Christian advice for dating couples

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I’ve arrived at this conclusion by thinking through a number of biblical principles.

One of our bedrock governing principles in biblical dating — and in how we treat our brothers and sisters in Christ generally — is not to “defraud” our single brothers and sisters by implying a greater level of commitment between us and them than actually exists (see 1 Thessalonians 4:6).

I’ve spoken to numerous “long-dating” couples, in college and beyond, who other than living together, could do little to intertwine their lives any more than they already are.

They see each other every day, are with each other’s families every holiday (and often know their partner’s family as well as any son or daughter-in-law does), they travel together, spend most of their non-working (or studying) time together, they daily confide in one another (and maybe one another), and are without doubt, closer emotionally with one another than with anyone else on the planet.

In the meantime, the “we’re already committed” rationalization tends to make couples feel free to act in all sorts of ways they didn’t before, and every argument I’ve made in this series applies ), but that doesn’t mean that anyone who uses that language is automatically correct. Scott now lives in the Louisville, Ky., area with his wife, Rachel, and son, William, where he works as an attorney and serves as an elder of Third Avenue Baptist Church.

As a quick theological aside on guidance, God does not primarily lead His people by mystic feelings in the pits of our stomachs about what He wants us to do.

It’s still really easy to “act married” emotionally, even in a long-distance relationship.

On most college campuses, that likely puts the two of you in the same relatively small social circle.

Perhaps both of you are active in the same campus ministry, you go to the same church.

I discuss this principle more fully in “Principles for Drawing Boundaries” and “What Does a Biblical Relationship Look Like?

” As a quick refresher, we can “defraud” our brother or sister in a dating context by showing or encouraging a level of intimacy — either emotionally or physically — that the Bible seems to reserve for marriage and marriage only.

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