- What went wrong with our Christian dating story?
- The Top Five Myths of Christian Dating
- Christian Dating's Top 5 Myths and Misconceptions
- Recently On Singles
So you start talking music. All Sons and Daughters. So far, so good. But then…somehow it comes out…you listen to secular music. Not just Pop music either, but the unfathomable—90s grunge. Temple of the Dog. And suddenly your spiritual maturity is under question. Jesus loves Kurt Cobain too, okay? So finding love as a Christian can be a struggle sometimes. You probably wonder why God made romantic relationships so stinking hard if he wanted us to have them.
Nothing terrifies me more than being so close to someone and then watching them become a stranger again. Sign up for the Thought Catalog Weekly and get the best stories from the week to your inbox every Friday. You may unsubscribe at any time. By subscribing, you agree to the terms of our Privacy Statement. Everybody is a Republican. You have a musical dark side. Sarah would be wise to do the same if Jonathan were to share that information with her. I also doubt that Jonathan would be found guilty although again, I would not encourage Sarah to prosecute.
So he would be let off on reasons that do not stem from the Bible. Not her job to keep it off. She should definitely not seek to entice him or tease him in that way prior to marriage. She has no Bible verse to tell her otherwise. A lot of men really can kiss a woman without feeling her up. I see this pretty much whenever I leave the apartment.
I think at this point, they should have a conversation over the phone or in a public place about boundaries, what makes Jonathan as an individual struggle, and how to move the wedding forward. Thanks again for an intelligent and polite conversation. I hope your family has a very Merry Christmas! Do you see a disconnect in your reasoning here? This gives her self-respect and even shows her boyfriend how valuable she is in that she respects herself more than that.
I now believe that the best way that a couple can act towards each other is like friends rather than like lovers before they get married. What BGR was saying is that the passionate romance should wait until after they are married. Our marriage was a product of an online romance. They say there is no fool like an old fool!
Before I even met my wife in person, I asked her to be my girl friend. We then began to be very romantic towards us each other before we even met each other in person, sending each other figures of hearts via Skype, romantic e-cards, etc. She was very cold towards me when she greeted me at the airport.
Naturally, I was very disappointed in the way that she received me. I even bought an engagement ring to give her before I left for this trip. I told her that I had something to give her, but only if she was interested in pursuing the relationship. She said she was, and I gave her the engagement ring.
This was in July of In January of , she made a trip to visit me here in Mexico. She stayed with my pastor and his wife and they approved of her. I wanted her to see what it was like here to make sure that she would be happy living here. She is from the Carribean coast of Colombia and I live in the central Mexican highlands about 6, feet above sea level.
Even though it was the coldest day I had ever experienced after living here for over seven years when she visited me, she still agreed to marry me and live here. We got legally married the 30th of April of that year and had the church wedding on May the 2nd. In January of last year she announced that she had lost all desire to have sex mainly because of her age — she is more than eight years younger than me. In August of this year, she told me that she never loved me with romantic love, that she married me because she felt pressured to do so.
She said that we should have known each other better before we got married and I agreed with her. We have not had sexual relations since April of last year. She is now in Colombia visiting her family there and plans on coming back here on March the 11th. I will not allow her to come back here to live with me until we are in complete agreement on having conjugal relations on a regular basis at least once a week and adhering to the Biblical gender roles BGR has mentioned. My point is this: We should have never started a romantic relationship online.
I blame myself for this. It would have been a lot better to just have had a friendship online. Her pastor did talk to me and her youngest son and two sisters met me during this first trip to Colombia. They approved of me, so there was no problem with that. However, in addition to starting an online romance, I just assumed that since my future wife was not only a believer, but very active in ministry which was one of the main things that attracted me to her , that she understood these Biblical gender roles. Passionate romance should wait until the couple gets married.
Otherwise at least one of these things could happen: That the man is tempted to go too far in the physical relationship as a product of the passionate romance as BGR has pointed out ; or one of them decides that the other one is really not for them and a breakup ensues, which could leave a deep emotional scar on the one who does not want the breakup. As one youth pastor so aptly pointed out, the American practice of going steady for young people is really practice for divorce. So, it is my experience that anything beyond a friendship before getting married is very dangerous and should be avoided like the plague!
