I've been working in youth ministry in some capacity for roughly eight years, and this is one of the most common questions I've fielded from young Christians: “How can (insert boyfriend/girlfriend) and I have a Christian dating relationship? ” As often I've heard it, I still love the the heart behind the question.
A couple of youngins' get to dating, and they want to “do it right.” They realize that God is concerned with every aspect of our lives, including our romantic involvements, so they've resolved to have a “Christian” dating relationship and sought guidance. Should we buy a devotional and go through it together? ” If the young man's of a theological bent, he shows up with a potential 10-week preaching series already outlined. As I already mentioned, couples often get this idea that to be truly “spiritual” they should start interweaving their spiritual lives into one.
Finally, we need to hear an outside word that we can't quickly rationalize, twist, distort, or ignore. If your relationship becomes the center of their faith, the main and only encouragement they have in Christ, something has gone wrong. All four stand on their own as solid reasons to be committed to gathering (and being a member of) a local body.
Who is there to support and encourage when you're having a bad day, or when your relationship needs a check because it's gone off the rails into sin? Even the best married couples need other, godly voices speaking wisdom, conviction, comfort, and healing grace into their lives. Whether you're a Baptist, Anglican, or Presbyterian, you want to be regularly reminded that Christ alone is the source of spiritual life—he died, rose again, and our union with him is the only true food for your soul. Yet all four play an important function with respect to your relationship to each other.
But aside from that, there's no real, hard-and-fast rules about this sort of thing. No, if you want your significant other to actually grow with Christ you will encourage each other to regularly worship because you want them to: 1. I don't have the kind of space necessary to speak of the manifold benefits of sitting under regular preaching, but I'll list a few. At the same time, it's important to recognize that the corporate gathering of the people of God, in receiving the supper and lifting our voices in song, prepares and shapes the desires of our hearts to focus on God throughout the whole week.
Be as jealous for his time with body as you are about his time with you.When Paul says, “It is good for a man not to touch a woman” (7:1), he is using the word “touch” as a figure of speech that refers to the physical relationship in marriage as representing marriage as a whole.Thus, he means, “It is good to remain single.” He restates the same idea in 7:7-9, and discusses it at length in -40.Even some who were married concluded that it was more spiritual to abstain from sexual relations in marriage.So Paul addresses these and some other problems in this chapter. But, his word to singles is: Singles should pursue a course that leads to the greatest devotion to Christ and His cause.This advice applies to every Christian, single or married, of course. Since the singles among us have had to listen to me talk about the family for the past couple of months, I thought we owed them a message that addresses many of their more direct concerns.I want to develop three thoughts: While marriage is God’s normal design for most people, He has gifted some to remain single so that they can serve Him without the encumbrances that necessarily go along with marriage.He was writing to a church in a pagan, sex-saturated society.Many in that culture thought that satisfaction in life comes through gratifying sensual lusts.A story is told of a woman approaching 35 without a husband.Late one afternoon she went into the woods to pray for a husband.Indeed, I don't know a single godly couple who would tell you otherwise. We need to feast on this truth regularly, or we will be tempted to draw strength from other, lesser sources, like your own relationship. First, they do the negative work of preventing the greatest danger in any “Christian” dating relationship—no, not sexual sin, but the human tendency to make an idol out of the beloved.Usually this idolatry justifies sexual sin and so many other relational pathologies.” Startled by the sound, the woman looked up and said, “Just anybody, Lord! But, if God wants you to be married, He doesn’t want you married to just anybody.