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Wit D

January 14, 2014  11:58am

Audrey you have a point; *no abuse button*, great observation; how did he do that; I did email CT via the contact mail, but no action from CT....

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audrey ruth

January 13, 2014  11:48pm

Moderator(s), why is there no "Report Abuse" button under Stuart Robson's comment? I see one under all other comments here. Strange...

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audrey ruth

January 13, 2014  11:47pm

Of course Christians CAN date outside the faith. The question in my mind is, Why? The Lord has told us that His people are not to be unequally yoked with unbelievers. People typically marry whom they date (duh), so it is definitely unwise to date outside the faith. It's too easy for emotions to get in the way of faith.

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Ron Jones

January 13, 2014  8:36am

In general the discussion about dating standards is culturally skewed by our Western individualism. If you've seen a recent article circulating on facebook call "a gentleman's take on why women should never settle for less than they deserve" you see how distorted the dating scene is. I think porn has a lot to do with this distortion and the answer is not to go looking for the perfect believer but to go looking for another Lover altogether. My article about this: http://ronkjones.wordpress.com/2014/01/11/a-mans-take-on-a-gentlemans-take/

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C L

January 10, 2014  12:47pm

As someone who remained single by choice & fullness of life activities into my mid-30s, I admit it is hard to remain steadfast when much of American Christendom & society is married by the same age. It is even harder to remain steadfast when society is accelerating its worship of sex in myriad & ungodly forms. This means all the more that Christians should & must have dealings with those outside the Church as Jesus commanded, and to think otherwise would be to be out of this world or grossly ineffectively in it for Christ. However, this DOES NOT permit or suggest "missionary dating" or any similar activity as a beneficial or "approved" means of evangelism or being "relevant" to this world! There is a spiritual dimension to relationships which God expects us to protect (i.e. cord of 3 strands involving man, woman, Holy Spirit). If the Holy Spirit hasn't enjoined 1 man + 1 woman together in Christian marriage, a Christian is to prohibit sexual activity from polluting the future bond

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C L

January 10, 2014  12:38pm

Human marriage is to be a model of Jesus & the Church, the "pure, spotless Bride" as mentioned in Revelation. The Church is consistently defined in the Bible as one body & in the female gender, indicating a permanent & exclusive union between 1 male & 1 female. Christians ARE NOT to be unequally yoked in ANY personal matter with potential for marriage. Polygamy is completely contrary to God's nature & commands! One must throw out much of the OT prophet's books to attempt to justify this. Israel was castigated for its spiritual adultery & polygamy - Jeremiah & Isaiah deal with its treachery & debauchery. It is blasphemous, ignorant, and fool-hardy to assert God permits polygamy! Homosexuality is called an abomination - few human activities are branded as such by God so this stands completely clear by itself. Some try to equate it to OT prohibitions about touching pigs but these were cleared via Peter's vision in Acts but homosexuality is further condemned in Romans & Corinthians.

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Samuel Dennis

January 09, 2014  6:14pm

Wit D: Ekklesia is a plural word, meaning "the called out ones", not an individual... Suffice it to say that this is a controversial topic, but an increasing number of Christians maintain that polygamy is a valid and Godly option for a single woman wanting a Christian husband. Others disagree, some believing it is better to be unequally yoked with an unbeliever despite scripture speaking strongly against that. Each must look into this for themselves. If anyone wishes to discuss this further try the forum www.biblicalfamilies.org, I too will stop posting here also to make way for others.

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Wit D

January 09, 2014  5:48pm

Samuel: I have chosen to follow Jesus’s example by not diving into a discussion on the merit of Polygamy, but rather to let you know what Jesus say marriage is: ONE MAN, ONE WOMAN (not multiple women),for ONE LIFE TIME under ONE GOD. Jesus does not have multiple wives, only ONE WIFE, her name is Ekklesia. This is the defining distinction for marriage, it is to reflect Christ. POLYGAMY CANNOT do that. From that vantage point ,what ever pactice took place does not mean God Condone it; even if He did not punish us. If He did for every wrong we will not have people today. Polygamy CANNOT fit into the model that Jesus teaches. Also, ONENESS = spiritual, emotional and physical. A man can only be ONE with ONE WOMAN at ONE TIME. The reason is obvious… For Christians, Polygamy is wrong and is not an alternative to being Single, and neither is, “Same Sex Marriage” or “Common Law” marriage. Thanks for the discussion but It’s time for me to move on....…