Dragonfly, Thank you for pointing out areas of confusion where I should have been more clear. I do not think Jonathan would have been found guilty for a couple of reasons. Which is not likely to meet the standard of beyond reasonable doubt. Because the courts recognize that they are not necessarily innocent, just that there is not enough proof to establish definite guilt. A lot of feminists would prefer that men be found guilty in he said she said situations, but you will not find that desire from me.
You can argue that the law is stupid, but non-consensually touching a person sexually is sexual assault. Now not all instances of sexual assault are equal. If Tobias had put his hand on my boob while we were dating, that would have been much easier to get over than a stranger ambushing me in a parking lot at night and feeling me up. However, legally speaking, they are both instances of sexual assault.
Crimes are given a range of punishments for a reason. Had Sarah chosen to press charges and had Jonathan been found guitly, he would have likely received a much lighter punishment than the stranger who ambushed a woman in a parking lot. And I would definitely have agreed with that. I also think that just because someone commits a sexual sin does not mean that they have to be labeled as a terrible person for the rest of their life.
I would also be encouraging Sarah to see his heart and to not judge his character over one action. I was sexually abused as a child and for me it was much more natural to forgive my abuser and to help him change, than it was for me to try to get a judge to throw the book at him.
What went wrong with our Christian dating story?
So when I speak of forgiveness, I really do mean that. I have definitely heard that woman are gatekeepers of sexual behavior. I have also heard that premarital sex is okay. I do not believe either of those are true.
Do you really think it is a good idea for woman to get the idea into their heads that when and whether sex happens is entirely up to them…is that nor perhaps part of why we hear so many stories of sexual denial? But that is far different than saying that it is her job to keep it off in the first place. Although as I said earlier, she does have the responsibility to act honorably as a Christian woman who respects him.
If it is clear that kissing is causing him to stumble, she should refrain from doing so. Which it is not. It will look different on different people. Sarah had every reason previously to think that people could kiss and not cop a feel.
The Top Five Myths of Christian Dating
So now that she has learned that, they should not kiss again until they are married and even possibly not at the altar as that would get awkward in a hurry. But previously, she had no such reason. If a guy felt my boob just to see whether I would be honorable or not in my response…. So yeah, he might find that a woman was honorable as she breaks up with him for pulling such a stunt.
I think you have described my position well — that a courting couple should keep things at a friendship level and not allow it to move beyond that. Even then there needs to be boundaries set. But the main point that for all of this is — young people need to guard their hearts and their bodies before marriage. That is Scriptural principle 1 of Biblical dating and courtship. I think the mistake you are making is that you are confusing the courtship period with marriage. So before marriage women definitely need to be the gatekeepers. We see this principle demonstrated in two ways — first in the Old Testament we see that women were to guard their virginity as they greatest possession.
But we see another principle in the New Testament that the stronger brother or sister should help the weaker brother or sister:. Each of us should please our neighbors for their good, to build them up. Men can be deceived by their sexual natures and women can be deceived by their emotional natures. So since women are generally stronger when it comes to resisting their sexual natures they need to help men during the courtship period.
Men in turn during courtship and for the remainder of the marriage are to be the emotional fortress for their wife to depend on. But definitely I think the general principle of the stronger brother helping the weaker definitely teaches us that in most relationships the woman should be the gatekeeper UNTIL marriage. Then the gate is destroyed! It is a temporary duty — but a very important one. It still does not change the FACT that men are often more tempted sexually than women, therefore women will usually end up being the gatekeepers while dating as to how far their boyfriends will be allowed to go.
It is not at all the same thing. BGR, there is no doubt in my mind that we must watch how close of a friendship that we have with our prospective mates. It could very easily turn into a very romantic relationship during the courting period. It really does bother me, you know… as mother to two amazing boys… to think that Christian women will accuse them of sexual assault when they the girl is passionately kissing them and hugging them and creating an environment of extreme sexual tension on her part — and tension that gets worse the closer they are emotionally.
But this is a big part of why men are forgoing dating and women altogether!! Because they hate how much power women have in just being able to claim something horrible happened to them, and having everyone believe the man is at fault just because the claim was made. Labeling a Christian man who messed up with his girlfriend and touched her in a moment of passion when they were kissing as a sexual criminal implying he used violence or threat of violence or took advantage of her when she was unconscious , is dangerous to encourage.
