A short video of our wedding at the Rusty Pelican in Tampa, FL. Wedding photos here and engagement photos here. We just had our one year anniversary. I also proposed two years ago on Valentine’s Day. Quite an adventure, it’s been.
How do you feel or have personally experienced the Christian subculture’s treatment or approach towards dating/courting/romantic relationships?
You know, I had really bought into the modern “Christian” idea of dating because it appeals to the legalistic Pharisee in all of us. It’s not all bad, but it often results in a panicked paranoia about the opposite sex that leads to unhealthy self-slavery.
Basically, the Christian subculture of dating says:
– Don’t date.
– If you date, do “courtship,” which is dating only for marriage.
– The warning: if you decide to date, you give your heart and soul away.
– If you break up, you’re practicing for divorce.
– Sex is bad, filthy, gross, and disgusting. So save it for marriage.
The thing is, I completely understand this rigid idea of dating. It’s a reactionary philosophy to all the messed up Hollywood values perpetuated in dumb romantic comedies. So to the average Christian, it makes sense to “only date for marriage” and “guard the pieces of your heart.”
But the opposite of one idea doesn’t make a good idea.
To unabashedly quote myself, this is essentially what “Christian” dating is saying:
Screw all those people who have a traumatic past of dating because they’re obviously evil serial daters and life is black-and-white and there’s no hope for people who have given away pieces of their purity. Just line up all your ex’s in a room and look at how dirty you are. Jesus can restore broken people to a brand new life, except if you dated some loser who played your innocence and stole your childhood when you didn’t know any better since Freud says that’s subconsciously all your fault. Sorry, Jesus saves — his salvation-juice for only the good people.
I absolutely believe that we should be careful about who we date and to set high standards for it. You should never have to settle for less than what you feel you deserve. There should definitely be safe physical boundaries, and yes, sex is awesome and it’s only awesome within marriage.
BUT: We need to relax a little here.
Talking about sex in church — how to and how not to.
“A little more than a year ago I was a college pastor. The topic of dating, purity, and romance seemed to be an ever-present area of commentary, question, and struggle. (Many of my former students are smirking right now, thinking that I am the one who kept bringing it up.) As I prepared to teach a series on romance, dating, and marriage, I was taken aback by the lack of theological depth among evangelicals on this topic. Many books and essays (on the left) properly noted that dating cannot be found in the Bible, but then wrongly concluded that therefore the Bible has nothing conclusive to say on this topic.
Bearing these challenges in mind, here are some preliminary suggestions on how you can keep your sex talk fresh.”
Continue Reading at The Gospel Coalition
– Question: Premarital Sex Is Bad?
– Question: What about oral sex?
– Question: How To Get To Know The Ladies (The “Christian” Way)
– Question: The Weird World of Online Dating
– Question: What do you look for in a future spouse?