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Steve Skeete

January 09, 2014  12:32pm

Had this question concerned marrying outside the faith there would have been near unanimous agreemnent. It would seem then that the discussion revolves around a definition of 'dating'? If it is the process through which people casually meet and get to know each other on a friendly basis thereby honing their interpersonal skills, then there is no reason why persons of other faiths should be exempted. Christian young people should be allowed to mix with others and learn how to get along and deal with persons different from themselves. However, If by 'dating' we mean 'mate selection' and preparation for marriage, then for the Christian it would have to be restricted to other Christians. What would be the point of preparing for marriage with someone whom your Christian faith forbids you to marry? So if dating mean establishing a relationship with someone whom I am considering marrying or who seems to be a likely candidate for marriage, the answer to the question re dating is no!

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Samuel Dennis

January 09, 2014  12:10pm

Wit D: You are ignoring the scriptures I have raised and simply restating your own points. Adultery is the breaking of a marriage covenant, Mark 10 shows that if a man divorces his wife in favour of another he commits adultery, as he has broken the permanence of his marriage to her. It says nothing about the man who keeps his wife and takes another also. I say again, why did God rebuke David for his adultery with Bathsheba but state that the rest of his life was fine, if all his many marriages except his first were actually adultery? Clearly they weren't adultery, so your reasoning is wrong, directly contradicted by scripture, however logical it sounds to you.

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Wit D

January 09, 2014  10:54am

Mark 10 is not speaking about Lawful Divorce. v2 = The Pharisees came and asked Him, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?” testing Him. Please note that it did not say, is it lawful for a man to LAWFULLY DIVORCE his wife. There is difference, a man or a woman can LAWFULLY DIVORCE... but that was not the question. Mark 10 v11 say "divorces his wife" and not Lawfully divorces his wife. 1Corinthian 6 is also discussing marriage = ONENESS. That's what marriage is as designed by the Creator. 1 Corinthian 6 v16 say, "Or do you not know that he who is joined to a harlot is one body with her? For “the two,” He says, “shall become one flesh.” That , "He says" = God, He is the One that say so. "SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH" is speaking about marriage. This is a consistant concept in scripture about marriage. That makes a man(married or no) a harlot.And is SIN. Polygamy may be complex to you; but so is *same sex* marriage and *common law* marriage and divorce. IMHO, they are all and wrong.

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Wit D

January 09, 2014  10:27am

Samuel: the pharisee felt the same way that Jesus's response to divorce is irrevelant. Jesus didn't dive into the legality, cultural context, the unfair treatment of women,etc... Instead He gave an analysis and defense of and for marriage[oneness doctrine]. They say, Moses COMMANDED, divorce...Jesus replied, Moses never COMMAND divorce, but PERMITTED it... I can agree that Polygamy was permitted, but you and I agree that Polygamy was not commanded. I choose to follow Jesus's example by not diving into a discussion about context and reasoning for polygamy but to apply the same Logic to Polygamy. A man with multiple wives CANNOT fit into the MARRIAGE model of ONENESS. Therefore POLYGAMY is not and cannot by marriage. This is perfect sense to me and very revelant to the issue. You agree that Matt. 5 is correct about adultry... therefore if a married man have sex with a woman(married or not) that's adultry conceive first in the heart.

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Samuel Dennis

January 09, 2014  2:06am

Wit D: You are taking off-topic passages and trying to apply them to a situation they never address, polygamy. Mark 10 and Luke 16 say that unjust divorce + remarriage = adultery. I am not advocating divorce, this is irrelevant. 1 Cor 6:16 is discussing prostitution, not marriage, again irrelevant. Matthew 5:27-28 is entirely correct, you just have to remember the correct Biblical definition of adultery which I have already outlined. Ultimately, the scripture clearly states that the polygamy of Godly men was right in God's eyes, e.g. 2 Chr 24:2-3 and 1 Kings 15:5, while at the same time condemning true adultery. If your reasoning contradicts the clear word of Scripture, your conclusions are wrong. Remember I am not claiming everyone must be polygamous, but suggesting it as a Godly option for some single women who wish to marry a Christian husband. If anyone is interested, don't take my word for it, study this in much greater detail, polygamy is complex and not to be entered rashly.