The boyfriend is not a criminal, making him out to be by insisting this is sexual assault is false and viewing it this way can have serious consequences. Now, as well, the girl who would even make that ridiculous claim could be sued by the young man in return for defamation of character and slander. If it became a publicized case which these things tend to do , she could be publicly branded as someone who thinks sexual touching and minor mess-ups between Christians are sexual violence.
This is a good, good man — and we were kissing probably more than we should have been this was in high school, I was 17 , but I would in NO way label his behavior as sexual assault. Once I moved his hand, he never tried again. I have always heard that to mean that women have the sole power and responsibility to be sexually pure which God does not consider legitimate so we would be wise to do the same , and that men will naturally try to chip away at that wall all day and women must stand their ground.
Basically, it was his job not to rape her or force other issues like a hand on the boob , but everything else was her responsibility. What she was describing was not temptation or even the occasional slip-up. Based on the responses I got, that does not look like what either of you are advocating and I appreciate and respect that. If by gatekeeping you mean that a woman has an obligation to turn down the occasional slip-up, should remove his hand from a sexual body part, and should do all in her power to remove temptation dressing modestly, avoiding triggers, and not making her own advances are all things I have mentioned previously , than I have absolutely no problem with that and I think we should teach our daughters that.
I do think both people have a responsiblility here. Had I attempted to seduce Tobias prior to marriage, he would have had the responsibility to turn me down. Of course, most women will have it easier so they are less likely to slip up and should take that role seriously. A good woman will want to be a help to her man.
What that help looks like will be different for each couple Sarah here has a harder burden than I did but is part of what she must deal with if she wants to marry Jonathan. On the issue of sexual assault, there is a difference between assault and assault with a deadly weapon. Violence is definitely considered a factor in the latter and it receives a much stiffer sentence as it should.
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If I can see the difference as a hurting and confused pre-teen, than I would definitely expect Sarah to. Yes, some girls make false rape accusations and will claim that other things that did not happen, did. Refusing to recognize that something did actually happen is not the answer to that problem. It is the opposite extreme. Please believe me when I say that I know that it does not take a guilty verdict to hurt a man. I realize you have the emotion of being a mother to two boys.
For me, I can say that i do not want my husband to face this problem, that his family has a strong Y chromosome genetic link very likely most if not all of our children will be boys and we already are calling this baby by the name we have chosen for our first son, so I do consider myself to be a mother of a son in some sense , and perhaps most importantly, have seen this happen to my own brother. He was accused of sexual abuse by a woman who obviously had emotional and psych issues and refused to deal with them.
He took a polygraph and passed. He gave that to the authorities and told them that if they wanted to question him or even arrest him, that he would be glad to meet them at the police station and would turn himself in. They refused that even though he had no criminal record , and instead showed up at his work on the Friday afternoon of a Columbus Day weekend to arrest him with the fairly obvious motivation that he would spend the weekend and the Monday in jail before a magistrate would hear his case and release him. He was released Tuesday morning on bail, went through the court system, and was found not guilty.
He did lose his job pretty sure on the spot but my memory there is a tad fuzzy. I also watched my parents who had worked so hard to get out of debt and make it work as a one-paycheck, large family, get back in debt so he could afford a good lawyer. Believe me this made me angrier than any story from a Red Pill stranger will make you. Some things can be dealt with privately. Even issues much much bigger than what happened with Jonathan and Sarah. Also, this unfairness towards men is a HUGE issue for my husband even though he has not dealt with it personally.
Believe me, he would not have married me if he thought I was callous about it and definitely not if he thought I supported it. This is not at all the same thing as encouraging someone to make false rape charges, or that changing your mind after sex removes the previously given consent either in or not in marriage. I respect the protective nature of a mother, but I think that your immersion in Red Pill blogs may be blinding you to reality a little bit here.
I know you are smarter than that. I do not see a mass wave of MGTOW although I do see an unusually large percentage of such commenters on the Red Pill blogs I do read so I can see why that would mess with your perceptions a bit. Every man I know is either married, trying to get married, or has stated a desire in the future like the freshmen I talked to at school who were wisely waiting a few years. There are crazy people on both sides and we can either live in fear of them or use that information wisely to ensure we make a good choice in marriage.
