I don’t have first-hand knowledge, but thanks to reality TV, I believe it appears to involve asking the woman’s dad if she is available to date, and possibly not kissing until the actual wedding.
Outside the Duggar-verse, there is the less overt but just as prevalent “ideal spouse” dating. Did she want my sweatshirt because she was cold, or because she likes me?
I don’t mean that your future spouse will be perfect or that you will think alike or always agree on everything. But I do believe that if you seek God’s guidance, He will lead you to the person who is going to be the match for you.
“My daughter was interested in this nice Christian boy, but he strung her along for a year and a half.
The next one did too.” Or, “Jeremy acted like they were friends but she told me later that they were hooking up on the side.” With that kind of dismal dating culture at play, let’s consider the options: First, there’s “Duggar Dating.” Duggar dating is the modern-day form of arranged marriages.
A wise man once told me that there were only two outcomes for dating relationships: getting married or breaking up.
“The secret,” he said, “is knowing how to handle a dating relationship so you know if the other person is worth marrying or he or she is honored in the breakup.” Unfortunately, it seems like many young singles struggle to figure out just how to handle dating–and I’m not the only one who’s noticed how weird the Christian dating scene can be.
This issue shapes our young people, friends, and family more than we could ever imagine. “Let’s just sit back and see what happens” might work in certain scenarios, but Christian dating isn’t one of them. I hope and pray these words spark conversations in your ministries, relationships, and homes. If you need to take a minute to let that sink in, I will be here when you get back… Here’s the deal: marriage isn’t a divine lottery where every person has one winning ticket. Hopefully one will end up as my spouse.” Not a good idea. So, the default for years is to leave as soon as a flaw arises. This requires discipline, restraint, and abstinence from activities that don’t promote holiness. A pure mind might be the greatest gift you can give your future spouse. ____________________ I hope this discussion continues. I pray parents, church leaders, friends, and family begin to spark conversations about God’s design for dating.
Most importantly, guidelines and principles for dating will transform lives and shape eternities. The brokenness you see in yourself and the brokenness you experience from your spouse point both of you to the only perfect one, God. When you pull the trigger, these balls spread over a large range, increasing the chance you hit the target. Dating with a trajectory towards marriage doesn’t mean you only date one person ever. So, if you choose not to get coffee or watch a movie with the opposite sex, then whatever. The ultimate purpose of marriage is sanctification (becoming like God). If you have no idea what values are important to you in a future spouse, exit the road to marriage at the next off ramp. That would be awesome, but it’s not always realistic. If you are a Christian, God isn’t a piece of your pie. Why date someone who doesn’t even have God as a piece of the pie? Pull over at the closest gas station and decide what you want in a future spouse. Your list is designed to give you a framework for dating, not be a checklist for it. Your heart and the holiness of marriage are too important to flippantly give away because you are frustrated, impatient, or settling. This involves judging a potential guy or girl for the 38 qualities you are looking for in an ideal mate—before even grabbing coffee together. Sometimes the “hanging out” leads to hooking up, sans dating, which is another uber-confusing side effect of the Faux Christian Dating cycle. What if Christians just began to date like normal people—not dating toward immediate marriage and not eschewing dating for the less-desirable “hanging out” no man’s land?It’s like arranged marriages where no one is making the arrangements, and it doesn’t seem to work very well. Here’s what I think it would require: Stop evaluating whether the guy who’s taken an interest in you is strong and tenderhearted enough to raise your future kids.So find where you fit in, and read along — and then pass this to a friend (PDF version at the bottom for all articles in one place).