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Kathi Vande Guchte

January 08, 2014  6:34pm

I am single and 48. I have no children and have never been married. I would still like to marry, very much, but because I've done singleness and would like to not be alone/have a companion/be part of a "we". If it doesn't evern happen, I know I CAN do singleness, but I don't WANT to do singleness. I also believe it is something God has for me. Why do I believe this, because over the course of decades of laying my desires for marriage and children in the Lord's hands and asking him to help me be content and at peace in my singleness, I have felt God pressing the desire deep in my heart. I miss men asking women out, either calling us up or approaching us and asking us out. I've tried online dating...it's lame....it's lazy, on the parts of both genders. I laughed at the "celebrate celibacy" comment.

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Wit D

January 08, 2014  5:58pm

1 Corinth. 6 v16 gives another look at the same idea [oneness] here if a woman,(married or not) have sex with a man who is not her husband she is a Harlot, and both are comdemn. I hope you are not suggesting that women can marry but don’t have sex? But if they do they are both harlots . Another look at adultery is in Matt. 5 27-28 to be an issue of the heart ; a spiritual issue. So if man’s custom is multiple wives, these verses condem it. My Opinion, therefore Polygamy is wrong. And should we really be promoting it…???. Since God does not command polygamy, and it cannot represent the oneness doctrine that marriage was meant to be: a woman is to keep her virginity, pure and unspotted, Just like Christ's Bride.If she and him have sex, both are sining.This is not cultural…. This is God’s Word. This is also why "same sex" cannot be marriage. For Christians, Marriage is to be a TRADE MARK issue, licensed ONLY to be used according with HIS Design. Thx good challenge though--

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Wit D

January 08, 2014  5:26pm

Samuel you have raised interesting points re:polygamy. But You do agree that God never command polygamy; however, I DisAgree with you that He did not command monogamy; Agree that celibacy is a choice. Without stating the obvious,let's look @ Gen. 2 v24[kjv] sets the pattern concerning marriage. It is a [one] man clinging to his[one] wife,both becomes one again.[sex]. IMHO v24 is a command and a pattern as to what and how to do marriage. Jesus responded to a question about divorce by referencing marriage, in Mark 10. He again reiterate the oneness idea for marriage.In v6, it said, from the beginning God made male[one] and female[one] that's God's plan for marriage. In v11 and Luke 16v18, some have interpret "and marry another" to mean another wife. But that's by way of implication. Others have interpret it to mean another woman. The latter is correct IMHO, because it maintains the oneness doctrine and is consistent with what Elohim had in mind from creation, as per Jesus.

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GEOFF AND CINDY MILLIKAN

January 08, 2014  5:14pm

Could Debra Fileta be hinting the days of Isaiah 4:1 are starting to happen now? "And in that day seven women shall take hold of one man, saying, 'We will eat our own food and wear our own apparel; only let us be called by your name, to take away our reproach.'"

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Pedat Ebediyah

January 08, 2014  4:43pm

Thomas Gary you speak blasphemy. :) I tell you one thing for certain, these kids are having sex like nobody's business. And I can tell you that even older single believers are doing it like rabbits. It's no longer NOT an option to have sex before marriage. I've met women on ChristianMingle.com and they will tell you in short order, "hey, I love G-d, but I also like sex." Sex, for many older Christians is a lot less drama-filled and traumatic as it is for the youngsters. There is an innate understanding as to what it's all about, with very little confusion. If they end up with a marriage partner, well that's icing on the cake.

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Thomas Gary

January 08, 2014  2:03am

Some good points have been made. Perhaps the best way to handle the problem of marriage & singleness is to go on to a new model that is very old - celebrate celibacy in a vital refreshing way and also celebrate marriage if it comes one's way. No longer push marriage as the "best way" in churches as the Middle Ages once pushed celibacy as the "highest calling". We aren't Mormons! Marriage isn't some eternal step for becoming gods & goddesses! The only other ways seem to be: a) an understanding "wink and nod" to sexual relationships in churches between unmarried Christians who don't believe they can make a marriage last with an accent upon birth control to prevent children; b) acceptance of Christians marrying Non-Christians in high numbers and to promote a good family life wherein the children are raised in the "Faith". Idealism must be balanced with realism. Peace.