He is the one that said that he who finds a wife finds a good thing. A boyfriend touching in a moment of passion is not assault, period. I have no desire to argue legal semantics as that is not my area of expertise. I got my information from a friend in law school. He said it was specific for our state. There is one general sexual assault law with several branches under it.
The most specific way to describe what Jonathan did would be non-consensual fondling. This is an act that is subject to arrest and legal prosecution. That reasoning only works until the handcuffs click behind them. I have already said I would advise Sarah not to press charges and to see Jonathan as a Godly man who slipped up. Obviously follow up actions must be taken to prevent this from happening again, but that does not require a legal setting. I do think there is a difference between a boyfriend doing it and a stranger doing it, but that does not mean that both actions are not illegal.
That works both ways. I get felt up all the time at work by various patients and I just roll my eyes and move on. But that is a choice that I make for myself. We have no business making that choice for other people. We definitely should not try to pretend it is not their choice to make. I do think you have a very good point though about how feminists constantly have a need to always be a victim. But even back when I was a child, I was constantly pressured to see myself as a helpless victim that would be scarred for life. The worst offender was my childhood therapist who my parents luckily made sure was a short-term thing , so I think that says something about how off the deep end we have gone in that direction.
When women refuse to be victims, that is when they are cast aside like used kleenex. I saw it happen to me on a smaller scale. Many people do not even know that she had a change of heart because her desires and wishes were only important when they lined up with the feminist agenda.
I definitely would not have you take time away from your home and family as those are your God-given priorities in life second only to Him. Thank you for sharing your concerns and your heart for the Lord. I pray he blesses your family richly and that this is a very Merry Christmas for you guys.
That is a very very good point, Anna. Criminal intent is an important element in these types of prosecutions. Yes, criminal intent is a necessary component to the assault charge. For example, Mike is pretty persistent with sex. His persistence is often, not always…maybe one time out of three, keep in mind we have sex a LOT a pretty integral part of my feeling desired. Getting sucked back in real quick to make a clarification. I think that in marriage what Liz is describing , a baseline consent is given.
That is included in most marriage vows. Therefore, his attempting to get intimate, or even attempting multiple times, is not an issue. And I agree, that feeling of being desired definitely helps. I am the same way. In fact, Sarah has told him that she wants to wait on that stuff. Maybe she was secretly kidding, but that is what she said. A woman should know that if she wants a man to touch her she needs to give consent.
Having it not be that way might be common as premarital sex is common , but it does a disservice to us when we accept it as good practice. Nowhere in this story, is his not knowing whether or not she is okay with it, a factor. He was not violent. Men can and have been arrested for this sort of thing, like it or not. By the reasonable person standard, just going by the information above, this person failed the mens rea test. I think by contrast Jonathan did in this case. Jonathan passed the test because……….
Sarah had expressly told him that they would not be engaging in activity before marriage and had been upset when he touched her butt shortly before that? Jonathan certainly never claimed confusion after the fact. Are we perhaps trying too hard to avoid putting blame on a man simply because some women mostly but perhaps not exclusively feminists put too much blame on men for other things?
This kinda smells like that. He has a short series on it. His latest is up…. There is no biblical mandate to date this way. There is only a biblical mandate not to engage is premarital sex. Insisting this model of dating is biblically mandated is wrong. They agreed in the beginning not to engage in that type of physical intimacy. There was no agreement about emotional intimacy. So touching someone in a sexual manner that had been previously discussed as not acceptable is wrong. However, as BGR has said, our system of dating and romance is also wrong, because it puts the man in the path of too much temptation to do this.
A pastor that I once had in Houston said this: Give me a passage in the bible that specifically says what courtship should look like. Too emotionally close eventually progresses to too physically close, but I adamantly do not equate his touch as being labeled sexual assault. That technique labeling something minor as something exaggerated and criminal is used by social justice warriors, liberals, and feminists, and usually not by reasonable people who are able to assess a situation. The Book of Ruth gives an example of a relationship between Ruth and Boaz that resulted in marriage.
