throwdown….Woman to Woman
Let’s chop it up. Sometimes, I feel like the pastors are a little softer on the ladies. Since I am a lady, maybe I can chop it up with you and we can still be friends.
Be aware of the power you hold. The guy you are dating is going to go wherever you take him. Where are you leading him physically? Ladies can be quite the evil temptress with their body language, their low-cut-eye-popping shirts, their physical touch. You know exactly what I’m talking about. You like the attention he gives you. You like the touch. It just fills up that little need-for-affirmation bank you have. Believe me, I have lived this and I know how powerful it is. I made too many mistakes in my past looking for the affirmation from dudes. It makes you feel desired. All the while, though, you’re leading the guy down a road that holds powerful temptation. You’re leading him into a burden that could be avoided if you’d just get your gospel on. You participate just as much as he does in the physical. Maybe, if you’re honest, you sometimes set the tone for where the relationship goes physically. As much as you feel him up or allow him to feel you up, you’re wronging a brother. Read this scripture as a solemn warning regarding dating/physical touch.
“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; that no one transgress or wrong his brother in this matter, because the Lord is an avenger in all these things, as we told you beforehand and solemnly warned you. For God has not called us for impurity, but in holiness. Therefore whoever disregards this disregards not man but God, who gives his Holy Spirit.” 1 Thessalonians 4:3-8
The Bottom Line… As Christians we live counter-culturally. Not with disdain and judgment towards those who follow culture. They have no reason to walk according to God’s plan or the power to do it (without the Holy Spirit). Our culture says have sex with anyone. Make sure you’re “compatible.” Live for the moment, do whatever feels good.
We have submitted our lives to a God who values human life. A God who created us with this deep longing to be connected. He placed the desire for relationships and marriage within us, therefore, they are not sinful or bad. We embrace them and say, "Thanks be to God that he has created us to live relationally". We acknowledge that he has a plan for these relationships and we long to walk in his ways that we may honor and enjoy others.
Those Who Have Regrets: You may be reading this and you've already messed up in your dating relationships. Repent of the things you've done. Turn from them and turn to Jesus who lived perfectly for you. His body has made your body clean. Your sins are GONE, by the grace of God. You are washed. Go forth and sin no more. Commit your dating relationships to Jesus and surrender your ways to his ways. In all things, run to Christ. Stay near the cross. He rose from death and lived so that we, too, might live in Him.
That’s the beauty of the gospel. We CAN’T live good enough! He did it FOR US and the mystery is that when we believe on him and trust Him, we are credited with his perfect life, His righteousness. Never lose sight of what He did for you. Let this scripture sink deep into your soul and enjoy forgiveness and enjoy peace:
“Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities (sins); upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned - everyone - to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.” Isaiah 53:4-6
Thanks be to God!