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Samuel Dennis

January 08, 2014  1:19am

Wit D: Polygamy is not adultery. You incorrectly understand adultery to mean the secular definition of "sex with someone other than your spouse". The Biblical definition, as any good concordance will show you, is actually "sex between a married woman and a man other than her husband", see Leviticus 20:10. Biblical adultery is when any man (even an unmarried one) takes the wife of another sexually. This is why David, although he had many wives, was only accused of adultery when he slept with Bathsheba, another man's wife. It was not adultery for him to sleep with his other wives, as they were not the wives of anyone else. See 1 Kings 15:5. If any reader is interested in looking into these questions further, I highly recommend the forum www.biblicalfamilies.org, lots of solid Biblical discussion on marriage and the options for single Christian women.

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Samuel Dennis

January 08, 2014  1:09am

Wit D: I agree that the Bible never commands polygamy. Nor does it command monogamy or celibacy. It does however give many examples of Godly people in all three situations, and never once condemns any of them. God clearly established marriage as being between a man and a woman when creating Adam and Eve, however never once said that a man can only have one such marriage - on the contrary, the Old Testament laws allowed for and regulated polygamy, and the New Testament never once disputes that (except arguably in the case of church leaders, that issue is too big for this comment!). Consider this list of polygamists: Abraham (chosen by God for his faithfulness), Jacob, Moses (wrote Genesis including the account of Adam & Eve's creation), Caleb, Gideon, King David, faithful King Joash - basically a who's who of the most Godly men in scripture (see Hebrews 11). 2 Chr 24:2-3 describes two wives as "right in the sight of the Lord". Not better than monogamy, but a Godly option for some.

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Samuel Dennis

January 08, 2014  12:57am

Tearfang Wolf: I too find a ratio of 1:3 rather large, however the trend of women outnumbering men is correct. The latest New Zealand census has women outnumbering men from the 25-29 age bracket, latest US shows the same but from age 35-39, this is common to all countries that don't engineer a male surplus through sex-selective abortion etc. This is exacerbated in the church as modern services can appeal more to women than men so many churches have more women than men. It is further exacerbated by the traditional trend for husbands to be older than wives, so the wife is coming from a lower age bracket with a higher total population. I don't know any source of precise statistics on Christians alone (they are difficult to determine as then you have to define who is a "Christian" for statistical purposes), but there is certainly very sound data showing that there are more marriageable women than men in the total population.

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Tearfang wolf

January 07, 2014  9:10pm

Just what are the stats for number of single christian men vs women? @crabGrass you say he ratio is 1:3 which seems way out of balance and I've never personally experienced such a ratio. Anyone have any linked stats on this?

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Wit D

January 07, 2014  7:51pm

The Bible [kjv] never command polygamy; the command is "thou shall not commit adultery". God's plan is one man to marry one woman. Cultural norms [old, new and the one to come] does not supersede God's word. So even if man made laws say it is ok today, God never say so in His word, He has not change. Even though the sovereign God did not punish ever sin, every time, it does not give license to that SIN. God did not command divorce either, in fact he said He hates it, but the culture at the time practiced divorce at will for any reason and was against the woman. But that had nothing to do with God and His word. That's sinful man's doing. It is bad advice to engage in polygamy. Is it possible that we are witnessing a "curse" because we[societies/gov't] have rejected traditional marriage/ family, there by rejecting God himself. Is it possible that Isaiah 4 is being fulfilled before our very eyes? Just asking....

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Wit D

January 07, 2014  6:36pm

IMHO I say NO! but I would like to define the *Faith* to exclude those who do not believe in Jesus Christ, as the Son of God. They are many who are not practicing Christians but who do believe in the Christian God, was raised in a Christian home, but like so many people today are backslidden . I believe one should view it as an opportunity to allow God to use them as an agent of change; their lives should reflect the Christ they Love and serve, and He alone will bring about the change. Now, a Christian has a higher allegiance to their God. He's First; spouse second.There is a mis-understanding about waiting:(ie) one should keep their minds preoccupied with the things of God while one waits. This will take away the frustration of waiting because one become too busy working for the Kingdom and not waiting on a mate... too busy to be stress. One should be happy and free to enjoy singlehood; for when you do get marry your singleness is over, no more "I" but 'We" becomes the ruling view.

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Kathi Vande Guchte

January 07, 2014  6:07pm

The married people of the church have no idea what it is like to be unmarried and 30/40/50+ years old. I cannot understand why, if a single person says they are interested and open to marrying, the church would not support them in finding a mate. Considering all the people in a congregation - married and single - wouldn't it be better to connect single people through others instead of internet dating sites. These sites aren't exactly like online catalogs where we can just select and purchase what we want. Yet this is the primary resource to finding someone, and we don't know if that person is legit because we cannot even have a basic cup of coffee with them to learn who they are. I don't understand what Joshua Harris' problem with dating was/is. How are people to get to know each other? Relationships are not any more cookie cutter than people are, so why should how couples meet be the same for everyone? It can't and won't be. It's basically abandoning the single population.