Note that there was no passionate romance between them before they got married. Genesis 24 is another account of how God brought a couple together without a passionate romance beforehand. In both instances, family members were involved in the marriage decision. How often does that happen today? What Scriptures can you give us to justify a couple having a passionate romance before getting married? Could a passionate romantic relationship before marriage be classified as a youthful lust? BGR has proved that it could well lead to fornication and current statistics among our so-called Christian youth who live together before they get married prove that he is right!
What is your understanding of the relationship that a man and a woman should have before they marry each other? What are the Scriptures to back up your position? You and I both know the Bible does not speak specifically to every situation. But there are passages that tell a master he cannot physically abuse his slave and we know a wife had more rights than a slave so we can say without stretching the Biblical truth that a man cannot physically abuse his wife.
My point is the Bible does not speak specifically to every situation in life — but it does give us general principles of holy living that can be applied to every situation in life. The Bible may not give specific rules of courtship but it does give some VERY important principles regarding temptation:. Principle 1 — Do not purposefully put yourself in a situation where you know you will be tempted to sin.
Principle 2 — If you are stronger in a certain area than others, do NOT exercise your freedom in a way that causes a brother who is weaker in that area to be tempted and stumble. Let every one of us please his neighbour for his good to edification. Principle 4 — The answer to avoiding premarital sex is NOT self control, it is marriage. So the first two principles are you should never put yourself purposefully in a position where you will be tempted to sin and you should bear with and understand the weaknesses of your brother and not put them in a position where they will be tempted to sin — even if that exact situation might not cause you to be tempted to sin.
The third principle of guarding your heart refers to your emotions — knowing that your emotions can lead you into sin is something that every Christian must understand. The fact is today young women want pre-marital romance like it is a drug. It is a high for them. In fact it makes a man act irrationally in many cases and women love this. But is this what God intended?
Christian Dating's Top 5 Myths and Misconceptions
A man should be guarding his heart and not placing himself in this situation to begin with. This is why in many ways this post was more directed to men than to women. If young men establish these boundaries with themselves and with women they will court they can avoid being tempted to sin. And lets not forget what tempted to means. It has two meanings or two levels — the first is just to be tested that is how Christ was tempted. So December you are right there is no specific passage that says what courtship should look like.
However there are several principles of Scripture that I have shown above that when applied to courtship as they should be to every other area of our lives tells us very much what courtship should look like. Many men filled with pride tempt themselves in these situations but they would do well to heed the Scriptures warning:. When choosing a marriage partner I think people should know the other persons character. Are they truly a Christian? What do they expect out of their spouse does your husband expect you to stay home or work? What does he think biblical submission looks like?
How does he think biblical discipline looks like? How does he feel about birth control? I expect both people to be honest and honest with themselves on whether they can live with that. Other things take time to learn. Are they quick to anger? Do they encompass the fruits of the spirit? And lastly, are they actually attracted to each other? However people figure that out is up to them. I was, and am not, convicted that dating is wrong. If someone reads this, prays, and feels convicted to court this way great they should do that.
Sure Ruth is a great example of how a godly woman can gain a godly husband. I never suggested that I think we can override how God programmed the sexes. Also, I added, that emotional intimacy takes time. I agree with all your points. There are couple who feel convicted and participate in domestic discipline.
Nowhere in the bible does it say spank your wife to discipline her, but it does say discipline. But what would happen if they started a romantic relationship with each other before they got married? However, my point in both of these stories is that these couples did not base their decision to marry each other on a romantic relationship, like the vast majority of Christians today in the western world do. Yes, it is necessary to teach your children not to have sex before they get married. However, thinking that your children can have a passionate romance and just use self control to keep from fornicating is not realistic, nor is it Biblical.
Is in the passionate relationship. I guess I feel you can date and not be passionate. I see the danger in a couple going on dates by themselves where they are completely alone. I believe that they should always be in a public setting to avoid temptation. This is especially true of teenagers! As BGR has said numerous times, the modern concept of dating, which of course includes romance, causes a lot of temptation.
