With books like “I Kissed Dating Goodbye”, words like courtship, and a culture of sexploration it’s hard not to come to the conclusions and frustrations of many college-age students about how relationships are pursued. In WORLD Magazine Susan Olasky enters the down-right confusing world of Christian dating.
Brad M. Griffin from the Fuller Youth Institute comments:
This raises a lot of interesting questions about what kind of storyline Christian subculture has created for emerging adults when it comes to relationships, dating, and marriage. What do you think? Has the pendulum swung from “ring by spring” and “Mrs. Degree” culture to one that avoids dating and marriage altogether?
To answer his question and Olasky’s confusion it comes down to fear of rejection and failure on part of the guy, and frustrations by girls about guy’s inability to initiate. Although this conlcusion may sound stereotypical we must look at how the state of marriage and relationships knowing that it’s no wonder people are afraid of making a wrong choice for a life-mate. Staying sexually emotionally pure in relationships is the tension that singles, couples, and married people will always have to live with. This idea that marriage is a “cure” for these issues is unrealistic and untrue.
I think that if people really want to make a relationship last that we need to focus on friendship and the character of God as a foundation for all of our relationships. Friendship is the basis of how you get to know people. Looking for the interests of others above yourself is extremely important in all friendships and for Christians in general (Philippians 2). Aligning yourself with the character of God will help keep your urges and emotions in check. Choosing to use your time and money doing activities that honor Him (even dates) is possible and gratifying.
I could go on all day about accountability partners and list of principles, but I’m no Joshua Harris! Connect with people and honor God in everything that you do!