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Samuel Dennis

January 07, 2014  5:38pm

Crab Grass, you are completely correct that for every single Christian man there are several Christian women. Even in wider society marriageable aged women outnumber men. The idea that you can wait forever and eventually God will magically produce a single Christian man for every women is nonsense. But there are plenty of Christian men for every woman to marry one. The problem is our insistence that each man must have only one wife. The Bible was written in a society where polygamy was widespread and every woman could marry a decent man, and God's standards never change. God may still have a Christian husband in mind for you. He might however already be married. So you may be able to see if he's a good husband and father by how he treats his first wife. www.biblicalfamilies.org

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Crab Grass

January 07, 2014  4:50pm

@James Rhoads. You raised a lot of good points. Many Christians (the married ones) over-idealize marriage. I think many of them have an agenda to push. Maybe they are not pro traditional marriage so much as they harp on it to ward off liberalism, homosexual marriage, etc. Christians today worship the nuclear family, and I think they use the word "family" as code speak for "anti Democrat, anti feminism, anti liberal." I'm not a Democrat or liberal myself, but I cannot support the Christian preoccupation with marriage (and having children) when about 45% of the American population is unmarried. The church does nothing to help singles who are over the age of 30, especially the ones who want marriage.

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Crab Grass

January 07, 2014  4:42pm

@Gina Dalfonzo, not to be a Debbie Downer, and I'm not sure of your age, but if you stick with that view (and I sincerely held to it myself up to my late 30s or early 40s) you will find yourself single forever. There are not enough christian single guys out there for all the ladies who want one. You will have to be reasonable and practical. If you want to be married, to have a nice pool of partners to choose from, you will have to widen it to include Non Christian men. And you may have to use dating sites and such. Too many Christian women remain single because they assume God will magically send 'Mr Right' to them at their local church.

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Crab Grass

January 07, 2014  4:39pm

@ Stefan Stackhouse. It's not just the term "dating." Evangelicals have contributed to the problem of unwanted, protracted singleness that is rampant among Christian women (and men - some single Christian males want marriage and are having a hard time getting a wife) with their screwy teachings about how and why the genders do what they do, and perhaps the biggest problem: their teachings about sex and paranoia of fornication. In some Christian circles, males and females (as early as teens, but progressing into adulthood) are prohibited or discouraged from normal interaction (such as polite chit chat). Males and females are taught that single females are all "easy" and that single males are predatory sex beasts who can't keep their pants zipped up, and further, they are taught, men and women should never, ever be alone, not even for a chat over coffee because it will lead to sex. (Yes, some Christians out there teach and believe this junk then wonder why singles can't get married.)

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Crab Grass

January 07, 2014  4:31pm

P.S. Regarding all the talk in this editorial about "waiting" for romance/ marriage, etc, and how hard it is - I can only assume this piece was written for teen girls or colleged age, or to those in their mid twenties? Again, I'm still not married and am in my 40s. How can Christian culture realistically expect a woman to keep waiting, waiting, waiting for DECADES? Also, with the frequent, recurrent weekly news reports I see on Christian and non Christian sites of married Christian men who admit to being porn users, arrested for child molestation, using drugs, or murdering their Christian wives, Non-Christian men don't look so bad as a marriage option. Christians seldom address that not only is there a LACK of single Christian men to marry but even the ones that do are later found out to be abusive, drug or porn addicts, etc., and those marriages at times end in divorce. So a Christian woman might as well date/marry a Non Christian guy so long as he treats her well.

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Crab Grass

January 07, 2014  4:27pm

After years of having been a Christian, I have dumped the "do not be yoked to an unbeliever" teaching aside. Forget just dating a non believer, I am willing to MARRY one now. The church does a huge dis serve to Christian single women. I was told repeatedly growing up in Christian culture that if I prayed, had faith, waited, and was a good girl (no sex - and I remain a virgin into my 40s), that God would send me "Mr. Christian Right." That never happened. Various data out there say that for every single Christian man over 30/40. There are three single Christian women... there are simply not enough christian men to go round for all the ladies who may want marriage. There comes a time when you have to be pragmatic and look at things how they are: if you are a Christian women over 25 / 30 or older and want marriage, you will have to consider marrying a Non Christian. Sitting about hoping or attending church is not going to bring you a Christian spouse.