Perhaps the woman is not tempted to sin, but as BGR has pointed out, the man is! The Bible is very clear about avoiding temptation! Another great problem with starting a romantic relationship before getting married is if the couple breaks up. Here in the city where I live in Mexico, a fifteen year old boy committed suicide by hanging himself when his girl friend broke up with him. How many worldly songs have you heard where the person singing says that they cannot live without their girl friend or boy friend?
December I pretty much agree with most of the things you have mentioned above in looking for the right spouse. I covered these in https: By the way I am as Baptist as they come — my background for most of my life growing up was Independent Fundamental Baptist and I still attend a conservative Baptist Church. So I know exactly where you are coming from in that regard. I can also appreciate your hesitancy about one person making their personal conviction have to apply to everyone else.
I do think you probably sincerely think that I and others here who agree with me are doing the same thing with dating. But let me tell you when it comes to a relationship between a man a woman this is VERY different thing. For instance — why do we tell Christian men they should not go to topless bars? The reason is because Yet we kid ourselves and say because a Christian girl has more clothes on than that dancer that eventually her boyfriend is not going to have the same thoughts of touching her? This is why distance is so important when it comes to men and women in pre-marital relationships.
Both emotional and physical distance are critical.
Recently On Singles
Now you can ask all or most of those questions you pose in a public setting. Whether it is in the living room of your parents house with you sitting in separate chairs Or even if you were to go out to restaurant with family attending. I realize there may be some more personal questions you may want to ask as the relationship progresses to make sure they are the right one and there are ways to speak alone — but really not be alone.
I actually have seen that in Baptist churches where women purposefully look to put men in tempting positions to see how they will react and then they judge them accordingly. I would run from such women as far as I could go. If a woman has no sympathy for or understanding of the male nature we as Christian men need leave her to be an old maid.
I teaching my sons to look out for women like this. It is one thing for a woman to have high spiritual standards — it is another for her to have complete ignorance of male nature and male needs. That is kind of common sense. That math is just not going to work that way. That said, I really caution against your advice to rush into marriage without knowing the person your are marrying simply for the purpose of avoiding premarital sex.
You are trading one set of problems for another. Yes, you solve the problem of yearning for sex maybe , but if the couple lacks a solid spiritual and emotional connection, or they are just poorly compatible as partners, they are in for a lot of struggle. A marriage partner needs to be chosen with much wisdom and care, and this can require time…. You are right that in past culture couples often did no know each other well before marriage.
However, we need to be careful idealizing such cultures. Humans were sinful then and they are sinful know, and marriage has always been a struggle. Ask Lot, or Abigail, or Sarah, or, or, or. Remember, in times past it was culturally acceptable to physically abuse women and view them as property. I for one am grateful that this is no longer the culture for women, and that my father did not have the right to sell me in marriage to a man who was a stranger. Yes, it takes a different type of struggle today to meet, date, get to know, and choose a spouse. But personally, I will take it.
There is no perfect road to marriage on planet earth where humans are sinful. But God redeems and provides in every culture for those who trust him. That said, I do agree that prolonged engagements are unwise at best and terribly dysfunctional at worst. Better to wait until one is actually prepared to marry, and then date wisely. If she is real, then by all means a list of compatability could come down to a picture to see physical attraction and a that list…. I have never met a woman let alone a young woman who could keep her emtions in check.
Never and it is silly to think a female could contain it before marriage. The young women see this and find it unappealing and unattractive. Thus leaving them all the reason to find a man that will show his masculinity toward them. Not necessarily in sexually overt ways, but in a way that makes her at the least attractive and feminine. Most young christian men have become white knights and social justice warriors that even secular sjw couldnt compete with. They christian men are the apex of white knightery. It is quite frankly gaggy. I see it every sunday and during the wee. I thank God my son doesnt act like them, show decency to his friends that are girls, but acts in a way that lets them know they are not his equal and that he is in control.
My fear for him is findng someone who will not be submissive and will constantly challenge him to the point of divorce. Young women want you g men to be the better version of themselves. We have a friend whos daughter has claimed 2 false rape accusations. The mom is a feminist christian and raised her daughters to be sjw feminists. I dont know how this younger generation deals with the hypocrisy of women and thier stupid ideas of relationships… Theyre all one sided toward themselves. She sees that what has always been covert with women is now becoming overt and ruining western civilization….