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STEPHEN LEONARD

January 07, 2014  4:02pm

Dating a non-Christian seriously risks "falling in love." Then the compromises begin to try to validate the relationship. The non-Christian begins to make promises of church attendance, becoming a Christian etc etc. After the marriage the promises go by the wayside. The long term result isn't happy. As a pastor I have seen this happen far more than a pleasing outcome which is rare.

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Sherwood MacRae

January 07, 2014  1:16pm

James Rhodes apparently would have us believe that the point of dating is to find someone to marry and I have to vehemently object. "Dating" is getting to know if you are compatible with people of the other sex and might possibly develop a desire to "go steady" and could possibly become your mate. The problem is, you are not ready for marriage if you do not have a realistic understanding of other people. So you "date" a person who appears to be someone you would like to get to know better and in today's world, there are literally hundreds of such people in every community. They could be older or younger than you, they may be of your faith or a different faith, they might even be of a different race. My point is, if we look on dating as the first step in getting married, the obvious question will dwell on sexual compatibility. Therein is the problem with far too many young people. Once you can talk about it, inhibitions go out of the window.

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Douglas Quenzer

January 07, 2014  12:42pm

There are always the stories of the believer that dates an unbeliever and then the unbeliever comes to Christ. I can also attest to the opposite where the unbeliever leads the believer away from God. The basis of authority is not experience or stories. The basis of authority is the word of God. A believer is free to marry "in the Lord." The problem with our society is that we place our perceived happiness above our obedience to Christ. But obedience sometimes requires a cross of self-sacrifice of personal desires to follow God's desires. Dating in our culture generally is pretty faddish and often foolish. I came to know my wife of 37 years as a friend long before we seriously "dated" each other. When I did date her it was to take our relationship to another level and determine if we should marry. A man and woman that are never just friends and go immediately to dating often will not see the other person as they really are. "Love" is blind, marriage is an eye opener.

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Stefan Stackhouse

January 07, 2014  7:53am

Is it OK for a Christian to meet a non-Christian over a cup of coffee, just to talk and get to know each other a little better? Certainly that must be OK. Perhaps the problem comes when we apply the word "date" to such an activity. "Dating" is a concept that comes loaded with a lot of cultural context and baggage, and when you apply the word "date" to your activity, you are applying all of that other stuff to it as well.

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Thomas Gary

January 06, 2014  11:44pm

I have a friend who married a Christian woman because he believed God had told him to do so, not for love. His marriage lasted until his wife died. The last years were pure hell. They were mismatched & never spiritually close. Marriage, despite all of the over-spiritualized, talk, is often very earthly & commonsensical. People seek companionship, domesticity, & security. Just because both spouses are Christian does not mean they will be spiritually close. That is simply not real life. I've known non-Christian couples who are happier & closer than Christian ones. Do you really know about the lives of couples in your churches? I had a great Christian therapist who never even hinted believers had better marriages than non-believers. I'm not saying what anyone should do about dating, but don't just hand out the cliches. If one does date & marry a non-believer, it is crucial to have it agreed that all children will be raised in the Faith. Then you are dealing with the "little ones". Peace

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Gina Dalfonzo

January 06, 2014  6:20pm

I appreciate this piece very much. It helps remind me why I can't settle for someone who doesn't share my faith in Christ, no matter how nice he might be.

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James Cowles

January 06, 2014  5:10pm

My wife Diane and I will have been married for 30 years on 18 Aug 2014. Our courtship spanned 7 years and 3 continents -- we both traveled a lot on business then -- and we've known one another, in some capacity or other, for 38 years. The dating time of my life, when I was going out with Diane and others, was a good time. No regrets. But marriage ... well ... let's just say the WORST day I ever had WITH Diane is better than the BEST day I ever had withOUT her. She is the ONLY reason I managed, by the skin of my teeth, to survive my demented quest for my PhD and another equally demented quest for my MDiv. Bottom line: a good marriage is possible. You just have to marry the right person ... I know ... I know ... easy to say. And if you say that, you'd be right. It really is easy to say. Only advice I have: don't get in a hurry. Beyond that ... well ... "Let me not to the marriage of true minds admit impediment ... ".

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Kathi Vande Guchte

January 06, 2014  3:31pm

From what I find in the Bible, we're commanded to not join together with unbelievers, because what doe light and darkness have in common. We're told by Paul to stay single, but if we want to marry we are not sinning. There's even the passage in the NT that directs us to not try and leave the station we are in, yet at the end of this section it encourages the slave to obtain freedom if he can. I don't know why the last 20 years have been so hard for singles, with so many (married) people discouraging us from finding a mate. Yet Family Life Today, which sponsors marriage conferences, tells their attendees that 1) Marriage is to complete you - fill in your gaps; 2) Marriage reflects the relationship of God and the church; 3) Marriage is to build godly families. The first two are really hard for singles to read. Let people know you're open to an introduction. Ask for prayer for a spouse from others. Ask yourself, "Am I really ready to pursue this?" It may be you holding you back

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James Rhoads

January 06, 2014  1:50pm

...person. It's up to YOU who you marry. & whoever that ends up being (if anyone), love them the way the Bible says to. Which also tells me that true, biblical love is less of an emotion & more of an action. Via movies, music, & books, our society has given people a completely unrealistic view of what love, &, consequently, marriage is. It's no wonder divorce is so common & 50% of marriages fall victim to it. Even among Christians. As soon as we don't "feel" love the same way we did at first that must mean I need to divorce & find someone else. After all, I deserve to be happy - right? Except TRUE happiness is only to be found in Jesus. & He's the one who says that God HATES divorce. So there's no more quiver in the liver & faster heartbeat? Love didn't change, YOU changed! Start loving that person again - again, biblically speaking it's an action not an emotion. Jesus promised that "where your treasure is there will your heart be also." Make that person your treasure!

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peter bangs

January 06, 2014  1:32pm

Im with E Snow on this. I thank God every day for my wife who saw God's plan for me and married a foolish, unsaved intellectual and introduced him to Christ through her great heart and unconditional love for everyone. We have two great kids who love God and love church and our small but loving church family.

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James Rhoads

January 06, 2014  1:31pm

2 points to make here -- 1, the point of dating is to find someone to marry. So if we wouldn't marry a non-believer what's the point of dating one? To convert? Surely not. But if so, convert THEN date. 2nd point, the fact this question is even being asked proves how jacked up our society and theology are in this country. You know why the Bible doesn't discuss dating? Because most folks in that day and age were in arranged marriages. And it's to THOSE people that God commands to "love your wife as Christ loves the church." The idea of a "soulmate" is foreign to Scripture. God did NOT create someone out there just for you, to be your perfect companion, etc. We tell young people that "love" is the basis of marriage - again, that is foreign to Scripture. Paul said one reason to marry was if you couldn't "keep it in your pants," so to speak. Not exactly romantic, right? But VERY biblical. God isn't interested in playing matchmaker, nor is He guiding you towards that special...

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E Snow

January 06, 2014  1:13pm

When I was dating my husband, he considered himself an atheist. But he agreed to attend church regularly with me. First year of marriage, he converted. As I watch him now, faithfully taking our children to church, and as we talk about theology, the Bible, our faith, etc-frankly I'm delighted I dated an "unbeliever." Maybe my husband and I are the exception that proves the rule. But I'd do it all again in a heartbeat.

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Sherwood MacRae

January 06, 2014  1:06pm

Somehow I get the opinion that we are more driven by words than by - the Word. Dating as I recall it now that I am in my 80' is a process through which we can determine if our faith is really real or are we merely hearers of the words, far from being doers.

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Jason Whittington

January 06, 2014  10:44am

How can you walk with somebody when they're not even on the same path?

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Dan from Georgia

January 06, 2014  9:42am

As I look back on my so-called dating life and subsequent marriage to my wonderful bride at the ripe young age of 42, I feel really frustrated with the whole dating/courting scene in the church, and feel saddened that Christians are looking outside the church/faith for spouses. Why wasn't I encouraged to pursue the "wife of my youth" when I was in my 20s? Instead, I was over and over and over again told to "wait on the Lord" throughout my 20s (funny while everyone else was off getting married!). Tough when the hormones are a ragin'. And then there are the big populations of singles that I know back in the Twin Cities (Minnesota) where I RARELY if ever hear of any new engagements and weddings. What are these people doing just mingling with each other at big single's events, and yet not taking that risk in pursuing a relationship? Gives me the impression that I wasn't the only one being given unbiblical advice in relationships.

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